goodbye, 2009!

Four hours to go before midnight. I’m in my room, having just finished editing some pictures for upload at flickr, with Geloy playing by my desktop pc at the back. A little later, i expect Ate to be calling us down already so the yearly ritual of eating-til-you-drop could begin. But i still got some time. i haven’t been blogging as much as i ought to, as my previous “dear blog” entry would attest to. I don’t know if i could still sustain the same fervor, and gusto i had, writing down things in my mind, as i did at around this same season as last year. But whatever the case, i at least assure you dear reader, that the green backseat is still in operation and will still be the official home of gentle for years to come. As proof of that, i just finished working on my season four cum holiday banner—something that should have been done earlier, as i’m way well onto my fourth season; this being my fifth or sixth entry already.

The banner’s a bit different from its predecessors. Devoid of pomp and special effects, what you get is an in-your-face gentle; a gentle that is stripped down of layers and layers of adobe effects; the use of which, for some year now, has been espoused by yours truly—the self-professed prophet of adobe—extolling its virtues over raw, unedited, unprocessed images. Why the sudden change of preference? I don’t know. It must be that it comes with age. I know myself. Confident i could present myself to anyone and not afraid anymore of being seen for my flaws, i chose my latest picture without having to hide under blurs and color distortions. This is gentle the way he should be.

The picture’s part of my latest trip to Baguio with my cousin, Anno. This one’s at the ampitheater in front of the bell house, in Camp John Hay. The camp holds a lot of happy, dear memories i had as a child, with my family and the rest of my close-knit relatives. Now, my aunts are all indisposed, tending to their different illnesses, some of which i managed to blog about in my other entries. Being that Ate and her family went to Pampanga for the long Christmas holiday, and that i cannot take Nanay with me on a long bumpy bus ride, i managed to get Anno, the cousin closest to my age to tag along with me. this next one’s taken along the camp’s eco-trail, beside the wall-climbing facility and butterfly sanctuary.

Before going home to the province for the long break, i sortof managed to jot some things down on paper so i could just retype em the moment the urge to blog pops up. Work issues have been getting me down as of late, and there’s no refuge i could think of than good ole backseat. The paper’s still on my wallet, but on second thought, besides not up to the job of typing down what has already been written—i’m more comfortable in writing my thoughts as they come—i’m also not keen on picking on fresh wound. Madrama ba? Speaking of wound, my other wound, the physical one, is healing quite well already. Nakapaghugas na ako ng plato kanina, without the fear of over-twisting my wrist and stirring things underneath my still visible stitch line. Yes, contrary to others telling me that i could and should already be moving my wrist normally to answer to the daily chores of life, i’m still a bit apprehensive as to its effectiveness in handling the normal gentle routine—lifting weights and yoga, that is. But seeing that my waist’s growing more and more comfortably relaxed with the established gentle appetite, i therefore resolve that by the coming year i should put a little more effort into losing weight and shaping up. Part of aging gracefully is knowing how to take care of one’s body; something that i should be putting more effort to, as i haven’t been getting enough sleep because of another addiction that just developed—Plants vs. Zombies, that is, hehehe. Geloy, this is all your fault. But seriously, i need to develop a healthier sleep pattern too, next year.

so, sabi nga ng mga chikadora sa mga showbiz columns na binabasa ko sa opis pag turn ko nang magbantay sa monitoring desk (news articles are so boring) after na nilang mailatag ang latest showbiz chika for the day.. they always end their column with “so, there”.

So, there.


sa pilipinas, ginto ang snowflakes!

glorieta 4, makati city

merry christmas blog friends!!



I was at the CR this morning when I overheard our office janitors havin a conversation about their thirteenth month pay.

Janitor 1 : O, dumating na daw yung 13th month natin?
Janitor 2 : Oo, kahapon lang.
Janitor 1 : Magkano?
Janitor 2 : 5 thousand pare
Janitor 1 : Ha? E di ba last year nag-8 thousand na tayo?
Janitor 2 : Dinig ko nga 4 thousand nga lang daw sana ang ibibigay ngayong taon.

I didn’t stay long enough to hear what Janitor 1 replied to his colleague. I went out knowing fully well that everyday, they are exposed to the employees talking how much “benefits” they are going to receive this Christmas from the big boss, or what additional cash benefits the employee union is still lobbying for the common good of the employees.

The office outsources its janitorial service to third party service providers, so the janitors do not enjoy the same monetary outpouring as the rest of the employees receive at Christmas. Its just saddening to think that these are the most overworked people around, doing numerous other things at the beck and call of most employees, other than cleaning the office premises, and they get a meager bonus for Christmas. We (I’m not excusing myself from this) remain day-in, day-out insensitive as to even remind ourselves to hush up a bit in their presence when the topic of conversation veers towards christmas bonus. Ampangit tingnan, di ba?

Sigh, office culture has crept into my veins.


ang drama ko naman talaga o, kainis. haha!

Dear Blog,

I know I haven’t been writing on you quite as much as I would want to. These past few days, I have been really itching to report to you what has been keeping me busy, happy—taking much of my time to the point that I’ve no energy left at the end of the day, to compose my thoughts and be with you even for just a few minutes—but I know you’re just there, constant in your undying affection for me, your inconstant, ungrateful friend. One year is no easy feat in the blogging world, and we’ve manage to hold onto each other through the grueling twelve months, sharing the highs and lows of everyday living; and it is this recent unnatural new high that has caused me to write this one, knowing that you would be jealous no doubt of my new-found friend. But don’t be. You will always have a special place here in my heart. It’s just that my creativity is now spilling onto other forms and other media, here on the internet. I recently fell in love with photography. And having been consistently reporting to you until about a month ago, I have no doubt that you already saw this one coming. Yes, havin a DSLR camera paved the way for me to have another avenue with which to pour my heart. Suddenly, my poetry and short fiction which I have so prided myself to having created, nurtured and kept alive for the last twelve months or so, had to take a backseat (maybe this is what the “green backseat” title is for—did I have foresight in coming up with a title for you; knowing that someday this would happen… the backseat taking a backseat? Hehehe). well, I know this is just temporary. As with other things that went before, when I finally have my fill, it will eventually go back to normal, with me taking alternately and in moderation all the wonderful things that make my world go round. But for now allow me to share to you this one. And please don’t get jelous.




si nanay at ang mga panget na tuta

Dadalawa na lang yung tuta namin out of the three that i wrote of, in my home alone entry last October. Yung pinakakyut sa kanila na gustong gusto ni nanay, dinampot ng mga hinayupak na kapit bahay namin some days ago. Marunong na kasi silang lumabas ng gate. Last ko syang nakita on the first night after my operation, nung kakarating lang namin ni ate from Manila. Pinansin ko pa nga, kasi last week lang eh behave pa sila. Kahit bukas pa yung gate, di sila lumalabas. and then yun nga, nung papalipat na kami sa kabilang bahay for the night biglang sumunod silang tatlo with the two grown dogs at lumabas ng kalsada. Ala namang gaanong nag-effort na papasukin sila kasi nga maliliit pa lang sila at nakakalusot pa sa siwang ng gate kaya kayang-kaya nilang bumalik after ng gala nila. Pero hayun, the next day ala na sya. Bumalik yung dalawang panget na tuta except sya. Problemado tuloy si nanay. She’s thinking baka yung isang taga neighborhood na palaging bumabati sa aso at nag-oofer pa kay nanay na bilhin na lang, na sya ang salarin. Syempre ang nanay ko sisimple-simple lang yan pero may natatagong taray din kaya’t nakarinig na lang si Anita (ang mahaderang neighbour) ng “they’re not for sale” in ilokano. Hehehe. that day, palagi nya yung binabanggit. Syempre, palagi mo ba namang kasama sa bahay tapos bigla-bigla na lang mawawala. Nakita ko pa ngang nakadungaw sa terrace si nanay at medyo nakatulala. I thought it couldn’t be the pup entirely. Matanda na si nanay. Mabagal nang maglakad at medyo bent na ang likod. Most of the time, pag wala kami dahil may kanya-kanyang pasok (even CJ, na may speech therapy sessions in the afternoon), she’s left with the dogs and her afternoon telenovelas. so just imagine it for her, the loss. Kinakausap-kausap pa nga nya yung mga yun. And yes, i couldn’t help thinking that it might be other concerns too, relating sa pagtanda. Haay. Ayokong maging emotional dito. Medyo malakas pa naman si nanay. Sya pa nga ang gumising sa akin at nag-asikaso ng almusal ko when i left for manila to see my doctor yesterday. i just dread to see the day na bigla syang manghihina. Parang di ko kakayanin.


season four pilot | episode one : chubby fingers

It’s been five days since my surgery at the Makati med. My left hand and fingers are back to their normal size once again. Finally i can type this one, which has been germinating in my mind and accumulating in details ever since the anaesthesiologist woke me up at the operating room, without so much as wincing in pain whenever i try doing it in my normal pace. When i say the word bloat, can you picture my right hand with its bony fingers placed side by side with my left, which has never been anything but chubby and bursting with mysterious fluids during the first three days post-operation? If you can, well and good, coz that’s not the end to it. Picture my bloated left hand’s knuckles slowly turning purple; the purplish hue seeming to crawl up, toward my fingertips. And if you have an overactive imagination like the one i have, you might probably be thinking the same thing i’ve been thinking, prior to the follow-up consultation i had with my doctor yesterday, wherein he vanquished all those negative thoughts down the drain, to the last savory drop—that no, i’m not dying; that if the purplish hue reaches my fingertips my fingers will not start falling off like wilted leaves from the main stem, leaving me with a super productive stump for a hand—i just need to flex my fingers so that blood will circulate healthily through them, and that’s what i’ve been doing. This entry is exercise for my fingers, hehehe.

