Friday, December 31

MEME 3 - Me too!

(Duskboy, Mr. Is-It-Safe, here's mine.)

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Spend Christmas with W. Aww.

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes, but I did some stuff that weren’t in my To-Don’t list anyway. So, no.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A friend’s wife. That close enough?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
An aunt. :(

5. What countries did you visit?
No dinero.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Money. And the strength to spend less.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 7, 3 men beat me up, took a bottle on the head, ran faster than I thought I could.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
To be crowned Admit One’s Prom King. *waves to the crowd*

9. What was your biggest failure?
Depleting my savings account.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Fuck it, yes!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
All my books, CDs and DVDs.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sweeties and loveys, heavy and light, crazy and sane, drunk and, err, drunker.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Office fools. More annoyed than depressed.

14. Where did most of your money go?
See #11.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Jason Mraz interview (thank you, KF) and concert.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
”District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” Postal Service.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
Heavier. More tired. But happier.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writing stories.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
See #1.

22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
I remained in love. That’s quite a feat, after all the troubles.

23. How many one-night stands?
Who? Me?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Buffy Season 7 on Studio 23. Bye, Buffy.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hating the same people.

26. What was the best book you read?
Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Not really the best, but the most memorable.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sugar Free! Also, Postal Service.

28. What did you want and get?
I wanted out of the new position and I did get out. And an I-Pod mini. =)

29. What did you want and not get?
An electric guitar.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
* all together now * Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

31. What did you do on your birthday. And how old were you?
Drank coffee. 30. Grunt. Go away.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A higher raise.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
Same old vintage shirts and corduroys. With a whole lot more jeuging.

34. What kept you sane?
Cable Car. Admit One gigs. Making fun of people with W.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Just read my blog! But then again, I get a thrill out of spelling out his name … Erik Santos.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Just the presidential elections.

37. Who did you miss?
Right now, all my drinking buddies.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Chu. He likes Postal Service.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004
When you run, run fast.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“This is fact not fiction for the first time in years.” – Lack of Color, Death Cab for Cutie


Saturday, December 18

...these are a few of my favorite things

2004 sucked. In my head, the year's already over. It has been a tough year, in all aspects. So, like Penny Lane, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping for music (or burning). And sometimes, we could be lucky enough to stumble onto something life changing. And it has been a lucky year for music. Thank you, dear friends, for saving me.

Thor's Top 10 Albums of 200fucking4

10. Bjork, Medulla
Confusing and strange. It keeps me up at night. Like mermaid seduction, sinister yet captivating.

9. Courtney Love, America's Sweetheart
Fuel to my bitterness, when I want to be bitter and hysterically laugh.

8. Keane, Hopes and Fears
Never mind who they remind me of, Keane write choruses that soar until there's no more air, and my heart bursts.

7. PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her
Fuck the studio polish. This is Polly Jean rocking without harness. Bruises can be beautiful.

6. Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
Bless your rock n' roll soul, Jack White, for taking Ms. Lynn's honky tonk to gripping, guitar-slinging heights. Rough, and proudly red neck, she growls and slurs her way through stories of murder and women's prisons.

5. Cambio, Derby Light
Patlang. DV. Ledge Boy. Autopilot. Fucking genius. Fucking great.

4. Tanya Donelly, Whiskey Tango Ghosts
This is what waiting for the other shoe to fall sounds like. Hesitant and fragile. Watchful. Taking in every scent, every sound, every kiss.

3. Magnetic Fields, i
Stephin Meritt continues to cotton candy-spin stories of relationship fuck-ups, and with a string section to back him up, well, imagine the Beach Boys with violas singing about cheating boyfriends in a low, low voice. Strangely accessible.

2. Eraserheads, Anthology
Cheating, yes, but this only reminded us how great they were, and how much they are missed.

1. Sugar Free, Dramachine
M put it oh so correctly, I couldn't have said it better: Ebe ForEBEr! (see PULP review, September issue)

Friday, December 17

The Bi-Polar Express

Not too long ago, this guy I was discussing poetry readings with asked, out of nowhere, if I were bi-polar.

And I thought, What the fuck?

Yes, Gelo Suarez has more of the hype going for him and are you bi-polar?

Is this some sort of mental flirting? Cos I can work on both your north and south poles.

But since he was a client, I just said that if he meant I have wild mood swings, then the answer is yes. He actually seemed happy to find out that I get easily depressed. Too happy. He hastily invited me to join this group of bi-polars who meet every Sunday to sit around, talk and be moody. Group sulking over tea. Perfect Sunday afternoon activity. Then we can all go steal horse tranquilizers, shoot up, and ride each other.

Not a bad idea.

Three Christmas parties in a week, and I am officialy a cloud heavy with complex carbohydrates. I drift and float aimlessly, barely functional at work. Dyspepsia sucks.

Tuesday, December 7

Dream Boy

Monday dawn, Erik.

I board the bus, and there he is, Erik Santos, sitting at the second to the last row on the right, staring out the window. Pouting. And mad at me. I silently made my way down the aisle, down the rows of empty, shiny red seats. He looks at me. There's this pleading look in his eyes, like he did something wrong and wants me to forgive him. And I feel this overwhelming feeling of ... guilt. I sit beside him. We don't talk for a few minutes. His father then boards the bus. I turn to him to say, "Upo na lang ako sa kabila. So you can talk with your dad." He nods.

I sit at the other end, looking out the window, but really watching their reflection. Someone nudges me, it's Gary Valenciano. He leans over and asks, "Away ba kayo?" I whisper back, "No. Moody lang siya uli." Gary V. nods, understanding the situation. Then he says, "Patingin nga ng mini I-pod mo?"

Then I wake up.

First time I dream of Erik and we're fighting pa. Just my luck.

At last


The past two weeks have been stormy. Dreary. I'm a big fan of rain and sleepy dampness, but I need my sunshine. I should have chlorophylls, need to digest this gnawing feeling of uncertainty.

My mind's all over the place. Splattered on walls, bubblegum sticky on things I shouldn't bother with, like avenging grandmothers from the grave and Christmas messages.

Got my first, gift-wrapped, Christmas present. From Central Escolar University.

If Deanna Troi ever visited the library.
Troi: Captain. I sense. So much anger.
Picard: Yes, yes. I get that from the books. Flying. Warp 2. For a pre-warp civilization, that's quite a feat.
Troi: So much hatred.
Picard: Is that a 20th century butter knife sticking out of that faggy man's back?
Troi: Discontent! Pain! Betrayal!
Picard: Recommendation Number One.
Riker: Can I borrow that butter knife?

Troi: Oh. Will.

Friday, December 3

Swept Away

Wind swept, Manila was a ghost town last night. Verse-chorus-verse, howling-silence-howling. Spent the entire night in prayer: Please don't let the windows break.

This morning, sunshine. My sister, the prophet, announced over last night's dinner that everything would blow over by tomorrow. It's like the weather always has the last laugh. Everytime the government cancels classes and work in advance, the storm decides to gather her dark billowing skirt and hops over to the next country. Laughing.


Rock Awards

It was almost a sweep for Bamboo last night. This morning, Luis posted the winners in his blog, and, disappointed, really. Bamboo bagged Best Band, Vocals, Song and Drummer. Orange and Lemons, Best New Artist. Fuck that.

Nothing for Sugarfree and Cambio.

Urbandub, Album of the Year. And Buddy, finally, Bassist of the Year.

Just when good, indie bands are finally surfacing, the most commercial of them all gets the most recognition. It's just like Phil Collins winning over Aimee Mann. Well, not really. But almost.


Just realized today that I've never screamed --- in anger, pleasure or fear --- in my entire life. Even in nightmares, I would try to scream but nothing would come out. Not even a whimper. So I'm thinking, maybe this rock band would help. Have rehearsals tomorrow.


