10 February 2018


It took me 8 years, 1 death, and hundreds of waking moments of wondering to finally synthesize one feeling to one conclusion: 
It was nothing but pure selfishness, and friendship was never part of that process.

I'm currently working on a project in a public coworking space right now, when I finally found that rationalization above about a certain thing in my life, one that has pierced my being from time to time, but one that never kept me down to begin with -- just momentary blindsided. Sort of.

And a thought also popped into my mind just a few moments ago, in connection with a stage play I was trying to write about that realization above -- a play that I penned some 10 years ago or so. This could be a beginning, a teaser, or something else entirely. Maybe something in between, too. Entr'acte. I'm not sure yet. Will decide later.

But this is how it goes:

“It took his death to finally untangle us from one another. Poignant enough, for it took his arrival to bind us together in the first place. And that is where our story began…where it also ended. Onscreen, and off.”

Yes, heartache prompts me to write. That was a huge one, but from a longtime friend, a friend of long ago. Heartaches caused by friends are sometimes more painful for me to feel. Maybe it's because I invested a different kind of value in there, as opposed to the value you invest in a job, your relationship with work, or even a lover or a partner. They have nuances, for me. 

But as I grew older, and more wiser, I realized that those values shift from time to time. And I think that one just shifted, magnanimously, as I sat here, working, thinking of other things, but those things suddenly caught my attention, and let me divert a bit.

So here we are.

I guess that's one less demon who stood up from the couch.

Good riddance, then. Good for me.

Swiped from Stuff No One Told Me.

Back to work, then.

21 January 2018


Kung kelan ka naman nagkaroon ng means sa buhay na bilhin ang mga bagay, tulad ng libro, na gustong-gusto mong bilhin when you were in your teens/twenties, at kung kelan naman nagkaroon ng teknolohiya para magkaroon ka ng access sa mga bilihing ito, tulad ng Amazon and online shopping in general, saka ka naman kapos sa oras, lagi, para magtuon ng panahon sa pagbabasa.

Sadyang ganyan ba talaga ang Tantalus-ian playbook ng life, universe? Puro patikim lang ng mga patakam? O footnote thought lang ba ito sa mas malalaki pang thoughts na kelangan kong pansinin muna sa panahong ito?

I want to can some thoughts for now. Canned thoughts. Itapon ang abrelata called curiosity.



My partner arrived at some of her own thoughts about affordability and parenthood. Na dapat daw, mga early to mid-30s ang wagi na panahon para makapag-decide ang human beings na magkaroon ng anak. Dahil afford na sa panahong iyon ang maturity pati na rin ang financial capacity, napagtanto niyang ito dapat ang prescribed time for parenthood daw.

I sense a short story in that canned thought of hers na binuksan ng abrelata called epiphany. Minahin ko kapag may oras.

Oo, pastime naming mag-usap tungkol sa mga naiisip namin. Kaya payapa lang.


Cheers for sweet thoughts. Can them to last longer.
posted from Bloggeroid

16 January 2018

Do you have to let it linger?

The '90s wouldn't be the '90s without that unmistakable angsty voice-with-a-yodel of Dolores O'Riordan. And it wouldn't be *my* '90s if their cassette tape wasn't inside the radio of my box-type car, driving around the traffic-less streets of Metro Manila, my heart heavy with some thought or other, my head rocking to their guitars and drums, my soul busy with processing whatever it is that needs processing at that time. The Cranberries were a good background soundtrack for that stage in my life back then. 

It was 1993, 1994, 1995. The years when I traded my original college (Fine Arts) for another (Mass Comm) inside the same campus (UP Diliman). I traded my techpens, pencils, paintbrushes for an SLR camera and a video camera. It wasn't an easy transition, because it wasn't 100% sanctioned. New friends, new knowledge, and new music soothed me that time. Dolores became one of my anonymous best friends. And as a frustrated drummer, Fergal rocked for me.

I finished my 16mm film thesis back in '94-'95 with her singing in the background, started facing life after college in '95-'96 still with her in the background, and I even dragged one of my film school buddies to watch them live in concert when they came here in '96. 

