Category Archives: Life

Kabaliwan at Sibilisasyon: O Kung Paano Kami Nag-usapang Lasing ni Foucault Tungkol sa Pag-Ibig

Bago sya dumating dito sakay ng eroplano, nagbabasa ko ng Madness and Civilization ni Michel Foucault. Basically, tungkol yung libro sa nagiiba-ibang kahulugan ng “kabaliwan” sa kultura ng Europe mula sa Middle Ages hanggang sa 18th century. Halos wala kong maintindihan. Pero may mga kaunting tumatak sa isip ko na lalo kong naalala habang kasama ko sya rito sa maikling panahon.

Sabi sa libro, at the core of madness is passion and a flawless, perfected reason.

Passion. Kahit anong translation nito sa Filipino, magtu-tunog cheesy: silakbo ng damdamin, simbuyo ng damdamin, pagkahumaling, pagsinta. Kapag hindi nakontrol ng isang tao ang kanyang passion, maaari itong mauwi sa kabaliwan–at wala na sigurong mas may alam pa nito kundi ako.

Gigibain kong lahat nang pinaghirapan kong buuin sa tatlong taon pagkatapos naming natapos, at iiwan kong lahat ang meron ako kulitin lang nya ko ng tatlong minuto. Yung kakulitan na parang bata na sya lang ang nakakagawa. Wala saking nagbago. Ipagpapalit ko pa rin ang trabaho ko, ang common sense, ang hiya, ang tamang pag-iisip–makasama ko lang sya ng ilang saglit. Kahit pilit. Kahit parang ampalayang mapait.

Siguro may mga magtatanong, “Eh kung ganon, bakit mo ginawa pa rin eh alam mo namang wala na? Di ba mukha ka lang tanga?” Sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam. At wala akong pakialam.

Makakalimot ang mga tao, iikot ang mundo, iibig si Kris Aquino, iiwan si Kris Aquino, iiyak si Kris Aquino, at –bukas makalawa–iibig sya ulit. Darating ang araw, mauubusan ng sasabihin ang mga tao tungkol sa kanya at saken, pero ako, di ako mauubusan ng nararamdaman para sa kanya. Continue reading


Filed under Life, Love, Random Thoughts

“After the boys of summer have gone”*

The Boys of Summer

Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach

I feel it in the air
The summer’s out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone
I’m drivin’ by your house
Though I know you’re not at home

But I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream
Now I don’t understand what happened to our love
But babe, when I get you back
I’m gonna show you what I’m made of

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
I see you walkin’ real slow and you’re smilin’ at everyone
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Out on the road today, I saw a BLACK FLAG sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said, “Don’t look back. You can never look back.”
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

*This is one of those very rare nights that I could actually write something. But then I stumbled upon this on Spotify and now I just want tomorrow to find me still listening to this song.

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Filed under Life, Love

Chungking Express

In China town, I told her she looked like the girl from Chungking Express.

Not the boyish one from the second story but the mysterious smuggler in crazy shades and a trench coat in the first one… But who cares. They kinda look like each other, anyway. There you go–Asian stereotyping. All the Chinese and Koreans and Japanese look the same in your eyes as those Filipinos probably look like they came from the same brown pit of muck to them.

I don’t know. She’s not even Chinese.

Binondo is the oldest China town in the world, simmering and festering in a nook of Manila since 1594. All the lucky charms it has sold every Chinese new year since it sprouted from the damp earth can probably go ’round the world a thousand times if you place them end to end. That would certainly be an interesting trivia if somebody could come up with the numbers. But not more interesting than the fact that the thought of Binondo just suddenly popped in my head in the office on Thursday between reading corp mails and I found myself with her there on Friday. Continue reading

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Cat eye

I’m a cat, the stray one nobody goes looking for. And you’re catnip.

I scuttle around in the streets, hunting dark alleys for fat rats, born of shadow, a furry fellow.

Wild child. Pet to no one, master of myself. The gleaming silver trash bin is my throne and the shiny brown roaches are my subjects.

My kingdom stretches as far as my little paws could carry me and I have never encountered a leash or an itchy patch of fur I couldn’t reach…

I’m the mighty lion in my own great story.

But you’re catnip.

One sniff of you and the earth becomes the sky. I lose my balance–­­isn’t that an unacceptable crime? I roll, flip, rub, wriggle, waddle, tumble, scamper, scurry and prance. Scoot, shuffle, and dance! Leap down a hole just to steal a glance! You get into my head and get stuck there like a hairball, the kind I want to keep messing with my mind forever and ever and ever more. ‘Til the birds roar and the pigs soar and droplets of purple rain pour on my whiskers.

I’ll throw away eight out of my nine just to get in line for you. Bow down my proud head, play silly games like “play dead,” and like a common hamster, ride a never-ending wheel. Even risk being roadkill if it would get me nearer to you, just an inch or two…

Because you’re the poison I picked.

