Monthly Archives: May 2010

How to Extinguish Your Anger (A Guide for Really Angry People Right Now)

Forgot your wallet at home, stepped on a sizeable pile of fresh dog shit, or just received a beautifully poetic break-up text from your girlfriend you worked so hard to keep today? Hatred bubbling out of your pores? Feel like a dead cockroach on the sidewalk wanting to take revenge on the whole galaxy?

Anger is not meant to be kept inside that cold, steel heart of yours. Anger is a highly flammable gas that will incinerate everything in your soul if you allow it to build up. I know because I’m a mad angry man myself when anger ignites inside of me. If you feel like blue flames can come shooting out of your nostrils any second now, try to simmer down and let this be your guide on how to explode without doing irreparable damage to yourself and your property.

Step 1: Take deep regular breaths.

Step 2: Appreciate that glorious biological and philosophical fact that you are “breathing.” When you stop appreciating this simple phenomenon, you start to regard less of other people’s “breathing,” too. This leads to dirty thoughts of stopping your enemies from breathing, which could be amusing at first, but will certainly lead you inside a jail if you act your fantasy out. Think this: “I feel good when I breathe, so other people must also feel good when they breathe. I wouldn’t want anyone to strangle my neck and stop me from breathing, so why should I attempt that on others?”

Step 3: Shadow-box. Go to the bathroom, lock yourself inside a cubicle and just make a punching bag of the air. This will give you a sense of empowerment because anger usually comes from a feeling of being powerless. Since you’re in front of a toilet bowl, take the opportunity to dump a lot of crap — I’m talking about all the dung you can muster to push out in one sitting. Cleaning the large intestines helps clear up the mind.

Step 4: Stop blaming the world. Man up. Recognize that the world smiles at you when you smile at it, and it smacks your head against concrete when you give it the finger. This could be hard for you, but try to find your own faults. I mean, come on, do you really expect you’re completely right in this issue you’re dealing with? Grow up, ditch that fake red blanket tied around your neck and throw away that silly blue, gay-ass costume you’re wearing with a humongous S logo on the front. Stop being invincible and god-like. If you’re going to point fingers, point two of them: one at the world, and the other at your own nose.

Step 5: Blame your parents. Since we’re in the topic of blaming, I say, if you’re just trying to find the Palpatine to your evil angry heart and deluge of troubles, blame your parents. Your parents are at fault here more than you consciously know. Psychologists will tell you human beings are most impressionable in their childhood. So if your papa used to beat you up with the first thing his hand grasped (a hairbrush or a toilet plunger), that would have made permanent scars on the soft noodle in your cranium. If your parents used to deprive you of attention, you might turn a kleptomaniac as that guy on TV yesterday. So sit in a corner and start remembering what your parents did to you. Chances are, they’re really pulling the strings here from their relaxing spot in heaven (or hell). Continue reading

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Alam

Hay, mga magulang

Magugulang

Mga lihim

‘Di mabilang

Nagbabawal

Nagbubusal

Mga anak

Ginagawang kawal

Para daw tumuwid

Matanim sa isip

Tamang landas

Na ‘di nila batid

Para daw sa ikabubuti

Sa ikaliligaya

Sa ikasasagana

Ng kinabukasan

Ng bawat isa

Subalit pano kikilos

Hahakbang pasulong

Kung ang  kahapo’y

Malansa pa sa isda?

Hay, mga magulang

Nagtatanghal

Sa entablado

Pinapalakpakan

Ng mga kaibigan,

Kapitbahay,

Kamag-anak

At ng demonyo

Mismo.

Hay, mga magulang

Kelan kayo magigising

Na ‘di nyo na hawak

Ang tinig ng langit?

Kelan nyo mababatid

Na kayo’y nagkasala’t manhid

At nilapastangan nyo

Ang sarili nyong mga paslit?

Hay, mga magulang

Hay, mga magulang!

Sa dami ng lihim

Walang mapagsidlan

Tumatapon

Umaalingasaw

‘Di malilibing

Ng mga araw

Kayong dating tinitingala

Hinahagkan sa kamay

Nanay, tatay

Anong nangyari

Sa’ting buhay?

Bakit

Pinupuno nyo kami

Ng katakut-takot na luha’t

Panghihinayang?

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I Love You This Monday

In the end, we just didn’t have enough power to bend this narrative to our will. Last night, I thought I’d wake up today, take a shower, have my breakfast, accompany you to the train station like we always do. I thought I’d be able to help you today. But here I am, suffering from one of the worst sore throats of my life. I can’t even speak because of how swollen my tonsils are.

But my problems are nothing compared to yours, compared to ours.

It looks like the end has finally come to this game of cat and mouse we’re playing with the people around us: our employers, my friends, your friends, my family, your family, your bandmates. We thought we will forever be one step ahead of them, but they’re just too fast, too quick now for us to swindle them again.

I don’t know what’s coming my way. I feel like I’m in a dark tunnel and I’m awaiting something fast hurtling toward me. I can’t see it but I think it’s a 5,000-ton train. I can never be prepared for this.

My throat is burning but I’ve never felt colder in my life. This is it.

So damn soon.

