December 22, 2004

rest

there are a thousand and one things to do before this year ends, but my brain seemed to have already packed up and went on leave. ah! vacation will have to wait till the 24th for most of us here at the station.



last monday's christmas party turned out to be just as fun as in the past. the only difference is that there were hardly any kids, and the ones who came with their moms must have been terribly bored since there were no games. congratulations to tekpipol for winning the best presentation.



this afternoon, fellow tekpipol macky and archie will tie the knot at santuario de san jose, while vlad will marry his long-time girlfriend len at barasoain church on the 28th. pangga went to her friend's shower last night, with the wedding slotted on january 2.



wow... so many weddings...



congratulations and best wishes to you all!



well, that's it, my last blog for year 2004. it's been a very eventful year for me. while the time to reflect is such a rare luxury, i pray that all the year's lessons be remembered and learned. for now, i need to rest.



have a blessed christmas and new year ahead. ^_^

December 18, 2004

silent night

this monday we'll be having our office christmas party. no games, no raffles, no festivities. just a simple gathering of staffs, friends, and guests.



the office decided to give some of the funds meant for our usual christmas party to the calamity victims in quezon, and i'm so happy the management did that. beer is all that i need to be the happiest party-goer you can find. heehee! Ü



and there will be none of the wacky and noisy games. the passing of FPJ deserves solemnity -- he is, after all, the first cousin of papa bear, and he has always been generous to us. sometimes, i think God has a better plan for him, and He made sure that Da King leave this world still untainted by the ugly world of politics.



the other night, my housemate Ruby mentioned that FPJ's death wasn't as shocking as that of rico yan and nida blanca. true, and i thought i would prefer to leave that way: fading. it doesn't matter how, i just wish it would not be abrupt.



i remember, back in my highschool days, that i swore to never grow old, sick and helpless. back in those days i wished for death to be swift and if possible painless, should it be my time to go. i've seen how old people wither away slowly in pain.



my fear of slow death somehow pushed me to document my life through journals, pictures, and what-nots. my thoughts and memories can now be summarized in about five shoeboxes of letters and mementos, eight notebooks of journals, two webpages (including this blog), over three gigabytes of digital photos, six hardphoto albums, and many more unsorted hardphotos. except for a fully writen will and testament, i'm pretty much guaranteed of a well-documented life should i die anytime.



and i'm ready to die anytime.



but just now, it occured to me: why do i need those documents? has my life been so utterly boring to be even considered "living"? that i need these journals, poems, drawings, and photos so people close to me get to know who i really am while i walked this earth so quietly and inconspicuously? i have neither a nobel prize nor a worthy achievement to remember me by... so maybe i'm desperately piecing together a memory of life, stored in shoeboxes, sketch pads, and photo archives.



many have celebrated their 30th birthday last month. one of them told me how he felt: "i feel old at thirty, and what's worse is that i have nothing to show for myself except the abundance of flabs." i may not have that much flabs, but the truth in everything he said struck me like a sledgehammer. sigh...



this month, two of my friends will get married. they have somehow assured themselves a certain continuity by joining their lives with another. soon they will have children and families. their legacy to this life is coming to a full circle. congratulations and best wishes to you, arch and macky, vlad and len!! the christmas may be silent, but may you have lots of bangs this year-end. (hwehehe! grabe, green na ito ^_^)



merry christmas!! stay clear of firecrackers, okay?

December 14, 2004

forgotten?

first of all...



to Da King *raise mug of coffee* may your legacy never be forgotten.



okay, i feel genuinely sorry now for what i did (refer to prior entry and comments). i'm working to (try) make amends.



i'm not making excuses, i take responsibility for the whole thing, but something just occured to me -- no one has ever told me that someone is missing in the front page of the postcard. the draft went around (except, unfortunately, the person missing) for comments, but none has noticed that someone is not in the picture.



is it by chance that everyone is too busy to notice?

