10 July 2015

all this rain is making me...

Maulang linggo ito. Manaka-nakang pagsilip ng araw ang ganap, pero mas namamayani ang bugso ng ulan. Tatlong magkakasunod na bagyo ba naman ang dumaan at dumalaw sa Pilipinas eh. Kumusta naman di ba. 

Pero maulan man, may araw pa rin. Hindi naman delubyo ang ibinabagsak ng kalawakan sa atin. Minsan, may mga bagong habi na tulay na kailangan nating tawirin. O kaya'y baging na ibinabagsak sa harapan natin, inaakit tayong kumapit para makalundag tayo sa ibang parte ng lupaing puwede pa nating tahakin, at siguro'y sakupin. Iyong lugar ba na hindi ikaw ang sinasakop, kundi ikaw ang inaantabayanan para sumali sa kanilang mundo. Ikaw naman na pilit nagpapaka-ermitanyo sa iyong kuweba ay naaakit lumabas, napapaisip kung panahon na nga bang muli para pulutin ang isang parte ng buhay na tinuldukan mo na. Magandang ideya bang bubuksan mong muli ang librong ibinaba mo na sa pahinang ayaw mo nang mabasa dati? Paano kung may bagong kaalamang mapupulot sa muling pagbukas nito? 

Kay hirap, ano?


Na-miss kong magsulat sa Filipino.

Actually, nami-miss kong magsulat sa pen and paper, sa blank pages notebook ko with my .01-02 tech pen. Sige, mamaya.

All these screens in our lives!!! I hate the digital age sometimes. Sometimes lang naman. Wifi I love you.


What a year, what a month, what a week. Ang daming nangyayari sa buhay kaya minsan, hindi ka maka-stop and smell the roses ang peg. Pero nakaka-pause for a break ka pa naman para makapagyakapan at makipagdaldalan. Iyan ang maganda kapag ang iyong sinisinta ay naituturing mo ring mabuting kaibigan, confidante na puwedeng humimay ng mga stupid thoughts and profound thoughts mo, over coffee or beer. Minsan kasi, may mga kausap kang masayang kausap over coffee. Minsan may mga keri na kainuman naman. Suwerte at nakatagpo ako ng partner na pareho ang peg. 

Suwerte rin at ang partner ko ay pasensiyosa sa mga inarte at shortcomings ko, dahil siya rin ay may ganun at pasensiyosa din ako sa kanya. Talagang it takes two to tango, and it helps that we're peas in a pod. Never pala talagang nag-work sa akin 'yung opposites attract na peg. O kaya ay mas loud 'yung partner ko kesa sa akin, o ako ang mas loud kesa sa kanya. I think I've tried all of these, at ang pinaka-patok na formula pala ay 'yung pareho lang kayo ng timpla at ng temperament. Ito 'yung tipong if you want to have your solitude moment, gets niya. Gets ko rin ito sa kanya kasi may ganyan din siya. Tapos we can actually be "alone together" if ever there is such a concept. 'Yung tipong tahimik lang ako sa isang tabi at tahimik lang siya sa isang tabi, pero nasa isang espasyo kami. Kung di pa uso ang "alone together" then I guess we're inventing it, right now. And it's working.

Isa kasi 'yan sa mga hesitations niya sa akin when we first hooked up. Since I've lived independently and alone for years now, single man o hindi, she was scared of encroaching in my space and she was afraid of "losing herself" again in a relationship. You know how that is. Sometimes, even if your partner is not the dominant one, you tend to lose yourself in a relationship because you exist solely for it, and then you don't practice your individuality much. I think this is what other couples say as "the we we we" thing na puro we na lang at wala nang "you and I" or something like that. Pero I feel lucky now kasi we have both: we have our "we" moments and we also have the "you and I" moments. Nakakatawa nga kasi in the beginning, we were both afraid of "feeling clingy" and we were trying to self-check whether we were already like that. Nakakatawa kasi pareho kaming naging clingy to a certain extent and then we both backed off and analyzed it, and made it work na lang na hindi na garden variety clingy ang peg kundi our own version of "we time" hehe. Yes, believe me, it works. I don't know how, I still have no clear-cut guideline, but hey, it really works. The "we time" and the "me time" exists in one relationship. Mantakin mo nga naman.

Hay, the things you think about when it's raining. 

I guess mine is just clear: that I am in love with this woman, after 17 months from the first time I really met her, after 14.5 months of being a couple. Ours is not a perfect relationship (for one, pareho kaming poorita kalaw ledesma hahaha but hey we manage), but our bond is genuine -- and we make it work, regardless of several shortcomings. No pretense, no hidden agenda, no secret feelings, just all out and all open. We can even process past hurts together, and talk about possible incoming hurts and dissipate them before they even take shape. Man, kung sa mga dating relasyon, giyera patani na agad ang ganung mga budding possible conflicts, dito hindi. Ganun ang reaction din niya, kung sa mga dating relasyon niya eh away na daw agad ito. Pero sa amin, we talk about issues in an emotional way, but calm pa rin. And what she said stuck to me: na kung ganun namin i-deal ang possible conflicts (in a zen-ish way), then we're definitely gonna grow old together. My sentiments exactly. 

