Bale nakasakay ako sa tricycle kanina papuntang Rotonda kasi pupunta akong UST. Sa loob ako ng sidecar umupo, tinabihan ako ng babae na may sukbit na bag. May akay-akay na aso sa kanang kamay habang nakadikit sa kaliwang tenga ang teleponong hawak ng isa pang kamay. Tila may kausap yung babaeng amo sa teleponong hawak. Una kong tinignan yung aso. Kasi naman, sa 13 taon kong pagsakay sa terminal dito, ngayon lang ako nakaengkwentro ng asong binitbit at pinasakay sa loob ng tricycle kasama ang amo. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, Shih Tzu yung lahi nung aso. Halong puti, itim at brown ang kulay nito.

Sabi nila, swerte raw ang pusa kapag tatlo ang kulay ng balahibo nito. Pati kaya sa aso?

Anyway, hindi ko na winari kung babae o lalake yung aso. Bukod kasi sa natatakpan ng mahahaba at makakapal na balahibo nito ang kanyang etits (o ededs) naisip ko na baka mahuli ako nung amo nya na sinisipat yung pribadong bahagi ng katawan nung kanyang alaga. Mabuti nang mahuli na tao ang sinisilipan kaysa naman hayop. Hayop ka na nga, hayop pa ang trip mo.

Lumarga na yung tricycle matapos itong mapuno. Hindi ako nakapagagahan ngayong araw dahil huli na akong nagising. Napasarap ang tulog dahil sa bagong kabit na aircon sa kwarto. Kaya pagkabangon ko, diretso nang paligo at pagbihis para pumasok. Isang tasang kape at isang basong tubig lang, solb na.
Kung gaano kabilis tumatakbo ang tricycle, ganun naman ang ihip ng maalinsangang hangin na dumadampi sa aking mukha. Okay na sana, kaso parang may halong balahibo yung dalang bulong ng hangin. Pagkasalat ko sa aking mukha, nahipo ko na may balahibo ngang nakaangkla sa pagitan ng labi ko. Kinuha ko yung balahibo at ininspeksyon. Ang putang ina naglalagas ng balahibo habang nasa loob ng tricycle.

Dito ko na minata yung aso. Yung pagmamata na hitik sa poot at malisya. Sa sobrang abala ko sa pangmamata, hindi ko napansin na dinidilaan na pala nya yung bag kong dala. Putanginanggagongtarantadong ito. Napasigaw ako dahil hindi ako yung tipo ng tao na magpapadila ng gamit sa hayop pagkatapos akong pakainin ng balahibo nito sa loob ng tricycle sa ilalim ng nagbabagang maghapon na tubig at kape lang ang umagahan. Nalaman kong nagulat ako dahil agad kong isinara ang aking bibig dahil sa nagbabadyang piraso ng mga balahibo na tumatambay sa hangin, nalaman kong nagulat yung amo nung aso dahil halos nabitawan nya yung hawak nyang telepono. Nalaman kong nagulat yung alaga nya dahil wala na sya doon sa kanyang pinagpupwestuhan.

Sabi nila, kapag itinapon mo raw ang pusa mula sa mas mataas na lugar, palagi itong babagsak sa kanyang mga talampakan.

Tumalon ang putang ina. Yung aso hindi yung amo. Nag-ala superdog pagkatapos magulat sa pagkakasigaw ko. Pero imbes na lumipad, plumakda sya sa espalto at nagpagulong-gulong na parang tsubibong tumira ng shabu. Sampu, kinse, bente. Hindi ko na nabilang yung dami ng ikot na ginawa nung aso.
Pero kahit gusto ko man bilangin yung rotasyon nung katawan nung aso, hinadlangan ako ng 20″ na gulong ng rumaragasang Fortuner. Matapos lang ang ilang segundo, hindi na katawan nung asong nagpatambling tambling ang nakita ko sa kalsada, ngunit ang kaliwang gulong ng kaskaserong Fortuner na madali lang kaming inover-take-an.
Pinilit kong ispatan yung katawan, o kung ano man ang natira, nung aso, pero malayo-layo na rin ang tricycle sa pinangyarihan ng trahedya. Pinilit kong sipatin kung babae ba sya o lalake, pero iniisip ko na baka husagahan ako bilang manyakis ng kanyang amo.

And I therefore conclude na hindi swerte (hindi ko sinasabing malas) ang asong tatlo ang kulay ng balahibo. At hindi rin ito bumabagsak sa kanyang mga talampakan kapag tumalon sya sa gumagalaw na tricycle bago masagasaan ng humaharurot na sasakyan.

