Monthly Archives: December 2008

100 Thoughts on Love

1

Romantic love is the most important of all kinds of love. It is the most interesting, the one that fills us up and launches us into the heights of our art or lack thereof. Even when we think we are talking about something else, perhaps another type of love, we are still talking about romantic love. It’s our tail if we were monkeys.

2

We always seek (romantic) love. When we enter the right age, we carry our inner mission to seek it in our classrooms, neighborhoods, offices, and everywhere else. We need it. We’re always sniffing for it like dogs.

3

The will is not enough to get love. You must be an agreeable person to get another person. Love is generally a celebration of life. One does not fall in love with a sick, dying, decaying person.

4

You must do your part to get love. “Working for it” is not as necessary as “doing something about it.” Some people are luckier than others. They lift a finger and love comes pouring down from the sky like heavy rain. Other people can grow a farm full of red roses and love couldn’t give a shit.

5

Love is ultimately indefinable because it is a personal subjective experience. There is no sacred table by which we can measure if we’re already in love or not. We claim we are in love. In a way, we decide when we are in love.

6

Love at its most basic level is sexual. There must be a semblance of physical attraction to support the more nuanced areas of love. Sexual attraction is a stepping stone to reach the more advanced levels of the emotion.

7

A person is only able to rise above the mere physical when in love because society enables him to explore other features of the object of his love. Thus, for example, he can afford to fall in love with someone who lacks beauty but who is intelligent because society needs that sort of love to be more productive. Society needs intelligent people as much as it needs beautiful people. Society needs different forms of love so that different people can all hope to reach their own kind of love. Variety in love is useful to society because not all people are beautiful.

8

Love always defies our expectations in that it is never how we imagine it to be.

9

The object of your love, the other person, is not necessarily the best person you’ve met but she means so much anyway. We weigh the importance of people in our lives erratically when we’re in love.

10

We are full of errors when we are in love. We couldn’t care less. Continue reading

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I Feel Like Ground Beef

Days are thoroughly minced by beeps of my cell phone.

I feel like ground beef.

Spices fall on me: carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic

And the fat, sweaty chef from underground cooks me gleefuly.

I bet people feel like fire burns their backs sometimes,

Like hot oil boils and claws at their tender bodies.

I bet people feel like ground beef sometimes.

Don’t we all feel processed?

We’re made up of ingredients, some of them exotic — disgusting.

They cling to us, inserting bits and pieces of themselves

Between our armpits, knees, and inside our mouths, noses, ears —

Every hole is filled with flavor. Lick yourself for proof!

You’re so delicious you don’t know yourself anymore.

I feel greasy.

Throw me onto a wall and I’ll stick there, grease dripping.

Dogs would smell my hair miles away. They’d drool.

I’d stare up at the blue dome of heaven and try to remember

Days when I walked the earth inconspicuous to noses.

Did I fly back then? Is it the wind on my face that I reminisce?

Now I sit here, waiting for that yummy cell phone beep.

Now I’m begging to be fried. Oh, please, make me crispy!

Pour the heavy butter on my face ’til I can’t open my eyes

Or leave me in the microwave for my juices to bubble.

Garnish me, oh sweaty chef, satisfy my heart’s desire.

Serve me on a golden platter, sizzlin’, smokin’;

Gorge on me ’til I’m gone.

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“My Amazing Trip to Anawangin” (or “The Last Shots of My Samsung Digital Camera” or “My First Attempt at a Travel Blog”)

Sunset in Anawangin

The camera got soaked into the salty water as I fumbled for her pink Havainas sandal that the crashing waves took off my foot. That was a good camera but it’s gone now. The memory card was all right however, so all our priceless memories were preserved. I consider such a thing a near-death experience.

Our destination was Anawangin, a secluded beach at Zambales. Chemae and I originally planned to go there together next year but changes were made during a seemingly ordinary Wednesday Starbucks coffee conversation. We don’t even remember how our conversation turned into planning a weekend in a beach but it did. In a matter of minutes, we were leaving the cup of coffee behind and rushing to the mall to buy a tent. The beach weekend was sealed when we handed over the money to the cashier at Toby’s.

The First Sign of Luck

We rode a cab to the Victory Liner terminal in Caloocan. There, we paid Php251 to get to the town of San Antonio in Zambales. The trip took three and a half hours, just like our reference travel blogs say. A bit sleepy, we were jolted into nervous wakefulness when the conductor suddenly boomed out, “O, San Antonio!”

Chemae left her wallet in the bus. The devil almost had us. Had I been a bit quicker to get off the bus and more nervous that we’re already in an unknown town, that wallet would have traveled to Iba without us; then a few minutes after alighting from the bus, we would have teared each other’s hair out and hailed another bus back to Manila. But I was lucky that day, so I saw the wallet and phase one was complete. I’d tease her all throughout the trip about it.

Tip: check everything before you get off the bus.

How to Get to the Boats and Other Challenges

The first problem of the day was getting the supplies we needed to survive. Our lunch in the bus consisted of Gardenia with liver spread. The bus stopped over in Olongapo but we didn’t get off because we were contented with our loaf of bread. We were going to eat that loaf of bread all throughout the next day, and I’m going to decide to not eat it for another five months when it’s all over.

We survived on Gardenia. I don't recommend it, though.

We survived on Gardenia. I don’t recommend it, though.

Tip: bring your own portable stove so you don’t condemn yourself to chewing Gardenia all day. You can also buy charcoal in San Antonio if you want to cook in the beach the traditional way. Don’t forget to purchase food, water and toiletries in the town.