Year One celebration. (April 2015 Baguio)

I guess it pays to wait. She did. She even chose to be single for how many years just to sort things out about her. While me, I decided to just embrace singlehood since I never had any problem with being single naman anyway. Of course the usual loneliness and longing will pass by sometimes. Hindi naman puwedeng hindi dumalaw iyan. Pero manageable naman kasi siya. Up to you if magpapa-bully ka sa longing and loneliness kasi. Or maybe you just have to recalibrate your lenses and look at things differently siguro. 'Yung hindi mapagkuwari type (believe me, madaming ganun) pero 'yung kind na mapayapa ang pagtingin sa buhay at pagtanggap sa kapalaran. I can safely say na narating ko na kasi 'yun, at nakakatuwang malamang narating na rin pala niya.

Kaya eto, we're both boarding a new flight to destination unknown. Because this is the first time we're both having this kind of relationship -- na maluwag, ang zen, masaya, swak kami sa likes and dislikes (with a 5% margin of error),napapag-usapan ang conflicts, nabubura agad ang tampo mode, malambing at mapagmahal, at nagkakaintindihan sa maraming bagay na napapag-usapan -- and best of all, we're traveling light. Admittedly, we still have our own respective emotional baggage with us, na with the help of each other, we're slowly pushing off the counter, one by one. I don't think we will be meaty characters if we didn't have issues and struggles to begin with, but we're also human to know when we need to ask for help or admit defeat. 

Yeah, 17 months, and we can still talk like the way we did when we first met. Our supposed business meeting turned into a 5-hour friendly chikahan over coffee and cigs. Nakakatuwang kausap ang taong marami kang ka-share din sa venn diagram of your life -- peyups, masscomm grad, batang 90s etc. -- at nakakatuwa ring pakinggan ang mga unshaded unshared parts ng respective diagrams ninyo. I mean fotangenah, the fact na alam niya kung ano ang venn diagram says a lot! Hahaha sensya niya at talagang ang lola mo, kung anu-ano kasi ang pinatulan sa past! Kaya minsan, napapahirit nga kami ng ganyan, like: 

Her: Kelangan ko na uminom ng vitamin b complex para mas ganahan ang brain ko, or so I believe. Panacea lang ba ang peg.

Me: Gosh, I love it that I am with someone who uses the term panacea! Hahaha!

'Yan, ganyan, dami naming moments na ganyan, 'yung "I love it that I am with someone who understands/knows _____." Believe me, ang sarap ng feeling ng ganitong level of sharing. Or at least for me. And her. Kaya we know we work. And we know we will work, now and in the future. 

The fact that we both liked Mule pala in the '90s 
was like a huge bonding moment hahaha. 
Mag-jowang manginginom ang peg pare. 
(June 2015 abode)


Dami talagang naiisip kapag nakapagkape na ano? Super. Lalo na't bumalik na naman ang aking favorite coffee partner: si choco malt.


Tapos nung isang araw, my sister shared this on FB:

Which resonated with me. Because that was how I felt with her, my sweetheart, in the beginning. And hey, look how it paid off naman now.

Kaya another thing I'm mulling over lately is this decision to go back to a life I already left: the academe.

I guess it's not that easy to shake off a heartbreak especially when you're in a long-term relationship. Teaching in my alma mater for 8 years is the longest relationship I've kept in my life. And for them to fuck me over was just foul. I don't want to go into the nitty gritty details here, but the bottomline is this: Sometimes it's braver to just walk away. I've already done my serbisyong publiko enough in that stint, got awards and accolades to boot, but if colleagues are so insecure of me that they prefer to oust me, then so be it. Maybe being there is not really for me. Maybe I have better places to go to, better institutions where I could perform better, institutions that will nurture me instead of lead me to decay. 

This is what I'm talking about up there, actually, ruminating in Filipino. I've been invited to teach in a new college kasi...and I just accepted. Well, working on it. But it's 90% good to go, because they want me and they need me. Sure, another department in my alma mater also made ligaw to me like that. Kaya lang, nadismaya din ako doon in the end kasi they were still trying to play safe at hininto ang panliligaw sa akin nung tingin nila ay madi-displease ang powers that be na hate na hate ang magnanimity ko. Nakaka-disappoint lang siguro na sisiraan ka nila gayong wala ka namang ginagawang harm sa kanila. Minsan, nakakapagod ding lumaban, kahit nasimulan mo na. My dad even told me na by quitting, nagpapatalo ako sa kanila. Siyempre I don't believe that. Because I don't believe I quit; I just moved on, c'est tout. And that's all there is to that.

