Saturday, February 19, 2005


In the air was the distinct reek of sweat as bodies collided and shirts stuck to the backs of the unceasingly milling crowd. Enrollment. The perfect way to sum up chaos and agony, discomfort and despair.
The sun beat down heavily on all the unsuspecting victims hanging around the open quad. Even the lucky few who were inside the school’s buildings couldn’t escape the heat as they waited hours on end to get a piece of paper signed. Conversations were held at a minimum in an effort to save the little energy not yet sapped by the heat.
“Stand still. Stand very still. It doesn’t hurt. I just need to get through this one last signing. It is not hot. I am not worried." Jumbled thoughts and muddled voices ran through her mind as she strived to take control. And as sudden as the shift from hush to noise that would ensue afterwards, she fell.
Panic ensued. The other students crowded around trying to be helpful, killing her in their own sweet way.
“Fan her.”
“Call the nurse.”
“Mafe? Wake up! Mafe?!”
“Call a teacher.”
“Call anybody.”
But there was nobody to call. The nurse couldn’t be found anywhere, she had seen her fair share of faintings and would not have been affected anyway, the teachers were now oblivious to it. In a public school, students dropped like flies every day.
“What do we do?” onlookers inquired from eyes full of apathy as word came that the nurse was missing in action.
“Call a tricycle.” the teacher finally concluded.
How those words resemble so well three others more unwelcome, “I DON’T CARE.”

The stink of wet dog. Familiar, unwanted, cheap, contagious.

“Tope! Tope! Si Mafe! Hospital. DG’s carrying her. Tricycle. ”, an unfamiliar face had told him.
Stunned, he rushed to get to the hospital as discordant memories flooded his head. “Please let her be okay. Please let her be okay,” he murmured to himself all the while replaying in his mind their Christmas party.
The room had held an aroma of butterscotch and mixed chips. The gifts had been put to one side, carefully wrapped looking like cakes and tin foil and nobody had mentioned it but all eyes had been on the biggest box. A number of attempts had been made to inconspicuously see who it was for, and the Nancy Drews had been put to a disappointed rest as the ritual of exchanging gifts had been undergone. She had smiled (knowing she wasn’t his kris kringle) when shyly he gave her the gift everyone envied. Mafe.
“Please let her be okay. Please let her be okay,” he murmured as he replayed in his mind every memory he had with her, and those around him could only try to avoid his searching gaze.

The smell distinct to hospitals lingered in his nostrils, traveling across his nerves, intoxicating him with its cruelty and coldness.
“I’m sorry there was nothing more we could do.”

His hands formed into fists as the nurse’s laughter rang in his ears.

* * *

I smile as I hug him, inhaling the scent of his Downy bathed clothes. The radio in the lobby of our dormitory oddly complements the scene as it blares out a song, “Teach me to be indifferent,” the singer begs. I hold him tighter relating only too well.
“I love you,” he whispers slowly.
Blurred images of memories not my own chase one another, clamoring for attention and recognition in my head. His memories of three years past, playing over and over in my consciousness, gradually becoming my own. No matter how hard I shut my eyes, I see her face. How could I possibly ask you to forget Mafe?
“I love you too.”

- i wrote this for a friend. this story is based on her life.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

banal things

I'm sinking slowly back into the quagmire of my past life. Even now, I hide behind words to cover the grim reality of it. Immoralities, obscenities and self-righteous impertinence. The haunts that we frequented either precious morsels or the bane of my being. Only one or the other, never both or neither. Unlit rooms with undusted chairs. Empty houses smelling of rot and decay. Unswept halls and old worn-out buses, witnesses to secrets and lost innocence. Trifles fought over, bled for and eventually surrendered to. Tiny things that never mattered yet made all the difference. I, myself, don't know why I gave in. Just goes to show, ignorance is pure bliss.

Monday, February 14, 2005


unti-unting nawawala ang sarili,
tulog ang isip at diwa'y nakapiit
sa lumaos na't natatanging sandali
ng pakikipagtunggali sa pusong napilit.

sino? kanino? at saan ba pumunta?
bulong ang sagot at ang pinanggalinga'y
di man lamang mahagilap o matantiya
dahil ang mundo mo'y puno na ng nakabibinging ingay.

ngunit tao'y sadyang mabilis maglaho
ang paninindigan. kakalimutan rin ang pag-aatubili
sapagkat sa gulo't ingay na nagdulot sa iyo,
nalalasap na masarap rin palang mawala ang sarili.

writer's block

in my heart's silence,
i search for a word,
an emotion, a single breath,
a wisp of something,
anything greater to speak of,
but there is nothing.
only deathly cold and stillness.
only frozen moments of untruth.

