of pirated dvds and anime

This might sound weird but i’m gonna say it anyway : I fell in love with anime at the ripe age of twenty-seven. Hehehe. Last weekend, Makati cinema square became my hunting ground for pirated dvds. Initially, I had hard-to-find art films, oscar winners and some off-the-mill commercial offerings by Hollywood as part of my day’s agenda; with no idea whatsoever of crossing over to geek street.

So i had Amelie in my basket, The Kite Runner, and a couple of horror movies . Like a busy bee flying from one flower to another, I went from one stall to the other, browsing through the countless titles that soon had my head spinning with a severe case of indecision. So many dvds, so little money! Hehehe. I raided the shops with eyvicat that afternoon, as he himself planned to replenish his stock of titles for his weekend viewings. We are supposed to meet with the bulldog for merienda and dinner later at the greenbelt-glorietta area. With browsing time ticking to its sorry ending, we walked aimlessly, not really looking forward to having another go with the shops.

Just when we were winding down, the shop sort of magically appeared from nowhere. Unlike other shops with sales personnel shouting at the top of their lungs for a bit of attention from the shoppers, this shop quietly sat, nestled it seems at the center of all the hustle and bustle. What separated it aside from its quietness is the presence of a laptop sitting on a glass-covered counter; and a thick folder which, upon closer scrutiny, turned out to be a comprehensive listing of anime titles spanning the genre’s fairly short span of history. We asked the store owner how things are in terms of the price department. He said, being that episodes were downloaded from the internet and copies made are high quality ones, an episode costs at Php 7.00.

I’m usually not the one to gush on things like this. Back in high school when every kid wished for a goku hairstyle, i’m lost in my own created world in my head. I didn’t give a damn on how to navigate one’s way with the Street Fighter videogame—i’m just as fine without knowing that information. In college, you would see me digging musicals rather than spending my allowance on buying the latest issue of comics or manga. It was only sometime upon meeting shattershards, when he introduced me to Avatar, his guilty secret at that time, that I was initiated into the world of anime and the giggling effect that comes with it. Hehehe.

And so I found myself inquiring on avatar episodes with the shop-owner. Needless to say, I was sold with his sales talk—being that the episodes are .avi files and could be played with any media player—and bought the whole of season 3. Most of the pirated copies I bought previously had missing episodes or were poorly transferred that, most of the time, I end up disappointed. Not with this. I gorged on 2 episodes that night, before willing myself to sleep, otherwise i’d be late for work the following day.

Before going home for the province this weekend, I found myself going back to his shop, buying this time, 26 episodes of Samurai 7, an anime title I recently googled, and found many good reviews about. I also ordered Spirited Away, a critically acclaimed anime movie, scheduled for pick up at his shop sometime next week. Adik noh? Hehehe.

For the past two days i’ve been feasting my eyes on the fluid animation and great story-telling that this entertainment genre offers. I’m very happy falling in love with anime at this age, as I am able to appreciate more the things that come with it. It’s more than just a form of entertainment, its high art.


librarian, touring

9:31 pm

I’m aboard a bus, province bound. After an anxiety-filled week at work, i’m finally getting a respite from all the mayhem, and the chaos. The Mummy plays at the on-board dvd player of the bus, making it hard for me to concentrate on my thoughts, mirroring it seems, the troubled week that saw me swamped with piles of index cards for filing; revising and updating a resume i haven’t touched in years; talking with personnel from our legal department concerning an ugly sick pig; and seeking counsel regarding a slave driver hag that doubles as martyr and saint. Sigh. Somebody take me away from all these gossip and intrigue!

Good thing though, that amidst this sea of madness i’ve friends that see me through, every step of the way. They might seem a bunch of misfits to the world, but they are undeniably warm, and squishy, and smiley, just when you need them the most--and hey, i'm just happy to be one of them! :)

Glancing at the television screen in front, i see that Rachel Weisz’ librarian character with the Sylvia La Torre hairdo and outfit meets for the first time Brendan Fraser’s brawny Indiana Jones-ish impersonation of a character. In my mind i’m trying to work on a logical tie-up of ideas but i just can’t come up with a good one—only that i, too, am a librarian like the Weisz character.
Curses! This might be due to the fact of the moving bus jiggling my brain to goo; or the fact that i’ve been sleepless most days, preparing needed documentations for my life projects. Seems my crossroads come in never-ending batches, if you ask me. I really don’t know what to think anymore. I’m numb. I’m tired.

