if this isn't the very definition of a difficult relationship then I don't know what is. haha.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
If there is a holiday that I actually like celebrating its Halloween. Things always get interesting on Halloween night though sometimes not in a good way. Maybe I should organize a party with a theme “Multo ng Kahapon” and everybody can come in wearing hideous old fads that they secretly love (like shoulder pads and short shorts in my case). I already have a band picked. How about Me First and the Gimme Gimmes all night?
Speaking of Halloween, my Halloween last year was extremely horrible. I was invited to go to three parties and on top of that I was supposed to get high with a tolerable guy at midnight. Exciting right?The plan was go to his place, get sufficiently high, go through all three events half-conscious and then end the night with a good fuck. The problem was our bruha of a boss didn’t give our salary that week and I ended up not only cancelling all three lakads but I was also too broke to take a cab home. I only had an MRT card with me and the problem was I always get these nasty panic attacks whenever I am inside its crowded coaches. But I had no choice that afternoon and when the train arrived at the Ortigas station it was already teeming with passengers. I spent the station between Ortigas and Santolan looking at the sky and watching the traffic below, trying my best not to freak out. Panic attacks are terrible. Someone once described it as like dying. Mine always feels like my head is going to explode. When the train got to Santolan Station, I got off to let some people out and when the door was about to close a man quickly ran inside and took my place. I was left seething at the platform as the train left without me. I ended up spending that night at home drinking Red Horse and arguing on my phone with the guy I was supposed to be with. He was accusing me of blowing him off for another guy and I kept resisting myself from telling him to “Shut the fuck up I don’t have the sanity to deal with your abandonment issues!” Fast forward to Monday, our bruha of a boss finally gave our salary but decided to fold up the magazine. At that point I knew it was time to hibernate and terminate my 2014 even if it was still November. Although thinking of it now, I think our bruha of a boss probably did me a favor. If I did get high that night and went through my plan I would have embarrassed myself from QC to Ortigas.
By the way, a few Halloweens ago I went to Malate with an office mate who brought along his uncouth Bedan barkada. After spending time in baduy bars I took them to Penguin. While inside the john I heard the two of them talking about how “gay” the place was. Kaloka. Halloweens. Sometimes fun, mostly horrible but I still kind of like it.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
For some strange reason I seem to be obsessed with the recent hostage-taking in Manila. If the US has teens going to schools with guns, we have this: Desperate men doing desperate means. In both instances (and I maybe painting the scenario rather broadly) the perpetuators exact violence on the victims because of certain personal grievances. Unlike however in the US when, most of the time, the parents are baffled at their children’s violent actions, our perpetuators almost always seek communication with the family at the last minute --- with the mother mostly as if to say “’Nay, I did this only for the sake of the family.” I don’t know if this is because the socially marginalized has always had an underdog mentality or to them sacrifice and violence are wholly justified when contexualized within the needs of a dying family. I don’t know also if this is a result of a poor mental care system (which is non-existent) and I’ve always thought that we are a nation perpetually struggling with one trauma or another. I, myself, don’t know if I am sane enough. But I do know the gnawing desperation one feels when one is absolutely penniless and doesn’t know where the next meal will come from. Reeling from hunger, anger (!), desperation and depression no wonder then that a seemingly innocent pen knife becomes, in one man’s mad eye, a perfect escape from oblivion. Kapit sa patalim kung baga.
Meanwhile, Philippine Tatler puts on its glossy cover “Madam” Imee Marcos resplendent in red couture. “Fab at 60,” the magazine’s headline seems to scream. On the other hand, the obnoxiously immature Pnoy, her family’s arch-nemesis, insists that the devolving quality of life in this city is a sign of progress. Apparently, they all get to live forever while everybody around them dies in the pits of hell.
Poe. Duterte (?). Binay. Ay caramba, this is what we are expecting in the forthcoming elections? No wonder, Aldub provides us with more optimism than any of the presidential candidates. Better to hope that there is something “real” in what is essentially reel than expect even a bit of honesty from someone who is promising something that we know is unreal.
Let me close this blog post with some quotes from Bino Realuyo’s poem The Leaning Tenement of Taytay from his book The Gods We Worship Live Next Door. It’s a brilliant poem about the disintegrating Taytay tenement and how in many ways it is a trap more than the fulfilment of a promise by the disposed Philippine President Joseph Estrada.
“Yes this is no Leaning Tower, no Seventh Wonder of the World,
A wonder for your yes maybe, or for your noses.
