Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Portal at Room 206

It was night at Room 206 when it was day outside,
The drapes in auburn and black fall like veils taunting time.
They fall down deep into the mystique recesses of two souls,
Far, distant they thwart two worlds.

The lone window shrouded and now opaque,
Like a fortress, it gave sanctuary for us to revel,
The warmth of nights, without light,
Only a gleam that escapes the drapes,
Glowing there at two corners,
Tamed yet foreboding.

Like a portal to a hostile world,
It speaks no reason against happiness.
We have our own here at Room 206.
Though one departs early than the morning zephyr,
One says I am here.
The other whispers, the memory will live.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life is a metaphor

My love to moonlight caused this poem. It read:

5:18 in the afternoon

my sunshine,

let me be the wind that gently brushes your face
the melody that echoes through time and space.
let me be your light when the stars in heaven aren't so bright
to walk with you in path's so dimly lit.

your face is like the breaking of dawn
the very promise of a new day,
the dusk that soothes my worried mind
that gives me the best of good nights.

the face that made me glow everyday in our stay,
that makes me smile in every glance i make
the face that i want to see before retiring the day,
the very same to see the morning i awake.

i painted you in my memories,
with vivid colors that i made.
i will treasure you, today, tomorrow and the days to come,
framed with love and sealed by fate .

Early in the day, I made this in response,

For you, moonlight, 6:27 am

you're so far, yet so near.
you seemed to have brought with you
the joys left
in this solitary soul.

but mornings are like
sweet souvenirs.

i remember now
like strings gently swayed,
that your heart kissed mine
and stamped a mark
that glowed together
with the break of dawn
to remind me that
our love springs eternal.

a cycle unbroken
by time and distance

Sunday, October 19, 2008


A lot of things happened I should say. It has been a very, very long month that has mutated into years. I have waited for six months for the bar to come and another six months for the results. I have been incognito for a long time because the whole process almost sucked the marrow left in my life. I still didn't give up the flat I rented back in the university and I couldn't imagine the feeling when I return there next week to pack my books and my other belongings. The picture of the narrow pathway shadowed by plush acacia trees, the lonely walks there for months rain or shine, the silent houses I pass through, the patio of the nearby hotel where someone plays beautiful pieces on the piano every Friday nights. All of it that has become part of me, I never said goodbye to when I discreetly left.

The exam was truly a heartbreaker, not to mention a shatterer of health, sanity, and well-being in itself. I had ulcer because of stress and the pain caused by it still lingers up to now. I hope it would still be cured through medication. I am quite fearful of the visit to the doctor tomorrow.

Sometimes I am left with the thought. . what would I do next? I know it's a general feeling of most of those who took the bar but what delineates me from them would surely be the quality of support system I have. Loosely I would say, I have myself and the world. All the brunt I take as they come.

And then there was this transient love. A love grown out of peek-throughs. Peek-throughs through the heart. How fond it is to rekindle the experience and live through it day by day. It's one of the reasons I try to exist and live now.Would you believe?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wake me up when September Ends

A pail of tears, now.

I remember you, thirty thousand fishes, drifting in a pond like fallen silver leaves catching the last rays of light in that morose afternoon.

Would there be bliss when September ends?

Thank you, Mom. My confidant, my comrade in battle.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Post to Heaven

19th August 2008

Dear Lord,

The last time I wrote to you as far as I could remember was 8 years ago. I remember that I made the letter in one afternoon. I just came from the school empty-handed, troubled, and embattled. I had only 1,50o pesos in my hands and my tuition costs around 4,000 pesos. It was supposed to be my second semester, my first year in college. I had survived the past semester full of hope that the university would finally grant the subsidy I have requested. Unfortunately, it did not.

It was an afternoon. I am resolved to go back to the province to scour every possibility of getting additional money from whomever. I remember that I suggested then to You that my sister in Dagupan help me. I remember telling you that it seemed to me that it was the only possibility. But I came home just the same, empty-handed, troubled and embattled. I kept the letter, slipping it in between the pages of a dilapidated dictionary I left back in my Baguio apartment. It actually survived after so many years. My sister accidentally read it few years ago. She told me that she cried while reading it. It was also read by my little brother, Mark. He asked me later if he could do the same. I told him that yes he could write to You whenever he wants to tell You things he would rather keep to himself.

When I tell my friends now that You work in mysterious ways, I remember the things that happened after I wrote that letter.