Thursday, December 2

Stormy Weather

I think it was Ricky Lee who said, "Mas masakit ang ala-ala kapag umuulan."

So here I am feeling the heaviness of rain, the heavy, unconsoled breathing of a storm. There really is no sadness, not even a sense of emptiness.

Just graceless madness.

This year has been difficult. (Mabi, here I go.) Dis facultas rings true; I haven't been able to function appropriately, if at all I performed in any of the multiple roles I auditioned for, some, I was destined to play. I have been a distant son, a snappish brother, a lackluster lover, a lethargic employee and a withdrawn friend. And to add to the pungent stew, the lingering trauma of getting beaten up by strangers, and the recurring heaviness of heart.

The heaviness of rain.


On the other hand, sleep has been kind to me. Sweet, even. Drifted off last night to Angie Hart's Untitled EP. Her high, angelic voice is calming like a cigarette, a slow crawling rush to the head. Slow motion heady, the techno floursihes and the reluctant piano are fluid sonicscapes that drown out the world in their thoughful pauses.

Sweet dreams are made of these.

Wednesday, December 1

Making a Band

Mighty Band is starting to play good, to sound good. So far, it's Grace on vocals, Margie on bass, Allan on drums, and me on guitars (on lots of Alaxan FR). But of course, we can only play Sugarfree's "Burnout" and a lopsided, kinda silly version of "Cum on Feel the Noize." And, uh, Joey Albert's "Tell Me."

At the end of the day, playing is just so much FUN. The most fun I've had in weeks.

So maybe I should start going out more.

Thanks, Chockwit, for this test.

Which Band Should You Be In?
by couplandesque
Your Name
Band NameMy Ruin
TrademarkUnique Wardrobe
Love InterestYourself
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Tuesday, November 30

River, Run

The Marikina river overflowed last night, swallowing the River Park evening market whole. We watched, helpless, motionless. We salvaged what we could, but it was not much. The water rose too fast, and too furious. This morning, W surveyed what was left of the stalls and found nothing.

The River Park area, with almost a hundred shops, was wiped clean. No tents, no tables, no lamp posts. It was like those two months never existed.

Bye, bye Red Corner.

Thursday, November 25

Hula Hoop

Judgment B. recently posted on her blog the nominees of the NU Rock Awards (she is one of the judges, YOU RAK!), so I'm thinking that it would be fun to guess the winners. After consulting my crystal ball(s), heto ang mga hula ko:

Best New Artist
Who should win: Cambio. Rich guitar layers, pure sonic sweetness. Kris, Diego and Ebe sing like confused angels. Sticky, bright pop hooks.
Who's gonna win: Bamboo. `Cos they have a gazillion kolehiyala fans.

Artist/Band of the Year
Who should win: Sugarfree. Because Bono said that great bands write great pop songs.
Who's gonna win: Bamboo. Or Rivermaya. If we're lucky enough, Sandwich.

Song of the Year
Who should win: "Two Trick Pony," Sandwich. Can't get that riff out of my head.
Who's gonna win: "Noypi,"Bamboo. I can't believe Orange and Lemons and The Dawn are nominated in this category. Cambio's "DV" should have been nominated.

Album of the Year
Who should win: Derby Light, Cambio. I love the britpop (Sleeper, Blur) meets Sonic Youth sound, with effortless pace changes in almost every song. "Patlang" and "Corporate Attire" make up for the bad rapping.
Who's gonna win: Influence,Urbandub. Galing eh. Surprised though that The Mongols' Buddha's Pest wasn't nominated. Supremely pissed that Orange and Lemons is a nominee.

Best Music Video of the Year
Who should win: "DV," Cambio. Dahil wala pa ring tatalo sa Divisoria.
Who's gonna win: "Astro," Radioactive Sago Project.

Best Album Packaging
Who should win: "Novena," Slapshock. Ganda ng colorsep eh. Ginastosan talaga.
Who's gonna win: "Novena," Slapshock.

Vocalist of the Year
Who should win: Ebe Dancel. Ebe ForEBEr!!!! He has such a nice, sweet, high voice. And his singing never falters during live sets.
Who's gonna win: Ebe. Or Karl Roy. They do the most singing. The others just grunt and Bamboo sucks. Masyadong pa-pogi ang boses. Well, pogi naman kasi.

Guitarist of the Year
Who should win: Diego Castillo, Marc Abaya, and Raymund Marasigan of Sandwich
Who's gonna win: Diego Castillo, Marc Abaya, and Raymund Marasigan of Sandwich

Bassist of the Year
Who should win: Buddy Zabala of Cambio and Twisted Halo. More for his work with Cambio.
Who's gonna win: Hmm. Nathan's a bit high-profile. But I'm still hoping it would be Buddy.

Drummer of the Year
Who should win: Mitch Singson of Sugarfree. Changed my mind. Listened to "Prom" and "Kwarto" again and realized that Mitch's playing is just as important as the singing.
Who's gonna win: Mike Dizon of Sandwich.

Producer of the Year
Who should win: Buddy Zabala and Raymund Marasigan, for Dramachine. They should also be nominated for their work with Cambio. The Mongols (who I assume are also Genghis Klan) should've also been recognized in this category.
Who's gonna win: Sandwich, for Thanks to the Moon's Gravitational Pull.

In the Raw Award
Who should win: Matilda.
Who's gonna win: Plane Divides the Sky.

Game. Pustahan na. Sino matalo, mabaho!

Tsaka sagot na rin ang beer.

Wednesday, November 24

Check Point

The last time I took a written exam, the kind that makes you queasy, was 10 years ago. It was for an elective, Anthropology 140 (Folklore), and I was tipsy from the couple of beers I had over lunch in Krus na Ligas. I barely winged it, but if I knew then that it would be the last, I would have studied harder, made my handwriting more graceful and my thesis statement more coherent. I miss it, the surprises quizzes, the long-winding essays, the defense of an idea. SO now, I try to fill out as many personality quizzes as I can just for the sheer pleasure of checking boxes.

(Thanks, starshuffler, for the Buffy quiz. Wesley and I, meant to be.)

Not So Manic Now

Older and more melodic, the new Manic Street Preachers release, "Lifeblood," is, to borrow another album title, romantic depressive. It's just amazing how a song on Richard Nixon can be so catchy and bittersweet like suddenly remembering a long weekend in the middle of a meeting. Songs like a secret smile. Almost happy, almost there. Almost victorious. If I were Billy Bragg, I'd be taking down notes.

Tuesday, November 23

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Fuck last week.

Hospitals, a car accident, and a persistent fever. So here:

Your Life in the Buffy Universe by Karen_Walker
Your Name
You are a
You work at
Your mentor is
Your current lover is
You were once engaged to
Tried to kill you
The new big bad
Your best friend
Your sidekick
Your best quoteXander, just because this is never going to work, there's no need to be negative.
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Thursday, November 18

Everything's Changing

...and everything's falling apart at work. We are given tasks, which cannot be included in our monthly accomplishment reports, tasks that take up 80% of our time. On paper, it would seem like we're doing so little, when the fact is, we are throwing in a few extra hours everyday just to finish our prescribed assignments.

This makes me sad. Multi-tasking has been abused severely. If multi-tasking were a dog, it would be a very dead dog. By spreading ourselves too thinly, we become experts of nothing, and it is something that matters a lot to most of us.

Some girls are subtle

When Heidi Gluck, Freda Love and Juliana Hatfield formed Some Girls last year, I got deliriously excited because a.) it's two-thirds of the Blake Babies in one band; b.) I like the relaxed, almost bare recording of Gluck's band, The Pieces; and c.) I'm just a huge Juliana Hatfield fan. "Hey Baby" was the perfect soundtrack to our freshmen year in U.P. --- a little insecure, a little lost, a little sexy. Her other releases in the years that followed never echoed the brutal vulnerability and unabashedly pop spirit of her Mammoth Records days (suddenly missing Dillon Fence). Her latest release, "In Exile Deo," happily finds Juliana, err, happy. It's a return-to-form release, comfortingly familiar and happily jangling along the crooked road to love that curves like a knowing smile.