How can you not smell the approach of wind,
Its spiral push downward, into you? What you cannot see
Is the architecture of the missing: the water in faucets
And pipes, the light to bring fireflies to nights, the smiles.”
Ang ganda lang ng “architecture of the missing” no? Anyway, towards the end he says:
Ang ganda lang ng “architecture of the missing” no? Anyway, towards the end he says:
“We don’t think of it or him: he who listened, half-built. Half-tried.
The trying keeps our voices muted, so he doesn’t know he’s our hero
Somewhat. No one has ever taken us there, even halfway --- trying is hard
If it means lending a hand to those who have tried a lifetime of tries.”
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Should’ve realized this a long time ago. The moment I am done with sex is the moment I’ll consider having another go at a relationship. Desire has always been the driving force in all my romantic engagements. And I am talking about desire here in broad terms --- sexual desire, desire to conquer, desire to belong, and desire to be desired as well. Shockingly I didn’t see myself as a loose cannon but I really was. I guess what I am saying is the last couple of decades weren’t the right time for me to be in a relationship. If I really did want to be in one, I should’ve taken sex and desire out of the equation and sat down instead with someone that I enjoy having coffee with mornings after mornings. But then I also think I am done with looking at relationships in a very heteronormative way. Wait, am I using the term correctly? ODK, this merits the hashtag: #sexytanders. Charot.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Overwhelmed by the sheer number of commuters the guards at the MRT resort to the most primitive of solution, herding. We were herded like sheep and cattle through a line that snaked across the station. Still we ended up inside an overcrowded cabin, hot as an oven, with our faces scrunched up to the wall and with our breath fogging up the filthy windows. Maybe we should ask the mathematicians at NASA instead to provide us a solution. Perhaps the answer could be found by estimating the maximum number of commuters and relating it to the frequency of arrival and departure of the train. Sometimes the train lingers too long at the North Station like a jeepney waiting for its seats to be filled. From the get-go, the train is already crowded, making the passengers at the other stations beg for a little bit of space. But then, what do I know. I live in a country where everybody has an answer but no one can seem to solve the problem.
Alam mo ‘yung gabing-gabi na bigla na lang tatawag sa’yo ‘yung kaibigan mo, umiiyak dahil nag-away sila ng boyfriend niya o kaya nag-hiwalay o kaya naman may nalaman siyang hindi maganda o kung ano man. Pipikapin mo siya somewhere in the city at pagbungad niya kaagad sa’yo mura o iyak o kung ano mang witty o masasakit na salita na naisip niya habang naghihintay na pikapin mo siya. Pupunta kayo sa bar, mag-iinuman ng walang katapusan tapos ang pulutan ninyo ang boyfriend niya. O kaya ang putang-inang relasyon nila.
Sa first hour masaya, exciting pa ang kuwento. May mura. May iyak. May blow by blow account kung bakit siya naririto ngayon umiinom kasama ka. By the second hour, wala pa rin siyang tigil na parang tren. Magko-quote ka ngayon ng mga kung sino-sino from William Burroughs to, sige na nga, F. Scott Fitzgerald (na matindi rin ang sinapit kay Zelda) para lang magkaroon ng gravitas ang usapan. By the fourth hour, nagiging philosophical ka na. Do we really need love at all? Wasn’t romance just invented by humans so they wouldn’t feel the great indifference of the universe towards their existence? By the fifth hour at hindi pa siya tumitigil, either nagpapakalasing ka na at pinaghahalo na ang San Mig Light at Rum Coke o kaya kampi ka na sa boyfriend niya dahil clearly ang kaibigan mo ang may problema, hindi ang boyfriend niya.
Para sa akin ganyan ang pelikulang That Thing Called Tadhana. It’s annoying, a bit corny, nakakapagod (at hindi dahil biyahe sila ng biyahe), kind of fun (may mga moments naman) and probably familiar to anyone who has encountered a Pinoy crushed by the unforgiving fists of Love. Dapat capital ang “L” kasi Pinoy tayo. To be honest, I was ready to quit watching 30 minutes into the movie. I was wondering if I should do something more productive instead or buy gin bulag to make this thing go down easily. Kung makikinig lang ako kay Mace tungkol sa sinapit niya sa kanyang boyfriend eh magsi-speed dial na lang ako ng mga kaibigan. Sila na lang ang pakikinggan ko.