The day after I arrived in the province, people from the Student assistance Department at the University surprisingly visited and did some interview. The head, Manang Pen Facunla offered assistance right away without any solicitation and told me to go back to Baguio. She would later be You, dear Lord, supporting me all the way until I graduated. She gave me a job, private scholarship. Without her, there seemed to be no silver lining.

As I look back, I wonder if that letter was not written at all. Would You have performed a miracle just the same? I recently bought a handy Bible. A friend reintroduced me to You. One of my favorite passages is Ephesians 3:20. It speaks a lot about what happened. You spoke that You will do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of; infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hope.

I am writing on a used paper. I hope You don't mind. I felt the conviction to write again to You about a plea coming from my heart. Few days from now, I will take the Bar exams. The greatest challenge so far and a key to what will I become years from now. Dear Lord, I wouldn't have reached this far without You lifting and carrying me everytime I falter down the road of life. You blessed and showered me your graces more than what I deserve. You gave me this flat with me effortlessly cashing out money. You gave me true friends who supported me up to the Bar review. You gave me a mother who specially sent me a smile from far away just to remind me that there are millions of reasons to pursue this dream and to take the challenge with a mighty heart.I couldn't ask for more.

Thank you Lord. while I continue to hurt You every now and then, please understand that I will always be your Son who always searched and yearned for You at the end of the day.

And while the days are closing in, I want to tell You that I will remember to walk the path You have opened and showed me.

The letter I once wrote was made yellowish by time, moisture has blotted the blue ink. But still it remains Lord and so is your unconditional love and my enduring faith.

Your son

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Everything Gone

I am just trying to fill up a white blank space right in front of me. There’s not much to tell you about my thoughts and my life right now. I am technically saturated right now with so much information in my head to the point that my brain had become a full-blown sui generis in a matter of months. With all the legalese, I hope not to tell anybody I come across tomorrow, a caveat, that I don’t mince words right now. All I think now is that there’s a storm yesterday and downpour tomorrow.

It is late, 20 minutes past 10 o’clock in the evening. I am tapping on the keyboard, still staring on the computer screen, the blank space slowly taking form. I am annoyed by the kid standing at my left side coaching his friend mouthing words I don’t understand. Their group had just left and I am alone now in the shop. Chairs empty, static computer screens, the breathe of the CPU is silence.

The inflation has been soaring wildly says the news. The President ignoring the latest survey showing that most of her constituents hate her, more than they hate the past two despots. Students are on the streets lately in protest of the rising costs of everything and the apparent misdeeds of the government. My sympathy is with them. I too, want to join street protests if I have the luxury to indulge. Sorry for the word. To me, time is diamond in these difficult times. Even the lowly mangangalakal would tell you that there is so much in the garbage right now and he won’t miss the chance and let others take the loot. Even the child at bombero would tell you that shining shoes for the indifferent passengers in jeepneys stopping along PhilSci is the heart of the matter. What do I mean by this? Well, it’s so simple the poor is chained with time, they could not do the clamor.

I had my chance to join street protests back in college. The one I joined which benefited me directly was the call for the abolishment of ROTC. Bleh. What is needed to spur up the enthusiasm of the people to flood the streets and barge into the gates of Malacanang to demand what is just I don’t know. Few and few people are joining rallies maybe because there won’t be any result anyway. And that is painfully true. Who would the poor people turn to in these times, where soup kitchen is so much an important event than, say, a rally. That the President and every politician in the country are demons being a factoid doesn’t anymore bring about constant harangues. People are sick and tired; and they still have work to do for them to end the day with eyes open, pulse beating.

Are the Filipino people too helpless? So I ask. Class D and E doesn’t require any such question anymore. Class B and C, not too much. But is it really a matter of socioeconomic classes, so I ask again. Filipino refers to every natural-born whether he belongs to any of such classes. But, where’s the unified Filipino spirit? Gone?

How could we pounce on the government if there’s no unity in our actions as a people? But who will lead us? There’s got to be a leader. Help me on this, but have you identified any? Where are leaders produced? Someone says in UP. The so-called pillar of leadership. But where are they? Someone says they joined forces with the government. Another one says they’re too busy attending to the centennial celebrations. My gawd! The First Quarter Storm days gone? Gone, gone, gone.

Everything gone. . .Please UP Bangon! Hindi ka lang pang UAAP!

My sanity, please be with me.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

To Slay the Dragon

Therapied. If there's such a word. I'm back determined to slay the dragon. Life's too short for me to make it shorter.