Going back to the moment i woke up—i’ve no words but thank yous, to the medical staff who assisted in the operation; to Casle, my nurse who saw to my needs during the operation, to the motherly anaesthesiologist who never left my side way until i’m out of that super deep sleep—if you ask me now, that was one freaky, creepy sleep. It felt good. I was havin good dreams. It wasn’t a flat sleep with no dreams but a busy one (though i couldn’t remember any of the details anymore), but its also something i don’t have control over. It could have gone on forever, with me rolling from one dream to the next, and never waking up at all. And so just imagine the relief slowly creeping up my being when i did wake up, realizing where i was, with my left hand and wrist bandaged neatly on my side.

I’ve so much to be thankful for! My friends and relatives who kept me strong with their text messages. I kept reading a long list of you-can-do-it messages days before the actual procedure just to have the proper mindset, hehehe. Thanks to the bulldog, shattershards, eyvicat, scheez, geek, grems, ryan, ada, and mar for those encouraging text messages. To my online blogmate-well wishers, i appreciate the comments you’ve been leaving on the various entries i wrote relating to the dreaded surgical operation. Special thank you goes to my cousin Melvin, who tended to the wound because i’m too scared to even remove the bandage and look at it. I got four stitches, hehehe! It really pays to have a nurse for a cousin, huh. And yes, the last one goes to my family who supported me throughout all of this, with Ate even taking a leave from her work to accompany me on the day of my surgery.

Love you all. Pag may nakalimutang banggitin sana huwag magtampo.


how bout a poem for a season ender?

thus ends another season of the green backseat.

here's a poem i managed to thumb with the help of my trusty celfone yesterday, at the bus going back to Manila. the passenger in front of me slept all throughout the travel, reclining her seat to the maximum so i couldn't bring gael out to jot my thoughts. my imagination was so fertile yesterday that i was feverish--unable to stop til i get the words right; and i did, i think.

the title is love at first prick.

go figure. hehehe.

and she laughs—
sickly and sweet;
saunters silkenly,
holy down your highway;
tears up her skirt,
cracks up a dance;
to taunt and to tease—
tear you out your wits

oh she crackles—
and you crack;
bones break,
burning and barking
boiling your brain a soft
gooey goo –
flushable, edible
straight down the loo.

and she sings—
close your eyes,
hear her sing;
lull you sick,
lull you sweet;
loose your marbles
bit by bit

and she laughs—
hoarse as a whore’s,
wild as a child’s;
close your eyes,
close your eyes;
swirl round and round
her rasping, lilting
hurtling lullabye

can you spell grr in five letters?


kainis. may magjowang nauna sa akin sa sakayan ng tricycle, and i had to wait for frigin five minutes more before deciding to walk home na lang kasi wala nang dumarating na tricycle sa pilahan. five minutes lang naman na walking distance ang bahay ko (well, yung nirerent ko) from boni--that is if you're walking like cops are chasing after you; mala-walkathon ba.. walk to death for 250 meters. ganon. meron namang mga tricycle actually. di nga lang sila umaabot sa kinatatayuan ko. lumiliko na sila kaagad mga sampung hakbang lang from where i was standing. ano ba, di ba nila ako nakikita? dun sa tinayuan ko naman ang tamang antayan, i'm so sure of it. sang taon na din naman ako dito. at mukha pa silang mga nagmamadali lahat. dinaan-daanan lang ako, potah. at lalo lang ang inis ko when i'm in my last stretch toward the home run (home run talaga!) nang magsulputan silang lahat sa tabi ko nang sunod sunod. heto ako naglalakad, nagmamadali para makuha sa bahay yung ipapalaba ko sa laundry shop bago ako mapagsarhan for the night--at kumakain ng alikabok nyo. cough, cough. shempre dapat soshal pa din sa pag-ubo.

naka-abot naman sa laundry shop. after much trouble. thats trouble spelled in all capital letters--TROUBLE. Potah talaga.


oh the flare!

Question : What do vain people with camera celfones do with their idle time? Gosh, is that even a question? Take self-pictures of course! Hehehe. after four years of unabashed posing, be it at work or the bus, or the restaurant—to the horror of uhm, mortified onlookers, i have managed to accumulate almost 200 worth of these cute and priceless gentle pictures, haha! I haven’t really given much thought of transferring these to gael or to other devices, but since the ongoing trend during the past week until now is transferring pictures, well i guess it’s high time that my camera pictures receive an equal treatment as with my other picture files, and get transferred to much secured storage devices as well. Whew. Four years. looking at these many gentles, i’ve noticed one thing : iisa lang ang anggulo ko! hehehe. and that is the slightly upturned face, revealing my sexy neck and moderately angular jaw. And of course—my flaring nosetrils! Hehehe. syempre, nagkakatalo lang sa overall mood kung nakasimangot ako or super ngiti. For documentary purposes, having accomplished this momentous task four years in the making, i will upload—not 200 of them—but a few that passed quality control. And for my dear gentle readers who suddenly feel nauseated by all these, you’re welcome to throw up in the privacy of your respective CRs. Hehehe. Trip-trip lang. ;)

hmm. i think that with this entry and the previous ones, the backseat might already be fast evolving into a photoblog! well. that remains to be seen in the coming season. ;)



i spent the whole day with my camera. i went home to the province this morning, holding my camera--in the mrt, the bus. i took snapshots of people and terminals.. and stuff;

and then my battery went dead.

note to self : must buy extra battery... uhm. i might need to buy a longer zoom lens too--i seem to fancy photographing people doing their stuff; and i'm havin a hard time, doing it with my itty-bitty lens. hehehe. when i got home this afternoon, i charged my battery right away, for me to take some more pictures.. clicking all the way til the light won't permit me to click anymore. i took a snapshot of my mom.. and then some flowers.

i'm going to manaoag tomorrow to pray for my operation, and to have my camera blessed too. and yes, to take pictures. :)


manong joe and mikee's mom

Manong Joe was just across the corridor, consulting with his doctor; outside, a female staff, a driver and two bodyguards were patiently waiting for him to come out. Mikee’s mom, Tingting, in a gold and black ensemble, was strutting her stuff along the corridor as I was waiting for Medicard’s approval of the three tests I was supposed to undergo prior to the operation, and the operation itself. Three hours at the Makati Med just for all these stuff. I fear. Like all people about to undergo an operation, I fear all there is to fear. i close my eyes, trying to remember the confidence in my doctor’s voice as we were talking about my decision to have it finally removed. I close my eyes, trying to picture all these rich, politically-powerful people, entrusting themselves to this same hospital, this same team of doctors my health card privilege affords me to consult with—and I am somehow comforted.

9 days to go


the caramoan picture storybook

a scene from the window seat, going to camarines sur

the inland waterway going out to sea is teeming with lush vegetation, mostly nipa and bakawan

caramoan town proper at 6:30 in the morning. this is already the busiest part of town; so "busy" that most people here know each other by name

this was the modified tricycle we rode during the two days worth of sight-seeing

an interesting old house we found by the roadside, on our way to the "stairs"

the stairs - 537 heart-thumping steps all in all, led us to

this breath taking view

one of the clearest waters i ever saw. clearer than that of boracay's; little fishes kept playing by my feet the entire time we were on this island

our tour's last stop - this island held many fun corners that i discovered one by one with my camera

like this one, straight out of a tourist's brochure

and this magical spot: the sunlight falling on the water's surface is glorious

before leaving the caramoan port on our last day, we were treated to an unexpected and very welcome "extra" - a peek at the mayon volcano; majestic from a distance


counting down to caramoan

four days to go to caramoan.

excited for the next big pose.


the checklist

Member data record, check.
Form 1, check.
Certification of member contribution, check.