There are tricycles where the bus stopped at San Antonio. After a few minutes of nervous discussion on what to do next, Chemae proposed that we hire a tricycle to get us all the things we needed and get us to Pundakit, the town where we’re supposed to ride a boat to Anawangin.

Continue reading

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Natulog sa Damuhan

Nakakaantok. Nakakahilo; gustong tumihaya sa basang damo.

Nakatitig sa mga sangang nakayuko. Sumisilip ang mga bituin, walang hinaing.

Hayaan na lang natin, ipagpaubaya sa mga multo. Hindi nila tayo gagalawin.

Wala naman silang pakialam sa mga mortal, sa kanilang mga luha’t dalamhati.

Wala silang pakialam sa’kin.

Salamat.

Nakakaantok, nakakahilo lang. Dalhan mo ako ng basong malamig at lalagok lang.

Akyatin nawa ng lamig ang aking ulo na handang ipaubaya sa mga engkanto.

Sapagkat hahayaan ko lang naman. Hindi nila ‘ko gagalawin,

At ‘di ko rin naman sila papansinin, hihilata lang, maghihilik lang nang tulo-laway.

Wala naman silang pakialam sa’tin.

Wala namang nalalaman,

Wala.

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A is for “Am Outta Here!”

A – Agreed to do it to be with her longer and uplift my sinking spirits for the last days of this year.

N – Not gonna see her during the Christmas vacation so I’m getting worried.

A – Amazing chance to be with her, alone, in a little piece of heaven on earth.

W – Wish it was Saturday already and I’m peering at the sea from my tent.

A – Apprehensive about the budget, but I’m lucky when it matters so this should work.

N – Not possible without the 13th month pay.

G – God, help us make fire and surpass cavemen.

I – I haven’t told my family yet that I’ll be gone over the weekend.

N – No going back. We’ve already bought the tent and I already crave for her too much.

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Jealous Thoughts on Jealousy

How do you get rid of this feeling?

That is the right question to ask. People always ask “Why?” but the right question to ask is “How?” The feeling is torturous, so it doesn’t help to just stand there questioning yourself for minutes, days and weeks. One must quickly find a solution or risk losing something precious in the process.

But how do you find a solution when you are irrational? It’s not a stretch to say you’re semi-insane or semi-paranoid about everything. You are aware that you’re foolish, stupid, totally irritating, dumb, boring, depressing, dark, and a pain in the @ss, — but what can you do?

You only need the slightest hint or a barely visible detail to create huge ugly monsters. Your brain is smoking a mysterious magical drug that drives it to the amazing depths of ridiculousness.

Is it ridiculous?

Is it not based on something solid?

What if there is a tiny, fragile, nasty logic in it?

What if a part of your heart firmly believes in it?

What if you’ve already discovered the seeds of doomsday?

Is it ridiculous?

Questions go on and on, raping answers along the way. Answers die by the thousands, their blood and guts becoming a red smelly sea in your mind. Your mind is a wasteland. Eventually, you lose yourself and forget how you got there in the first place. You’ve built your own labyrinth and now you’re trapped in it with your mouth gaping open.

Sometimes, I’d like to think of the feeling as a human being’s natural equipment against factors in the environment that might compromise his dominance and power. I mean, in a group of animals, the male always has to guard his partner from other determined males that also want to propagate themselves.

It is definitely a sick way of looking at things. I’m revolted at it myself.

But aren’t all these thoughts, all these letters and words and paragraphs, just another bunch of proofs of the irrationality that that feeling brings?

Maybe people ought to just shut up when they’re jealous.

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Pacquiao is an Artist

Pacquiao is addictive. He’s one of the very few things that catch my attention these days. I update myself on all Pacquiao news every morning before writing my first article for the day. News or opinions about his greatness and popularity just entertain me to no end.

What is it about Pacquiao that interests me? Talent. I love talent no matter how insecure I am of it sometimes. I’ve watched many fights of Pacquiao. I even remember him boxing as a skinny flyweight on Blow by Blow, that old boxing show on Vintage Sports (I think that was channel 13). Back then, the Pacman was just a wild boxer that overpowered and overwhelmed his opponents with a barrage of punches. Now, the Pacman has undoubtedly mastered boxing.

I like Pacquiao because he seems to enjoy his art, boxing. He trains hard, constantly tries to improve himself and always listens to Freddie Roach, his coach/friend/father figure. I just love this amazing tale of a teacher and a student on a seemingly impossible journey of a lifetime to challenge the world’s greatest boxers. And they go down one by one: Barrera, Marquez, Morales, Diaz, De la Hoya.

I’m a fan of people who have their own style and have mastered their art. Ely Buendia, Nietzsche, Bruce Lee: all of these men know their style and their art and they have made the world a richer place because of their work.

Pacquiao also has his own style. If you watch enough boxing, you’ll notice that different fighters have different styles even though all of them use two fists to fight. Erik Morales has his own textbook style with lightning fast jabs, Marquez has his own counterpunching style, and De la Hoya has this awkward stance that is unique to him.

As for Manny’s style, one boxing expert says:

“Manny is a geometric nightmare. He’s not a Filipino, he’s a Fillomino (a puzzle), a geometric nightmare. He doesn’t fight in straight lines. No, to use a baseball jargon, he throws curves and knucklers. In mathematical jargon, he can bend lines and exercise parallels.”  (Strauss, Paul. “Experts Claim Oscar’s Done – Phooey!” www.eastsideboxing.com)

Truly, Pacquiao is a boxing genius. Pacquiao is an artist.

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