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.