"A Prayer"
(by Max Ehrmann)

Let me do my work each day; and if the darkened hours of despair
overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me
in the desolation of other times.

May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over
the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of a quiet
river, when a light glowed within me, and I promised my early God
to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.

Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded
moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit.
Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be
such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift up my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the
stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever
burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within
sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for
life, and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet; and
may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Leaving you,

Tracing footsteps once left. Will say goodbye to you for now to find something. Thank you for following me. Sorry to leave you behind. . .

Tribute to you for being with me in those times. . .

Till then.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I took the train one Monday night never minding the flood of people joining in the rush. It was drizzling outside as crisp charges of light illuminate the dark sky. It was no cold to be out there that night. The city remained as it was . . . hot weather, bawling cars, infinite chatter. James Blunt's concert was at 8 pm at the Coliseum. I left home temporarily for this one. Left my books half-open, room's partially lit, the scent of sadness enveloping the room locked behind closed doors.

I was happy for a moment to hear hymns for lost souls played live. James Blunt made me feel better for a while. As I sat there at a dark spot where darkness seethed, the music entered my nerves and broke me into pieces. The atomized pieces of me were like the scene from the street few minutes before the rain: garland of yellow scallops falling gently into the air as small birds swoop into the descending petals; the birds trying to catch and save it from gravity.

James Blunt sang as if he was once in the hollows of the earth and that he knew everything. . .his music conveyed and crossed, probably, all human emotions. He wailed, laughed, made eccentric things like banging his head while playing the piano and erratic waltzing while strumming the guitar. He sang my favorite “I’ll take everything” like there’s no tomorrow. . .extending his left arm pointing to the vacuum in everyone’s spirit as he mellowed through the line in the chorus.

James Blunt made my night. It was a once in a lifetime experience to see him sing live at the Coliseum and to see myself mirrored before his songs. . .before everyone in the nameless crowd trying to digest a sad truth before us: that music is passion. . .and that passion couldn’t always come as easy with one’s life like in music and in any other art.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Losing strangeness, taking pains

The storm yesterday left as quickly as a transient tourist. The strong winds blew off roofs, branches and leaves of trees, and more leaves for minutes then the wind dissipated. Fresh leaves blanketed roads and pathways as if it was deliberately done, unfortuitously, created by some art maniac installing a 3d art. Left the house at about 3 o'clock to buy lunch and upon seeing the swarm of wet litter a passing thought kicked up a rumpus in my mind.

Summer has ended once more and it's the start of the rainy season. The transition's really too fast leaving no traces to remember that yesterday's only summer. It's been a month since I arrived here in my new home as a stranger. The place has been very hospitable to me that a month's adjustment didn't even get a bruise out of the cynic in me. There's this new friend a 5-year-old. His name is James, the grandson of my landlord who frequently visits my flat in 'unusual' moments. He would barge in my room without me knowing it. He would come as if he knew me a long time ago and happy to know that finally he'd met me again. The boy would climb up to me, never taking any apprehension of disturbing my reading sessions, he would try to sit on my lap. The last time he visited he was so enthusiastic about another horror story from me. He would listen with so much intent but would always be terrified in the end asking me to cut the story short. And that would always make me laugh.

He would ease moments of pain which I've been frequently succumbing into.

Many successful Bar passers are telling that you should leave all your baggages whatever they may be when you jump into your review, for you not to lose focus. I have tried to leave all those baggages behind. Sadly, they've been here with me all along. . .haunting me like ghosts in the night. It's been a struggle for me the past few weeks to take control and to force my nose in a book. It's been an overwhelming emotional battle which left me thinking very deep into the pitch-black well of my past. And that the logical becomes rather an elusive and restraining issue for me now is inexplainable. At some moments I take a pause in studying and look far beyond my vision's reach and ask myself who I am, where I am.

Am I losing this battle? Will I be able to halt and reverse this downward spiral?

There are times when I want to take on a job for some kind of diversion, but that too would necessarily divert me from my review. It's my dilemma lately. . .losing at both ends.. .