The laced needle that pricked.

And I can’t get enough of you like a stupid ball of yarn or a goddamn laser pointer.

Oh, you’re probably bad for me. And if I were a dog, you’d probably be my chocolate.

But I’m not a dog.

I’m a cat.

And, my oh my, you’re catnip.

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Filed under fiction, Life, Poems, Uncategorized

A Perfect Contradiction


I wanna see you happy but I also wanna see you sad.

I want to see you smiling but I also want to see you bawling on your knees with your teeth falling out.

I’m just glad when I see you glad but I’m also glad when I hear you’re mad. Like I’m mad when I hear you’re mad and I’m mad when I see you glad.

Get it?

I’m sure you understand that I’m not meant to be understood. At least not completely.

See, I would want nothing more than for you to be a success but I’d also pay to see your epic failure. Like an old light bulb going out in a glorious explosion that leaves the room in total, eerie darkness.

That’s what I’m really hoping for and I pray every night for it not to happen.

I mean I really wish things work out for you so swell that when you’re finally alone, staring at the glitz of domestication, you’ll feel a cruel emptiness and the realization that all was for naught.

But god I won’t ever want that to happen to you. I’d do anything in my power to stop it.

Because what I am is a man who only wishes what’s best for you and the bloody apocalypse to come crashing down on your head.

And I’m a man who longs for you and can’t wait to forget you every day.

I’m a man who patiently waits for you while looking for someone else to replace you. Still.

I go left while going right, does what’s right even when the results are almost always wrong.

And when they’re wrong I say, “Well, I expected that” wearing a truly shocked expression.

And when they’re right I say, “Finally, we’re off to something new!” with the most cynical, skeptical look possible.

Yes, I’m a contradiction but I’m quite sure of what I’m saying.

And what I’m saying is that I love you and I don’t, which is probably the most honest love of all, if not the greatest.

But you know it’s all bullshit.


Filed under Life, Love

An Entire Mall of Memories

Where others saw endless shops and a sea of stuff to buy, I saw an unwelcome stream of recollections, like vague, semi-transparent scenes from a film I used to know so well.

I was roaming an entire mall of memories.

Maybe it was the night because nights are always cruel. As your metabolism starts to slow down while the moon rises in the dark sky, that same darkness finds its way into your unguarded mind and defenseless heart. It starts digging corpses from graves you’ve tried to consciously forget you dug yourself. The darkness breathes life to the dead.

Not even the lights inside nor the hubbub from shoppers walking hither and thither could shatter that darkness. And perhaps the most excruciating thing was that I kept asking myself, “If this is darkness, if these are such dark memories, then why do they feel so sweet–so colorful?”

I walked a dimly lit path outside the mall, and I saw our shadows on the ground, holding hands, walking… home. Headlights were flashing before my eyes as I crossed the road but I wasn’t traversing it alone like I hoped. It was she and I–staying up late, buying things we shouldn’t be buying because we’d regret it the next day; she and I inside the pancake place, laughing at the stupid piece of expensive, tasteless dough on our plates we both made the mistake of ordering. She and I talking about this and that, what kinds of shoes looked good on women, what kind of affection looked good in public, what types of people our friends were. I saw us everywhere, in every pillar and corner, joking, arguing, laughing and fighting–and it was difficult. I have this feeling it’s getting more difficult by the day.

I put my hands in my pocket, told myself for the umpteenth time I cannot go back without destroying myself. There’s just no going back this time. I kept on walking, reminding myself that it’s just the mall. It’s just the night.


Filed under Life, Love

Two Trick Pony

I invited her to come even though I knew there’s no way in hell she would. It was just something I had to do to prove to myself that I don’t run away in the face of inevitability and impossibility. I tend to be exaggerated like that.

But then she said she would come and I was glad even though I didn’t really believe her–and that’s not being pessimistic, but realistic of me. And then, of course, she changed her mind and she didn’t come. And I said that it was ok. But of course it wasn’t; nobody who ever said he was ok was really ok. Far from it, really.

And how could I feel ok when it was written from the very start that all my hopes and dreams would come crashing down if she didn’t come? I tend to be exaggerated like that.

2 Trick Pony
By Sandwich

I want to move on
Not realizing I was moving too slow
Tried to hang on
But there was nothing left for me to hold

It’s such a shame that you can’t be with me tonight
I’m spinnin’ ’round in cycles
Hope you change your mind
Before the show is over
I look around, it’s you I thought I’d find

Been on standby
Not realizing I was waiting too long
Instant replay
But there was nothing I can do about it

Still in denial
I can’t believe that you can do this to me
No lights ahead
I’ve been looking forward but I could not see

I have been waiting for you all night
Under the glow of the satellite


Filed under Life