It was the first mosh pit of my life, that Cranberries Live in Manila concert. We were literally a spit away from her, her mic stand full of attached guitar picks which she plucked out like she was plucking petals from a flower. And some of those she picked she threw or handed to us in the front rows. Until later, I can't recall if it was her or the other guitarist who came out with a small box of those guitar picks, and threw them to us like we were children hungry for candy. Magaling akong sumalo sa ganyan beh! So ang dami kong nakuha at naiuwi. Pero mas precious yung inabot sa akin mismo ni Dolores that time. Transferring rental apartments in 10 years made me lose those mementos lang, which is sad. 

But of course, this is sadder. To hear that she is gone. Playing When You're Gone now, because I just want to feel so fucking meta right now. This is actually one of my favorite songs of theirs. And Salvation, too.

Nakakalungkot. When you're in a stage of your life where you want to just let go of it all, here comes some pop culture snippets that will make you hang on, will make you want to hang on for a bit more, until you let go of wanting to let go, and just go on and move forward, wherever forward may lead you.

Their music was that to me back then. Isa sa mga kinapitan ko. Matinding kapit. At kapag ganoon kalalim ang kapit mo, tatatak sa iyo iyon hanggang sa pagtanda mo.

And here I am, manghang-mangha pa rin na nakaabot ako sa 44, dahil nga hindi ako bumitaw. Ilang tumbling na lang ngayong taon, 45 na ako. Siya, namatay kanina, 46 siya. Hindi pala kami nagkakalayo ng edad. 

Salamat, little girl from Limerick. Your music will linger in me, within me, until letting go is not an option anymore, but a finality.

10 August 2017

booyah for brekkie

Cheers for cheerios!

Good for the heart! 

I'm not such a breakfast person, more like brunch, but there are times when you gotta eat in the morn to jumpstart your work mode. So here we are.

Though I also love all-day breakfast places, probably because I like eating breakfast, well, anytime nga! The concept is a good one, a novel one. Pero hindi pala siya novelty na bigla na lang nawawala. May sisipot at sisipot diyan sa tabi-tabi na ganyang place, and that's somehow comforting.

I still remember the very first all-day breakfast concept place na nakainan ko sa buhay ko. Sa Ortigas 'yun, mid-to-late '90s, a place like that opened sa El Pueblo Real, walking distance near my film office. Comforting siya, ewan ko kung bakit, or probably nadala din ako sa design ng blue and yellow, the usual decor for day-and-night type of places. Then a similarly sunny-decor place also opened dun sa Brick Road area sa likod ng Sta. Lucia Mall sa Marcos Hi-way. I tried it once lang, because if you're a commuter, hella place to commute to, during the '90s and early 2000s that area. Kaya luz.

But it's good that, thanks to these ride apps like GrabCar and Uber, I can now go to places where usually mahirap mag-commute papunta, lalo na kung di mo feel sumakay ng jeep kahit malapit lang dahil haggard ang mga biyahe sa rutang 'yun. Like this one we saw along Mayor Gil Fernando Ave, or formerly A. Tuazon Ave., dito sa Marikina.

That's my sweetie entering the place excitedly.
She had danggit in her silog minus the egg
while I sampled their eggs benedict on a pandesal.
OMG sarap siya bes! [June 2017]

Matteo's is a good place to eat, chika a bit, then run. The decor ain't much, and it doesn't make you wanna linger for longer. Other brekkie-style places are like that kasi, but this one, no. But it serves its purpose well, and more importantly, the food is great!

Lucky to have a partner who loves discovering eateries with me, and who loves all-day brekkie places, too. Not much of a morning person kami pareho, but all-day brekkie places are patok sa amin. So yeah, good match, eh? :)

And all is well in the universe.

Sige lafang na muna kesh. Kape later. And dive to work. 

Good morning, folks. Be well.

09 August 2017

missing windows

I missed my window for coffee today.

Over ice, near sunset.

So that's this chocolate drink I tried once, but they came out with a product that's part coffee, part chocolate milk, and part guarana. And I'm guessing it may not be as strong as the coffee I wanted to drink, but it's okay enough to consume as I work the night.

Sometimes it takes a while for me to work up the energy to work. I don't think this is about age (maybe partly) but it's like being prepared for the headspace for working on something. Especially if you're dealing with heavy development work here where your brain is the real weapon of (critical) mass emancipation, then you'll need to prep the body that houses it, and the surroundings that envelop it. So after running some errands outside, the body was kinda pooped on the inside. Rest, a bit of house cleaning, another shower, a late meal, and  then we're going back to the grind. But sometimes, the mind is still not up to it. I dunno. Sometimes, it's just like that.