December 13, 2004

season's greetings





sorry

i must be a really, really evil enemy. my attacks are silent, cruel, and so instinctive that i hardly noticed the execution. i won't even realize the extent of the damage until my foe showed up devastated.



i guess it was a bit too much, what i did, even for someone like him.



was that remorse i just felt? that's a good sign, i guess. but sorry is the only thing i have to say.



sigh. i hate this side of me...



the monster within just smiled, licking its bloody claws in satisfaction.

December 09, 2004

storm

there’s a certain anger welling up inside me, like mercury steadily rising. the monster still has no face, it’s nature still eludes my comprehension. but it’s there, it’s real, and if don’t act fast it’s going to tear me apart.

December 08, 2004

dance,

like no one is watching...



it was in highschool when i first espoused this belief: have fun like nothing else matters. somewhere along those crazy years, despite the dominant feeling of invulnerability among us, my friends and i developed this view that any day could be our last, so we must make the best out of it.





sing, like no one is listening. love, like you'll never get hurt...



but things change.



gone are the days of immortality. we're not invulnerable, after all. the booze has got to stop at some point. smoke has got to go. your burned and scarred heart should have learned by now to automatically raise its shields if it doesn't want to bleed anymore.



and you worry now about a lot of things -- your reputation and that of the institution you represent -- you know, all that professional crap.



but change is good. the concept of fun will not always be the same. when i find myself in the quiet company of a good book, a mug of hot coffee, gentle sea breeze, in a pristine white beach, i realize that i'm having fun -- and that i can die peacefully the next day.



i can still dance... i can still sing... i love... and i will stay this way.



...



oh about that professional crap thingy, it's a different thing of course if it's your boss who's giving the thumbs up to let loose. and so at the Marketing and Opinion Research Society (MORES) christmas party last night at New World Renaissance Hotel CATZ disco, we did just that -- have fun.







l-r: mae, lynn, boss mahar, mear (partly hidden), mike, and me.

December 06, 2004

trains, buses, and happy thoughts

the friday evening rush at the mrt was jam-packed. sigh.



that particular friday, the malls at ayala and the one at north edsa simultaneously held a sale (kiss those 13th month pay goodbye, wage earners! har har!), and in my the trip back to quezon city, the train was full to the brim.



i was standing with my back on the wall next to the glass window. a lady took the space in front of me. as the train stopped at the next station, and another deluge of people boarded, we got squeezed together -- with our faces just barely a foot away.



no problem with me. i usually daydream when commuting by train, and my face usually looks blank when i'm at it, with my eyes fixed onto nothingness. one glance at the lady and i can say that she's doing the same: blank expression, eyes looking at nothing.



suddenly she smiled. nope, she's not smiling at me. i looked behind me to find no one, and nothing, except the glass window -- she was smiling at her reflection. she paid absolutely no attention to me, so i went back to daydreaming.



and then she stifled a laugh, covering her mouth.



it was hard to ignore her this time, "miss, bakit?"



"sorry, wala lang,” she said, still smiling.



...





wow, she just had one of those moments – out of nowhere, you remember something so funny and so happy that you can’t stop smiling at yourself, and even laugh out loud.



i remember having those moments when i read Pol Medina’s Pugad Baboy 2 (his funniest compilation ever, in my opinion). i had to laugh out loud by myself inside the UP ikot jeep, or else i’ll suffer from gas pain and stomach cramp (or worse, i might "break wind"). “para kang naka-joots, ah,” i remember my friend telling me.



...



the lady in front of me just had a happy thought. i felt a little envious.



my mind has been too pre-occupied with daydreaming, of planning what to do next with life, thinking of solutions to problems, and fantasizing what life and future would be without those problems.



my envy didn’t last long, though. i can look anywhere and find something that can bring forth a memory, a happy one. sure, life has been harsh and will always be, but as a good friend once told me “good memories should be written on stone and the bad ones on sand”.



i looked through the glass window, at the traffic below the railways. it was horrible. the buses that filled the streets were lined up almost motionless.



so many buses...



before i knew it, i was smiling.

of life and roommates

yesterday, i ran into my former landlady. she lives in the nearby barangay and runs a lying-in clinic, which i helped her put up. i was one of her last batch of boarders, and we're her favorites. *angel halo appears* ting! heehee!



we had our usual updates (and chismis). somewhere along the conversation a familiar name popped up, and the mood changed:



"me: any news about mon (note: not his real name)?"