Pero maayos naman nai-kuwento ang istorya. Kung ang definition ng maayos ay ang clear development ng characters at ang pag-unravel ng outer at inner journey nila. In fact, the filmmaker could’ve done the entire thing in Maginhawa pero dahil visual dapat ang lahat, ang cathartic journey ay nagsimula sa Rome napunta sa Maynila nagtungo sa Baguio at dumating sa Sagada. Sa bawat stopover may development at nang nakarating sila Sagada, naiwan na ang bagahe, figuratively at literally, sa Baguio. I also liked the fact that the characters are always at the center whenever they share the frame. They balance out each other.
Sa mga pelikula, madalas may isang lugar kung saan nagtutungo ang mga sawi sa pag-ibig upang itapon nila ang kanilang kalungkutan. Sa In the Mood For Love, nagpunta si Tony Leung sa Angkor Wat para ibulong at ikulong ang kanyang kalungkutan sa isang butas. Sa Happy Together naman, nagpunta ang kaibigan ni Tony Leung sa isang lighthouse sa South America para paliparin sa hangin ang mga luha niya. Teka, mukhang fan ni Wong Kar Wai ang filmmaker ah. Sa Tadhana, nagpunta si Mace sa isang bundok kung saan isinigaw niya ang laman ng puso niya. It reminded me of a scene from one of Lino Brocka’s movies. Sa isang segment ito ng Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo kung saan ang mga drug addict sa isang rehab ay natungo sa isang bangin over looking Metro Manila. Duon sinigaw nila ang kanilang sama ng loob sa siyudad. Pero wala silang napala dahil pagkatapos nilang ilabas lahat ng kalungkutan at galit tanging kadiliman lang ang tumambad sa kanila. The darkness, like the city itself, doesn’t care about their sorrows. In fact, the city doesn’t seem to care about them at all. That scene, that’s the one that made me cry.
But like I said, the movie had some moments. Ang videoke scene kung saan hindi matapos-tapos ni Mace ang kanyang kanta dahil napapa-iyak siya so in the end si Anthony na lang ang nagpick-up ng mike at tumapos ng kanta. Ang drama lang ‘di ba? E ‘yung nasa stopover sila tapos sinabi ni Anthony ‘yung line na “Tang-ina ang
lalandi ninyo...” Ang cute lang ni JM Guzman dun. E ‘yung bored look ni Anthony
sa simula as Mace talks about her failed relationship on and on. Add to this
the fact that both Angelica Panganiban and JM Guzman suffered very public
breakups in the recent past. Oh di ba, mumu-meta lang! Sabi ng mga ka-FB ko,
ultimate hugot/ feels movie raw ito. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just really fucked
up because my break-ups weren’t this pretty. Wala tuloy akong masyadong mahugot
sa pelikulang ito. Wala akong wisdom na naiuwi. Hindi rin naging cathartic for
But where do broken hearts go nga ba? I think it doesn’t go anywhere. It just stays with you. Like a dead weight (Tulad ng arrow sa movie). Like Mace’s bagahe. It goes with you from Rome to Manila to Baguio to Sagada. It doesn’t even go away when you sleep. It turns up in your dreams as a nightmare. Tulad sa panaginip ni Mace. Siguro nga pareho lang ang tinutukoy ko sa tinutukoy ng pelikula. Pero yun nga, hindi lang ako naaliw dahil kahit sobrang daldal ng mga character hindi pa rin natumbok ng pelikula ang tunay na nararanasan ng mga wazak sa pag-ibig. Mas interesado itong magbitaw ng, sabi nga nila, hugot lines. Maybe it was produced with a meme in mind. Walang lalim ‘yung pelikula, which is strange dahil karamihan ng mga break-up nag-iiwan ng malalim na sugat.
Sorry, hindi kasi naging cute ang mga break-up ko. At kahit siguro na-meet ko si JM Guzman noon and he started making pa-cute eyes to me, my broken heart would have not responded. When I got my heart broken, my heart did not go anywhere. It didn’t do anything. It just stayed broken for a considerable amount of time. Since then I’ve been thinking about not a Whitney Houston hit but a less classy Toni Braxton ditty: How the fuck do you unbreak a broken heart?
Sometimes celebrities show up in my dream. Piolo had made an appearance twice. I once dreamed of Diether Ocampo and Alma Moreno (and her cavernous vagina). Last night it was Enrique Gil. We were having sex and we were sort of in love (ang ganda ng panaginip, right? Who says walang forever?). It was quick and rough but my mother kept knocking on the door, which pissed me off. Then Enrique took out some meth and it was at that point that I knew the relationship was over. Suddenly I was crashing and when I looked at the far side of the bed my dead dog Chichi was there, luminous in this preternatural blue glow, looking sad and disappointed. And then I woke up. End dream sequence.
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