Some Girls is somewhere between the early Juliana, who handles most of the songwriting, and the laid-back, matter-of-fact rock of the Blake Babies. Juliana's guitar lines are subtle, a continuous riff that wraps the songs neatly like a jagged little bow. Actually, everything's a little too subtle. There's no total rock-out moment; their songs are 3-minute pop sweetness fun with a hint of the sour. Just a hint. And it's refreshing that way. "Feel It" is in no way a significant album, and the three girls seem content with their relaxed, tipsy party. And cheers to that.

Tuesday, November 16

Fever to Tell

Burn, Birdy, Burn

Sunday mid-afternoon in bed with a fever, I couldn't shut out the scraping noises on the roof. There are birds nesting in the support beams running across the ceiling, and I have gotten used to their noises, but that afternoon, their scurrying click-claketing was unbearably magnified. I can even see them in my head, their dull brown feathers and shiny eyes and needle-like claws scraping the tin. If I had a blow-torch, I would have Ripley-ed those birdyfuckers, could have burned the entire house down just to get rid of them.

Then I fell asleep.

Monday morning, they were all chirpy and skippy. I was still in a state of incomprehensible incomprehension, but what the hell. Whatever makes those tiny bird hearts happy.

Uh Huh Him

I don't get him. I don't get keeping friendships with passing fancies. We have nothing in common; nothing to talk about when we meet up for dinner or lunch. The silence between us is no longer comfortable, it's just dull and makes me want to run home to my Voyager DVDs. Got a call from him last Friday, and he was asking me if I had been avoiding him. No, not really. I just wasn't making time for him. But I didn't want to break his heart. I just said, "See you when I see you."

So what is it that makes us cling to particular people who are not our friends? As we grow older, and hopefully, get better with relationships, we learn not to force emotions, to see nothing when there is nothing. And old relationships become more precious, yet more relaxed. Easy as breathing. Good as gold.

With him, the harder I try to make small talk, the more I talk small. (That didn't make sense.) All nonsense talk is fun; I live for those moments when we gauge the fun factor of electronic toothbrushes and point our gaydars to models and monsters. But sweating over "Uh, so, do you watch Starstruck?" is not worth it.

So, a "Thanks and have a nice life" is in order. I just don't have the heart to say it.

Wednesday, November 3

Market, Market

I turned 30 somewhere between the pirated CDs and barbecue stalls in Marikina's Riverbank market. Nothing unsual, nothing strange. Just a little older, that's all.

Friday, October 22


First the opening night, then, "until December," and now, we have desks in the new Hellmouth.

2 hours later.

I still don't know how to take this change. And so, in two weeks, an announcement is going to be made.

I think this is the year of reconstruction. Of shifting roles, buckling loyalties, and losing sleep. The overworked brick road leads to barstools, the cases of icy and sweaty beer bottles, the golden city.

Here we go again.

Thursday, October 21


I never thought that work would actually make me work. Sure, there were always days when we couldn't even chat, but for two fucking straight months? Come on. I didn't sign up to do someone else's job. So, escape --- drinking, reading, going to gigs for more drinking --- is now absofuckinglutely necessary.

Admit Two

Saturday was National Gig Day for the boyfriend and I. First was Jasmine Trias's pseudo-concert at the Araneta Coliseum. It was like watching a competent high school play. Jasmine's voice has limited range but she is charming, as charming as a cheeseburger-soda-sundae combo. Jay R is surprisingly good live, but R&B was never my thing, so it was, party people in the house say `ho. Hum. Christian Bautista is adorable and funny, but his entire vibe is screaming THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE! Erik Santos *sigh* is still as hot as ever, his voice more solid, but he has got to stop saying "I love you too!" everytime a group of girls would scream, and that was a couple of times. "This is the moment --- I love you, too! --- this is the time --- I love you, too! --- when the moment and the momen --- I love you all!" Oh shush, you hot fool. But all in all, it was good, refreshing fun. No one died, and it finished early enough for us catch up with Admit One at SaGuijo.

Attending Admit One gigs is like coming home. It's all friendly and sweet, yet rocking and rough. Cambio performed the first 6 songs on their album; "Autopilot" live was pure, snarling guitar heaven. Sugarfree played a tight set. Hearing "Kwentuhan" and "Martir" still kills me, the thoughtful loneliness of the lyrics is like a candy cane stake through the heart, the sweet pang of melancholoy is the halloween treat that you bring home with you.


I think it's a virus that most of us caught, the inablity to sleep for more than 5 hours. I took 2 melatonin pills early this evening. It should have worked 6 minutes after I swallowed it, my smooth bitter pills, yet here I am, near midnight, awake and blogging and rocking out to Juliana Hatfield's "In Exile Deo." Deo gracias.

Saturday, October 16

Thank You for the Music

The children have left the building but I can still hear their high-pitched, butterfly laughter. It's sweet, really, for a library to be filled with laughter on a sunny Saturday morning. And I love it that our library does not just encourage silent concentration, but also silliness, and savory conversations.

I'm also glad that I'm alone in my room today because I am so tired, too tired to be polite. So I'm playing my music loud (Magnetic Fields, "i") and singing along loud, programming my behavior for tonight's plans, the Jasmine Trias concert and hopefully, Admit One at SaGuijo. I'm not really up to the Jasmine gig, and Wilmer has been forcing me to be excited about it. "Okay lang," is all I can come up with every time he'd bring it up. The thing is, I AM looking forward to it, it's just that lately, I've been feeling very lethargic. Almost sad. And I don't know why.


Last Thursday, I woke up feeling sad. The first emotion when I opened my eyes: sadness, a sad state of emptiness. I take it back, not an emotion but a gray, monochromatic limbo. I was lost and not wanting to be found. And by the time I got to work, I was officially depressed. And I didn't care.

The Map of Long Agos and Far Aways

There was a time, not too long ago, when I was extremely proud of my CD collection. I would make tapes for my friends for whatever drama they were going through. From love tapes to break-up mixes, from driving to dining, I provided the soundtrack to their lives. Also, music charts my life. Everything I bought, copied, ripped and burned makes up a map of continuously unfolding long agos and far aways.

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan are narrow, summer streets in Sampaloc where I grew up, folding and throwing paper planes through the criss-crossing electrical wires outside my window. Madonna and The Reivers are the dusty, dangerous alleys of Recto; Metallica is a dead end called San Sebastian Street, and The Housemartins and R.E.M. lead to the wide roads of Plaza Miranda where there were bookstores and pet shops. U.P. Diliman is a city of intersections and car crashes: Tori Amos is a balmy afternoon at the Main Library steps with dearly departed Carl (bless you); The Stone Roses, The Beautiful South and Teenage Fanclub are the busy hallways of A.S. where giggles and heartache overlap; The Darling Buds, ah, the first kiss under the Vinzon's Hall waiting shed.

So. Ten years after. Here I am, still buying, borrowing, ripping and burning music. Almost 30. CDs close to 600.

"Suddenly, everything has changed."

I'm beginning to vehemently detest reunions. There's always talk of cars and houses and babies, and I would just be nodding, faking a smile, and drinking a lot. A whole lot. And then they (ex-friends, now) would look at me, fucking pitying me for not having a car, a house, and babies.

I have a boyfriend who's mostly sweet and loving.

I have a sister who's a geek, a father who loves Buffy, Angel and Star Trek, and a mother who loves shopping for shoes (while fighting for the rights of children and the elderly).