I remember doing this exact procedure—going from one office to the next, obtaining the required documentation and signatures, around july of last year when I elected to have a newly discovered tendon cyst surgically removed at the Makati Med. The process I underwent involved punching two holes around my wrist and pressing on it hard, forcing the gel-like cyst out from its receptacle. It was done by way of local anesthesia, and was finished in a matter of five minutes. In a matter of one month, the mound that was flattened, grew back to its original size. It’s been more than a year already, and once again, prompted by cancer-scare brought about by the recent turnouts of cancer cases in the family, I once again go under the knife. Only this time, the doctor, who is an orthopedic surgeon, suggested that I go to sleep because local anesthesia might not entirely cover the pain once the procedure begins. Natatakot ako. Di pa nga ako nadedextrose sa tanang buhay ko, ngayon kelangan kong matulog for an operation? Pano kung di na ako magising? Masakit ba ang tusok ng karayom, going through your veins? I have to accomplish this major task before the year ends. Ayoko nang palaging may iniisip. But before that, I’ve one more major outing with the guys this coming November 13 at Caramoan, in CamSur. I know, it’s gonna be hard on my part, trying to condition myself to enjoy an outing knowing that I have to take care of serious business once I get back to the metro. But I’m not Gentle for nothing. Pleasure has always been my province. But pain? Uhm…



in keeping with the pyesta ng patay fever, i'm reposting this poem which originally appeared at naked scribbles. enjoy!

the birds
have fallen
I cannot tell
the time of day

the shadows
playing by
my bedside bemoan
the passing
of May

you look
at me pallid
and shrunken
from across
your pillow

never thought
these curtains
could ever turn
this rotten
this yellow

the garden lies
the fountain, dry
the gates rust
the leaves sigh

my breath heaves
gazing out the window
the sky is ashen
like your urn is
ashen, too

i look
at you pallid
and shrunken
from across
my pillow

you’re always silent
as the birds are silent
these days--
tenderly, unflinchingly
your eyes held me lovingly

yes, yes
it is time


ang outing ni nanay

ang saya-saya!


home alone

October 30, 2009. 9:55 pm. I’m home alone. Not that i haven’t been alone at home even for once, in my 28 years of existence in this blue and green planet third from the sun called Earth. After high school i’ve lived independently away from home, struggling in the academic republic of Diliman, living from one dormitory to another. Well, technically i was still dependent on my father’s money then, but i wash my own underwear and cook my own instant noodles—well, you get the drift. i take care of my own stuff and ignore another else’s. It’s a dog eat dog world out there; that i learned early on in life, thanks to the daily jostling i was subjected to, for a good four years of my college life. Work didn’t improve my lot; i learned that things only get more interesting as you go further down the road. But yes, it’s my first time to be literally left at home here in the province.

Ate, Kuya and the kids had to beat the rush so to speak, of people going to the cemetery for the celebration of All Saint’s Day. It’s always been like this for 5 years already, ever since my brother-in-law’s father died. They had to go to Pampanga early so they could be here for All Saint’s Day; so that we could all visit Tatay’s grave together. But this time, they took Nanay with them. After all the stresses the recent typhoon brought, they thought a little travelling could do Nanay good, to get her mind off the everyday things. So when i arrived last night from Manila, Ate informed me right away na taong bahay ako.

The plan is quite simple. See to it that the dogs are fed, see to it that the doors are bolted properly and the cooking gas shut tight before leaving the old house for the new one at night. The house thing is simple enough. One only has to read between the lines for the “house” instruction : don’t get it burned or burglarized. Simple? Yes. But nonetheless, nerve-wracking. I’m OC by the way; so i had to check the cooking gas quite a number of times before being able to convince myself that i did a good job in closing it tightly. Feeding the dogs, well it’s quite manageable. But I quite forgot to consider the fact that there are three puppies involved—and they’re not even potty trained! So i spent a good deal of the afternoon in the garage picking up puppy poop. Of all the places they could choose to relieve themselves, sa sementadong part pa. Pwede naman sa gilid-gilid ng bakuran. Haay.

I’m writing this entry quite disappointed knowing that i would not be able to post it right after i seal it with my kiss. Remember my free internet 24/7 entry some weeks ago? Well, nadiscover na ata ng globe ang booboo nila and they’re equalizing all the “free” access time i had back then by sucking up every single peso i load on my visibility kit. Imagine ha, nag-load ako ng 100. In five minutes time, zero balance na ako. That was also the case the other night. I tried loading the 100 pesos kanina using a new simcard with the hope that since it’s a new sim, they won’t be able to charge it to guilty-user-me. malas. (hindi yan malas, ang tawag dyan, karma hehehe). Seems they’re tracking the gadget itself, and not the sim as i previously thought. Unable to surf the net as originally planned, i decided to make it a productive me-time by doing a full yoga session.

Lumalalim na ang gabi. Manunood pa sana ako ng Moulin Rouge (hehe, dami ko plano noh?) pero bukas na nga lang. Inaantok na ako. Sana dumating na sina Ate bukas at huwag sa mismong November 1 pa.. ayoko nang magdakot ng pupu ng mga tuta!


the meeting

i was in one of the restaurants near shangrila mall's cinema lobby, attending a meeting. funny how the chairs the attendees (including myself) sat on, resembled those highschool armchairs we used back at school. i was at the back row, with most backs turned away from me; but i had the funny feeling that all the men and women attending this meeting were all high profile people in the society--businessmen perhaps, or politicians even--i can tell from the suits and the coats. in front of us, customers were lining up for gourmet sandwiches at Oliver's sandwich counter. the light chatter starting to emerge was suddenly hushed when she entered the room, resplendent in her eighties big blonde hair, teased to perfection; big pearl bling-blings dangling from her neck, happily chewing her bubble gum. "ooh, its melanie marquez! haha, great", i thought to myself. a booming voice somewhere declared, "all rise for the president". and suddenly all the men and women in the meeting rose to greet her. Horror of all horrors. Am i really seeing this? this is melanie marquez, right? then she started to speak : "All right ladies and gentlemen, you may take your seats. as you all know i called this cabinet meeting to let you see my new dress". a red polka-dot piece with big shoulderpads. "You see, this is the current state of our country".

and then i woke up. thank God i woke up.



when i held you last night, i just knew i have to have you for myself one day

pag-iipunan kita.


curious little things

things i've recently seen that fill my head when there's nothing else to think about:

1. the wonderful tv series GLEE and its cast of wonderfully talented characters.

2. and two foreign language films shown in the recently held spanish and italian filmfests:

the riveting performances of the lead characters, with Maribel Verdu in topnotch performance as a smoldering hot momma in Los Girasoles Ciegos (The Blind Sunflowers)

and the exuberant coming of age film Ma Che Ci Faccio Qui which translates as What Am I Doing Here?


yet another pepeng post

Wrote this aboard the bus going back to manila last sunday. Yes, this is another pepeng post. don't say i didn't warn you.

Pabalik na ako ng manila. I never realized that my two days worth of stay in the province would be so much different from my previous weekends there. For one, the landscape has changed a great deal. Antaas ng putik na naiwan ng baha, from the looks of it, malamang galing pa yung mga yun sa bundok. Yung graba na ipinatambak ni tatay sa bakuran nung kakalipat lang namin nung 1995, nabaon na. Nagi-start nang mag crack up yung putik dahil kahit paano umaaraw na the past few days. i just dunno how it will fare in the following days, with the coming of the new typhoon.. will it harden up enough na maging lupa na sya ulit.. or will it return to muck? Secondly, i’ve been stationed with the washing machine. As in all-day activity ito ha. Most of our clothes got soaked by floodwater, at walang choice kundi labhan lahat, otherwise mangangamoy lang yung mga yun sa cabinet. Mula sa makakapal na maong hanggang sa light articles, from new ones to the oldest, everything had to be washed. Gustuhin ko mang magmoment everytime may naeencounter akong favorite kong t-shirt nung bata pa ako, e hindi ko magawa sa dami ng kelangan pang labhan. No wonder pagkakain ng dinner, ang aga kong nakatulog. Grabe mga tumatamang bagyo sa atin ngayon. And its not surprising that the senate had to create a new committee just to deal with all things pertaining to climate change—for how else can we explain all the things that befell us so far? suddenly, all the major issues that used to preoccupy the media had to take a backseat. Even Sunday afternoon entertainment shows like SOP had to change format to conform to the call of the times. you suddenly see the major stars from the two big media networks manning the telephone lines. Uso eh. That’s how i used to think when ondoy hit Marikina the hardest. Mag-iiba pala ang pananaw mo when the tragedy hits closer to home.


too much, just too much

It’s 6 in the evening. I’m in the dining room scattered with dismantled seats that my brother-in-law managed to salvage from the wreak that is our L-300. We still haven’t plugged-in the refrigerator in its assigned sockets for fear that the electrical wirings that got soaked in the flood would short circuit and explode. I arrived early to find much of our clothes hanging in the clothesline drying in the open air; the newly-bought washing machine (the old one perished with the great flood) whirring all day; and much of the house, still badly in need of cleaning. As Geloy accurately described it, Camantiles (our barrio) has turned into a swamp. True enough, i arrived early in the afternoon by tricycle, but had to walk the remaining two blocks to get to our house because the tricycle driver refused to go on anymore for fear of getting stuck in the mud. Good thing, ate had already warned me against wearing shoes and pants, so i arrived in style, wearing the shortest shorts i could ever find, and a pair of flip-flops to compliment my get-up. The flip-flops didn’t serve its purpose though, as i learned early on that more than a fashion accessory, it’s actually a hindrance—the road being slippery and all; so i walked barefoot, amidst the mud that looked like the chocolate used in the turtlepie we ate at Conti’s last week, and the swimming tadpoles slightly visible in the murky waters beneath my feet. It feels like i woke up suddenly to find myself an unwilling contestant in a magsasaka challenge, in one of GMA’s reality tv shows.

