Sunday, April 29, 2007

The World According To Cheska

Some words of wisdom from our resident philosopher Cheska (use when appropriate):

"Lookatisthisway... (insert advice here)"
"The nerd!" (say it with dripping sarcasm)
"At's if!" (say the same way as "the nerd.")
"Connect me if I'm wrong ...."
"Life is what make ...."
"I hope you don't mine.... (no typographical errors here hehehe).
"This is getting our hand ...."
"I want to portrait that role ...."
"I'll burn the bridge when I get there."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't Feed An Emptiness

"Your loved ones across that ocean
Will sit at breakfast and try not to gaze
Where you would sit at the table.
Meals now divided by five
Instead of six, don’t feed an emptiness."

Stumbled upon this beautiful piece of poetry from a New York Times Sunday Magazine article on Filipino OFWs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


It always makes me cry, those shows on TV where people get reunited.

One such case was this 9-year old kid "Hadi" who was intentionally left by her mother in a mall. When concerned citizens found him, he was clean, and had a backpack filled with clothes. The poor little boy was led to believe that they were out to shop.

Hadi barely even able to talk except for short phrases was lucky enough to have been found and brought to a shelter.

Hadi's grandmother, meanwhile, has been looking for him for days (or was it months). She was inconsolable when the program interviewed her. You could see the pain of losing someone and not knowing where they were and how they were doing.

Luckily, one of their relatives saw the program and got a glimpse of "Hadi's" photo. They were sure it was their "Adie" though his name was spelled differently.

So off they went to the station to check.

Once they saw Hadi's photo, they were definite it was him. So they proceeded to the shelter where Hadi was staying.

There, they were reunited.

Adie looked at her grandmother's eyes deeply, as though reconnecting again. She asked him: "Sino ako?"

"Mama," he responded, still looking at her eyes.

"Sino siya?" his grandmother asked as he pointed to a nephew.

"Tito," he said, smiling.

A hug sealed the bond that was once lost. And all those days and months of longing vanished. Adie hugged his grandmother tightly like a shipwreck survivor would a lifeboat. Her grandmother, silently embraced her, silently with a solemn assurance that she would never lose him again.

Each time, when scenes like this are repeated, I'm powerless against the emotion. The tight embrace, the longing looks, and the sweet smile all say: "I have found you, finally."

Each time, when scenes like this are repeated, I am reminded. Aren't we all, like Adie, just lonely souls wanting to be found?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Summer Nights

Though shall not make decisions when drunk.

He should have listened to that tiny voice inside him. But drunk men just won't listen.

He spotted the target: semi-bald, a little shorter than he was, girating alone but for the crowd, tiny beads of sweat glisten upon kisses of the disco light.

Tired of pretending to enjoy the company of a rather ordinary looking guy, he left, and walked towards the semi-bald guy. Courage was not a factor, fear was non-existent. He came up and introduced himself. He told him his name.

"You dance pretty well," he said, as a matter of introduction. "I like it. Are you alone?" he asked.
"I was with my friends. They're sleeping by now," he said.

He came close. His lips nearly kissed his neck. He memorized how long it seemed, like an arch of one of those subjects of Leonardo's paintings. How it seemed to look like from someone he once knew.

He came closer, stared at him, and grabbed his butt. For minutes, they were one with the crowd, like an army, possessed by the pulsating music.

"Let's go somewhere else," the man told him.

He did not protest. The man held him by his hands and scurried away, like a vulture that has just grabbed a prey. But he didn't mind.

"So what do you do," he asked the man as they walk on the beach. He asked so he could look at his face, dimly lit by the moonlight, just to check if he looked good.

"I'm a customs broker," he replied.

He seemed to like his strong jaw. And how his thick eyebrows arched like a man's in combat.
They stopped near the man's resort and sat by the stairs. He leaned towards the man, inviting a kiss. He reciprocated. And their tongues locked. For minutes, they were entangled, like long lost lovers.

Then the man moved away.

"Baka hanggang dito lang 'to," the man said, wryly.

"Huh? What do you mean?" he asked, puzzled.

"Are you serious about this?" he said.

For an acquiantence, the man pretty much had a lot of expectations, he thought to himself.

"I dunno. It's too early to tell," he answered, refusing to elaborate.

"Wait a second," the man said and ran towards their room. When he returned he was carrying a black shawl. "Let's go to the beach," he said.

He followed suit. They sat on the beach. The man talked about how he loved him and how he feared he might lose him.

He didn't say anything else. He held him tight in response. But he was not there. His mind wandered to a scene once before when his former boyfriend had just left for abroad. He went to the beach that time, feeling an emotional nearness to wherever his boyfriend was. One wade at the sea and it would send ripples to his ship.

Or how he hoped the moon would mirror him.

The moon shone brightly that night. He looked at it like he did before but this time he knew there was no one else looking on the other side of the world. The full moon stared blankly at him.

And the man he barely knew.

Monday, April 16, 2007


The battlescar is carved like two waves and new moon engaged, in between, there is a sail. It is red.

The tattoo artist said it was a moon sign of my astrological sign, Libra.

For three years now since I came out, I have always wanted to get a tattoo, something that could mark the stage to represent the decision.

I finally had it during my tour of duty in Puerto Galera for the Holy Week.

First, Ivan, the tattoo artist, put on a stencil of what would be a lifelong reminder of a decision. Then he had me prepare for the pain.

"Huwag mong labanan ang sakit, breathe in and out ka lang," he told. (Some life advice).
I had earlier told him to ink it red, not the regular black, and he chose a Ferrari red ink.

As he begun, the initial "drilling" of the needle was not as painful as anticipated. After a while, it had a numbing effect that I almost didn't notice, the tattoo was finished.

Ivan covered the tattoo with tissue which he taped unto my skin.

Later that night, intoxicated with vodka, I texted R. and T.P. the real reason why I got the tattoo.

"It's he-who-doesn't-have-a-name," I texted. "I wanted something to represent him, of the memory. I don't want him inside my head," I continued.

R., and later on N., didn't like the reason behind my getting it.

"Why would you want to remember it forever?" R. asked.

Because I probably would, with or without the tattoo.

When I'm old and gray, with a mind too frail to remember, the battlescar will remain amidst the growing unfamiliarity with what once were familiar: people, places, incidents. It's stark redness will bring me back to a place, where once I had loved (and failed as all endeavors in this life are indisposed). Like an oracle, it would speak of the tales of the conqueror and the conquered, however indistinguishable both could be sometimes.

And the warrior would look back, his skin dry and sagging. His eyes, wary but full of wisdom. He would close his eyes and ride with the wind, with dried leaves flying in his wake -- and the tale would be repeated.