We’ve just entered NLEX and the bus is already accelerating in speed. In a few moments, the lights will be set to dim. Yes, rest for now gentle, try to get some sleep, for who knows, next week you just might find yourself in yet again another highway.



Ah, three years. i can only remember bits and pieces of that nights' curious unfolding. Eyvicat and myself hurrying to meet chyncha and shattershards at powerbooks glorietta. They were waiting for us at the railings, fronting the bookshop. we were like kids, nervous on our first day at school; not knowing what to expect, yet utterly excited in facing the unknown.

We had dinner at pizzahut, at parksquare, with the talk winding down to mine and shattershards' common interest in anne rice novels; chyncha's unique brand of humor (and laughter, if i may add) permeating our very skins. We walked in obscure alleyways afterward, every puddle-filled pothole and crossing stray cat forever etched in memory.

After some twists and turns our fledgling group eventually wound up in a smoky and ill-lit billard hall where teen's and twenty something yuppies mix and mingle like gladiators before an arena fight. Eyvicat and chyncha played like pros in my mind's eye that night. Chyncha gobbled up strong confident men and spit them out like scared adolescents match after match; while shattershards took time explaining to a novice like me the rules of the game, how to weild the stick, so to speak. I didn't become an overnight sensation that night, but one thing was certain. I gained new friends.

Social circles formed in this age far removed from the medieval, are breathing, twirling things; they are never concentric—they coalesce and overlap. Fast forward to three years and a couple of months hence, and we were a group once again; the four of us having a good laugh, sharing life stories over chilli wings and quail egg tempuras [or what we have locally come to call as kwek-kwek, hehehe]; oblivious to customers waning, as even the drunkards in attendance, one by one left the curious joint to retire in the comfort of their own houses.

Just a few minutes away from witching hour, we set out for the streets, knowing that each step, each stride will eventually lead to that parting song. in our hearts we are happy nonetheless, knowing that this path of friendship will, sooner of later, come full-circle once more, in this unending dance of the circles.


header launching

welcome to the official launching of two new gentle headers, which will be up and running anytime soon in my two sites!

the first one is a varation of the "gentle in a tree" header you saw in season one; only this time, there's no foot to nibble on, but you'll have gentle growing out green wings; what with all the branches and the leaves sticking out from behind his back. hehehe.

replacing my "sultry" naked scribbles header will be what i'd like to call "gentle in fierce mode", hehehe.

both photoshoots were done on location at windsurf beach resort in la union. enjoy!


full throttle

and so i am in full throttle again. with blogging and with poetry. opening an account here at blogspot did wonders to my already drying creative juices. the last time i really had one heluva ride writing poems, was about seven years ago. for some reason the emo in me died down a bit; i dunno, life became a little pleasant, i guess. so having no resource to tap into, i stopped writing altogether. about 3 years ago i did a handful cheesy ones (guess why, hehehe), with just one poem standing out from that year's crop. what made that period worth mentioning was it sort of became a bridge to whatever renaissance i am having now, in terms of developing a writing style.

and now i'm back. i love it that i was able to have an online stash of compositions tucked away somewhere; so when the time came that i moved here at blogspot, i just copied and pasted (here)--easy as one two three. i must confess though that i'm not really schooled when it comes to poetry. i just read works by other writers; search my own emotions, and write what i feel and think. its good they have free verse nowadays for i dunno how my writing will end up if you made me write in metered form, hehehe. (i made one attempt, but i dont think there will be a follow-up to that in the near future... very, very taxing!)

so there. the whole of gentle, for now.