Suddenly, my eleven days of continuous workout, my recent trip to Makati Med to have my wrist checked for the tendon cyst that’s been bothering me for a year already, and the impromptu “show” i put up at the gym—doing a full yoga session last Wednesday, despite having already finished my workout earlier, just because a member did a few poses in which i felt “upstaged”—all their seeming immediacy (and bloggability) vanished at the site of this total devastation that befell our household. Sis said its gonna take us til Christmas to be totally out of this mess. I bet it’s gonna be a longer healing period for our neighbor who lost her husband to the great flood.

This is too much, just too much.


hey blog.

hey blog.

i forgot to greet you last night. i ought to, but so many concerns have been running on my mind all day, and i totally forgot. sorry.

a year huh? well. hard to believe. but it is. a year. and you were with me, laughing with me when i make a fool of myself; crying with me when i'm hard-pressed against a wall of uncertainties.

thanks blog, one year of living, laughing, loving and learning. i ought to make this post one heluva tearjerker, but on the last minute, i decided not to overdo it.. madami pa namang ibang pagkakataon. maybe on our silver anniversary, i'll throw you a grand parteeh--i-giguest natin sina marian and dingdong, wachasei?

but for now, a simple thank you will suffice.

thank you, blog.. and i love you.


ondoy part two

yesterday was part 2 of my romantic workout, something that the fitness trainers in the gym have come to call the act of working out by candlelight. the brownout has been projected to last way until monday, so the management have stocked well on their candle supply; while i have prepared myself to do my cardio using the stationary bikes, given that the treadmills are currently rendered inutile by the situation. on my way home last night, i have planned to write about how i was kinda easing well into the situation, not being irked anymore by the constant squinting in the partial darkness just so i could be certain that the individual weights i'm putting on is what my program says they should be.

but the general mood (and my concerns) suddenly changed when the taxi driver turned the radio on, to monitor the flood situation in pangasinan. i froze in my seat to hear what has befell my province. prior to that news, i have been in constant exchange of short messages with my sister, saying that the flood waters have already reached our yard. that was before i had my dinner; there was a gap all throughout my gym session, and when i checked my celfone as was prompted by the radio that manong driver was currently tuned in, i was terribly troubled to find out that much of the low-lying houses surrounding our house have already succumbed to the floodwaters, and three households have already taken refuge at our house. yes, we have turned into an instant evacuation center. my nephew told me when i called this morning to check on the situation, that "may tubig na sa silong"; to think that tatay saw to it that the house had certain leverage in elevation when it was constructed five years ago.

pepeng, you have turned our province into ondoy part two. i hate you.



"dito magkakaalaman kung sino talaga ang hardcore. brownout? brownout ba? sus. brownout lang pala eh. hehehe."

thus went the overheard talk among trainers at the gym last night, having arrived just mere minutes before the brownout-in-conversation nearly ruined my schedule. nearly, that is. i won't be fazed by a mere power interruption--after taking much trouble to get there after office hours, first by mrt then by jeepney--and i've already changed costume in the lockers for chrissakes!

so i worked out by candlelight. did my cardio by candlelight. amidst ghost stories the trainers shared with each other, i did my crunches. and nope, i'm not "hardcore", i just don't want the effort put to waste.

third day ko pa lang kaya, hehehe, after matigil ng ilang linggo because of the pusit (see related story here).



i had oatmeal cereals for breakfast today, then i made tuna sandwiches and packed 'em for lunch. i've been planning how this day will play out, since before going to bed last night; making sure that i wake up earlier than usual to prepare my meals. excited ba. i even bought multi-colored sandwich bags at Rustans (chochal) for me to put my cute little sandwiches in.

oh, and i'm also downing barrel-fuls of green tea since last week pa. hehehe.

sana lang magtuloy-tuloy, no?.


free internet 24/7

its been over a week now that i have free access to the internet. i dunno if it's a glitch from globe or probably a come-on to lure more customers into buying their visibility prepaid kits-turned tatoo; go on.. lure 'em into the free service.. wait.. wait.. then bam! charge to the hilt! (or something like that--i'm never good in concocting conspiracy theories to start with, hehehe) tho i suspect it more to be the first reason.. for why else would internet service be free, given that we're living in the information age and every scrap of information is priceless? yeah. probably a glitch. and i'm loving every minute of it. and who wouldn't? gentle online 24/7 without spending a single peso to surf the net, do his blogging and stuff. how i wish there's no end to it! but as they say, all good things must come to an end--and globe is bound to discover their charity work in due time and make reparations to the system. but for the meantime, its free and i'm enjoying it to the max! hehehe.


the long and winding road

Note - I meant to post this one last night, as i was traveling back to Manila, amidst the uncertainty of the roads made unpassable by Ondoy. Due to slow and intermittent internet connection, majority of what i wrote wasn't saved. The following is a reconstruction, an approximation of what i had in mind yesterday.

Thank God for SCTEX, really. It made my travels going to and from Manila a lot faster. It's a nice thing that bus companies have finally utilized this highway, as travels going to Pangasinan are lengthier these days thanks to local traffic generated by the bustling cities along Mc Arthur highway. Though SCTEX is really heaven sent, how i wish travels to the countryside could be easier if only SCTEX or NLEX for that matter would be extended up to Pagudpud. That far, huh? I know, its wishful thinking. hehehe. It's more plausible with SCTEX, though i think; but for that to be carried out, it will have to go round the main road, dodging towns, settlements and all signs of civilization. I heard though that SCTEX will be extended til La Union, but i'm quite doubtful if my travel time will be a lot faster given the fact that its gotta go round the towns, rather than in a straight line.

Now, with the train system, thats different. Should the plan by the government to extend the MRT upto Pampanga pushes through, I'll be one helluva happy commuter. hehehe. One college professor who had ample connection with the government mentioned this in class about eight years ago. I wonder what happened since then?



The wind is still wreaking havoc as i write this. We were lucky here in the province that ondoy didn’t hit as hard as it hit Manila. I was looking at news footage yesterday and still couldn’t believe seeing that Quezon City of all places, would literally turn into a sea; for local teen star Jennica Garcia to be hysterical over live phone patch, says a lot about the situation. Back here in the province we had the usual brownouts whenever strong winds would play with the electric posts servicing the area, but situations like that are quite expected already. It’s the terrible floods everyone frets about. We were on the lookout exactly for that sort, when we crossed the street last night to the other house, trying to see the far end of the street if our old neighbor, the river, has already risen. I just hope everyone i know who was in Manila at the height of ondoy’s wrath is safe and didn’t get hurt.

I’ll be leaving the province this afternoon. I hope the floods at NLEX as reported in the news, have already abated by then, or else it’ll be really messy. Reports said its the worst flood to hit the metro since 1967, and that’s saying a lot. I also hope that the gentle abode at Boni is still standing by the time i get back. I mean, i know it’s in a state of perpetual mess, but throwing in murky flood waters would spell nightmare for me--i hate clean-up operations. i hate cleaning, period.


auntie tuding

i was at the shuttle bus last night going to the mrt, braving the evening traffic when i received a text message from auntie tuding asking me how i was doing. she was the only relative aside from ate i told of the ugly sick pig. she knew of the story that i had to endure for a year, before i finally said enough and began the process of moving on. as the highest official in our little hierarchy told us in one of the weekly flag ceremonies we had, at the beginning of the year, - life is too short. it took me nine long months to finally let go of hate and start embracing the fact that it happened, and i just have to charge it to experience.

i told her i'm finally moving on. she replied it was a good decision on my part, and added, "wag ka nang makikipag-away ha".

then just with those words, everything had to come back rushing, everything i endured. but then i had to stop myself from getting agitated, because i remembered that auntie tuding endured, and is still enduring much. i asked her how she was doing with her battle. she told me that she's ok so far, "ok pa naman sa kalusugan at sa isip", adding as an afterthought perhaps, "pangit na ang ante mo"..

i can't help but feel sad for what fate has dealt on her. then i remembered it was her birthday last september 11, and i haven't even greeted her. so i greeted her a belated happy birthday, and said sorry for not able to do so on her very day.

but i haven't really forgotten. in fact during that very day, i intended to greet her. but i could not bring myself to say "happy birthday", when i know the big C is lunching with her, eating her cake, enjoying her balloons.


working on a novel

The sun was up early this morning. It rose golden and majestic over the distant hills to the east; its rays melting away those delicate curtains of mist that hung like spider lace over the fields and the meadows, and the little brooks they passed by along the way. They have been travelling by bus, a rickety one, for almost two hours now; and each bump along the road is reminding Clem how hard it is, getting to the island.