There's always the option to work on other lighter things, with "lighter" being a relative term here. So maybe I'll just do that. And see where the night takes me, work-wise. Staring out at the window for a while helps, always. So I'll just do that for a while.

And blog a bit. So here we are.

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Palubog na si juliet beks.
Magtrabaho ka na!

Have a good evening to all. Time for me to hit the salt mines. Night shift si bakla today, so gorabels.

21 July 2017

A sunny afternoon back to my almost-over childhood

Currently riding a GrabCar Innova, and putting down my book, I notice how sunny the sun is, the kind of sunny that's familiar to me since childhood. I know it's scorching, but sunny afternoons like this one become bearable due to the trees in our yard. And under the shadows of the leaves, I find myself cooling off with a book borrowed from the university library. Somewhere else inside the house, the radio is playing a song by Julio Iglesias, a parental favorite, and it seem it's this driver's favorite as well.

And that was when I snapped this photo, to freeze a moment that reminded me of that moment when I was younger, perhaps a freshman at the university or a sophomore, before I turned 18, when my best friend was the library card, and the shade and books took me to imagined worlds I would one day reach in reality or duplicate in my own efforts of being creative.

Funny how a moment could take you back in time, at a time when the world seemed simpler, from the outside looking sunny, even if dark clouds hung over your insides. It makes me glad that I survived, I lived, and now have the capacity to enjoy sunshine the way it should be enjoyed -- with a smile.

It has been one heck of a ride, so far, universe. Thank you.
posted from Bloggeroid

11 July 2017


I've been meaning to archive my Philippine Online Chronicles articles (under the Pinoy LGBT channel) in one of my blogs, and also adding up to what was naudlot in that space, for I think writing about LGBT issues is still needed from a certain perspective. With so many issues still coming up around me and within my spheres, perhaps it's time to pick up the rainbow pen again and allot a few days of the month for new material.

I'm thinking of this title for the new blog sana: QUEERLIGHTENMENT. Queer enlightenment, whether from the most babaw banal issues to the most deeply rooted, personal and philosophical. I'm thinking of remaking my Medium blog space for this, or maybe link it up with my Culture Popper as another sub-page/section, we'll see.  

There's just too much online noise lately, especially here in this country since last year, and frankly, sometimes I'm getting tired of it. If it were not for this monthly POC gig, I would have retired the rainbow pen muna, kasi nakakapagod. Sakto lang yata yung pasok ng 2016 sa paghinto nito, June kami nagsimula 2010 so a good 6 years in 2016 was a good turning point to stop. We weren't appraised of why this revolutionary section was ground to a halt, all of a sudden, but hey, nasanay na yata ako sa occasional marginalization kaya di ko masyadong dinibdib ito, kahit dinibdib ito ng editor ko. Siyempre, advocacy namin ito eh, sabi nga niya hindi kami yayaman sa pagsusulat dito given the payment (as a writer, yeah nasanay na rin yata ako sa publishing woes dito sa Pinas like this) pero adbokasya kasi namin ito. Pero may panahon talaga na ang ibang rainbow flag ay kailangan nang tiklupin, tapos iawawagaywag na lang ulit sa ibang pagkakataon at espasyo.

Kaya ito ang naisip kong espasyo: sa sarili ko nang bakuran, as usual. Tutal may following naman kahit papaano, puwede na ulit lumarga. Saka iba naman ang audience na kausap ko sa mga artikulo ko, at alam kong matagal na nila (NINYO!) akong hinahanap. Eto na, sige, magpaparamdam na lola niyo. K! K!

Sige, abangan na lang saan ito uusbong muli. In the meantime, frap time!


And with that, I also decided to fix the layout and header image of this blog. To reflect this newer enlightenment I've been having since this year.

You like this ^ image? I love this image. I took it las April 2017, when I was loitering around Wat Arun, I think, or is it Wat Pho? One of those Buddhist temples I visited with my sweetheart, when we went there in Bangkok last April -- a post-birthday celebration for me, her first out of the country trip (since naroon na for a work trip, sumunod ako), and our post-third year anniv trip na rin. So there. I loved that trip, and I'll write about these musings soon. Pramis.