I have brilliant friends who drink and drive (me home). Hee hee.

I have a stable job that makes me happy (most of the time, anyway).

I have 5 dogs, 2 chickens, 3 cats, 4 lovebirds, and around 45 fishes in 6 separate biotope tanks.

I have music.

And they are everything to me.

I'm turning 30 in a couple of weeks, and sometimes, I envy the people who have plans, who planned plans for their future. I, on the other hand, I'm always waiting for the next payday, always planning to save, yet always ending up buying new CDs instead of getting a car or a housing loan.

I'm turning 30 and I'm a little blue from not demanding more of myself. I think, I could be rich, but, no. I'd rather be happy with myself.

The Plan

I am getting married to my fucking self and I am registered, and Tower Records worldwide. So here are the titles that I'm planning to acquire before I turn 31:
  • The Rosenbergs, "Department Store Girl"
  • Joe, Marc's Brother, "Around the World with Joe, Marc's Brother"
  • Splitsville, "Incorporated" and "Complete Pet Soul"
  • Actual Tigers, "Gravelled and Green"
  • Junior Boys, "Last Exit"
  • The Unicorns, "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone"
  • Bikeride, "Summer Winners Summer Losers"
  • Some Girls, "Feel It"
  • Blake Babies, "God Bless the Blake Babies"
  • The Breeders, "Title TK"
  • and all future releases of Tanya Donelly, Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, R.E.M., Kristin Hersh, Liz Phair, The Beautiful South, Aimee Mann, The Shins, Iron and Wine, Tori Amos, Travis, Belle and Sebastian, Oasis, Mary Lou Lord, Garbage, Madonna, Magnetic Fields, Jason Mraz, The Sundays, Grandaddy, The New Pornographers, Laura Cantrell, Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, The Donnas, blah! blah! blahs! ...

So to all you lovies who introduced me to bands, taped or burned me mixes, sent me links, and everything else musical, and you know who you are, thank you, thank you for the music. And for understanding how something is everything to me.

Saturday, October 9

Throwing Musings

What a rough week. Haven't even gone around to planning the upcoming travel-writing workshop. I come home every night exhausted and anxious, waiting for the other shoe to fall. Just finished making 4 invitation studies, but this only made me miss advertising more. And I have been thinking about making a move, but nothing serious, really. Musing on change is sometimes as good as the act of changing.

hello dolly

I miss Baguio. The last time I went up to our family's house in Maryhurst was 3 years ago, with my sister, on my grandmother's funeral. Uncle Danny (it's really Uncle and Auntie for most Ilocanos) welcomed us with sad eyes and a case of Red Horse Beer. He wasn't really sad that his mother was gone, they all knew it was coming. He was sad because forty years have gone by and he still had made nothing of himself. He was still a postman, just a postman, with seven children. I didn't even know I had two new cousins.

Uncle Danny was the baby of my mother's family, and he was strikingly handsome in his twenties, always seen in his tan leather jacket, zooming down Session Road on a motorbike. All that's gone now. The motorbike sold, the jacket forgotten. There's still a faint impression of that carefree young man somewhere in his smile when he's tipsy and listening to Dolly Parton.

Having spent my early childhood in Baguio, I grew up to country music, hearing the honky-tonk tales of drinking and murder in the house, in the streets and in the jeepneys. Even when I was three, I already had my own opinion on music. Kenny Rogers bored me. Kris Kristofferson was always losing someone, and that was good. Patsy Cline was sweet and constantly made me sleepy. But Dolly Parton. Wow. I would sit up and listen to her songs intensely, not really understanding what they were all about, but was just thrilled at hearing her words. So many words spun into middle-class stories of love and loss, whiskey and shotguns. To this day, her high voice and southern drawl always bring me back to my second floor bedroom in Baguio, sitting on the cold wooden floor, damp from the afternoon fog, with my sister, bundled up in blankets like babies, listening to Dolly sing:

My coat of many colors that my mama made for me,
Made only from rags, but I wore so proudly.
Although we had no money I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors, my mama made for me.

I recently got the Dolly Parton tribute CD for my sister, a birthday gift. Artists include Norah Jones, Joan Osbourne, Shania Twain, Sinead O'Connor, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss. Listening to it is like being 3 again. But this time, I get the stories. I get the sadness.

erik santos gets sexed-up

Stayed up until 1:30 a.m. the other night just to watch the new Erik Santos video on MYX. And yes, what I've been reading is true. He's mostly shirtless in his video, with a girl on top of him, giving him a ... massage. Where did he learn to look at me (or anyone who was watching the video at 1:30 a.m.) like that? All smolder-y and starving for National Geographic fuckathon. But wait. When did Filipino ballad get sexed up? Martin N. and Gary V. never took their shirts off (there is a GOD!) just to sell records. Even Jay-R, with his fruit fetish on the cover of Cosmo magazine's 69 Bachelors issue (I will never look at apples the same way again: Oooh. Apples. Mmm.), hasn't resorted to such visual seduction to get his music noticed. Must be all the gay talk on Erik. Slap a woman on him, that would make him a MAN. Still, if ever I'm late for work next week, you guys know what I've been doing.

NO! Not that! I'll just be kinikilig in front of my TV at 1 a.m. Darn these young men.

Thursday, October 7

Prom King

There. I finally said it.


Admit One's Blast Prom di Past: Mga Kantang Pang-Mirrorball last October 2 was the most fun I've ever had in such a long long time. (And bless you, Luis, for writing about it with such attention to detail.) Wilmer and I arrived at the venue, Freedom Bar, at around 8 p.m., an hour early. Some of the bands were already there dressed up in prom gear, long sleeves and neckties and soft, frilly skirts. And I was already sure then that it was going to be wonderful, Molly Ringwald wonderful.

Since they still weren't allowing people in, W and I decided to grab dinner at the nearby carinderias. After the oily sisig and the oilier-than-thou menudo, we were already craving beer. On our way back, we passed by this small ukay-ukay store where Wilmer picked out a necktie for me. My first ever necktie.

I couldn't help but feel like I was in high school again when we walked in Freedom Bar. There were balloons, twisted crepe paper lining on the windows, girls in puffy sleeves and tiaras, and this huge, mirrorball above us like a star spinning out of orbit.


Death by Tampon, looking like Courtney Love plush dolls, were the first to perform. I'm not so familiar with their songs but they were bubbly and punk, the perfect party starter combo. They inserted the "Got to Believe" chorus in one of their Sleater-Kinney-ish songs and, in a blink of a mascara-ed eye, officially made the evening "Prom Night."

All bands performed a "pang-mirrorball" song:

  • Drip did Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush." Wow. Lovely, lovely Beng Calma. And those two guys hunched over their PCs and synthesizers, dressed like Boogie Nights extras, played techno (does one "play" techno? program?) so fucking well I was stunned at my stupidity for ignoring their album.
  • Happy Meals. Er. To busy ordering Red Horse.
  • Itchyworms. The it's-so-baduy-it's-so-good performance of the night. Here's the medley: "Stars" (Simply Red), "Dying Inside" (Timmy Thomas), "This Time I Know It's Forever" (Errol Brown), "I've Been Waiting For You" (Guys Next Door), "I'm Too Sexy" (Right Said Fred) "Exta-si Exta-no" (Chimo Bayo) --- got this from Chino's blog, because honestly, all I remember is singing aloud to "Dying Inside." The best, pinaka asteeg, most fun performance of the evening.
  • Imago covered Berlin's "Take My Breath Away." Macho dancing from Ebe Dancel and that guy from ChicoSci included.
  • Twisted Halo, OMD's "If You Leave." Uuuuy! Margie!
  • Cambio, "Endless Love." Hee hee. Ebe and Kris Dancel, as the pregnant girl, on vocals. Oh! And The B-52's "Roam" with Imago's Aia. The second most fun of the evening.
  • Sugarfree, "Never Say Goodbye" and opening riffs of "Blaze of Glory." Heh, Bon Jovi. I did listen to Bon Jovi when I was in high school. I remember it clearly, buying Morrisey's Viva Hate and Bon Jovi's New Jersey at the second floor of Ever Gotesco, Recto.
  • The All-Stars. Raimund, Buddy, Ebe and Jal, Chino, Aia and Zach, Jason and Vin played songs that defined the 80s and early 90s, from "Pride (In the Name of Love)" to "Crazy for You." So much singing and dancing and laughing and hugging.