Yes, my friend, I've been struggling. I'll try my best not be knocked off by these emotions. I'll try my best to survive even if it means more wounds, more scars to bear. . . This is torment in its purest form. The defining element and storyline of this boy's life.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Remains of the Day

For you, moonlight

May 9th, 6:15 am

the remains of the day gently flowed within my longing heart
assuaging the loneliness caused by your absence
your beauty mirrored upon my mind
every minute, every second that passes
you will always be here locked in the warmth of my spirit, the essence my being
the sweetness of your voice, the scent of your body will be carried by the wind that will always reach me here on my bed as i wake up like before
longing to feel you next to me
our body and soul intertwined in a beautiful morning
the wind will reach me here on my bed
as i wake up hoping to hear it whisper that you will be there waiting for me even if it means forever

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Perfume

It's not that easy living alone. I've been trying to live by myself for more than a decade now but the sad fact is that I still find even the narrowest of spaces oblique and cold. I will always be a warrior, a wounded one.

A warrior of light
is capable of understanding the miracle of life,
fighting to the end for something
in which he believes and, then,
listening to the bells that the sea sets
ringing on the seabed.
(Manual of the Warrior of Light)


I always find reading a refuge. This is one of those pieces I will never forget and will forever relate with.

Forwarded mail. June, 2001


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of
she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her
students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was
impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a
boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he
did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy
that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in
marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then
a big "F" at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson
taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put
Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in
a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready
laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners. He is a joy to be

His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well
liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a
terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle!"

His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on
him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest
and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't
show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he
sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed
of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas
presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for
Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper
that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it
in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to
laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones
missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she
stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the
bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her
wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long to say,
"Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to."
After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.
Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular
attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come
alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the
end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the
class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the
Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her
that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then
wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was
still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things
had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and
would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He
assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher
he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time
he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go
a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and
favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer,
the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter
that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be
married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago
and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the
wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that
bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she
made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered!
his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs.
Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me.
Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me
that I could make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said,
"Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that
I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Sanctuary

Whole week has passed. It has not been hard for me to adjust to a new environment as I have thought. I am lodged here at an unknown flat, an unknown place where different modes of nuisance abound yet comfort and silence play intercourse like fighters drawn to dripping blood.

There’s not much to talk about a community of illegal settlers. They’re here to have roofs above their heads like anybody else. Houses here are a lot more decent than what you might think. Here in my rented space I have my own sink, my own bath, my own bed, a foldable table, a chair, an antique bed to look and gaze at when my eyes get tired of looking at words ad infinitum. Outside my dwelling is a garden where two tall trees stand. Their fruits and leaves occasionally fall and litter the ground.

Am always reminded by my portly landlord who always catches his breath to lock the gate and have a separate padlock for the front door. Just to be sure that my belongings will be secure from thieves. As long as thieves won’t learn to eat books I will definitely survive. I brought three big boxes of books from Baguio and they’re now lined up waiting to be read by this slacker in me who’s more interested in reading fiction M & M

Murakami & S. Meyer. Thank God they’re nowhere to be found.

The Bar, yes the Bar. Thinking of it gives me feverish thoughts. I want to believe there’s such a thing as sadism by way of loading your brain with too much information. But, the painting of Michael O’Toole remains an icon. It’s entitled Racing the Wind. A sailboat on a tough spot amidst rough waters. The strong wind drawn through high waves in a deep blue shade. I bought it three years ago. It now found its place on a barren white-washed wall. It would always follow its owner’s changing sanctuary.


A drifting message in a bottle has found its way to the shores, west. Thanks to you Lydia for filling something in me that’s long been empty. It’s just that I couldn’t find the right word to describe that filled space. I hope you continue to pursue your interest in learning to play the violin. A teacher once told me that it’s never too late to bow the strings and produce the most sacred sound on earth. I enrolled as a beginner back in December 2006 only after years of planning and yearning. It’s a joy to realize a childhood dream. Follow the beat of your heart always and you’ll find happiness.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Today's the second day of our bar review and I am already exhausted because of the stifling heat. Yesterday's temperature surged to 38°C. The review hall's four heavy-duty air conditioners didn't work against the heat. Everybody still perspired and made their own way of fanning the heat out.

Don't have so much to tell you about how the review process is going. There's nothing to talk about yet because I'm still primping my mind. I have to pretend to be organized as yet and make a schedule. The sad fact is that there's so much trying involved. And that must not be. Call that the Great Squander. Yes. And I am losing balance.

The heat. Yes, the heat is stifling.

And there's a lot of Old school here. A lot of old man with hoarse voices. From the black woofers a blast from the past; a redolent feel of listening from a 60's radio show; from a vintage radio.