Hidden Thoughts

We say polite goodbyes,
The learned ways of pleasantries,
The pain of farewell comes: a dull surprise
Yet hidden by a mask of gallantries.
I gaze upon untouched beauty,
Knowing forever after I'll lay bereft.
Unbreakable silence as departure screams finality,
Eternal regret for confessions convention left.

Shut OUT

Staring at you, an arm's length away
Separated by the immeasurable gap of hurting hearts
My heart screams but to what avail?
When in your nearness, I've no power
To comfort, to forget, to erase
The scars and brokeness of my handiwork.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Were you the SMARTEST decision we could make?

Sino nga ba ang mas matalino?ang taong boboto sa alam niyang kurakot na? O ang taong boboto sa alam niyang wala pang bahid ng pagkakurakot? Tanggap nalang kasi tayo ng tanggap. Di na natuto.

Ayan. Sana masaya ka na. Presidente ka na. Tuta pa rin ng bansang Amerika. Inuuna pa rin ang pisikal na itsura ng pilipinas habang inaakyat ang tax, presyo ng mga bilihin, at kung anu ano pa na maisipan mo. Mabuhay ang mga nakapagaral! Salamat sa mga taong nagiisip katulad nila, maganda na ang north luzon expressway (WORLDCLASS!!!), priority na ang military, binabayaran natin ang utang nating bilyones na ang halaga, at ang buong Pilipinas ay WOW na WOW na. Pero ang taong bayan ay lumubog sa mas matinding hirap, di man lamang makabili ng pagkain. Pero sa bagay, maganda na ang daan papuntang north, mas importante yun. Salamat rin sa paglimot mo sa kalagayan ng taong-bayan, napaganda mo na ang mga iba't ibang lugar sa Pilipinas. Dinadayo na tayo ng mga taga-labas. Matalino ka nga talaga, naisipan mong takpan nalang ang masidhing kapangitan na bumabalot sa Pilipino. Kapag di natin sila makikita, di rin natin malalaman ang gutom nila, ang hirap nila, ang pagkawala ng kanilang pag-asa. Hindi na makapag-aral ang marami dahil sa laki ng mga budget cuts pero ayos lang yan, napopondohan naman ang militar at ang utang natin ay nababawasan naman ng kahit iilang milyones. Kaya lang, ang taong may sakit ay di makakabayad ng utang sa ospital hangga't di pa siya gumagaling. Akala ko ba ekonomista ka? Akala ko ba matalino ka? Akala ko ba ang matalino ay boboto sa iyo?

Salamat. Ang katotohanan ay kamatayan.

Friday, February 11, 2005


And then it was late afternoon; the smell of dank wood and of rusted steel mingled with the taste of salt in the air pervaded the child’s senses, drowning him. “We’re going for a walk,” she had told him with practiced indifference. That didn’t keep him from noticing the hint of red near the lips and the violent shock of blue beneath her eye. Once around the block, twice around the park, that’s where those words usually brought them. He treasured those moments when he was allowed to have her all to himself. He would gambol to and fro as if the world would stop on its journey around the sun just so he could have her like that forever. But it never lasted long. His father would eventually find them and take them back home. But this time, she was different. It was different. This was not a walk. He was old enough to know that it wasn’t the same, and also old enough to know not to ask her about it.

The chill of the winter breeze crept up his bare arms, sending goose bumps along his chocolate skin. But the cold was furthest from his mind as he explored the deck, spurred on by the noisy churning, excited by the undulating motion caused by the steady currents. She could only watch him play, unable to join in his joy, longing to be part of an innocence lost and long forgotten. Only when he was tired could she hold him, lulling him to sleep, pretending they were one, pretending she was he.

The wind whipped the strands of her hair about her face. A wild beauty, untamed and dangerous. Her deep black eyes stared out past her child, past the horizon, past everything she now was. Unlike him, she was all too aware of the cold, yet numb to the noises and smells around them. All she knew was what was her own, the secret nobody could know. The smell of guilt. The touch of death. She dreaded what was beyond this moment, knowing he would wake soon and ask for his father.