-excerpt from the gentle novel

The past two days had been very busy days.

After my (draining) episode with the CR, i decided to go home to the province to recuperate and be with the family. I brought the golden compass with me, intending to read through Lyra and her exploits but i was barely able to finish two chapters because—hold your breath—i was able to get a move on with my (ehem) novel already (yay!). Yes, ambitious though it may sound, what began as lazy afternoon scribblings in july became a full-blown literary wonder of sorts only two days ago. Hehehe. even the planned re-watching of before sunset had to be rescheduled because it’s not an everyday, regular thing that an inspiration to write a novel strikes. Indeed, the power of the pen has been pushing me to new (and exciting) heights previously unimagined by this gentle writer. its like sleeping as belle in the evening and waking up as the beast, come morning (you just have to buy the analogy). whatever blessing or devilry this is, i'm not exchanging this for the world! i've always dreamed of writing stories, and its finally coming true.

image source - www.pbase.com


a poop story

i can hear grumbling in my stomach like ten thousand orcs suddenly launched an attack in middle earth. thunderous rumblings.

doctor said it was probably food poisoning.

it's my second day now, in house confinement. sadly, imodium and rest did not help in quelling my tummy activity, as my trips to the cr yesterday numbered to about thirty.

and the poop coming out was vile, yellow liquid.

so today, off i went to makati med for consultation with a professional. i came home with a number of strong-dosaged medicines in order to quell what he suspects to be a case of gastroenteritis.

the result for the fecalysis he requested i undergo is due tomorrow.

meanwhile, i'm praying that the meds do their part tonight and in the succeeding days.

lesson learned : never eat the head of an inihaw na pusit if water is oozing out from it like puss.



As today is my laundry day and i have nothing more decent to wear tomorrow, i decided to do some shopping for clothes in the nearby robinson’s department store in their pioneer/ boni branch.

When i was in college, and also a few years back when i was already working, i would almost always go for high fashion—meaning, i would always buy the most expensive shirt my money could buy. The shirt/ clothing article has to branded, otherwise i’d feel naked, or itchy all over. Talk about being imeldific. But the later years sort of mellowed the fashionista monster in me. now, i go more for what’s working for me rather than what’s in fashion. During the selection process, i also take time to pick pieces which have classic lines/ cuts so they don’t easily go out of style. And lately i’ve discovered that the department store can be a treasure trove of scintillating finds, if one is keen enough to look.

So what did i buy? statement shirts. Not the kind that asks “sino best friend mo doon”, on one side and answers “shempre ikaw lang”, on the other. I still have an ounce of self-respect remaining to buy those kinds of stuff and actually wear them. Hehehe (wearing promotional shirts is another thing altogether though, something i’d very much like to talk about in another entry, when inspiration strikes ).

As i was roaming around the display racks, I discovered a brand that’s not too popular among the masa; i’ve gone a notch lower than “imeldific” and settled for “portside” (well i haven’t met anybody or saw anyone in the street who wore any of the designs i saw, and they are actually good). Artwork used to be a good brand, but due to its rising popularity as an alternative choice for shirts that pack in the extra oomph, its lethal levels have been somewhat diminished lately—may nakakasalubong akong kapareho ko, gosh! hehe.

So this brand, when i saw it, was actually a breath of fresh air. Having saw that a lot of thinking went into designing the graphic tees, i bought four shirts. All for the price of 776 pesos. As i was leaving the premises, i caught sight of a pair of cargo shorts that, judging from the material and the simple way it was designed, i think will last a solid five years, without going out of style. i bought it too. And it’s not Mr. Lee, or Dickies, the prices of which can easily be placed around the range of 1000-1300, or much higher.

Clutching my purchases on the way home, i sort of felt like tatay. When i was still in my elementary and high school years and he was at the height of his purchasing power, he’d go to the department store instead of the individual shops and boutiques that carry a singular name. He’d buy the sm basics and the sm-commissioned shirts with simple designs on them, when he can easily buy designer labels. i know this for a fact, because he’s a watch freak, and in one of the trips to Manila, he bought one that actually doesn’t fall in the Seiko, Swatch, or Guess category (those were the only brands that this barrio lad actually knew in those days).

i’m still a long way from being able to buy a designer watch without the feeling of overshooting from one’s budget, feeling sorry later on for having to tighten one’s own belt so to speak, for the lapse of judgement. All i’m saying is that, like tatay, i now know the convenience of doing the shopping at a department store; getting good finds that are fashionable, without draining you dry of your resources.


ang libre ni manong

Nalibre ako ng agahan kaninang umaga. Ang nanlibre, si manong ng opisina namin. Si manong na matyagang nagsisiroks ng mga dokumento na iniindex ko. si manong na kabertdey ng tatay ko. si manong na magreretiro na ngayong a-kinse ng buwan na ito.

Di ko maipaliwanag pero may kakaibang lungkot sa pagitan namin kanina, habang kumakain. Hirap akong imani-obra ang usapan tungo sa mas masasayang bagay, kahit maraming pagkakataon na gawin ito, dahil pareho naman naming alam na isang lingo na lamang ang itatagal nya sa amin. Di naman kami gaanong close; napakarami din naman kasing tao dito na kailangang pakitunguhan kaya’t di kami gaanong nabigyan ng pagkakataon na mag”bonding”. Pero yung mga maliliit na bagay na namamagitan sa amin, gaya ng biruan kasama ng iba pang kaopisina habang nag-aantay ng ilang minuto bago mananghalian, ang pagiging “maharot” at chikboy nya sa edad nyang iyon—sila ang mga mumunting bagay at alaala ni manong na babaunin ko pag naghiwalay na kami ng landas.

Malungkot si manong. Bakas sa mga mata nya. Maliit lang siyang tao sa opisina, kakarampot ang sinisweldo. Ang tanging ipagmamalaki nya pag nadalaw syang muli sa library, ay sya ang nagsiroks at nagbind ng pagkarami-raming libro, clippings at kung anu-ano pang bagay na nasa pag-iingat ng library sa humigit kumulang na dalawampung taon. At sigurado na ang kanyang pagdalaw sa amin. Marami pa kasi syang aayusin sa GSIS bago nya makuha ang retirement benefits nya.

Ayaw ko sanang tanggapin ang libreng pa-agahan sa akin ni manong kanina. Pero naisip ko din na tinyempuhan nya talaga ako, at ayaw ko namang magmukhang tumatanggi sa pagpapasalamat na ibinibigay nya. Ako kasi ang palaging nakukulit ni manong na gumawa ng iba’t ibang sulat ukol sa nalalapit na nyang pagreretiro at paghingi ng rekomendasyon sa iba’t iba pang mga nakatataas na tao para matulungang maipasok ang anak nya sa aming opisina, kahit kaswal lang muna pansamantala.

Ala naman sa akin ito. Sabi ko nga, hilig ko talaga ang pagsusulat. Pero ang mapasalamatan sa bagay na taos sa puso mong ginawa ay walang kapantay pala ang dulot na tuwa.


regrets, i have a few

last night, i was supposed to head straight to the gym after i got out from work. i already had my rubbershoes and extra shirt packed in my bag, and all i gotta do was alight at the shaw station of the MRT, eat dinner and make a dash for the gym after, ignoring the pitter patter of rain falling on the pavement. somewhere along the mrt line, a short bit before reaching shaw station, i suddenly had a craving for yoshinoya's beef gyudon bowl. it was so great a craving that i ended up at sm megamall instead, vowing to myself that i'd just walk to shaw after satisfying my tummy. after dinner, i had the urge to browse for a couple of minutes at the adjacent powerbooks, looking at, and browsing a few pages of the new titles on display. i somehow got carried away, sashaying through the shelves, that when the recorded announcement played out stating that its 10 minutes to closing time, i was brought to the present, a bit alarmed that i had a workout to catch.

the bookshop employees who were already readying to leave, made casual remark of the harsh rains that were already making tiny rivers in front of the shop. i took a casual glance of the situation through the glass doors and decided its best if i just head home, and reschedule my workout the following day. i water-splashed my way from megamall to shangrila, holding onto my wind-battered umbrella like there's no tomorrow. reaching the long staircase going up the mrt station at shaw, i decided to go for it rather than cross the street to wait for buses that would carry me the opposite direction. i reckon that i'll be incurring more splashings and teribble winds if i stay that course, and it'll be a lot faster going home, riding the MRT.

as i was lining up for the ticket booth, i saw from afar, to my right, the still-busy street of shaw boulevard, going to my gym's direction. for a bit i was tempted to go down the opposite staircase, brave a few short bursts of wind and water to the jeepney terminal that would carry me to the gym's doorstep. it was well within reach. but then reason triumphed over impulse this time, and i was on my way home.

on board the train, i didn't do the usual stuff of hating myself for the wrong turns i took. it all just happened. i simply took it as events making up a bizaare, stormy night.

one sunday afnun at shats'

30 minutes to 7

Its 6:30 in the evening. I am just winding down from the work done during the day. The boss’ television has just been turned on to TV Patrol, her favorite news program. The big bosses have just finished their work, talking and debating among themselves for a good three hours and a half, crafting policies that would be beneficial for everyone’s good. I have just made my exit from my database work, and 7 o’clock seem far away, just waiting for it; so I decided that this entry will make it in time before I log out of the office premises.