Pic related. Parang ganito yung itsura nung aso (bago napisa na akala mo ginulungan ng magmumurang pison)


appreciation for use of photo credited to where credit is due

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Want to hear something corny?
Something corny is lying on my bed during a windy 18 degree Celsius Saturday evening with these thoughts of you clamped like thumbscrews inside my head.
How about something cornier?
Something cornier is having those thoughts of you swoon and waltz to the rhythm of my exhausted and laboured breathing. The idea of you clinches the individual nuts that hold my sanity together. Like a vice grip, slowly spinning, and turning, and twirling and whirling sporadically through intricate motions yet irretrievably bound to its axis.
A recurring flash of familiar hindsight. A daydream cycle. You, you, you. Is something cliché even if it is the truth?
How about something sad?
Something sad is living off these memories of you every day until the dying light. Something sad is holding hands with you while lying on this bed during this sweltering 64 degree Fahrenheit Saturday night.
Something sad is prying your fingers off, as I break mine holding on to these thoughts, ideas, memories, and histories that was and never will be.

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Hear the Leaves Sing

“Do you hate people?

I don’t hate them… I just feel better when they’re not around.”
― Charles Bukowski

I think about people as much as I think about leaves. A throng that clings to the tree of life, haphazardly rustling to the tune of the whistling wind that ebb and flow along the bottomless blue sky.

I hear the leaves sing. But to listen to them is another matter.
Sometimes their song sings a nectar of harmony. A symphony of depth and sincerity that hangs perpetually at the palate of the mouth. A feeling of nostalgic burning etched along the erratic creases on the tongue that sears the memory and sets the soul ablaze. It fills the mouth with the taste and scent of rosewater. As if life is worth living.

But sometimes it whispers an aria of sorrow.
A collective shrill of dissonance that skewers the laughing heart. Its tone evokes the feeling of ineffable longing for someone, or something of some distant mental imprint. An insatiable yearning for purpose and place.

We are at the end of history. Our war is a spiritual war, our depression is our lives.

I usually lose myself inside my head. It’s not the “ape shit mad” kind of mad where someone thrashes around, while another slurs ‘My Way’ on a vomit layered microphone, after that someone discovers that his ka-table, who’s been downing beer bottles faster than a snatcher running pass in front of the beer house with a recently swallowed piece of bloodied earring, has a dick.

No, it’s the kind of mad that takes the route of the movie Inception. A leap into imagination away from the plane of reality but with the promise of return.
In this state I often ponder about myself. The “I”. The absolute necessity. Ich. The oldest story in the world.

What are the possibilities when two or more people I’ve met and who are likely to never meet within each of our lifetime, by sleigh of fate’s hand, meet?
The horny introvert crosses paths with the happy-go-lucky moral compass inside a back alley shop that caters to the most lascivious fetishes imaginable.
The abandoned prostitute finds a picture of its long lost mother inside a customer’s wallet.
Or when the teacher catches someone using his phone in class and directs another student to read it in front of the same whole class,

“Son, why aren’t you answering the phone? Your father didn’t make the operation.

He’s gone.”

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This is me surreptitiously tonguing my lips after you kissed me goodbye. Caressing the lacerated strips of flesh that hang by a thread, my salivated tongue swirls into the intoxicating crimson of memory.

This is me talking to myself in public. As I tiptoe through social conventions, my mouth mumbles vague weightless obscenities unto the void. Rich people. Beautiful people. Perfect people born with silver spoons lodged in their mouth, spitting out self-righteous poison or singing loudly about their scars. Sometimes I think my birth is a mistake that I’ll be spending my whole life trying to correct. But I bet you hate yourself for not feeling real enough unless people are watching.

The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.

This is me locking eyes with those at the back of my head. When nobody looks at me, my eyes can stare a hole in them. I pick out the minutest details that I’d never have gotten if they would ever return my gaze. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection. This is my revenge. Your face is my piñata.

When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves.

This is me licking my lips on the mirror. You can’t kiss someone who has no lips. You don’t say you love someone when you don’t.

Oh but sometimes, you do.

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I close my eyes. I see you. Your body laced with virgin white Italian silk. Or ragged tatters of pajamas two sizes smaller – does it matter? In this state you are one and the same.

The blanket of night embraces you. Its cool and disinterested arms swallow your body whole. As you toss and turn on your bed, the paper moon hangs above – all seeing. An impartial observer, a silent sentinel watching over its dominion.

Currently, its eye shines upon you. Your body drenched with moonlight as it continues to turn and topple, like an abandoned buoy that is excommunicated to go out to sea, sentenced to a life of isolation, amidst a sea of faces and dizzying streams of names and places.

You lay on your bed. Restless. Tired. Sore. Hair tousled and heartbroken. Your left arm has fallen asleep before you did. Slumped and numb, you adjust your body and allow blood to flow through.

A million needles stab you simultaneously. You let out a blood curdling scream.

I open my eyes. The moon stares at me.