So yes, this new college, I guess I could say it. Miriam College. Department of Communications called me up, where a friend and colleague I met in the UNESCO Bangkok conference I attended two years ago invited me to teach. Forced actually hahaha kasi nga she knows the peyups narrative at di ko pa feel mag-teach ulit then. Mainit-init at greaseless pa ito nung year na nag-meet kami sa BKK kaya naikuwento ko sa kanila. It pays to network talaga in this life (story of my life) kaya ayan, new opportunities open. 

I just did a teaching demo sa kanila earlier this week and patok na patok naman sa kanila. They're excited to have me, actually, and I feel happy about that. Ang simple lang, pero ang saya. And yeah, I think this will be a good decision for me, sabi nga din ng sweetheart ko. Basta lang daw walang patulan sa mga possible hitad na baka magka-crush sa akin hahaha kaloka at may ganung factor. Love this woman to bits.


This past couple of months na nanahimik ako sa social media life are months na binalikan ko ulit ang isa pang old flame: filmmaking. 

Sino'ng butch? Astig si direk mode 
while fellow sapphic prod team member shoots. 
Pink peso at work here, and 
feminist filmmaking to boot. Lavet. 
(May 2015 Mandaluyong) 

My sweetheart engaged me to help their office realize a short film they want to show sa kanilang office anniversary event. So of course I helped. Kakatuwa ring bumalik sa buhay na ito from time to time. At dito ko din napatunayang my sweetheart and I could work together well, at walang pikunan in the middle of stressful situations. And most of all, hindi inuuwi ang pagod at stress sa bahay at naipapagpag namin ito para hindi sumama sa amin. 

Small rakets that count: showing day of the short film. 
I'm happier to help with my filmmaking skills in this manner, 
actually. While I enjoy mainstream efforts, I never really pursue it 
until it pursues me. I'm good with what life offers 
and I'm good with the offers I take on as well. 
(June 2015 EDSA Shangri-la)

Ang saya lang, to be with someone na magaan ang loob katrabaho, tapos jowa mo pa. The hardest part there is 'yung pagpipigil namin to show affection towards each other sa harap ng officemates niya hahaha. Heraf! Eh ma-hug at ma-kiss pa naman kami especially during moments when we need it (to deflect stress and negativities baga).

Pitik mode came back din when I photo-covered the event. 
Will work for food ang peg, basta si sweetheart ang kasama. 
Na-miss ko rin namang hagurin si Nona-cam ko. 
(June 2015 EDSA Shangri-la)

I guess this is why I can say I'm totally zen about this. Because the major parts of my life are working well right now. And working in sync pa. Harmoniously. Sarap lang teh. Sarap lang. Now I can focus on the "smaller" parts I've been neglecting for some time now, mainly fiction writing, or personal creative writing. Na sinisimulan ko na pramis!!! Hahaha baka singilin na naman ako ng aking guardian devangels diyan kasi tagal ko nang pangako ito hahaha. In fact, I set up a wattpad account for it to get me started again. Eto o, read muna previous material while I'm setting up the new ones k.

At ang isa ko ring kabatuhan sa larangang ito ay ang aking sweetheart. Editor ko na, content ka-chikahan ko rin. Hay, oo na, sorry at syrupy na talaga ito. When you speak the truth kasi sometimes, it just...resonates. I guess.

I don't know. I guess I've never been this happy yet in my life, kaya gusto ko lang i-share. Baka kasi may mapulot kayo. At hindi ako nang-iinggit ha. Pramis.

Heniweys hemingway, sige back to work muna akesh at mahaba na ang ruminations na itey. 

Be well, folks.

And be proud. Always. 


  1. Dear Libay,

    Bago ang lahat: Congratulations sa iyong bagong academic gig.

    Matagal-tagal na din akong nakikibasa sa blog mo. Pero recently ko lang dinalaw ang mga archives para mabasa ang backstories nung ibang latest posts.

    I like what you said:

    "we talk about issues in an emotional way, but calm pa rin. And what she said stuck to me: na kung ganun namin i-deal ang possible conflicts (in a zen-ish way), then we're definitely gonna grow old together."

    Kung lahat ng magsing-irog ganyan ang approach sa relationship and communication, bihira lang siguro mga umaatikabong away. Kung titignan mo ang simple ng solusyon sa miscommunication which is proper communication. Simple, pero daming di nakakagets or ayaw nilang i-gets(?).

    Salamat sa pag-share mo ng iyong mga iniisip at saloobin dito at doon sa POC column mo. Marami akong natututuhan.

    1. Salamat sa comment Chellet. Sensya na at muntik na namang umabot sa isang taon ang pagdalaw ko dito ulit. Pero salamat pa rin sa patuloy na pagbabasa. Comment pa more pag meron. Salamat!