So. Here's the weird part. When I was nominated as Prom King, I thought, Uh-huh. They're playing with me. You see, I know myself. I win things, competitions, by being bright, by spelling words and memorizing scientific names. Never by just being around. So when they announced me Prom King, I was, Okay. Cool. What the fuck?

But wow. Margie is Prom Queen. And I am Prom King. In what parallel universe does this happen? I still can't believe it but I want to believe it. Yeay. That night made up for all those boring proms. And to be "crowned" prom royalty by rock stars. Heh heh. Talk about Jedi mind control. Now I believe that we can make anything happen.

And thanks, Wilmer, for the necktie.

Friday, October 1

Ex and a Far Away City

Why should it even matter, right? When you learn things about a long metaphorically dead ex, it shouldn't have any weight on your life. That's how it should go.


Over dinner last night, a grrlfriend blurted out that Mr. Ex had just recently broken up with an ex who had been his ex a few years ago. It's bloody fucking Melrose Place season 17, and we get a slacker Iago for Heather who's a cross between Sponge Bob and Riley (Buffy, not Aliens). Sponge Riley hasn't changed one single bit, not a nano-particle of him, and it's eating me up that he was able to convince me a few weeks ago that he is a changed man.

He keeps telling me that he's single and not fucking around anymore because he has his priorities straightened out and family is the most important thing to him right now. And then my grrlfriend goes: Oh yeah? But he fucked him and her and her and it just a few months ago. Bull frog! Why did he have to lie? We're friends, and it's not like he's still trying to get into my stylish yet affordable pants. Again! And besides, he's like really far away, so no amount of bola will get him any.

...In post break-ups (now looking out the window and pouting) where the one that got away is slowly creeping his way back into your life, is there the slightest chance that he's not fucking others along the way?

Phasers and photon torpedoes ready. Coordinates 131-A56.


Thursday, September 30

"The greatest love could be... the end of every day."

Man. The Reivers. In my book, one of the greatest bands of all time. I've been hunting around for their CDs since 1994, and have been listening to their tapes since high school. Really. Hunting. Because two of their albums, the rocking "Saturday," and the unrelentingly beautiful "End of the Day," are just impossible to find. They have been out of stock since 1996; old-school CD haven CD Warehouse couldn't even find copies.

There's only one guy I know who shares my passion for the band. Dodo. He has searched for their albums all over: from the bangketas of Singapore to the small record stores in Hong Kong. Part luck, part Jedi mind-control, he completed The Reivers discography in 1997.

Over lunch today, he gave me both "End of the Day" and "Saturday." He GAVE them to me. Fucking gave them to me! To me! Wooohoooo! I don't think he realized how he's changing my musical life. I don't think I could ever, ever repay this immortal act of kindness.

Wednesday, September 29

Good Feeling

Hungover, minor headache, but slurring. At 3 p.m., which is normal enough. In a co-dependent, alcoholic way. Heh. It's just so fucking fun to be around Margie and Kristine again. I haven't had this much fun at being mean since, okay, yesterday. But still. This afternoon was special, and I will look back on this when I'm 71, and think, "--- Don't take your pants off when someone shouts HUBAD! It should be HUBO! --- Ah. The good old days."

And now, my top 10 feel-good songs at the moment:

10. Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
9. At My Most Beautiful - R.E.M.
8. Alinlangan - Sugarfree
7. Getting By - The Rentals
6. Harana - Eraserheads
5. Corporate Attire - Cambio
4. Keeper - The Mongols
3. Oceanside - The Decemberists
2. Kissing the Lipless - The Shins
1. Prom - Sugarfree

Tuesday, September 28

Loyalty Lies

Some days I think we have too many choices. There's always a better band to follow, a better tv show to get addicted to, a better (and lower-fat) brand of ice cream to devour, a better mix of a remix, and so on. No wonder marketing strategists are going mad. What ever happened to target markets? I think there are no particulars anymore: no specific age group, no rationale ratio of supply and demand. There are just too many choices. And as consumers, addicts, geeks, we never stop wanting, and we want it all.

After a failed relationship, there will always be someone who'll get fishy on you: There are other fish in the sea, sweetie. Yes, more choices. Infinite options. In a relationship, the sea is equally vast. Though in deeper water, there is still the (slim) chance that you or your partner will wander off to a better school of thought, the what-if-I-were-with-you notion. The better you or the (possibly) better partner just around the the third coral reef to your right.

In this life of too many choices, we are either selecting or swimming, around or away. Still, a few of us choose to stay. Loyalty lies here. Even when we are aware that there's something, someone better, because there definitely is always a better choice, we stay.

I stay.

Sunday, September 26

Year of the Horse

In the it's-so-bad-it's-good Kris Aquino starrer "Feng Shui," death is predicted by the victim's year of birth according to Chinese astrology. The guy who was born in the Year of the Rabbit got run over by a Rabbit bus. Heh. Stupid. Anyway, this woman who was born in the Year of the Horse fell to her death on cases of Red Horse bottles. Har har. But no so funny now after two straight evenings of Red Horse drinking.

I'm numb all over, dumb all over. It's all over.

Saturday, September 25

Something for the Longing

  • Sugarfree is becoming a weekend habit. Last night at Peligro, they played a full set, an hour and a half of soaring, deafening pop. Gig buddy and I were right there in front, inches away from Ebe. Happy M was seated on the floor, looking up at Ebe adoringly, like a child listening to a far, far away happy ending story. And I was standing in front of Ebe, swaying and smiling, but looking away everytime he caught my eye. I was afraid he would see how happy he was making me, like I haven't been happy until that night. Besides, I'm reduced to a stuttering, shy fan whenever they start playing. One recognizable riff and they win me over, in a nano-sparkle.
  • So broke. Fuck. To save on some Greenbelt-pricey dinner, M brought sisig and maalat na itlog with tomatoes to the library. We asked the caterer for garlic rice. AC paid my design efforts in pizza. And for dessert, Toblerone fondue from Old Swiss Inn. Now that's fusion dining. Also made mental note not to drink too much Red Horse because it makes me vomit, and my fusion vomit would just be too skongkrang.
  • "Something for the Longing" is an East River Pipe album. Belated Happy Birthday, dodobird. And thank you for the music.
  • Am attending a high school reunion this evening. My only peeve is that they never saw me thin. WTF. Same old Thor is good old Thor.
  • Frunk (verb): According to Jovan, it means fucken drunk. According to Thor, it's fucked and drunk. Fucked and drunk, even when I was seventeen.

Tuesday, September 21

We Rocked and We Rolled

Saturday, the 18th, was strange. The boyfriend had a crappy week and was a liitle hesitant of going to the SaGuijo gig, which was a wee bit annoying because we already had planned this a week ago. But anyway, sometime before lunch he finally decided to tag along, and I was thinking in my head, "Don't you dare be mope-y in the gig." Grrr.

And man, did he surprise me (and Margie and Kristine, as well). In our 5 years together, I have never seen him get drunk, much less drink to rock music. He was always the sweet, healthy one; always grooving instead of rocking out. Don't get me wrong, I love him for what he is and what he is not, but my going out to watch bands and getting shit-faced drunk and slurring praises (phrases, mostly) to rockstars had always been a point of contention. He just never got it.