"landlady: nope, none at all. mau's (note:not her real name, too) parents are tracing his relatives in cavite. that guy is so "madulas" (slippery), "parang siyang palos" (he's like an eel)."



"me: okay. i hope they find something. my regards to mau."



having spent my entire adult life in boarding houses, dormitories, and apartments, i had chances of meeting, and living with, the most interesting personalities i've come across with -- and the adventures (and misadventures) that go with them.



there are a few that i recall with a certain fondness, simply by their sheer uniqueness and the things they've done. here are my top three most memorable roommies.



first, back in undergrad, is the guy who takes a peek inside his roommates' pants every dawn. why? he wanted to see our morning erection and compare them with that of his own. in the absence of morning erection, he would try to induce it by you-know-how. omg! he already got punched several times (one of which from me), but that didn't seem to have any effect.



we've always been uncertain about his sexuality -- none of our roommates' "gaydar" worked on him. he's got a girlfriend, and he's an rotc officer too boot. that guy was transferred to several rooms, and victimized six other guys before finally getting kicked out of the dorm. last thing i heard was he got married and settled in the province.



second is the guy who ran away with my 5-month lodging fee (almost P10,000), my sony walkman, and my watch, and went missing for half a year. his poor parents in the province called me almost everyday, asking for his whereabouts. i had to file a police blotter at the local campus station, and face the ire of those he owe money to. six months later, he showed up asking for forgiveness. it took all my self-control not to beat him him up for what he put his parents through, but in the end i was just thankful he's still alive (though i wouldn't know for how long, considering the many people he owe money to were out to give him serious harm). he disappeared to his province (a very wise move, i say). he never paid me a single cent. his parents are small-land farmers, and i never had the heart to ask them for what their son took from me.



this guy is one of the most musically-talented persons i've met. he plays the guitar like something straight out of a spanish classical, and he can turn any song into a guitar solo. he was active in religious and student organizations, and i see him in every mass held at the campus dorm back in undergrad. we have common friends, who spoke positively of him as well. that was why we readily accepted him in as our roommate, and gave him my full trust. little did i know it was to be one of the biggest mistakes i'll commit, because suddenly he changed into someone we never expected, and caused havoc to his friends and his family.



he has all the talents i could only dream of, but i guess we'll never know what life has in store for any of us.



finally, mon, the pretty-boy who smokes pot, and got our neighbor's daughter pregnant. at the first few months, he was polite enough to bring his smoking outside the house. he's a nice guy, and a generous one too, as he would offer us his pot and supply of condoms in his cabinet, should we need them. a true vanidoso, he showed us a lot about male vanity and the art of female subtleties (here i remember the movie "the tao of steve"). minus the pot, he would have been someone i'd like to hang around with -- he works for an ad agency, while i'm into social research. we also share the same passion for beer. he's never said no to any of my invitation to visit the nearby campus beer garden, and we would drink and talk till wee hours of the morning.



but later on the smell of pot started seeping into our room, beds, and clothes. our landlady booted him out after a warning, but we learned later that he did more than just smoke pot. a few days after he got kicked out, the girl next door, mau, tearfully showed up with her father, asking where they can find our former roommate. it turned out that, when all his roommates are out, mon would invite mau inside our room, smoke pot, and have you-know-what (my my, whatever happened to all those condoms in his cabinet?). the guy now is in hiding. every now and then i would visit my former landlady, and catch a glimpse of the girl next door, with her cute and bouncing baby girl. sigh. i wish mon could see the baby. maybe, just maybe, he'd change his mind.



well, the rest are history. taking everything as a whole, i'd say i've been (and still am) lucky with the people i live with. these few exceptions are there as life's precious lessons as well.