I often whine and complain about a thousand and one things, gargantuan and mundane, relating to work—about how things do not seem to get better, and work just seems to pile up—but I’ve also realized that engaging in all these makes me feel most alive. Listening to the bosses’ banter while encoding the first quarter issuances of the other department mostly relating to holidays and call centers, actually make my blood rise with excitement. I like being in the center of things. i thrive with stress but at the same time despise it. whatever, I realize I love my work, and though it is riddled with mountainous hurdles, I will not exchange it for anything else. Intrigues and politics be damned!


mirror, mirror

Saturday. Its one of those days when I don’t have to do anything, especially when I’m home in the province; not busting my gut out trying to exercise to look like Akihiro Sato in the Penshoppe Guadalupe billboard. I can wake up as late as i want, and luxuriate in the cold water of the shower without worrying that I’d be late for work. I’m a shower freak. I linger in the shower, not content at having lathered and rinsed my body in one go; I’d linger some more minutes just to make sure that my face, neck, armpits and singit have been given the proper attention they deserve, scrubbing them with my soft palms; making sure that cleansing, purifying water run its course over my entire body.

I go out of the shower area, feeling refreshed and energized, just like any other saturday before that. Only this time, I manage to catch a reflection of my face in the oval mirror adjacent to the shower door. Its not that I don’t look at my face, ever. Even those who renounce and shun narcissism are bound to look at their faces even for once, in a week's time. And I’m a child of narcissus. Hehehe. Though that might be the case, I am still surprised to see that the face staring back at me no longer exudes that youthful air I fiercely held onto say, a good two or three years. The face is a lot sterner now, and lines around the forehead, however faint they may be, are already showing--if you squint hard enough, they’re there, staring right back.

Coupled with my bulking body, I no longer resembled that strapping youth that the mirror fell head-over-heals with, six years ago; that mirror, which tatay himself installed when our house was newly-built, and was the current toast of our place for its daring bold colors and imposing rock fa├žade.

Time indeed has passed, and as Old Rose in the movie Titanic was bound to say, “reflections changed a bit”.


several hundreds lighter

Last Monday I splurged on two hardbound books. I bought the vampire-themed Twilight and Pullman’s The Golden Compass. I’ve already read The Golden Compass on paperback and having loved the book on first read very much , I wanted to have a proper copy of it—a hardbound one. I immediately went to re-reading the book but because there’s so much to do and so little time, I have not really gone far as much as I would have wanted (I stopped at Lyra’s Jordan hehehe) ; besides, I still have my anime to cover, and a newly copied avi format of an art film to watch.

I actually bought Twilight on impulse. I originally planned of buying Pullman’s trilogy in one swoop but the unavailability of the hardbound edition for the next two volumes left me somewhat feeling dissatisfied. Determined to have another title before I leave the bookstore, I ended up browsing the pages of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. I have had encounters with this book before, in other bookstores, and I must admit that it didn’t manage to catch my attention at first, mainly because the preliminary paragraphs didn’t hit it with me. But lo and behold : at Fullybooked, that Monday afternoon, Twilight’s first paragraph actually pulled me in. it might be the time of day, it might be the mindset, or the light, or the ventilation. But I was actually liking it, enough for me to make the purchase. And that sold me. I went home several hundreds light in the pocket.

two men

There were two men talking across from where I was sitting in the steam room. from their looks, both of them are somewhere in their sixties, and from the ease of their conversation, it looks as though they’ve been long time friends. The younger-looking of the two asked how the other’s massage went, and went on to tell how he had his. The masseuse, he tells his friend, is an attractive young woman of perhaps twenty-four years. He was raving about how his erogenous zones were coming to life with just mere accidental brushes of fresh skin, but had a sudden drop of temperature in the room when the girl started calling him tatay, to ask if the pressure applied is okay. This elicited a guffaw from the other one, and a smile to my face. Old folks. Hehehe.

Their conversation carried over to their observation that no matter how hard they exercised, their sweat glands do not seem to produce as much sweat they used to when they were young. One of them jokingly pointed to it as “ang mapait na katotohanan” (the bitter truth). Sigh. The preoccupations of the old are not very different from ours.

the great calm

It feels like I’m perpetually in a calm before the storm—the storm hovering at the periphery of my vision, never materializing, but still managing to make its presence known; like a shadow lurking at the corners of a dark street, or a lump at the back of my throat. (oops, am I making sense?) I feel like i'm floating, not being able to make a decision as to change this course I am in, right now. Or, I think the question I should be asking myself is, is it really time for me to be making the big decisions? Or should I wait it out until the right time comes along? Sigh. Such is the state of things right now. Like Harry Potter, I know I am still destined for great things. It’s just that circumstances conspire and compel me to act differently from what I really am underneath; compels me to be this eternally shushing librarian perpetually ignorant to the finer things in life, like going out for a late-night beer drinking party with friends, maybe?


a fight to the death

I know. I’ve too much appetite. Appetite for food. Appetite for the good life. And this’ll do me in someday, and maybe sooner than i think it will, if i don’t do anything about it. Yes, i’m doing the gym stuff. And the yoga stuff. But i haven’t been the same gentle that did the breakthrough crash-diet-and-shrink-several-pants-sizes-down thingie several years ago, to the astonishment of practically anyone and everyone i know. I’ve grown old. And my resolve’s kinda been washed out by the tides to this shrivelled little thing that squeaks its last ounce of hurrah with every sit-up, warrior and boat poses i do on the mat these days. It doesn’t seem to help that there’s practically good food everywhere i look. I know i shouldn’t be saying this but i do blame the genes for blessing me with this over-the-top voraciousness that’s gonna put an army of enlisted men in a boodle fight to shame. i’ve got to do something about this. I don’t want to take the onslaught of fat just sitting down, despairing at how things been so unfair. I wanna fight. I can fight. I know i still can. Somehow.


gentle's yoga tracklist

I slept late last night trying to rebuild my i-tunes yoga tracklist, which I accidentally deleted some months ago. Yes, I can practice yoga even without music. But today its gonna be different because I will be initiating somebody into the world of bending, and the experience has to be a total package in order for the conversion to be complete. An officemate recently expressed interest in yoga and has approached me if we could practice together during our office’s sports hour. I immediately said yes—I myself am needing the exercise. Lethargy it seems is the name of the game these past few days. my last gym visit I think was Thursday last week, and what? Its been seven days since then. I promised myself last night that I’m gonna be gentle with her, reserving the acrobatics in later sessions, and just focusing on the basic moves. But knowing me, I don’t think I can hold onto that promise for even a minute—fearing I’d somehow loose myself in the middle of a Michael Jackson song and begin pretzelizing, to her horror. Hehehe.

Here’s the tracklist I managed to put together last night :

1. Damascus / conjure one
2. Here comes the sun/ the beatles
3. Wildflower/ rachel sage
4. The way you make me feel/ michael jackson
5. Center of the sun/ conjure one
6. Holding out for a hero/ frou frou
7. When you gonna give it up to me/ sean paul ft. keshia cole
8. Love generation/ bob sinclair
9. To love somebody/ nina simone
10. True colors/ cyndi lauper
11. Facing east/ thievery corporation
12. I’m yours/ jason mraz
13. Big jumps/ emiliana torrini
14. I say a little prayer/ aretha franklin
15. Walk on by/ seal
16. White flag/ dido
17. Underneath your clothes/ shakira
18. You had a bad day/ daniel powter
19. I started a joke/ the wallflowers
20. Everybody’s changing/ keane
21. If I ain’t got you/ alicia keys
22. Beautiful/ christina Aguilera
23. Hand in my pocket/ alanis morissete
24. Ride a white swan/ t-rex
25. A love that will never grow old/ emmylou harris
26. Love for a child/ jason mraz
27. Flightless bird, american mouth/ iron and wine

a cloudy forecast

The corridors, hallways, open-air spaces outside this building, the shuttlebus, even the MRT—they all have become constricting, restricting places.

