Tuesday, February 23

Missing Lyrics

Time for you to go out, go out into the world.
Turn the lights up over every boy and every girl.
One last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer.
You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
Take me home...

Time for you to go back to the places you will be from.
This room won't be open 'til your brothers or your sisters come.
So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits...

I hope you have found a friend.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

Yeah, I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
Take me home...

Time for you to go back to the places you will be from...

I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
Take me home...

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...


Monday, February 22

Of Red Tulles and Passion

I wanted to roll my eyes and give out a smirk. Looking back, I must've whispered: "Is this for real?!" under my breath.

Christian Espiritu paused in the middle of his talk... and cried.

He recounted how moved he was when he saw a gown displayed in Slim's window. A gown with an apron, with gold threads and voluminous red tulle.

It was so gay, crying over voluminous red tulle. It was surreal.

But then I didn't roll my eyes and give out a smirk.

Stripped of all the glamour and pretentiousness of his industry, there standing before me, silently weeping a memory as vivid as when it was created, was a man who found his passion. Someone who lived out what he always wanted. Someone who found what it was that moved him, that made him cry.

And then I realized, I envied him.

25 years yet no signs of my red tulle. If only I could buy it at some display window... I know I will.

Thursday, February 18

A Nothing Journal Post

Something's seriously wrong with me. And I sort of know what it is.

I dread this empty sadness. This uninspired feeling. Entertaining thoughts that it's ok to just go. If I hadn't known myself better, I'd say it's contentment. But then I don't feel any sense of relief. It's a flatline. Stagnant. Unmoving.

Or maybe I'm just exhausted. Yep, I guess that's what it is. Especially since I'm starting to get spaced out more often... again.

And no, I'm not about to do a travailer. I'm not looking for my someone. At least not just yet. But let me do a repeat: it's like running on empty. I go through the motions of living. Wake up. Pretend to be busy. Eat. Breathe. Stare. The works. What more if I have my someone? Running on empty isn't exactly the ideal type. What could I possibly give? I'll just end up in heartache.

Suddenly, MkSurf8's rum Coke seemed very appealing. I've always liked rum Coke... and Johnny Walker with Coke... and Bacardi Limon... and good old Mindoro sling. But I've used up my alcohol limit over the holidays. I guess that's why I'm not getting any better. I can't say no to friends... or I just enjoy getting drunk. For real? I wanna get drunk... right now.

And I signed up for a three day retreat some time March. Hope that turns out alright. Here's to dipping my toes to the waters of faith. Life and directions. My life and what directions?

Or I'll just do an alone trip. Sagada looks promising. But then my lungs might freeze and that's not exactly a good thing. Or La Union and attempt to surf. Or Donsol with the whalesharks. Whales PLUS sharks. Whales AND sharks.

I'm hypochondriac and OC. Nurse friend told me I'm a serious case. A colleague floated psychosomatic when I told her I feel sick.

And I like washing dishes.

And I ramble.

And I stop.

So much for nonsense.

Hey... stop.

And that little globe things is kinda indulgent, I know. But it's 3D and it spins and I could play with it. Twirl it and feel as if I'm on top of things. Hey world, you're not playing me, I am playing you!

Seriously, enough with the nonsense.


Monday, February 15

To Suffer Thy Comrades

I've been acquainted with Marx and Engel long before they became required reading in class. I must admit, the struggle and idealism were fertile grounds to romanticize. It was the classic manicheistic divide. Good versus evil. Denied justice. And the opportunity to overturn the status quo. I was still a rebel but this time with a clear cause.


"Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!"



When I was forced to play soldier during ROTC, we had a bivouac in Tarlac. They showed us Simbas, amphibians, and other APC's. I even fired an M16. My shoulder padded its recoil and the bullets it spat were burning as hell.

Some time before lunch, I asked one of the soldiers manning an APC, "Boss, nakapatay na kayo?"

He replied with an uneasy smile.


What causes man to inflict pain on others? What pushes him to kill?

Hobbes believed that man's life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Left to his own devices, every man will fend for himself. In a country such as ours, a mere glimpse outside one's windows would reveal the face behind the observation. Poverty, squalor, and a pervading sense of helplessness. Every soul struggling to keep himself afloat. Every man fighting for his own survival.