lunch with boy and kris

last week was a week for meeting friends. met one blogger last friday, whose thoughts i religiously follow, for dinner and later for coffee that evening. we talked a lot. i talked a lot. hehehe. maybe thats why up to now i'm still paos from all that heavy talking; add to that the cold weather, and some of the sweat from my exercises drying up unchecked... tada! i've now a major cough complete with icky phlegm. complete package ba! whats worse, our office recently undertook applying some sortof of leak protection on our building's roofing system. the smell of chemicals wafting from outside is just too heavy for my delicate lungs to bear; seeing that its gonna go on for a week, i decided to take a break from smelling it even for just a day by making a sick call. taking my meds now. hope tomorrow will be much better for my lungs.

so, back to the topic.. last week was a week for meeting friends. hehehe. met a new friend from just two doors from where i'm living. together with red, who has her place at the third floor, and eyvicat who happened to be in the neighborhood, we ate at a bulalohan just a jeepney ride away from our place. the name of the establishment is R and J Bulalo. nothing fancy, its just like any other place that serve the kind of stuff. open air, videoke... expect to see it convert to a drinking place by night. what separates it from other bulalo places is its walls--its littered with pictures of local celebrities who frequent the place, or have eaten there once. marketing strategy : get snapshots of stars and have them sign on cartolinas, post it on your walls so your place gets a different kind of shimmer. as we were having lunch i can't help but say hi to iwa moto, wendell ramos, boy abunda, kris aquino and a slew of others from both kapuso and kapamilya networks. reminded me of matutina restaurant in our province who has as its endorser the one and the only gloria macapagal arroyo lang naman... hayup! the food was ok. for just Php 150 each, the set meal we got included bulalo; an inihaw bilao consisting of chicken, pork, beef, and hito; an itty-bitty seaweed salad, and a pitcher of iced tea. with all that, we got our tummies filled to the brim. hehehe.

how about this week? i dunno. i've a thing coming this week that i know will not fall under the "meeting friends" category. sigh. and it gives me the shivers, just by thinking about it. i may choose to write about it, or i may not. whatever it is, just wish me luck, that this week pass in my favor. cryptic gentle, its so not you.


snippets from a cluttered mind

3:06 AM

Why is the male waiter at the Jollibee branch i frequent named Fely? Curious, curious thing. I saw him again this evening while i was ordering yum with TLC; and the nametag i saw from afar just shouts, "Fely"!

What was the commotion in the streets all about? There were cops, tanods, and bystanders when i looked out from the balcony at around 2:45 in the morning while i was typing away, roused from deep thought by all the noise outside. Not safe to make usi. Go back inside and lock your door, gentle.

What is it gonna be this morning? sit ups and push ups, cardio-dance, or both?

Hmmm. Spanish sardines with skyflakes. I can't wait to eat breakfast!

Why am i still awake? Hmmm..must be the caffeine working. But i didn't take coffee! It was herbal tea, remember? Cashier at coffee bean and tea leaf said herbal teas don't have caffeine in them. Well, must be premier jitters, then. Sleep now, gentle. Time to rest.

4:10 AM

Edit this one tomorrow, not now. Stop fidgeting. Baaad, gentle, baad!!

Season premiere : i blog therefore i am

This title has recently been the topic of my conversation, among other things, with a fellow blogger whom i met for a cup of tea yesterday. Being the great facilitator he turned out to be, he sort of led the conversation to certain topics by asking questions at specific points in our talk; and being the great talker that i am, it wasn't too long that i found myself answering those questions; talking about how i usually get started with writing a blog entry. It's really an either-or thingy for me. Its either i begin writing away my thoughts on gael, then think of an appropriate title later; or start with a fabulous idea of a title, and start working from there—elaborating on things that i immediately connect with the concept title, as they pop out of my head, in real-time. The editing process usually takes me about one or two readings of the finished article, looking for grammatical errors, including misspelled words and incorrect placement of punctuation marks. Once published, i again go for a third reading, ironing kinks along the way. Blogging has indeed become such a lucrative business, from conceptualization to presentation that one has to exert extra effort in making sure that ideas presented gel with each other evenly. I believe that blogging is not just writing your feelings away, as when one keeps a diary for oneself. Being that blogging is an online venture, one will, in time, gain a handful of followers who'll take time to read and comment on whatever one has written about. So packaging counts, not just with a glossy text that sparkles as eyes move over them, but the color palette and pictures placed, and the manner of placement, too. Your blog is your online persona.

