Showing posts from 2013

In the year 2013, I learned that...

When in the eye of the storm, be still. Even if it is unbearable to live try to endure. Don’t look for quick fixes because more often than not the unnecessary things we do in the middle of the storm lead us to more trouble.
Be careful of what you wish for because you might just get it (sabi nga ng Pussycat Dolls). Sometime in the previous year, I half-joked that I would prefer my personal life to go to the dogs as long as my professional life thrives. Seconds after I muttered that silly prayer, my boyfriend broke up with me. In the process, I got a writing gig at a teleserye, got involved in a concert, and had two of my concepts approved (although one has gone kaput even before it started rolling and the other is awaiting confirmation). Am I happy? I always ask myself that. The answer remains elusive.
That each one of us has a different God. Mine is silly, sarcastic and has a terrible sense of humor.
My partners do not define me. They are not the be all and end all of things. I use…

selfie in the morning

It’s the kind of morning where I just want everything to slow down. Wash the dishes first, take out the trash, clean the apartment, the kind where I could sit down in front of the computer with cigarette and coffee and leisurely read articles online. Like the one that an FB friend posted. “BBC Touts its Programming with Poetry” or the one on my feed about David O Russell’s new movie. It’s the kind where I would have preferred the glow of the early sun to slowly sink into my skin, for its warmth to envelop me like a blanket on a cold December morning. But the clock is ticking and I am late for work.

In the Philippines, you can’t spell typhoon without a capital T for tragedy


My mother’s family is from Tacloban. A few days after the typhoon we had no idea where they were and what has become of them. It wasn’t until last Monday did we know for certain that they were safe. My relatives may have survived the typhoon but my grandmother wasn’t able to survive the aftermath. There was no insulin to be found in the shattered city. She died last Tuesday.

My relatives and I aren’t really close. I grew up believing that the only family that I have are my parents and my brother. However, since receiving the news day by day grief has surprisingly overtaken me. Not just for my grandmother and my relatives who are still trying to survive but for all the victims of the typhoon. We have been reduced to nothing but rotting corpses in body bags. We are reduced to looting and begging the government to come and help. I thought we shouldn’t beg though. We should demand because after all the government should be on top of things. The government should always look out for it…

My smile is just a frown turned upside down

Does anyone know Joyce Vincent? She was this pretty girl with a flirtatious voice who once lived in north London. I didn’t know her either and probably neither did her neighbours who also did not seem to care about her. In 2006, she was found dead in her apartment. Her body was so decomposed that her remains almost melted into the carpet. She has been dead for almost three years.
Joyce Vincent is the subject of a documentary that came out in 2011 entitled Dreams of A Life, which tried to piece together Joyce’s existence. The main mystery, apart from the manner of her death, was how a woman who was perceived to be friendly and lovely had gone unnoticed for three years. “What about Christmases?” asked one of her friends interviewed for the documentary, “didn’t they notice she was missing?” In this day and age of virtual connectivity, one of Joyce’s former friends marvelled at the fact that people can still fall into a crack and disappear. Fleeting was the word floating inside my head as …

the squid and the whale

About the nasty dissolution of what seems to be a happy, smart family, The Squid and the Whale serves wit and humor with equal dose of sadness and desperation. What I liked about the movie is that the scenes never devolve into melodrama. As a viewer one is urged to read between the lines and to observe the characters on screen: the subtle competition between the parents who are both writers, the loyalty of the kids, the father’s struggle to keep afloat and put up a front, and the mother’s emotional aimlessness. The effect of the divorce also proves to be disastrous for the children as they suddenly learn about the miserable life of their parents. In the beginning, they both look at them with awe but by the end, armed with details of cheating and deprivation, they finally see them as flawed human beings.

Much of the discussion about the movie, I eventually found out, revolve around the title The Squid and the Whale and its significance to the story. The squid and the whale in the tit…

planet of the bullies

So I’m back on Planet Romeo lurking and searching and well hooking up of course. At first I was looking for dates. I was looking for a guy who I could take out, have a few drinks with, share silly conversations and if everything turns out fine and if the chemistry is right sleep with. This time, however, I was not looking for a relationship or anything that would come close to any emotional attachment. I never thought I would be the kind of guy who would say before a date that I’m already down with love but I think that has been my staple line in each meet up. Yes, I’ve become one of those archetypical characters on romcoms who simply refuse to fall in love. But after a few weeks or a month or two I got tired and deleted my account. I was seeing basically the same faces. I even had a big Samantha moment. I got home one morning, logged on and there was this guy who was inviting me to his apartment. Since I was tired, stressed out and lonely I agreed to go to his place. When I got to hi…

Like spending Sundays on the shore...