So, SaGuijo. Is a very clean place. It is softly-lit, with artsy patterns crawling like vines (wait, yes, vines indeed) on the walls. And a huge portrait of the Virgin Mary near the door. The people who were already there were young, polite, and again, clean. And glossy fashionable. Ah, so this is what kids wear nowadays to gigs. Whatever happened to the good old black on black gig staple?

Jazz Kidding plays, first band of the night. And I suddenly get the hordes of fashionistas. The guitarist is hot, his hair well zhuzhed. They play competent rock-jazz, but it's the drummer and the bassist that really kick ass. He (the bassist) has beautiful, long fingers that slide and slither up and down the 8th and 24th bars.

Twisted Halo. Loud, grrrr gutars that officially rocked the night. Rocking, yes, but no hooks to hang on to. But it didn't really matter. Especially to M.

Wilmer was on his third bottle when Cambio started playing. Wilmer. And Strong Ice. And rock music. Live. Can only co-exist in some distant parallel universe. He proved me wrong. And just had to love being wrong.

So when Sugarfree came around to playing hits like Burnout and Sinta, we totally rocked out. Margie and I were the quintessential fans, hugging and jumping along to the beat, getting almost teary-eyed when Ebe's voice soared above the guitars: Kay tagal din kitang minahal. Wilmer was already drinking Kristine's beer, and Kristine, always the cool one, was ... cool about everything, gently nodding to the hard-candy riffs of Sugarfree.

Oh, joy.

Of course, we all rolled home. Smiling, drunk, and yes, happy.

Tuesday, September 14

45 minutes to 6 p.m.

  • The boyfriend and I celebrated our 5th year last Saturday. Movie, dinner, a concert and beers, in that order. It was ... relaxing. We have both been too caught up in our respective deadlines, and the little dramas in between, that I have almost forgotten how good, no, GREAT, it was just to hang. He made me this sweet scrapbook with photos from 1999 to the Boracay trip last summer: a smiling timeline of growing up and growing old together.
  • Erik Santos is the Best New Male Artist in this year's Aliw Awards. Sugarfree bagged 2 awards: Best Alternative Song (Burnout) and Best Rock (Mariposa). So, yeay!
  • In The Terminal. Amelia: I have to go. Viktor: I have to stay.
  • Smoking menthols now, and gagging a lot.
  • While walking aimlessly around Greenbelt 1 --- aimless with a purpose, trying to walk off too much beef kare-kare --- a promo girl gave me Korgivit-E samples. Later in the office, J saw the vitamin packs on my desk and blurted out, matter-of-factly: Thor, pang pok-pok yan. And in my head I was like, OH! Fun! So I took two last Saturday, in preparation of the, ahem, anniversary celebration. After a couple of beers after the concert, the boyfriend and I headed home. The boyfriend was being sweet and touchy and I was. Yawning. And yes, I slept through the entire thing. Woke up Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
  • I postpone my writing duties to the museum like I would my diet. Bukas na lang!

Friday, September 10

Father, Figure

My father loves stories. He likes them fantastic and impossible. He shares our addiction to Buffy, Angel and Star Trek; he gets as involved as we do when it comes to defending our favorite TV shows to non-fans, mostly relatives who want to change channels when our shows come on, which usually ends bloody. He also reads Dungeon and Dragons, has 4 sets of the Lord of the Rings series (including the original hardbound releases) from The Hobbit to The Silmarillion, is a big fan of Alvin the Apprentice (Seventh Son of the Seventh Son), Isaac Asimov and Ursula LeGuin, has finished all the available Harry Potter books and is currently reading Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

My father loves telling stories. He is a story teller. When we were small, he would tell us his own versions of Bambi, the Flinstones, the King Crab. But his best and most exciting would be the World War II stories.

When the Japanese invaded the country in 1942, his family had to hide in the mountains of La Union. His mother washed the clothes of the American soldiers to make a living and his father assembled and cleaned rifles and bayonets. He was the fifth of eight children, the third youngest. He would hide under bridges, cover his body, face, hands with mud and watched the Japanese kill Filipino children, stabbing the children with bayonets. He would smoke filter-less cigarettes afterwards with his brothers. He lost 2 sisters and a brother to the war. He was 7 years old.

When he turned 17, he decided to join the Philippine Navy, along with his 2 older brothers. But he was never sure if he ever killed anyone in any of his postings because there was always too many soldiers shooting, firing, dying.

He met my mother on a train ride back to Manila. He was 27, my mother was 24. He took the seat of my mom's friend and refused to budge. Then they exchanged numbers.

After I was born, my mom got a scholarship at the University of Wales. So my father resigned from his naval post and took care of my sister and I, full time, for 3 years.

My father, Eddie, 67, would like to believe that he would live forever. I really wish he would.

Wednesday, September 1

Bakit nga ba?

Watching The Mongols tonight with Margie. Went to their gig last Monday in Padi's Point, Cainta, with Wilmer. They were almost 2 hours late, went on stage 15 past 12. Was a little bit angry, very much bored. But when Yan --- chubby, dancey and surprisingly handsome Yan --- said that we were astiiig for waiting that long for the band, everything was suddenly okay. deliriously happy okay. (Gwapo, eh.)

First song, Heroine. What. The. Fuck. Hit. Me. So. Hard. Remembered halfway through the song that I promised to call Margie so she could be with us in sonic spirit.

And the rest was a haze of loud, star-scattered sonic embrace.

So tonight, again. Oh, Ely. Oh, Yan. Oh, slightly cute drummer. Oh, very efficient guitarist.

Bakit nga ba ang puso
Tumitibok kahit do mo man pilitin.
- Bakit Nga Ba?, The Mongols

Still Ely related. Got a phone call from my sis today. She and her boyfriend were shopping for new frames for her glasses at Sarabia Optical in U.P.'s Shopping Center when she saw the Pulp issue which had my Eraserheads Anthology review. She pointed it out to the boyfriend. The owner, Ms. Sarabia herself, overheard this and asked if my sister knew the reviewer. She proudly said (I think), "He's my brother." And the owner goes, "Oh! I loved the review. The writer's not just a fan; he truly loves the band and their music. And he recognizes the worth of their contribution to Filipino music. The review's just full of heart. All heart." Something like that. My sister was quoting her directly over the phone.

All heart.

Happy now.

Saturday, August 28

The Remedy

Yes, as a dear friend pointed out, it's the blue period all over again. What to do.

1. Listen to Ella Swings Brightly.
2. Another round of threesome with Ben & Jerry. Maybe Chocolate Mint.
3. Watch porn.
4. Write the Non-Guided Tour script of the Museum's dioramas.
5. Read new Star Trek Next Generation novels, vol. 1-6.
6. Make porn.
7. Eat Wai-Wai's Tom Yum Instant Noodles, Shrimp Flavour.
8. Get drunk.
9. Watch more porn.
10. Sigh.

Friday, August 27

Models and Geeks

It’s infuriating to dissect beauty with words. My words wouldn’t really matter. I could write until my fingers bled and I still wouldn’t be able to match the high, the exhilaration of seeing physical perfection walk through and around the revolving doors of the heart. I can feign eloquence; I could be great with the conversation, funny with the jokes, but in the end, heads will turn not for wit, but beauty.

Yes, yes, it's the insecurity that's killing me. I don't have model-envy. I can't be better looking than what I am right now. But what do I do, what can I offer when the boyfriend is obssessing over a model who works in his house? My Buffy DVDs? ST Voyager's Prime Directive dilemma? The new Tanya Donelly CD?

As a geek I obsess and collect. Books. Comic books. Music. Concert tickets. Fish. A nerd studies things, memorizes dates and skeletal parts. A geek studies with passion.

In the American Heritage Dictionary, a geek is defined as "a carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.