Bulging eyes, sagging face, thick lenses, the old man welcomed the 700-strong crowd like an announcer at a circus show. Welcome, welcome. If there's one thing I remember from his long speech it's about the call to Redemption. Sheer redemption, yes. “By way of passing the Bar, you will be redeemed of your mistakes, of all your sins from the past.” How true, how true.

Amidst the stifling heat, you indeed made a horrible assumption. And what is that you told about: “Yes we're willing to give you a mock bar after July. . .yes we, will. . .if (devilish grin) you will give us something for our effort.” Oh, please repair your air conditioning system first will you?

The heat. Yes, the heat is stifling. And I don't want to be redeemed anytime soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Magistrates at the Forest

Last night was a rather monumental evening. We had dinner at the renowned Forest House along Loakan Rd. at half past 8 with friends having a dismal experience over a research “deadbeat” action. You know, burning-the-midnight-oil-until-there’s-nothing –left-to-be-burned drama for the sake of keeping within the hour of donor moguls right up there. That’s what soon to be discovered donor-driven life is. (Credits for me please!) Hahaha

The resto’s country appeal is reminiscent of the log cabins of the by-gone era-the breathe of Legends of the Fall minus the sepia look on faces. People here come and go for the experience not much for the menu although the cakes are great. So we’re there last night full of gaiety fast approaching until we realized how the political crisis months ago was replaced by the food crisis, what a shocking transition.

We sat by the veranda which is close to a ravine, casually exchanged discourses until someone announced that the SC justices are there sitting at a long table. What they’re feasting I didn’t see; their mumblings I didn’t hear but I did see Justice Chico-Nazario’s face enthralled at being serenaded by angelic voices beside the piano. I thought probably an en banc decision is in the brew right there, that night. Maybe, deliberations in restaurants are becoming the fad again hehe or just maybe they’re just there period.

Personalities are populating the restaurant that night, indeed. After a while, a group of oldies sat beside our table. I recognized that the bald old man was Lumbera and the woman wearing thick glasses was Pantoja-Hidalgo; my cue was, okay, the group was talking about poetry. What do I expect?

After being “star struck”, for lack of term of feeling dumbfounded at the fact that I didn’t know about Tuesday’s being Personalities Night and that Wednesday’s is Ordinary Night, our group remained constant in dealing with the rice shortage. People in the province are lining up in NFA warehouses for 1 kilo of rice while families there in Sagada are much well-off with rations from DepEd. Sec. Yap was quoted as saying that what matters is the sufficiency of rice in the country and that he doesn’t damn mind if the people can’t afford it. Sufficiency, Yap, sufficiency. Being a mere minion, Yap lives true to the faith of his master. Because he don’t damn mind the price of rice, his master approves that the solution to this is to increase the wages of the labor force anew. Yes, and she’s an economist. Thank you Gloria but it’s like this: You want to increase your height, so that you won’t embarrass yourself any more by asking your assistant to put a high stool at the podium every time you address people, and drink Growee.

So we’re there at Forest House last night enjoying the evening with the SC justices and the men and women of letters of the land. I just don’t know but I feel like a scene in Storm in June is brought to life and the macabre in O’Hara’s Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos reenacted. Weird.

Monday, April 7, 2008

LlB, (Sigh)

“A white briefcase for you my child.”

“What’s inside?”

“Tools for you to beckon when you grow up. Did you say you wished to be a doctor?”


Nineteen years ago when I was about to turn six, my father gave me a present encapsulated in a med kit complete with stethoscope, syringes, gauzes, matchboxes with Rx imprints on it, sets of syringes again, a pen, and a prescription pad. The tools were very much in place they don’t run about there assigned spaces even when you toggle the med kit. The syringes had a Velcro to secure them, so too are the stethoscope and the others.

I played around that med kit with my sisters, trying to be the astute role-player diagnosing the baby dolls and teddy bears of illnesses I have heard from eavesdrops. Little Ana has cancer. . .Baby has tuberculosis afterwhich I will doodle on the prescription pad like doctors do because I still don’t know how to write.

Eventually, everyone got tired of the new toy until it found its way a feet under the soil. Like old toys do. My mother believed that someone steals our toys but lore has it that at the least, two-year olds are dug deep into a hole at the yard. Chickens would run afoul at the hornet’s nest and would search for feed around the area with all the burrowing until the old toys are uncovered. It would always follow a scream of cacophony. . .from my mother. hehe

A year after that when my father had his vacation again, the same thing was his present to me. Apparently, my mother told him that the first white briefcase was destroyed.

A year after that I had a stethoscope, a real one.