Like the reboot? Looks good, so far. 

Sige later.

06 July 2017

their morning rush

I call it the Ten to Ten crowd. Every morning, as I sit inside my neighborhood Starbucks, a crowd of eager senior citizens patiently wait for the adjacent mall to open. The mall opens at 10 in the morning, but as early as 9.30, a small crowd is already gathered outside, excited to do their daily rituals here, maybe twice-thrice a week or maybe weekly, but whatever the frequency, they're here. They're always here. And it never fails. Their presence never fails.

I wonder what parallel faith awaits me and my partner when we reach that twilight of our lives. Will we be mall rats, too, looking for quotidian ways to spend our breaths? Will we be cooped up in our home, shying away from such crowds? Will we nitpick on each other, lovingly or annoyingly? We don't know what kind of development awaits us. But if we'll base it on how we interact now, then it's going to be a fun time. As always.

Before we parted ways earlier to head on to our respective job duties, she was talking about feeling old already. Adulting never prepares one for such stages when you have to make huge decisions for your own self or your loved ones. No one said adulting is easy. No one also said the difficulty won't pass. In the end, it wil aways be your kind, your kind of adulting, that will enhance your growth as a human being, or will make you devolve back to the dark ages.

In my own adulting journey, I've learned one important lesson for myself: that there's no such thing as unconditional. All things have their limits, their breaking points, their tipping points. Things we consume have expiration dates. So do feelings we afford some humans. You can only have such finite amounts of patience for a situation. You can only shower a being with enough love for a relationship to grow. Some smother, and they think smothering is the same as loving. Love can get suffocating at times, too, when applied carelessly, or selfishly. Plants wither if they don't get watered the proper way. They die, too, if watered too much.

I think life teaches you to balance, to know how much is too much, and when enough is enough. I've also learned that during my adulting years, sometimes the hard way. It's a lesson I'll cherish bringing with me during my twilight years. I will share my stories of recklessness to whoever cares to listen then. I'll share my life lessons with whoever has the patience to be with me and listen to them. And I'll welcome their thoughts about my thoughts, for that is also an important adulting lesson I've learned in my life so far: having a fair exchange. Walang overspending, walang nalulugi. Win-win situation, as suggested for those who want a habit of being effective. Fair exchange: It's the humane way of being.

But if you really insist on betting one way, you can also bet on losing something the other way. That's how fair exchange works. You win some, you lose some. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can't put all your eggs in one basket. Insert the next lines of cliché here. You get the drift.

Like these lolos and lolas who have already undergone so much in their lives, as evident in their eyes, in the lines on their faces, I'm positive they've already had their fair share of exchanges. Like a dead star's last glimmers reaching the earth too late, some of the sparks in their eyes might have been hints of pain in their past, losses already grieved over, but they just blink it away now. Because they've already done their part, their duty. The rest is up to the rest of them folks they deal with.

You cannot pour from an empty cup, as that Buddhist thought goes. That's also one thing I learned growing up: you can stir in stuff in your cup, but you have to be ready for what your concoction will taste like. And before you help others, you have to help your own self first. For what will you pour if you've already dried up?

And lastly, one thing people taught me about people in this life holds water to this day: You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. I think this is the most difficult lesson I had to swallow in this life. Of course you want to always help those in need, especially the ones you love. But sometimes, the best way to help them is to *not* help them, for some people need to learn their lessons the way they need to be learned: in their own way, in their own time, in their own pace. No, you can't hurry anything in this life; not love, not epiphanies, and certainly not growth. Unless we humans learn how to make GMO feelings, then let's amplify all that needs jazzing up. But until then, we have to accept the fact that learning takes time. Like aging properly. And adulting.

Take a hint from these Ten to Ten seniors, the ones "rushing" to get inside the closed mall. For in their appearance of rushing, they're actually patiently waiting, waiting for what they know will come (i.e. for the mall to open at 10am) but they don't stress about something they know they have no control over (i.e. the mall still remaining closed before 10am). Another adulting lesson I picked up in life: You can't stress over all things beyond your control. You learn to pick your battles, conserve your energy, pour it where it's more needed, in the process refilling your cup repeatedly, until it's time to pour.

Have a happy coffee morning, folks. Easy on the sugar. ☕❤

posted from Bloggeroid