Or "a person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept."

But people, we have moved on from eating chickens and being socially inept (it would be quite difficult to carry on a normal conversation with someone who is chewing on raw poultry and feathers, thus the inept-ness) to stylish, funny, socially-ept individuals who are single-minded in the pursuit of useless knowledge.

Who can question the loyalty of a geek to his favorite TV show? If I can be loyal to seven years of Whedon-myth, then surely I can give equal devotion, or maybe more, to love. If I cannot eat over dead-resurrecting nanoprobes, then surely I can eat less to be more 7 of 9-ish or Spike-like in body yummy-ness. If I get sad over the lyrics of District Sleeps Alone Tonight, then surely I can be a highly sensitive empath of a lover.

I guess, this is just not easy to see, not easy to appreciate.

Saturday, August 21

Morning Becomes

Enjoying a surprise holiday. Spent the entire morning listening to KCRW: Morning Becomes Eclectic. Postal Service's laid back "District Sleeps Alone Tonight" is thoughtful, a drunken afterglow. Damien Rice, well, I don't know why I even listened to him. He's great, but really, too painful. Especially after a night of heavy drinking and specially stupid boys. "Glass Blower's Daughter" is still like being gutted by an army of Hirogens. Thanks for the dissection, I'm all see-through skin now. But Liz Phair. Oh wow. "Little Digger" and "Divorce Song." She's not exactly great live, but her guitar playing is superb; her singing delicate and high and a little unsteady. The unsteadiness, though, works, because her words are in contrast precise, the emotion clear-cut.

"Tell me just what the hell is a lover supposed to do, I got the wrong reaction."

It's just wrong. I sent a carefully constructed text message that was a little silly, a little needy, a little distant, and a little loving. All I got was: "What happened to you?"

Predictably, I turned to a fat, juicy burger for comfort. A little salty. Ultimately dependable.

Saturday, August 14

What's Worse than Night of the Champions?

Mabi: What’s worse than “Night of the Champions”? “Night of the Champions, THE REPEAT”.

Oh hell. She’s right (this time). I wanted to go to Erik backstage and say:

What’s wrong, baby? Is it you father’s presence that’s distracting you? Are you overworked? Cos, fuck, you really, really sucked tonight. You forgot lines of your own songs (and I actually noticed, darn!), you were constantly out of breath, your Martin Nievera medley was monotonous and boring (no, that’s Martin’s fault, really), and you sweated so much throughout the entire thing, wait, no, that’s actually good, sweating is good and hot. Maybe sweating and out of breath together. But the rest, honey, no. No, no. You get an F for Fucked.”


On our way back from lunch, Mabi casually blurted that we’ve actually been friends for over a decade, and wow. (WARNING: Hallmark ad coming your way in 5 seconds.) The comfort level I have with her is just wonderful, and it shows. It’s always so easy, easier, to laugh, to cry even, when she's around. It’s just precious. You know how old couples, literally old couples, hold hands like it were the most natural thing on earth, like breathing, like walking? No? Me too, but I imagine it to be like my afternoons with her. Pure sugar, pure instinct.

Friday, August 13

Jologz Rule's

Preparing to leave for Araneta Coliseum to watch the "Night of the Champions, The Repeat" concert featuring Erik Santos, Sarah Geronimo, etc.


I know. And I must confess, I also went to the first staging. I have this pimply-high school crush on Erik, and every little thing he does is magic. Ztupid luv. And it's something that I just have to share, my SJB (Secret Jologz Behavior).

I'm so excited. But I can I hide it. :)

Love and Other Bruises

Bruising results from the release of blood from the capillaries into the tissues under the skin. The characteristic bluish-black mark on the skin lightens in color and eventually fades as the blood is absorbed by the tissues and carried away.

At 11 p.m. tonight, it will be exactly one week after the attack. My bruises have cleared; my back and side still hurt a little but they could just be muscle cramps. I still lie awake at night but even the fear is fading; the faceless men tip-toeing slowly out of my dreams.

Previous to this entry, I wrote about reconnecting with a friend in the U.S. but a connection error erased the entire account. Too lazy to rewrite. Too tired to remember. (He still waits for me to put the receiver down first. He still waits for the “click,” the dial tone that hums Sweet dreams.)

I read in an online review that “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is really a (tender) deconstruction of perceptions on love more than a movie about love. And right now, I am agreeing. The hazy edges and the blinking lights that frame Joel and Clementine is probably the closest thing to recreating the atmosphere of memory. In two weeks or a month, most definitely in a year --- love, hatred, anger, sadness --- everything is reduced to foggy, overcast hang-over mornings. See-through skin, glowy eyes, salty lips. Indistinct, but important. Mostly perceived, but the realest thing to real. Love is.


Happy Birthday, Margie! May you never forget.

Wednesday, August 11


There's nothing like a threesome at 1 p.m. And there's no one who can perform better than Ben & Jerry. My head's all kablooey with choco-chip cookie dough photon blasts. Logic sheilds down. Dizzy happy, set the course Mr. Paris, I'll be in the ready room.

To pay tribute to Dodo, whose path we now worship (the one leading to the middle aisle of Rustan's Greenbelt 1), here is ----

Top 10 Dizzyingly Sweet Songs

10. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
9. Into Your Arms - The Lemonheads
8. Everyday I Write The Book - Elvis Costello
7. Brand New Colony - Postal Service
6. Huwag Kang Matakot - Eraserheads
5. Summertime - The Sundays
4. Wonderwall - Oasis
3. Sorta Fairytale - Tori Amos
2. 1000 Things - Jason Mraz
1. I Get A Kick Out Of You - Cole Porter, Ella Fitzgerald version

So there. Wishing everone a heady, hyper-sugar afternoon!

Sunday, August 8


I keep reminding myself to edit before I hit the Publish Post button. I do it automatically at work, editing practically everything. From internal emails to proposals to text messages to colleagues. And hell, most of my friends are editors --- Margie, Kristine, Dodo, Marnie --- we can actually make jokes out of sentence constructions. No, not really, more like figure of speeches, but I know that we could if we tried. I've been re-reading my posts and I am aghast at my mistakes, my typo errorsssss. Now that at least 3 people are reading this, (Hi, Dodo. Uh, dyahe.) I'll put in the extra effort that would make clicking the Publish button actually mean "worth publishing."

I'm just not used to editing hardcore journal stuff. But I do it anyway. I've been editing my memories more than I should. Part science, part romance, I've been editing my life so it would become publishable bio-fiction.

And this is also why I keep this blog. I write about my life like it were a story, I edit like it were a draft, hoping to find somewhere between the lines, buried under the plot twists, the happy endings that are there all along.

And I think I have. So far, thank you,

  1. Wilmer, happiness in our home, in our bed. In our sleep The Great and Secret Show;
  2. Margie, tight scoobie hugs after the drive home with Ms. Love and District Sleeps Alone Tonight;
  3. Kristine, Whiskey, Tango, Ghost;
  4. Dodo, director of words and wow, there's never enough music;
  5. The crew of Star Trek Voyager, now, there will always be coffee in every nebula;
  6. Joss Whedon, still I always feel this strange estrangement.

Not bad. Six happy stories.

Fear, Itself

Title's taken from a Buffy's Season 4 Halloween episode. The Scoobies are trapped in a house where they confront all their fears, and in the end, have to confront Fear, itself. He turns out to be a foot-tall demon. Buffy steps on it (squishy noises) and that was it. I get it. Fear is overwhelming, but it is also just a speck of a doubt, a thumbnail of worry.

Three men beat me up last Friday. 3 punches on the head. 1 in the mouth. And I think a bottle on the left side of my head, above my ear. I ran away. Scared shitless. I haven't told my family. Got home a few minutes after midnight (editing of memory ongoing) and called up Wilmer. I needed my refuge. Had to be physically away from Manila.