Two years after that, he bought a whole set of medical encyclopedia.

A decade had passed, and I saw myself choosing between economics and mass communication. I chose the former because it sounded money and our family is in dire need of it. Reality bit me so hard I found myself, after earning degrees in economics and psychology, submitting resumes and getting rejected twice.

And then my father wanted to me to enroll to a college . . . of law. Apparently, because he wanted to use me to get back at his second wife for a breach of promise to marry-after all of his fortune went to the drain and it’s better if his son would pursue the case for free.

Four years after, I finally earned this law degree (although million steps closer to being a full-blown attorney in shining armor of his dream). I am consequentially happy. Far from being a law degree holder, I took a leave from self-torture (because there’s still the Bar) and I am waiting for someone to tell me something like: “You did one hell of a high-wire act. Bravo!”

I am consequentially happy, right. Because I never saw myself reach this far. And I want to end my life story with a happy ending the way the story “The Perfume” ended. There’s a million reasons to stay put when all appear to be in shambles. There’s my benefactor for one who remained the anonymous payor to a lot of paychecks. (Please, reveal your identity now!) And friends who dragged me all the way up to here not minding if I sustain bruises, cuts inches deep and all. Thanks to you.

. . And God who responded to a letter I sent Him on a stormy night.

I need nothing but prayers for the Bar. Please pray for me.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Shut Up JDV!!!!

I'm sure pundits have seen the recent interview of JDV in ANC regarding the controversial tripartite agreement between Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines that is the JMSU. The right word to describe it is: fanaticism.

JDV is so enthusiastic on the perceived results of the joint exploration going to the extent of defending it even if its validity and the regularity it went through is in question. I can't say that JDV hasn't flexed his oratorical skills this time. He was so articulate as usual and the substance of his rhetorics doesn't go by the humbug. The man behind me asked: Ricky Carandang wasn't able to crash the gates? He didn't because basically JDV was so domineering. I asked: Would someone like JDV allow himself to admit something which will make him a clown on national TV?

He boasted that Philippines will no longer take a longer route to find oil because the technical expertise of the Chinese will ensure that oil be produced and delivered to Filipinos from nearby Spratlys. He boasted that Filipinos will no longer be burdened by the high-priced oil and that electricity rates will go down. Oh well, then that'll be good for Juan dela Cruz. He bragged about the Philippines joining the bandwagaon of economic intergovernmentalism. According to him, the JMSU will pave the way for regional cooperation between Asian States. JDV said: Like the euro there will only be one Asian currency. . .the peso will no longer be a peso but will form part of a strong Asian currency. Like duh? so much braggadocio of you JDV, this is only a tripartite agreement Asia does not comprise of China, Vietnam and the Philippines only and the JMSU if you haven't dissected its essence yet, it is a joint exploration, you oil man! If there's a union it will create out of the agreement it will simply be a union of greedy and foolish states-the foolish states compromising whatever sovereignty that's left in them for the sake of what have you.

JDV, the statesman, right then and there averred that the JMSU will prevent war between claimant states. According to him, rather than the Philippines risking itself to go into war it should necessarily ink this deal. Yeah, and JDV is claiming himself to be a statesman while talking of a too sensitive topic such as a war too prematurely which even China has not been heard of mentioning. JDV also mentioned a jargon: the doctrine of auto-limitation. But, this doctrine could only be applied on the premise that an international agreement has been validly agreed upon which in the case of JMSU is not present and auto-limitation as far as I know does not definitely cover elements which create a State such as giving up part of the State's claimed territory.

Take for example the treaty between East Timor and Australia, JDV enthused. According to JDV, East Timor is now reaping the fruits of the treaty. The what? Clearly East Timor's experience is not parallel to the Philippines. East Timor is a new country which is prone to compromises while leaving its power of self-determination in the shadows. Philippines has been independent since time immemorial; it can't definitely act in the way East Timor gave up its claims over the Timor Sea. And again what fruits are you talking about? East Timor has nothing but the left-over from the buffet "bullish" Aussies had munched over. It seems you're not updated.

What else, JDV?

You might as well take a bow. The night is over. Please seal your lips forever.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lost Tune

Rush of cold wind pounds heavily on the glass window creating silent noises; the creaking of the dilapidated door, the rustling leaves, the tranquil sound of wind chimes and howls from stray cats. The fusion of these sounds reminds me of a lost tune, melody and lyrics which kept on playing round my mind albeit so soft and low like the sound of a breath. The song which left me imagining about the beauty of a sunset, the smell of moistened hay in the morning, the tiny ripples in the river caused by the breeze coming from the north.