umaasa sa pagputi ng uwak

Tiny fingers. Tiny hands. That’s what I remember most about her. That and her smile. The heat was insane but there we were, sitting on a tree stump, baking under the sun, talking about everyone we knew, catching up on what we’d missed, remembering good times and crazy days.
“Do you remember the time we almost totaled your car?”
“ALMOST? I had to commute for two months after that!” I reminded her, recalling the incident oh too well.
“It was worth it, you must admit. I was in a very critical period in my life.”
“I hardly call dumping your current chew toy a crisis, D.”
“To be great, is to be misunderstood my friend. You, of all people, should know.”
Things had always been like that, Dianne the envied and her weird friend what’s-its-name. I was loathed, ostracized and stereotyped. But I was happy. In a silently warped and utterly secret way, I was happy. But then she found out who I really was, how I truly felt, and all she had left to say was “That’s just not my kind of thing. And I don’t think it will ever be.”
I wasn’t so convinced about that then. I should have prodded, I should have ranted and raved like a lunatic but like the softy that I am, I left hoping she’d stop me or that by some miracle I could have been turned into something different. But my heart and my body would not make peace and until now, the battle rages.
“Do you think you’ll remember me ten years from now?” she asked nonchalantly.
I waited a while before answering, confused by the contrasting emotions in her countenance until, unable to bear the intentness of her gaze, I replied,
“Ten years from now, a lot of things will be different. I’d have saved hard enough to retire early and start writing. That’s what I really want to be, you know, a writer.”
“Yeah. I guess ten years does a lot of damage.”
“Nobody really knows about these things Dai.”
“Like Dorothy Parker said, “Women and elephants never forget.”
“Dorothy Parker, whoever she is, has no idea what she’s talking about.”
“But maybe I do.”
The clouds began to race across the sky, providing a respite from the previous onslaught of sweat and discomfort. She cracked a joke. I shared a story, The Drawbridge Operator. She was silent after that. And out of nowhere, I heard her sniffle. “You’re good at telling stories,” she said. Then she laughed. “That’s the second time I’ve heard that story but you know how to say things better.”
She’s like that.
The shadows lengthened and the silence grew deeper. It was almost time to go but we stayed a little bit longer, hanging on to the chance meeting that might never happen again. Somewhere far away, her mind lingered.
“It’s time to go,” I said, calling her back to the present, holding her hand a little tighter than necessary.
“Well then, I guess this is goodbye.” It was all that I could say. She nodded. “I guess this is goodbye.” I turned around quickly then. It was the second time I’d heard that but somehow she just knew how to say things better. Alone, I laughed long and loud.
Tiny fingers. Tiny hands.
I’ll remember.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


I was asked how the 'g' in bologna is pronounced and for some reason beyond my ken, i launched into a full blown dramatic rendering of bologna.
The 'g' in bologna is pronounced as sex is pronounced. It is the way you would talk to a baby's sleeping form beside you. It is a breeze picking up on a stifling summer day. It is love, it is death, it is ruin and triumph at its best. And when someone asks you a mundane question like "How do you pronounce the 'g' in bologna?", it is the sound of dry leaves under your feet.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Coffee Spoons

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." - T.S. Eliot
For you who should have been here...

The coldness of it pierced her. With hesitant surrender, she suppressed a scream. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. The moment had come. This was it, the point of no return. This time she spread her legs wide and exposed her vulva to him, nulling herself to the cries and warring thoughts within her. As her body relaxed and all tension escaped her, only two things circled in her mind. I love you. I'm sorry. I love you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
She felt it enter her and she cringed with the familiarity of the sensation. Not once did she dare to open her eyes as he searched for life deep inside her. Fearing his face, his eyes, the judgement and disgust to be found in their emptiness, the reflection of herself, her soul, to be found in those unwavering black dots. She fled through the night, her mind borne away. Away from the battle raging at her core, away from the dark rendesvouz with sin occring through her, in her, everywhere around her. She flew away to a place she once knew, back to innocence, away to a place where he could not reach her, to a time when she didn't need him to touch her with dread and death.

All too soon it was over. She dressed hurriedly, not being able to leave soon enough. The few pesos taken from a pair of worn jeans exchanged hands and the strangers parted ways in secret, behind dark alleys and shards of broken glass. Alone, she sank to her knees and cried with bitterness for the injustice of life. For freedom, for choice, suddenly so dear, becoming a luxury only for the buorgeoisie. She cried for the filth she would never be able to wash off, groping for a reason and convincing herself that her answer lay in her squalor. She cried and her tears fell immeasurable. She cried, mourning for the stillness inside her and the barreness he had left, for he had taken his prize, blood of her blood, her redemption.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

First post ever

Welcome to my blog...may we both find something here to fulfill a part of our hearts even if it be just the most inconsequential desires...