Sunday night and I still can't sleep. In my dreams, they had knives, or guns. Sometimes, I was actually brave and defended myself. Violence inflicted on you by a stranger is baffling. And you struggle in your head how this is at all possible. And it makes the world a very scary place to live in. Violence makes you small. I was nothing but a victim. Helpless, and crouching.

Right now, I'm trapped in this house. And I am inadequate. And I am afraid. This is the part where I learn how to deal with the fact that I am helpless.

Friday, August 6

Heavy Rotation

1. District Sleeps Alone Tonight - The Postal Service
2. The Very Thing - Stars
3. Angie Hart and George Sarah EP
4. Everybody's Changing - Keane
5. On Standby - Grandaddy
6. Wanted Bedspacer - Ely Buendia
7. Title and Registration - Death Cab for Cutie
8. Love of the Loveless - Eels
9. The Laws Have Changed - The New Pornographers
10. Time After Time - Chet Baker
11. Future Boy - Turin Brakes
12. One - REM
13. I Don't Blame You - CatPower
14. Daisy - 7 Foot Junior
15. Call Off the Search - Katie Melua
16. Winona - Matthew Sweet
17. Art Star - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
18. Quicksand - Travis
19. The Wind Blew All Around Me - Mary Lou Lord
20. Indoor Fireworks - Laura Cantrell

Season 3: Episode 1 - A Week of Rain

Title Theme: District Sleeps Alone Tonight by The Postal Service

"A Week of Rain"

Season 3 opens with Thor, Margie and occasional guest star Joel in the all-too familiar Cable Car interiors. Low light. Huge Smirnoff Vodka bottle cap sign hanging from the ceiling. Indistinct hip-hop beat in the background. Everyone's smiling. Jaime and Waya walk in, and everyone orders drinks. There is quiet determination to get drunk.

After a few bottles, Joel gets up to leave, kisses and hugs all around. Now, everyone is dancing hip-hop. Quick cut-to-cuts of laughing, drunken happiness. Thor gets a text message from AR and he smiles. Margie texts A. After a few minutes, Margie's phone beeps. A has responded. Tight close-up. Margie is smiling. But a little sad.

More dancing. Margie receives another message. This time she looks pissed, ready to throw her phone like, uh, it were a soggy onion ring. Zoom to her phone's screen: My rain.

No. Not again.

Margie brings Thor home (as usual). It's raining. They reach the Burger Machine near Thor's, or rather, Thor's dogs apartment. Hugs. Tight. "Will you have lunch with me tomorrow?" Thor asks. Margie smiles, "Yes, so I can watch you play with your food while you groan and swear to yourself never to drink again."

Slow dissolves of Thor in bed, looking at his phone, erasing AR's number. And Margie, driving home, watching the rain, the puddles. REM's version of the U2 song "One" plays in the background.

Weekend. Thor is sits quietly beside W on the drive to Nueva Ecija. But they are holding hands. Thor plays a tape, Alanis Morissette's So Called Chaos album. He turns the volume low. W smiles at Thor, and he turns the volume up. "Okay ba? Better?" Thor smiles.

Meanwhile, Margie meets up with Luis, Kristine and Conch. After a few quiet moments, Margie smiles, really smiles at Kristine. "It guts my wrench!" Everone laughs. It is Conch's birthday. Camera slowly pulls away until the drinking and the laughter is seen through the bar's window. Then everything gets drowned out by the sound of rain.

Dissolve to black.

Next week: Thor promises to simplify his life. Margie proofreads til morning.

Thursday, July 29

Happy Daze

Blah blah blah Museum blah blah blah collaterals---and 11:52, I was finally on my way to lunch with Dodo.

He had been my first room mate (and I think the last, cos we moved to a bigger office and all creative guys occupied one big room) in my first stint in advertising. He gave me his copy of Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville and I so owe him for that precious precious act of kindness. 9 years later, I still listen to Exile and it is as rocking and poignant today as it was in 1995.

So there he was in National Sports Grill smiling and devouring a salad in the smoking area, The Postal Service CD near his plate. He doesn't smoke but I do, and by just being in the smoking area, he had immediately brought us to where we left off a couple of years ago. (Still a huge fan of details) The familiarity of his presence was comforting. Beer at the end of the day comforting.

And so we talked music.

Loving Postal Service. Gibbard's from Death Cab for Cutie who we're also loving, but Postal we love more. Raveonettes. Josh Rouse. Pernice Bothers. Loretta Lynn and Jack White. (Reminder: Burn him Stars and The Shins.)

Vince Torres dropped by before 1 pm after saying previously to Dodo that he was scared of me. Hmmm. Vince was the first guy I ever had under me. No, that sounded wrong. He was the first guy who I instructed --- well, not really --- I was his boss. Period. I missed him too.

More relaxed and older, the entire repartee was quick, fun, and familiar. (So Thor, you're maintaning a Captain's Blog.)

After 4 bottles of San Mig Light and discussions on Star Trek Voyager and Mandy Moore, I realized I was happy. And it wasn't really that difficult to be happy. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call. Sometimes, nothing at all.

You can turn around and like where you are.

Friday, July 23

Parallel Universes

It's like a religion. Instead of a God, there is almost a desperate need to believe in parallel universes. And why not? They say that for every choice, every decision made --- waking up 5 minutes later, getting off work an hour earlier, stopping for a minute to light a cigarette --- a new universe emerges where instead of later, you are earlier; instead of stopping, you continue walking; instead of you, you are someone else. A deja vu could be an instance of merging universes, of similar histories intersecting and two different selves occupying the same continuum for a few seconds.

Going back to U.P. yesterday made me think of who I would be today if I had stayed at the university and pursued a life of teaching English. I tried to imagine life in a classroom instead of an office, life without advertising, maybe without W, and definitely without 10 people who i now consider indispensable friends. I tried, but couldn't.


In the episode "The Wish" in Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anya (a vengeance demon) granted Cordelia's wish of a Buffy-less Sunnydale. The new, darker Sunnydale had Xander and Willow vamps, a scarred (and dead) Buffy, a faithless Giles, a sexier Angel and a humorless script.

Could staying or leaving really be so devastatingly life changing?


Afternoon beer with KF after a long trip around Manila was exactly the cooling down that I needed. When music geeks come together the conversation takes the melody of giggling exclamation points. New albums (YeahYeahYeahs and Juliana Hatfield), lousy singers (Purple Chicken) and learning how to baby talk somewhere between the peanuts and travel writing.

In this instance, staying was a good idea. I couldn't have made a better choice.

Wednesday, July 21

Irish Toast

May those who love us, love us, and may God turn the hearts of those who don't. And if he can't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we'll know them by their limping.

(Thanks, Margie.)

Not Really the Beginning

I can't get the dates right. I can't decide whether to write about AR or not. But I have. I have deleted my previous blog, and here he is now, the first entry, the only reincarnation of my first blog. It's not that I want to relive the longing and continually punish myself with it; it's really more of not forgetting the innocence of last night's celebration.

We just wanted to be around each other.

Take out the sex, his physical appeal and my hornyness --- what's left is an almost innocent, buddly-flick friendship.

This is what I want to remember.


Over a smoke while standing outside the Library, I did tell Margie about last night. And she actually found it "cute." Safe. And I think it already is, safe, for us to see each other again. I can keep my pants (painfully) zipped. Nothing that beer can't cure.

Yes, alcohol keeps me more sane than usual. I'm a boring, square drunk that way. The bad fucks and the worse morning-after-the-fuck thing doesn't at all apply. It's when I'm alcohol free that I uhm misbehave. That's my reality. My alternate reality is when my head is spinning from too much rhum and 3 liters of Cable Car's draft, while thinking of ways of how to be good.