If only it didn’t happen, this would not be how my life’s turned out to be. I would’av enjoyed my coffee breaks more without thinking of running into you. Or bumping into you as I line up at the canteen in the mornings for breakfast.

If only the family’s been a little more closer, then I wouldn’t just have you as my ate here. I would’av gotten an entire horde of kuyas as well; instead of just us meeting accidentally by the hallway, or bumping into each other at the elevators, acting it out like we’re both busy, as to say a little nod will suffice . Last time I saw you, you didn’t even nod in my direction.

I really miss you, you know that? At the shuttlebus I yearn for that closeness, the warm smile coming from you. Sometimes I imagine I’ve just fallen into some bad dream; but I’m just deluding myself. Passing the stairwell brings back memories of our batcave days. the MRT’s become some sort of a hide and seek game we play each night.


pano kung wala na talagang pangkain?

hanggang kelan dapat tumulong? sabi ng iba dapat bukal sa kalooban. dapat, nanggagaling ito sa taos-pusong kagustuhan na maibsan ang dinaranas na hirap ng taong nangangailangan. is it a given that at least you have to feel for the person for the help to qualify as genuine help--otherwise, pakitang tao lang? what if the person needing help did not at any point made you feel important, other than for the reason that you have money to spare? what if at some point you felt a genuine urge to help, to make a difference not only in her life but also for her child's future but you somehow felt your help didn't go to the right place? na instead, ipinantawid gutom lang, or ibinili ng gamit--when the money should have gone to something like finding a job? and then she asks again for money. and you feel parang niloloko ka na lang. pero pano kung kelangan nya talaga? pano kung hanggang duon lang talaga ang abot ng isipan nya at di nya nakita yung unang intention mo? ipagdadamot mo ba ang konting halaga just to drive a point when you think that point will not sink in anyway? pano kung wala na talagang pangkain?

money talk

This morning while riding the bus, I caught on news that President Macapagal-Arroyo’s stocks as indicated in her annual Statement of Assets and Liabilities are being scrutinized. The issue? That her stocks rose in an unprecedented manner, in just a matter of three years. Now, whats wrong with that, one might ask. One of the early morning news commentators said that while buying stocks out of your own money is ok, the turn of the numbers make everything suspicious. Has influence been exerted at some point involving the financial transactions, that would necessitate a congressional inquiry into the president’s wealth? From the corner where I was sitting, it did seem something to be alarmed of. I wasn’t able to commit to memory the exact figures that were flashed, but the whole thing, in consonance with the expensive dinner that the presidential entourage recently gobbled up in their trip abroad, made me think of the status of my own finances. Fuckin shit. While I’m so very much still in a struggle to reaching my first million (and it’s a looong long way, getting there, believe me), here are the top honchos of our poverty-stricken country allegedly stacking hundreds of millions, or billions in their private coffers. what a very sorry state we are all in.


good ole family warmth

Whew. The weekend passed me by without so much pomp and ceremony that I barely felt the weekend pass me by at all, hehehe. I felt like I was floating, limbless, in the three days that I spent at the province; lying on the mattress in front of gael, passing from one death note episode to the next; from one filler episode of one piece to the next. It was a typical weekend, if one would call it that.

Nanay’s homey paksiw na bangus reigning supreme over a bed of steaming rice. Ate’s cooking adventures, with me as first mate—sprinkling salt, pepper and other spices (because she’s too afraid to go overboard/ miss out on the measurements, hehehe)—and my nephews lining up for taste tests of her culinary concoctions afterwards. Our “unggoy” time right after dinner when cj asks his kuya in his cutest way for “tutuyi” as I massage ate’s scalp.

As an added activity, ate was able to finish the harry potter movies in a marathon that geloy and myself engineered. Hehehe. She’s so busy working, even on weekends, that the scheduled brownout announced one day ahead at their office turned out productive—relating to our bonding time, and her knowledge of harry’s adventures.

So she stayed at home and watched the three remaining harry potter films, in between our cook-ups of bicol express that nanay so craves for these days. The last movie she saw prior to our marathon was chamber of secrets. ain’t that a shame, noh? Hehehe. Harry’s already falling in love with ginny. Ron’s running to escape lavender’s affections; but harry remains to be the cute-face kid of 12 in ate’s mind. imagine her reaction seeing harry dueling it out with voldemort at the end of the order of the phoenix.. precious. Oh, that’s me btw. I just love watching facial reactions from people while they’re watching movies I’ve already memorized from countless viewings. Hehehe.

T’was a rainy weekend but my heart surely warmed with good ole family togetherness. I wish I could freeze frame in my mind my weekends in the province forever. For they may not be the spectacular, traveling, mall-going, cinema-hopping weekends that urbanites like us have been accustomed to, but they surely make me feel like a child again.

To float, from one episode to the next.


the numb doormat blues

The following paragraph was my supposed entry yesterday. At the last minute i decided to scratch it, having been already pacified with food. Lots of it. And lots of love too, from friends who stayed with me as i kept on munching burger king’s mushroom swiss burger, french-fries and affogato sundae, til my hurt feelings have been finally appeased. Nonetheless, having already processed said incident, for documentary purposes I am now posting it. thanks a lot guys, your pep talks made a lot of difference. Even the bulldog’s craziness helped in its own weird way. Love you all!

I feel numb. Its like the ugly sick pig incident is happening all over again. And yes, the culprit is another ugly sick pig. Whereas before, the pig’s pedigree leans on the native side, now the fuckin pig is more like a Berkshire, or a Yorkshire, or any of those white chinky chunks you see in meat shops. Fuckin meat shops. They never run out of those fuming, mouth-frothing varieties that seem to get me wherever i go. I sometimes wonder if its my lot in life to be a doormat. And i hate myself for that. if only i’d been a lot less gentler--he wouldav gotten a barrage of fuming, frothing tsunami of expletives coupled with a rousing recital of the Consumer Protection Act complete with amendments and annotations. with heart as black as his hooves, he attacked and he assaulted; he swirled and he twirled; while i remained timid, gentle me in the face of utmost danger. i hate it. i hate myself.

as i said, ok na ako. love ko na ulet sarili ko. really, i do. tsup!


gentler's yoga report

an update to the last entry the sweat, oh the sweat :

if ever you were wondering dear gentle reader if gentle was able to finish one full session of yoga last night as has been intimated by master gentle himself, i'm here to report in all honesty that he did not. but not to worry, because the master himself is not worried. in fact he told me in all honesty that he kind of expected it, since he has quite bulked up.. but he was quick to dispel any and all speculations on the contrary that the bulking up meant becoming a large barrel of margarine--in fact, he quite honestly appraised his physique as the yummiest incarnation of gentle in recent years.

now, for the details :

the master was able to finish only about half of the poses before deciding to sleep for the night. he noticed that the execution of the poses were still the same; that he did not loose any of the flexibility he has prided himself over the years of practice. but one thing he noticed as he was executing his favorite royal pigeon pose--halfway through the set of poses for the full pose, he looked back over his shoulders and noticed that his legs were a lot more muscular than what he remembers them to be. hence, the "bulk" referred to in the earlier statement. he stopped right about in the middle of his routine, after executing upward bow pose with aplomb. his message, before heading to gym this afternoon was:

i'm gonna try to execute the remaining poses in my routine, tonight.

it is his wish that this message be conveyed to the gentle followers all over the world.

truly yours,
(gentle's butler)


the sweat, oh the sweat.

i miss the stretch. The sweat freely flowing out of my pores, drenching my skin; flooding me with an inexplicable euphoria. I miss feeling the arch of my back, in upward facing dog; my breath resounding in my ears as I go into a deep fold. I miss the four corners of my mat.

After nearly two months of going to the gym, feeling my muscles bulk-up, I’m gonna be having a session tonight. I’m excited, yet I feel like I’m a newbie all over again. I’m hoping and praying I’d be able to finish a session and not just collapse with tiredness on the floor after a few poses.

Oh well. We’ll see what happens. As they say, once a yogi, always a yogi. Or did I just made that up? Or, as Anne Rice said, “let the body instruct the mind”; or did I made that up, as well? Hehehe.


lazy afternoon scribblings continued

The faint glimmer of the early evening stars just come out to play by the horizon, threw specks of dull starlight at Theo; instantly fading on skin contact, as the entire place, now reflecting the muted colors of a twilight sky, slowly succumbs to the enveloping dark.