You’re lying in that small hut. Tired and exhausted by the day’s work. You feel the cold wind enter the little openings on the wall soothe your burned skin. The night is silent and you could see the crescent moon and wonder if you could really sit on its tail and fish stars. A blurred sound comes out from an old radio. You could barely hear and decipher the lyrics but the melody resounded a deep thought that crossed boundaries. It broke your heart. A teardrop for a barren and void feeling flowed through the temple into the ear.

The song is being sung by the cold wind. I have just finished reading Irene Nemirovsky’s two-part novel. I leafed through the pages once more.

“Music is a demanding mistress. You can’t abandon her for four years. When you return to her, you find she’s gone.”

. . .Like a passing glint of a coin submerging in a murky water as it catches the last rays of light? Still, I said to myself that I will be her lover forever even in absence; even in abandonment.

When I was a little child I remember asking my grandmother about a virtuoso she’d known.

“What had happened with your uncle’s violin?”

“It was sold after he got sick and nothing could be spent for his medication. It was the saddest part. To let go of something which became a part of his life.”

“Could we still find it and buy it back?”

“Of course my child, but not now.”

"I have few pesos here. Would this be enough?

A smile made her eyes glitter for a moment.

"If it could only be that easy my child. But, you could always wish for it if you want."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Noble Tea Project, On Whoring around and the Best Scandal I’ve Ever Seen

I have finally came to terms with the bouts of depression I have been going through for the past months. Basically, because of the fact that I am officially resigned from my job where most of the root pains come from. To me, it was kind of a graceful exit. There were hurt feelings, okay. But ultimately, I am relying that time will heal it and those scars will find its way to erudition. For in those years where I forced myself to learn a job which required mostly sitting on a chair, fortunately, the grasps of reality providentially poured down right into that finance cave where I lie. Stories from afar that breathed rich exchanges from the grassroots. Stories related by a friend-confidant that compensated clear enough the vacuum I felt while doing an NGO work. Yet, I still have to kill the sentiments of leaving physically the place where I have become attached to. First, the office, of course. Second, the cat. Third, the schizo.

And so now for the meantime I’ll just be working here in my flat during the day and have classes in the evening. A generous friend has got me something to busy myself with. I called it the Noble Tea Project. I was assigned to do web content for a tea site his company will put up soon. The income from that will surely help to augment my savings for the bar review which will start on April at the UP Law Center. Hopefully, my millionaire-friend (gasem!) will be true to his words and sponsor all the rest of the expenses. I am just a bit uncomfortable dealing with him because he speaks in dollars and most of the time when he throws numbers I have trouble doing calculations with the ever fluctuating exchange rates. haha

* * *

The rain is pouring heavily on the roofs this afternoon spoiling the Flower Festival in this mountain city to my delight. A friend of mine asked why I call Baguio a mountain city rather than the infamous portrayals of public officials like City of Pines or City of Character (Yuck!, I want to puke). . .because they’re all lies. I call Baguio a mountain city to depict the barren slopes and the reprehensible land use proffered by the desires of government officials to bring in jobs so they say, to bring in tourists. I’m reading the daily just now and it reported that the Panagbenga will expect 200,000 visitors. Oh my gawd! That’s a gargantuan flock!

You should see how Baguio looks like after the two parades. It’s like a raped city mourning over the stolen puri. In Burnham park where tourists/vandals are allowed to put up tents as early as eve of the main events, garbage including human waste is everywhere. Too grotesque. Water is scarce during these days to accommodate the needs of tourists in hotels and commercial establishments so that water supply is diverted to these b*******s to the prejudice of local households. The local government boasts of the influx of tourists as, allegedly, it will translate to income. Yes, they’re right! The festival will definitely bring in floods of money for loot. Loot by none other than the City Hall evils and bitches to borrow the name-tags being mouthed against the President. A recent report by the Commission on Audit here questions: where has the Panagbenga “Trust” Fund gone??? The hundreds of millions of income generated by the City Government out of corporate sponsors like SMART was reportedly missing. For venturing in another event like this, the City Government could no less than be whoring around at the expense of such a pristine place like Baguio. There is really no such Baguio in Bloom as they advertise and promote to attract tourists. All those flowers used in the festival came from a near-by town. They’re not natives of Baguio. It’s a farce! Just yesterday I have seen these city aides rushing to plant these fancy blossoms along islands in Session Rd. Yes a day before the main event. It’s being pretentious at the extreme level. It’s like a whore trying to dab a make-up to make her saleable after so much drag.