Yet every so often, man is able to transcend this basic existence. An idea so compelling pushes him to find alternatives. He bands with another. He finds strength in numbers. And there, in that collective, he finds a cause.

His basic existence is then justified.
He still suffers but this time for a cause.

But what if that cause betrays you? How would you feel if the very people you trusted and cared for, the people you offered your life to, turn against you? Your home, your family, your comrades... now your enemy?

When solidarity lends itself to paranoia, collective fear sows a tragic end.

Oplan Cadena de Amor (1984)
Oplan Takipsilim (1985)
Oplan Missing Link (1987)
Oplan Olympia (1987)
Oplan Tidebar (1988)
Kampanyang Ahos (1980s)


In Bobby Garcia's book, To Suffer Thy Comrades (How the Revolution Decimated Its Own), he chronicled how he was tortured by fellow rebels during the CPP/NPA's anti-infiltration campaign in the 1980s: Kampanyang Ahos. At the height of communist insurgency and perhaps because of the confusion surrounding their failure to exploit the political vacuum in the events leading to People Power, a collective paranoia infected the movement. Whereas before, it prided itself with a righteous struggle for a worthy cause, the CPP/NPA committed missteps. Short cuts were made. Commitment to the Geneva Conventions was foregone. And comrades were tortured and killed.

All in the name of purging its ranks of suspected deep penetration agents (DPA's).

The Philippines was not immune to the ghosts of Auschwitz and Cambodia... after all.


"I said earlier that I had to satisfy a lot of people as I worked on this book. All victims of the carnage, I realized, were the foremost consideration though I would not go so far as to claim to speak on the others' behalf. I just had to take an initial step, albeit a painful one. For in the final analysis, I realized all I really had to satisfy was myself. My own peace. My own coming to terms and my own closure.

"It had never been easy. But nevertheless."

- Bobby Garcia, Preface (2001)


My closet communist died even before coming of age. The truth it offered was inadequate. Through time, the fluidity of principles exposed itself. The conservative turns bohemian. And the activist sells out.


Para sa isang hinahangaan.

Friday, February 12

The Black Book

Side by side on a bed. It was the first anniversary.

The trip was my present, while you handed me a black book. In it were familiar stories, musings I've already read. Your entries for the past year, now in black and white. But the last page was new. Weird, it was another first: me reading your thoughts while you watched on.

"Now look at me," said the last line.

With a puzzled look, I turned to my left and you mouthed...

"I love you."


That black book must be gathering dust now, along with the little things and notes you gave me. Or perhaps they've long found their repose in the dumps.

It's been more than a year since I dropped them off at your dorm, one night when you chose to go out with your students rather than settle things with me.

No more black book. No more you. No more drama...

Thank God!


Tuesday, February 9

Raison D'Etre

I may not be the most fun person but thank you for taking time to know me. I enjoyed the conversations, all the senseless chatter. Thank you for having the guts to get my number. I didn't exactly give it away but it was amusing how you got it anyway.

I too can feel the crunch. It's like running on empty.

A waste of time. A waste of space. All the same, I think it was an impulsive realization... and all the same, I have no right to keep you from doing it. Besides, you've already done it.

I feel a pinch of sadness but I'm consoled by the idea that you'll be lurking anyway... and that you're just a buzz away.

I'm really bad with attachments. I've been naive pretty much my whole life and in spite of me wanting not to trust easily, I still do.

Feel free to do a cyber-whack when I get out of line sometimes. But between the two of us, I think I'm the more responsible one... I'll be the one keeping you in line. Remember, prim and proper almost always does the trick.

I still owe you coffee but I guess it really is good bye for now.

Monday, February 8

Counting Down

I wonder if Valentine's Day will be like my birthday.
Wake up, sleep again... before I know it, the day is over.

Being So Not For You
PM Dawn

Why can't I keep you from the cold?
You seem to know the different faces
No matter what road you travel on
You go through the darkest places

I can't tell the angels
It'll be good for you
Wanting to say
Blessed be the darkness
For bringing the light through
But I'd be lying to myself

I had no right
Bringing you here
Knowing what I know
Feeling the way I feel

I had no right
Being so uncontent
Being so confused
Being so not for you
Not for you

You're in love with all that you don't know
Animates your expectations
What's the easiest way to hurt a man?
Give him all he's ever wanted

I'm trying to tell the angels
I don't know what to do
Convincing myself to believe
All the sadness have purpose too
Makes me hate this

When you asked the angels
To make you a better you
Dream all you want
'Cause all the light you occupy
They will try and take it all from you

Friday, February 5

No Ordinary Thursday

It was life-changing to say the least.