In the days that you dear reader did not read from me, my pitiful life kept on rolling, without any thought that it has to stop and record itself somewhere, so that gentle the blogger can access it and write about it later for everybody to read and gush about.. (or puke at.. hehehe). so there is still the contention with this season premier's title of "I Blog Therefore I Am". Blogging doesn't really define you as a person. You were there even before the term "blog" was coined. People living away from all these electronic signals that make up cyberspace still lead meaningful, contented lives. Farmers, after a hard day's work are just as happy, knowing that they delivered. Blogging is just a way of ordering one's thoughts gone haywire, a way of making sense of the world—but in no means the only way. Walking could be as therapeautic an activity as blogging, if one just gave it a try. Or, in my case, dancing. I danced and sweated most of the days i did not blog away. Of course all these dancing were done in the privacy of my room, locked; but now as i'm blogging this up, i am kinda left wondering what is the purpose of locking the door when i am gonna write that i danced giddily to the beat of the 80s, anyway? Hehehe. well i can later argue, as i am doing now, that i didn't include the goings-on in my mind as i was gyrating to the beat of "wake me up before you go-go". J So it is still a private thingy, ahehehe. My point, is that you can blog away as much as you want or as little, but you cannot really include anything and everything that concern you, or make you up as a person. A part of you will still remain private as words only amount to a fraction, compared to the wide expanse of the mind. I blog therefore i am? Not really. I blog to party away.

This is a neurotic post. Dwell on it, dismiss it.. your call. Welcome to season two.


season ender

why do we write? i feel i haven't really exhausted the answers to this question; and perhaps, never will. its a recurring question in my mind that presents itself even in the most unlikely of situations.
i was at des' wake last night. having arrived rather late (pasay to araneta avenue wasn't exactly like going to your neighbor for a late-night chit-chat; and buboy was already thanking the friends and colleagues in attendance) i chose to stay on the sidelines; i was supposed to give a message as one of her friends, as the institute contacted me earlier in the day. with no one to represent her circle--everyone they had contacted will come from far-flung places, father than my pasay, i felt i had to do it even though i feel i am not worthy to be in the position to be doing such an honor. with people slowly trickling out of the venue, i was among the few who stayed awhile to be with des. among the batchmates i saw was jo-anne. she was there at the start of the necrological service and told me bits and pieces of what happened leading to des' demise. i told her i never thought this whole batch reunion thingie would happen in an occassion such as this. and what an occassion indeed.
having said my prayers and condolences to des' family, jo and gentle ate dinner at a nearby chowking. she had so many stories about our batchmates--where they are now, and what some of us are up to these days. i felt i don't have much to say, not in the safe and pleasant category, anyway. so i elected to be the listener. way deep into our dinner she asked, " so what are you doing these days? " harmless little question it seems. i answered, "i'm into blogging." she replied, "well isn't that kinda throwing open your life for the public to pick on?" i answered, "well not if you go by another name." that whole conversation led me to this present pondering.
why do we write? writing releases pent up emotions. it makes you at peace with yourself and the world. yet again, it could be because, as one blogger-reader have put it.. we write because we are unable to remain silent... or something like that; and my mind is never silent. i feel i still have so much to say. but just the same, i feel i've ran out of energy to do so for now. so they are there.. ideas rambling inside my head waiting for yet again another momentum. another spark of inspiration.
and so on this, the 60th post, the green backseat ends its first season. thank you all for sharing a bit of your gentleness on this site. feel free to visit http://gentlepoems.blogspot.com/ for your poetry needs hehehe. stay tuned for season two. when? when this weary, gentle soul felt the urge again to do so. and that could be tomorrow. or.. i dunno.


thank you des

des, friend,

i thank you for the happy, wacky memories. the road to realizing our dreams could have been one tough ride but we had fun, hadn't we? crazy, funny, smart little lady with chinky eyes and a welcoming smile.