The horns which softly signal the beginning of this song seem to evoke something epic. The fluttering flute, on the hand, implies something magical. I was honestly floored when I first heard this song sung by the great singer Dulce. Immediately, I saw the world in a long shot. Maybe there’s a hill somewhere and there are silhouettes of two lovers frolicking as the sun sets in the horizon. Oo, ganun lang ka-bakla ang dating sa akin ng kantang ito dahil naalala ko ang ending ng Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit with Richard and Dawn finding heavenly love after spending a hellish time on Earth. Heathcliff and Catherine, Pinoy version.
And I so adored the English translation. How can I not with lines like “If life with you could be... Like spending Sundays on the shore and racing to the sea...” It’s romance by way of old classic Hollywood movies with lovers “chasing the waves” and eventually “falling in a tight embrace.”  Parang mas masaya itong patugtugin sa plaka with scratches and skipping n…

Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising

Kanina habang naglilinis ako ng ihi at poop ng mga aso, naisip ko kung gaano nakakapagod itong taong ito. Masaya man professionally pero kung minsan kapag panay trabaho na lang ang nare-receive mo sa inbox mo, nakaka-stress din pala no matter how much you love your work. Naisip ko tuloy, why not get away on my birthday? Fly to Hongkong or Vietnam for the weekend. Have juju juice while admiring the hot surfers at Bondi Beach. Take a stroll along Central Park. Wow, parang may pera lang ah. Siguro bago man ako maka-alis, iisipin ko muna ang vet bills, phone bills, internet bills, rent, and so on and so forth. How can I argue with that? I simply can’t. Paano ko naman maju-justify ang tatlong araw na R&R kung pagbalik ko mas marami pa akong bayarin? But then what if I get a job in Singapore or New York?! Take the dogs with me and live someplace else? Man, Chichi will love the grapevines in Italy. Max will have the time of his life searching for bones in Ancient Greece. How about Marce…

Isa dalawa tatlo

I stare at the streaks of rain on the glass window. To me, they look like tiny slits on the wrists. Water seems to be the pervading theme of the day. Earlier my (now former) boyfriend sends me a message. He says he is by the beach somewhere in Mindanao. I haven’t been to the beach in years. Then I receive another message, this time from a former colleague inviting me for a swim. I looked outside and saw the gloomy skies. Swimming? In this weather? And where? In Edsa? It must have been just a joke.
Isang bagyo ang kararating lang, sabi kanina sa radio habang papunta ako sa UP. Nakasalumpak ako sa likod ng taxi, iniisip kung ite-text ba ang (ex) boyfriend ko o hindi. Ite-text ko ba siya para sabihin na ang bagyo ay lumapag na sa Aurora at ang klase sa buong kamaynilaan ay nakansela na? Ano nga pala ang pangalan ng bagyo? Juanito? Juanita? Basta, something that starts with a “J.” Tumuloy ang taxi sa Elliptical Road, umikot at kumanan sa Commonwealth. “Manong,” sabi ko sa driver nang …

friday june whatever

Sometimes I’m right but mostly I’m wrong. I don’t know. It depends on the mood kasi eh. I told a friend that there are days when I’m in control and then there are days when I don’t know my head from my ass. This is one of those days. I’m trying to trace back the moment when I became diskaril. It must’ve been right after finishing the script. After that parang my brain just atrophied. Probably because during that time I wasn’t just busy with one thing. I was busy with several things and now that work has somehow become more manageable, my brain naman just packed up and went on vacation. I hope my brain went to some place exotic like Patagonia or something para naman pagbalik niya may something new siya to share. Ha.Ha.

Na-trumpeta ni Tony Trombone

Trombone Shorty
His virtuosity makes me water-water. When Trombone Shorty blows that trumpet, he hits a spot so sweet and so good it’s orgasmic. It’s the equivalent to a soft blow in the ear, a lick in the nipple, and a fuck so fucking intense it feels as if he is taking you to places you have never been to. And that long, looong, loooooong trumpet solo, man, para ka niyang dinala sa ere and you keep waiting and waiting and waiting when he will drop you down. Pretty awesome. And he is good-looking no?

“Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street,” indeed. 

Same Love
I wish this song came out when I was still in the closet. The line “I can’t change even if I tried...” means to me on so many levels. It is definitely not about embracing defeat. It is an act of acceptance. Some of us have things in our lives that we don’t want and that we keep on resisting but in the long run will prove to be vital to our growth as a person. And what the hell, what’s with “Not crying on Sundays”? …

ang conjuring at ang terorismong sumisira sa pamilyang Amerikano

I thought very Pinoy ‘yung Conjuring. Tulad ng mga Pinoy horror movies, it’s all about the survival of the family. Sa Conjuring may isang demonic presence na pilit na sinisira ang isang masayang pamilya. Naalala ko tuloy ‘yung isang talk na dinaluhan ko at sabi ng professor doon, sa mga pelikulang Pilipino raw, lalo na sa mga istoryang katatakutan, hindi Diyos ang madalas nakaka-talo sa demonyo kung hindi ang great bond between the family members. Mas powerful ang love ng isang pamilya sa isa’t isa kesa sa Holy Water at dasal-dasal. Sa totoo lang, bihira akong makapanod ng Hollywood movies na ganito na ang sentro ay nasa pamilya. Mas madalas kasi kung ang pelikula ay tungkol sa isang American family, ang source of conflict ay ang mga idiosyncrasies ng characters o kaya may certain ironic tone ang filmmaker with how he or she presents the American family. Parang I hate my family but I love them. Ang problema madalas nanggagaling sa clashes of ideas and ideals. Pero dito sa Conjuring, a…

Loida Malabanan is ready for her close up

Before watching Jeffrey Jeturian’s brilliant and heartbreaking movie, Ekstra, one should first take into account that the lead star is one of two of the most iconic actresses in Philippine cinema. Vilma Santos, of course, needs no further introduction. She is not only a widely-popular actress, she has also been very much honoured receiving countless of accolades throughout the decades. Her career, in fact, serves as a perfect contrast to the role she is playing, Loida, a humble ekstra. In this sense, I think it is important when viewing the film to consider Vilma, first as an iconic movie actress, and second as an actress playing a bit player. In my mind, at least, these two realities run parallel as the movie unfolds with Vilma’s iconic status serving as an ironic commentary on the life of Loida.
Of course Loida’s life cannot be more different from Vilma’s. She is a single parent who has to depend on a measly salary to be able to put food on the table and to be able to send her daugh…

why do you call me when you're high?

And so I found myself in ‘70s Bistro again last Saturday. I haven’t been to a rock joint in about a year I think. The last time I saw a band play was in this house party my ex-boyfriend dragged me to. I’m surprised though that the Bistro remains hipster-free. Not that there’s anything wrong with hipsters it’s just that I’m surprised that they aren’t there (the ex was after all was a hipster). Well, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at all. Despite its makeover, ‘70s Bistro’s vibe is still closer to a Ihaw-Ihaw beer joint than a swanky rock club. Session Road was on stage and we caught their last two songs. I realized that I miss the energy surrounding rock gigs: the loud music, the old familiar songs and the fans who almost always scream “More! More!” at the end of the night. Hana is so pretty and talented it made me wonder why she hasn’t at least reached a Kitchie Nadal status. Kitchie was of course for a time a household name. (Maybe I should submit a drama concept starring Hana, Kit…


He stands in front of a carousel watching plastic ponies go round and round. They are just like people waltzing, he thought. And suddenly the men in his life started showing up after each turn smiling, coaxing, screaming... A whole multitude of emotions. He watched them with indifference as if he was watching from behind a soundproofed glass. They can’t touch me here, he thought.
On a rickety roller coaster he sits beside his mother. She is eight years old and holding a cotton candy. “Mother,” he asked her. “Aren’t you going to throw your cotton candy before the ride starts?” His mother just smiled at him and continued munching. How is it possible that this girl would grow up to have him?
He sits before a fortune teller and she tells him he only has three questions. Will I be rich? He asked. Possibly. Will I be in love in the very near future? Probably. Will I be happy? It depends. 
The entire carnival shuts off, rides stop in mid-air, bulbs frizzle and give way to darkness. The happy …