He has been absent-mindedly sitting on the sands by the beach for what seemed an eternity, watching the billow of soft waves curl gently at his feet, soaking them and the underside of his trousers wet. The shrieking gulls that have glided over the immense blue of the sea that afternoon as he was walking along the rugged shoreline, have now fallen silent and gathered themselves like some priests in congregation, huddled at the rocks some short distance away from the shack—now barely a shadow against the swirling blue and black evening sky.

As his mind continued to swim with the somber images of the gathering dusk, Theo slowly made his way up the steep terrain leading to the shack; little by little it emerged from the shadows, luminous in his vision, for the moon had already risen from the sea like some magnificent dream, bathing the landscape in sparkling silver.

He had just arrived that afternoon by small boat from the main island with a couple of other tourists, who, like himself, have chosen an obscure hideaway as their adventurer’s paradise to pass the weekend by.

The island’s share of tourists these days are trifling, dwindling figures compared to the past seasons; leaving some of the shop owners and inn-keepers with no choice but to temporarily close shop amidst the heat, and the dust, and the flies whirring incessantly over rotten mangoes and carabao dungs lying in the dirt. Children—who use to approach tourists drinking in makeshift bars during the peak seasons to sell them necklaces strung from shells and pebbles—are regular children once more, marching in packs towards their respective houses and shouting inaudible, exhausted goodbyes to their comrades after a day's worth of climbing trees and soaking in the surf. He trailed this ragtag band’s ascent, sluggishly walking a few steps behind, until he reached his own address : this rundown, wind-battered shack, just a few meters above the sea smacking at the cliffs.

With a lingering glance and a wry smile at the little gang slowly breaking up for the night, he proceeded to close the door, shutting himself in darkness as palpable as his sorrow.


happy birthday nanay!

love you very much. thank you for being the caring mom i've known all my life. :)


lunch-less, sleepless | an afternoon nightmare

Today has yet again been one emotional thriller ride (its always like this when i’m dealing with the ugly sick pig story arc of my life--what else is new?) and it definitely left me emotionally drained at the end of the day; well, that, plus the sad fact that i missed my lunch and my afternoon siesta, dealing with it—which is probably partly why i’m like this right now.. grumpy and unbearably out of sync with the world. in the end its still a mix up of emotions that left me here in the middle—unable to assess where i am, in this seemingly never-ending fight. On the one hand i’m happy that i was able to accomplish one crucial step to having a resolution to all this mess. I’m secretly commending myself for mustering the courage to take a firm stand in all this (well i’ve taken my stand before, but this one, this singular action i took this afternoon of seeing the powers that be and speaking to them, seemed to be the final straw that have sealed-in all that i’ve done so far, previous to this action); but on the other hand i’m also at a loss knowing that i’m still in the middle of this long tedious process, and that taking this step has eventually sealed in my fate too, to be in this predicament for an extended period, in transit it seems, until all these knots would have been eventually untangled. Help me, God. i feel so small and helpless right now, ready to cry and fall apart..


lazy afternoon scribblings

i don't know what to make of this. it seems like a good introduction to a novel or some work along that magnitude; but i've never really written one so this might be my debut if ever. hehehe. i know there's great research and preparation involved into writing such things so i'm just posting this to inspire me to go on. if no inspiration comes, its ok too. just consider it an exercise in character study. if something develops from hereon, i'd welcome it graciously. here goes some late afternoon scribbling. more to come, if inspiration further strikes.

the faint glimmer of the early evening stars just come out to play by the horizon, threw specks of dull starlight at theo, instantly fading on contact, as the entire place, now in muted colors of purple and gold, slowly succumbs to the enveloping dusk. He has been absent-mindedly sitting on the sands by the beach for what seemed an eternity, watching the waves crash gently by his feet, soaking them and the underside of his trousers wet. The shrieking gulls that have taken most of his attention as he was walking along the rugged shoreline that afternoon have now fallen silent and have gathered themselves like some priests in congregation at the rocks some short distance away from the shack. Their shack.


just like frogs in the june rains

Just when you thought the thing has already died down, then you hear talk of it again; and you go “oh puhlease, will you cut it out already? All of you!”

It was the subject of an overheard conversation between two women, while i was out for a bite, one early evening, at earl’s sandwiches, nearly a month ago—makati office girls, i presume. Demure on the outside, full of kink on the inside. It was the subject of hushed conversations at the office too, when the thing just came out, between officemates one would not think of as people who would dare talk about such things, even in hushed tones. I just kept all observations to myself, not wanting to fan the flames of prejudice that’s been spreading and engulfing the country like wild fire. Yet again, late this afternoon, an officemate said “pinakagrabe daw itong lalabas ngayon.. mas mahaba at mas maliwanag”; the tabloids too, upon scanning a handful from my post at the monitoring desk late this afternoon, apparently seem like frogs enjoying the first drench of June rains.. except, its not June, anymore. Sigh. Ever heard of the word, enough?


short and sweet | the pastry chef monologues

i like this. these short bursts of consciousness and ideas that get themselves molded into words; into streams of thought that make up this blog. its not like me at all. i usually build on a single idea, embellish it to the point of no return and make out a very ornate, layered cake in the end. i'm not a "little sweets" pastry chef. i'm an ostentatious cake maker. but not now. it's a welcome change, actually. adds up nicely to a shattershards observation of late that my blog seems to be all-sugary sweet, and spare, and uhm.. white? hehehe. with these short bursts of ideas, i get to single-out one and make an entry bout it. it's particularly useful now, as my head nowadays swims in a myriad of thoughts (maybe partly because the office is doing its annual inventory of books--on top of my regular load of indexing proclamations and republic acts--that my tendency to cram things in my head gets doubled, around this time of the year; hence the overflow of ideas). like when i had this thought that most towns usually gravitate to declaring a town holiday at the eighth of december of every year. its an observation that just cries to be taken note of, in this blog. interesting..but is it a necessity? nope. its just an icing on the cake that can easily be discarded, anytime. so i'm not gonna be expounding on that and waste a precious paragraph or two, theorizing on the whys; instead, i'll stop this very second.

see? short and sweet.

money money money...

i want a new cellphone. its been years since i've had a tech fone thats worth brandishing in the streets (to the oohs and aahs of potential cellphone snatchers, hehe). i want to build a new wardrobe ; re-awaken my inner madonna. (she is after all, the mother of re-invention, don't you think?) i want those shiny professional cameras i see on display at tech stores. i want new books to line my shelves, regardless if i do read them at all, given those other things i busy myself with. i want, i want, i want. yes, this was gentle in his most material incarnation, as he was parading himself at serendra with the bulldog, shattershards and eyvicat 2 sundays ago. so many shiny things to stare at, and drool at, throw myself at, and bowl over. but heck, i passed them all, eyes closed, with the gentle resolve not to give in to temptation. can you imagine? its like gentle in a religious procession, reciting "oh no, please, no. keep away from me, you shiny thing you".

the start of the year has been good. the office has never been this attentive, in recent memory, to the financial needs of its employees. so i'm saving up. saving up for the big spend? hehe. nope, oh please, God... no. there will be a time for that, but not today.

luffy and the concept of nakama

"Nakama" is a new word I am very pleased to add to my vocabulary. It is a Japanese word that generally means “friend” or “circle of friends”, and can have varying degrees of meaning, depending on its usage. In One Piece, the anime that I am currently head over heals with, Luffy (the main character) makes mention of the word several times, especially during moments of high drama, when circumstances require that he stand up for the friendships he has made along the way. Yes, it’s a shonen (anime that caters to boys mostly because of its action-packed, over-the-top fight scenes), and one would most often than not conclude that all that kicking and sword-fighting done in the name of friendship is an exaggeration of the concept. But it really feels good, after watching an episode or two. Walking one evening with shattershards, the bulldog and eyvicat in serendra, on the way to the bulldog’s condo unit at the Fort for a late-night dvd viewing, I’ve wished in my heart to replicate the closeness of luffy’s nakama to that of my own nakama. I know, you might say I’m reverting back to a high school-ish way of thinking (though "high school-ish" nowadays can easily be contested; kids these days don't think in simple terms anymore, hehe; so a more accurate phrasing would be : "highschool-ish" 12 years ago). but truth to tell, that’s how I really feel right now; and happy bout it nonetheless.

on ryan and friendships

I consider myself lucky with the friendships I have formed over the years. Even during my elementary and high school days, I haven’t been one who will easily end up in big groups. I’ve always been someone who’s more inclined to forming one or two close-knit associations with a classmate, a dorm mate, or an officemate, at specific points in my life; the luck there, I suppose, is that those friendships remained, even after years of not seeing the other. I guess it’s partly because when I choose to reveal myself to a person, its usually a no-holds-barred session that will always end in that person knowing me from head to foot, even, as they say, in the tiny moist crevices (an advice to you, dear gentle reader : don't take this literally, ok? hehehe). Thank you, ryan for the gift of friendship. I’ve said this through text, and in facebook; but I somehow feel the urge to thank you here, too. thanks friend.