Apathy looms in every corner of the country. Seeing the recent NBN-ZTE scandal grow profusely beyond norms of “clean-corruption” is more than awful. The government stinks. It stinks from within; right here in my place corruption is likewise brazenly executed with impunity. But it’s different when you experience it firsthand. It’s like you want to be a legal murderer for God’s sake because you don’t want those City Officials justify and win over a self-serving resolution allowing the procurement of SUVs to be given to each of them so that they could visit daw their constituents from time to time. Para namang ang lawak lawak ng Baguio! And contrast this vis-à-vis the deteriorating public health system and the exigencies of addressing the concerns of the urban poor. It just sucks. So when I went home one time in the province and caught my father too much engrossed in the proceedings at the Senate I sat at his invitation never minding him asking from time to time what’s my opinion about that conjecture, “how about that objection”. . .I had too much of it. Only to discover after sitting for about an hour in front of the TV screen, Lozada’s face parallel to Atienza’s who is giving his testimony, that I am likewise engrossed already. For the drama and comedy, thanks to the NBN-ZTE scandal.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Swimming through a Slough of Despond


I haven’t written you for a while. It’s just that I’ve been suffering from some kind of sickness which deterred me from indulging in such exercise like this. You know, the past few months had been long and dragging for me. I know you could have well asked if I am okay if you’re here with me now. For some certain reasons, the answer would come necessarily in an instant. I would necessarily say that I am not and I am on the verge of hitting the lowest point that borders on extreme depression. But, here I am anyway; confiding to you the things I could only convey to the blank wall or by way of deleterious stare to nothingness.

If Kundera’s way of speaking such phrase as the condition of the unbearable lightness of being begins to be repugnant and annoying to the senses, it’s like abhorring and rebuking "Einmal ist keinmal" (once is nonce); however true, we have only one life to live and one being to bear that would continuously disrupt the levitative aspect that underlies the premise.

I’ve been bombarded with dissociative experiences lately and one couldn’t just imagine how I live each day with so much desperation. Pictures of myself vividly tell how I grapple with so much burden. . .so much pain. There I am almost losing balance while sitting on a stolid chair as I lie extendedly on the rest as if it was the old rattan which lulled me mostly during siesta there at the province. It happened there at the library. Everybody looked and I was embarrassed. There I am loitering along empty streets few hours before sunrise. I felt sadness at the sudden nocturnal life. I felt I had enough of this world when the radio stations sign off in the middle of the night leaving me with words of prayer: let us have our day’s rest it says. . .so what now? I ask myself. I have yet to finish these deadlines. There I am throwing these bad jokes about considering the mode of ending a perturbed journey: wires? Ropes? Wrist? Woolf’s way. . .which prompted me to tell someone that the reason behind writing about the sea is that I opt to follow Woolf’s path on deciding eternity.

There I am flunking an exam after an exam. I’ve not been performing and sometimes I tell myself that it’s high time to assess although it’s too late. Still, something inside me mysteriously drives my way pass these conundrums. It’s like an antibody. Is this some kind of an epic then? a personal legend, dear guru? Is this leading somewhere to nirvana?

The accountant has a nibble of wisdom to share. While cursing on his worksheets almost tearing them to pieces just because of that 40 centavos he can’t balance, he shrieked. Maybe, like numbers appearing on two opposite sides of the chart, my life also needs to be. . er. . balanced?

I have so much to share. . .This is the end for now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


He’s no stranger to dead silence

Lights beam on this lone performer

Lights beam in a grandstand

To lift those strangers’ spirits high

To lift all their glares right into his balancing act

Life for a night

Captured by the tightrope walk

Spreads his arms into the air

And mind an immeasurable end

Press his weight on the middle of nowhere

Importune everyone’s uproar

Slip and fall!

They fear for him,

And water will pour.

He would seek life on the thin line.

Leave it only to find,

That forever he will be crowned

So that comfort he may find.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


What is it with you, still a hounding mystery.

You calm this wretched spirit like no one can.

As I sit on this enormous rock that sparkles because of tears that dried up,

You hush me in serenity, softly.

You sedate this enduring pain which leaves a hollow mind.

That’s why I long to seek you.

Please, let me feel you once more. Drown me.

Drown my soul.