Woke up at around 7:30 am, went through the morning routine, then replied to nurse friend's text message. Told the family I was on OB, will register a book at the National Library. Walked from the apartment to the set meeting place. Received another message from nurse friend. Went to their place in Manila. Greeted his mom. Nurse friend's mom was surprised to see me that early on a weekday. Told her we have to fix up some things. Left their house. Crossed the Pasig River via boat. It was my first time. Rode a bus. Got off at Manila City Hall. Met designer friend at SM City Manila.

Rode the LRT. Got off at Bambang Station. Walked until we reached Tayuman Station. Missed the place. Rode a trike to San Lazaro. Saw the place. Guards on duty asked what our business was. "The test," said nurse friend. "It's on the second floor," they replied. Took the stairs. Was received by some staff. We didn't make the cut-off. Told to return at 1:00 pm.

Stressed out. Anxious. Wanted to throw up.

Rode a trike to UST. Ate lunch at Almer's. Went inside UST. Looked for a place to stay. Found a bench near the HS building. Designer friend suggested we stay at the Chapel. Walked to the Chapel. Made a genuflect. Found a pew. Designer friend knelt. Took out his beads. He prayed.

Laughing. Freaking out. Resigned.

Rode a trike back to the place. "Call center?" asked the staff. We replied, "No." Filled out some forms. Fidgeted in the hall way. Saw a mirror with a sign above it: "Ito ang mukha ng..." Nervous laughter. Went inside the doctor's room. Short briefing. It's 99.5% accurate. First line drugs cost around P5K a month. Second line drugs cost P30K a month.

Room started spinning.

Last time you did it? Three years ago. August last year. Just this week. Window period. High risk activities. It's low risk except if you have sores or braces.

Froze. Wanted to die.

Doctor signed referral slips. Went down to the lab. Technician opened some kits. Blood was drawn. I don't know if my finger hurt. Perhaps my heart dying a slow painful death.


Went up the stairs. Waited in the hallway. Had a chat with the staff. "They look ordinary, much like you." Wanted to die... or just smack him in the head. Around 20 last January out of around 90 who got tested. So far, 3 this February. Jaw dropped. It was just the 4th of the month. Designer friend asked how he could possibly go home. I was already resigned to the idea. Told them not to leave me when the results come in.

Saw the staff walking up the stairs. Some sheets of paper on his hands. Losing air as he marched on. Doctor was doing another consult. Signed some post-test waiver. Doctor was still doing another consult.

Staff handed us three sheets. "It's negative anyway, so there."


Traumatized? Yes... but relieved nonetheless.


I told myself that this year is gonna be good. It's turning out to be bittersweet but at least I'm growing up. And growing up means making better choices. I will be making better choices.

Thursday is St. Jude's day. It really is about courage and faith.


I've been sick since September. Antihistamines and antibiotics didn't seem to work. Pneumonia, said the x-ray. Another round of x-rays. Doctor said it's clear. A week passed by. The cough persisted. Had a skin test and sputum tests. Diagnosis: PTB 3 smear negative. Two months into medication, doctor reduced my meds. A couple of days later, I had a bad sore throat, some coughing, and a backache to boot. The symptoms are returning. Went back to the doctor. Was given some antibiotics. Didn't feel any better.

Paranoid. Why am I not getting any better?

And then the news. Wanggo Gallaga having a history of respiratory illness for consecutive months prior to his test. Cyberloafing didn't do any good. PTB smear negative is highly likely in HIV infected people.

What am I to do? I had to know. The signs are there anyway.


I bugged a couple of people because of this lingering anxiety.
Thank God for friends.
And thank you Jepoy, Xall, and Boss Tristan for listening to me rant. Appreciate it much, really.


I'm still stressed out. I need a good de-briefing.
But yeah, at least I can breathe.
One more item taken off the list... and a new-found affirmation.

Think positive. Stay negative.