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Memento Mori

“I shall go on seeking out / lost faces, and faiths in the / cold, collecting, calculating / crowd, sadly aware that later / but an unbreath away / I shall lose them all again”
– Dean Ophelia A. Dimalanta, Finder Loser


I have just finished rummaging my library. A sudden urge to dust paperback books, letters that reek of mold and yesterday’s headlines, academic papers stained with dregs of sleepless coffee nights and half a dozen highlight pens, and a surprisingly well-kept bunch of [love] letters. As I pour myself into this disheveled array of tokens and keepsakes, I stumbled upon a 2.5 by 1.5 inch vintage photograph, its four sides haphazardly folded, and neatly tucked within a thick, musty and dust-covered leather bound book.


It is fascinating how memory can flood your head with nostalgic joy before breaking your heart because of incurable longing. My lolo and lola. Grandpa and grandma. Ester and Ramon. Young lovers smiling cautiously at the command of the faceless photographer. It was prom night. I can only imagine how they sheepishly made small talk, while throwing timid but sincere glances and laughing at each other’s attempt at humor or the lack thereof. Or how they nervously swayed into each other’s arms to the tune of Nat King Cole, or Ella Fitzgerald – or probably they were shuffling their feet to the tune of the King Elvis Presley or some local musical band? Who can know?

In the end, their dance sired a family that continues to strive and flourish up to this day. The same dance, but different participants moving to an updated and sometimes unlikely tune.

I look at the photograph. Among others, the idea of death bubbles from underneath all the memory and sensation. Death. The ultimate equalizer. We are not born equal but we are irretrievably bound for death and decay. I look at lolo Ramon and lola Ester’s faces, made forever young by the lens of the camera and the fleeting memory it evokes. I become more aware of this idea. Like a love letter slowly being enveloped and finally sealed, to be mailed to God-knows-where and be read by God-knows-who.

I look at the photograph. I smile at myself as an idea envelops me. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

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There are nights when I lie on my back and look at the moon. With the palm on each hand as rest, my head tilts at an angle that is both comfortable for the neck and convenient for the eyes. The strip of hair on my forehead is softly caressed by the  moonlit breeze and is sent fluttering, which brings a tickling sensation to both eyebrows and eyelids. It also brings a faint, but crisp and fresh, smell of clear misty dew so cool that it promised rain and thunderbolts.

My eyes are fixed upon the luminous whitish crescent pinned upon the night sky. Its perfect crescent shape that mimics Death’s scythe hangs lopsided; like a miswritten ‘C’ that is angled a bit to the left.

The enigmatic glow it emits is partially sapped of its strength by the smog that has quietly but noticeably plagued the metropolitan night sky. Sometimes I think this is the price of development. To move forward, one must consistently struggle with the present; change the status quo, overthrow the past and let the future run its course. But sometimes the struggle carries collateral damage in its wake, like a clogged metropolitan waterway that is stagnant and on its way to putrefaction, or a dense build up of dust and smoke that has polluted the city skyline.

Nevertheless, the stream of moonlight flows uninterrupted as the night progresses. My eyes have adjusted to the dim world that I have laid myself tonight, and the stream of moonlight comes like a quiet river flowing incessantly, without a living soul within a thousand miles. I fix my gaze upon the endless stream and wonder why the running waters seemed to have forgotten to make a sound. Some say a river that runs deep runs quietly. And that a shallow river runs noisily and conspicuously. A quipped implication that silence or being reserved means deepness, while having a raucous disposition often displays shallowness.

But if you will ask me, the serenity or chaos brought by the steady streams or raging rapids cannot be made basis for the ‘deepness’ or ‘shallowness’ of a person. Rivers are not made to be perpetually deep nor shallow. The uneven geological plates and land forms dictate water flow from the mountains down the lakes, seas, and oceans.

People bend like rushing water depending on the riverbed they are traversing; a kind of formlessness that is both collective and individual; an unpredictable switch from flexibility to inelasticity and back.

This is not the case with moonlight. A rapid, unconscious, and consistent ray of cool luminous energy flowing in precise rhythm of the hands of a clock; it is not bothered by trivialities of human conduct, nor is it eaten up by a disinterested and soulless bureaucracy and its red tape.

Moonlight is merely the reflection of a raging sun. Every day, as the sun burns itself towards collapse, it releases a sliver of itself towards the moon. It builds itself up. It takes the shape of whatever container that holds it; memory, relationship, work, ideals, and belief. Merely a sliver of a humongous star, it still however contains the unstable, immutable starlight in its most raw and primal form.

I would like to think that thoughts are streams of moonlight rather than liquid rapids. That our thoughts are the reflection of our daily life or the lack thereof. It is the intangible self capable of perpetuating the cognition of the perpetual as well as the trivial.

“’Things can be seen better in the darkness’, he said, as if he had just seen into her mind. ‘But the longer you spend in the dark, the harder it becomes to return to the world aboveground where the light is.’”
-Haruki Murakami ,1Q84

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