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A Tale of a Fire

We’re like fire born by firewood. Life goes to ridiculous extremes to make our young embers ignite only to douse us with water or shower us with sand to put us out when we’ve already grown hot enough to become a roaring flame. Then it’s all over as we quietly send our farewell smoke into the traveling wind.

Remember, as a child, your life was measured by what you can do? You could run around the playground without getting tagged and tired unlike your fat playmates who just couldn’t keep up. You could swing like a real monkey at the monkey bars unlike your frail nancy-boy schoolmates. You could play with X-Men action figures unlike your cousin who only played with cheap plastic toy soldiers, which were boring as hell as they’re all painted the same color. You could numb your red lips with ice cream everyday while the dirt-poor street kids only watched with their drooling mouths agape. You could also probably house your Barbie doll in a huge white house and make her flirt with Ken; totally unlike your bestfriend who merely had a stinky hand-me-down ragdoll from her grandma.

Think about it. Back in those days, you could do a lot of things.

Armed with this knowledge that you could do a ton of stuff, you entered school. At school, in that classroom as silent as a bathroom and as uniformly dreary as Sunday church, one thing stuck out: all of you runts in there thought you should rule the place. Those plain, crisply ironed uniforms were the most deceptive of all, for they concealed the fact that some of you were better than others, and a handful were unfairly “gifted” gits. This innocent-looking room would suddenly turn quite violent and stressful as this shared knowledge of egoistic invincibility resulted into fierce competition — manifested by hands shooting up into the sky to catch the attention of the bespectacled, big-bellied arbiter known as the Teacher.

In all subjects, you were always trying to trump someone else. It’s either that or the other guys stomped on you. No field was free for you to conquer. No monkey bars there, nor ice creams or Barbie mansions. Every goddamn place was a battleground: the track and field, the canteen, even the bathrooms. There was always some prize to strive to win, whether graded or not. Even your crushes didn’t come easy and things would get really disgusting when your own cunning seatmates got them first.

In school, you learn that there are things you can do and things you cannot do. Continue reading

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My SIM Died Last Night. Funeral Wreaths Appreciated.

09274379593,

May you rest in peace. I lay the colorful flag of my life over your wooden coffin. Twenty one guns empty their ammunition out to the sea for you. A formally dressed weeping crowd gathers around your hole adorned with white roses. The god of mobile phones and SIM cards shall meet you in heaven.

I lost my phone last night.

The phone was a cheap model of Motorola that is so unheard of I don’t even remember its name myself. But like all things good, it worked well. The voice on the other end sounded very clear unlike other mobile phones I’ve used. The controls were a little complicated, but once I got used to them, everything went fine.

But alas, another lucky taxi driver brought home a new gadget for the kids and the wife. I can already see their frustration though, because they will never be able to sell that cheap-ass unit for more than a grand and I doubt they can even find a charger that fits. The thing is just so old its only game worth playing is a black and white Arkanoid.

To hell with the cell phone, though. The sim is the soul for whom I mourn.

My mom told me this morning I had that sim since I was in high school. But I think it was more like first year college because I still remember myself secretly envying my classmate for playing snake in his 32:10 back in fourth year high school. Back then, sim cards were a freakin’ status symbol because not everybody had a cell phone. My Globe sim card cost a whopping P500. Still not as posh as my brother’s which was priced at a cool P1000. Continue reading

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Became a Fan

I’m a fan, you’re a fan, all of us are a fan of some higher being or object that is so much more wonderful than us. We, the masses, are undergoing a massive “fanization,” a process by which we are turning into followers of every brand of pizza, microblog and your staple rock band. I guess there’s just so many of us that it is getting harder and harder to imagine all of us will be big someday. Someone who’s better educated, more widely connected, has a better eye for color and a better ear for notes, and more natural curls in their thicker hair is bound to take that spotlight away from us. Doors of fame closing on all sides, we resign happily to the status of becoming a fan. It’s as if the old fanaticism for religion had disintegrated into a trillion smaller fandoms, each with their own rites, beliefs and sacrifices. And our gods look down at us, and make use of us by convincing us to buy their t-shirts, CDs and listening to their gospels uploaded on facebook. Nah, this is not about commercialization. Such an old cliche concept! After all, we know we wanna buy and we don’t have any problems with that. When did you last see a person feel guilty over buying a DVD of an indie film starring Gael Garcia Bernal, anyway? So it’s not the same commercialization rubbish. It’s just about becoming a fan of a whole shelf of personas and things that have acquired personalities of their own; and becoming content with that, sincerely glad for these things. I don’t know. There’s something sweet and sour in that acceptance.

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Kung ‘Di Naging Tayo

Kung ‘di naging tayo,
Kahindik-hindik!
Makatindig-balahibo!
Hindi mo nanaising
Matulad sa’kin ang kahit sino
Kung ‘di naging tayo

Gigising ng alas kuwatro ng umaga
Bababa sa kama ng may toyo
Bababagsak sa silya ang puwit na butu-buto
Titingalain ang orasan habang naglalaba si nanay
Gabi pa sa labas
Nauna pa ko sa manok

Kung ‘di naging tayo

Haharap sa salamin
Parang galit sa sariling imahe
Nagngingitngit sa mga tigyawat
Ihahanda ang matatalas na kuko
T-shirt na pampahid ng berdeng nana

Aray

Kung ‘di naging tayo

Continue reading

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