you knew then it was kinda big and looming. you just had the sense not to frighten us. or maybe cleng realized already being the matured person that she always is. and it was only me on my side of the fence. clueless, autistic me.

remember that afternoon walk we had, crossing the sunken garden, going to NIGS? you jokingly asked me if i could be a sperm donor should you need one. and i jokingly said yes. well that was all before you met buboy and went even crazier than the crazy lady you already were. that was before we took the board exam and went to top with flying colors. remember that little conversation we had with ronald, that one saturday, again at the sunken garden? hehehe. it all came true. freaked me out, but it did came true ;)

of course after that, we all got a little busy trying to mend our own little lives and careers. we kept in touch but somehow along the way, distance made us drift further apart... my seatmate, lunchmate, brothers' burger comrade... i missed you.

when i learned the news, i immediately wanted to see you.. but you didn't want pity. you played it tough and said you were doing ok already; and that you're already readying yourself to go back to teaching in our beloved college. courageous words. or did you secretly hate me for not being there? i loathe myself for not being there when you have needed an extra shoulder to lean on. cleng will surely kill me had she known. futile efforts from an inconsistent friend. will you ever forgive me?

you left us grieving on the second day of the new year.

i love you des. i will always think of you. rest now, my friend.


a goodbye survey

The blogosphere have many ways of saying goodbye to the year that was, and welcoming the new year. some do year-ender reports; here's mine..answering surveys!

Lost a friend?

Stayed single almost the whole year?
next question please

Kissed someone new?

Had your heart broken?
nope. I broke em all. All hearts willing to be broken. Taray?

Had a stalker?
to my knowledge, none!

Done something you've regretted?

Were involved in something you'll never forget?
yes. This is in connection to my answer to the preceeding question.

Visited a different country?

Lost something important to you?
yes, i guess. Will not elaborate on this.

Got a gift you adored?
the gift of friendship. Hehehe.

Dyed your hair?
nope, but i did dye my hair the year before last year. It was fun.

2008: Your Lovelife

Did you break up with anyone?

Did you get anything for Valentine's day?

Did you meet anyone special?

Did you fall in love?

Do you like someone right now?

2008: Friends and Enemies

Did you meet any new friends this year?

Did you dislike anyone?
yes. hated, actually. but i've a forgiving heart...

Did you make any new enemies?

Did you resolve any fights?
Not yet...

Did you grow apart from anyone?
yes. From the friend that i lost in question number 1

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships?
-it probably happened for a reason.

2008: Your BIRTHDAY!

Did you have a cake?

Did you have a party?
nope. Just dinner with family and friends

Did you get any presents?

If so what was the best thing you got?
do not remember.*poor, poor memory* But i knew i got one.

2008: All about YOU

Did you change at all this year?
i lost my childlike and carefree outlook in life.. or, gentle got rough.

Did you get your hair cut?
yes. Three times.

Did you change your style?
uhm, hairstyle? Or clothing? Clarity with your questions, please.

Were you in school?
a looong time ago.

Did you have a job?

Did you drive?
I wish I can...

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Did you move at all?

Did you go on any vacations?
weekend travels. Not really vacations.

Would you change anything about yourself now?
i'd like to loose a few pounds but other than that, i'm happy. I'm ok. I'm good. ;)


the food episode

the one thing that spelled out my new year's eve:
ate's saliva-inducing potato salad

as for the recipe, sis says its top secret, so i'll just whisper that its bacon, shrimp and apple-filled. :) top with thyme before serving. enjoy!

my own salad concoction, shared with my gentle followers:

Ingredients :
3 850 g cans of fruit cocktail

1 can of corn kernels

1 small can of condensed milk
(not photographed)

3 tetra packs of nestle cream

1 small pack of cheese, cubed
1 pack of toasted cashews

1 apple, sliced to pieces (not photographed)


Drain syrup/ water content from fruit cocktail and corn kernel cans; proceed to mix with all the remaining ingredients.

Serve and enjoy!

note: ate and nanay appeared with permission from their respective talent managers