the fuckable face

Like in any other afternoon, when the sun is out and he is somewhere in the city, stuck inside a cab for example or surveying the metropolis from a fast moving train, his mind wanders. Right at this moment, his eyes are wandering inside the cramp train looking for something interesting. Most of the time, he likes looking at people’s faces and there is a particular face that he again and again searches for. The fuckable face. He thought of this phrase one sublimely beautiful morning while waiting at the station. From his point of view, all he could see were silhouettes of people impatiently waiting for the train to arrive when, out of nowhere, a man’s face began to take form. He had a beard crawling across his jaw line, glistening under the sunlight. His short curly hair appeared wet and his skin had the luminosity of a freshly bathed man. He wasn’t aware that he was staring at him until the man turned his head and their eyes met. Quickly it sent a chill, with equal parts embarrassmen…

songs to slash your wrists by

I’m okay killing myself while listening to this song. For pure irony.

just so I can remember this moment in the future

This is what I’m doing after spending five straight days trying to finish a script. After packs and packs of cigarettes, two red bulls, and countless of sleepless hours, I’m drinking gin. At eight in the morning. I’m not even sure if what I’ve written will go into production.
Writing is like getting off. When you finally put that last period, it feels orgasmic. That’s probably why revisions can be emotionally difficult. It feels as if you didn’t deserve to feel good after fucking your brains out.
Anxiety plus cigarettes will equal to BO.
This next glass is for that Red Wedding scene in “Game of Thrones.” It shook me to the core.

Sabi nga ni Rita Gomez sa Salawahan: “Gusto kong tumakbo sa kahabaan ng Session Road ng naka-hubad at magpaputok ng lobo... Pok... Pok... Pokpokpok!”

'If You Think This Has A Happy Ending, You Haven't Been Paying Attention'

I have had my fair share of good news last week. No, good things have been happening to me in the last couple of months. But something inside me just wants to be miserable. Right now I am waiting for something, something to happen, something to come up. In my head, I want to hear something good. Something that will tell me things are okay and my future is okay and I’m not going to rot and I don’t need to be miserable again.

monday blues

I get goose bumps when I’m too sad. I couldn’t sleep earlier today. I was so tired last weekend because of work and gym and so I fell asleep while waiting for Gretchen’s pasabog on The Buzz yesterday. I woke up at around nine in the evening and I wasn’t able to go back to sleep till seven in the morning. By that time my mind has festered into a repository of hatred and frustration. I kept thinking about this old guy who keeps bullying me at work for no apparent reason. I mean we’re not even in the same show and he’s not even a writer. I was also reminded of this friend who tries to embarrass me at every opportunity. Maybe he thinks that it’s okay and that because I’m usually quiet it’s alright to mess around with me. But it feels like a betrayal because I actually consider him a friend. Then I took out the dogs and saw Max’s mange and at that point my Monday was already ruined even before it began. When I woke up at lunchtime it felt as if I didn’t get any rest at all. And I know tha…

beebop and sisi make an indie

Kinalabit ni Beebop ang kanyang girlfriend na busing-busy sa kanyang cellphone.
“Eyow, look Sisi. That man’s weird,” sabi niya.
Bored and a little bit pissed, lumingon si Sisi.
“Stop being so annoying Beep. Can’t you see I’m texting the crew.”
Alas-dose ng tanghali iyon. Alas-diyes pa ang call time pero hindi pa rin nagsisimula ang location hunt. Ang kanilang pakay sa dulo ng Novaliches ay isang rundown house para sa kanilang indie movie.
“Bahala ka. I’m going to check him out.”
The old man in question ay gumagawa ng apoy para pang-luto.
“Hello po,” sabi ni Beebop. “Ano po ang ginagawa ninyo?”
Tumingin sa kanya ang matanda at nagpatuloy ng trabaho.
“Nagsisiga. Pang-luto.”
“Oh cool.”
Sinulyapan lang siya ng matanda at sinimulang ilagay ang kanyang kaldero.
“Is that rice? Rice po ba ‘yan?”
Tumungo lang ang matanda.
“Thanks po.”
Bumalik si Beebop sa kanyang girlfriend.
“This place is amazing,” sabi niya. “I mean, man, probinsyang-probinsya. Look at the grass. Wild and everything. It’s differen…