Sunday, September 16, 2012

The New Jam 88.3

The other week, there were rumors that Jam 88.3 is going to change their format to a masa radio station.  So I checked online to see how true the rumors were; some blogs did say that Jam 88.3 was going to change their format, but to what, it was unknown at that time. Until one afternoon, while I was listening to Jam, a commercial said that they will "be new" on September 11. So the rumors were true, but to what kind of format, (still) I did not know. How I hoped that they will not be joining the masa radio station bandwagon, because they are already great as they were.

So I waited until September 11, and when I listened on that day, I thought,  nothing has changed. A few days later... (As of this writing, I am currently listening to A Different Sunday). I noticed, that they changed the schedules of their popular programs such as Republik from Saturdays to Sundays from 6AM to 6PM, right after that is A Different Sunday. However, I was not able to catch the schedules of some of their old radio shows nor the new ones if they have any. The radio station did somehow change their format after-all, they are now playing more songs from bands that I haven't heard of or from bands who are only popular to hardcore music nerds and hardcore alternative music fanatics, they are now playing more songs from indie bands (I think).

Jam 88.3, you are truly a beacon of good alternative taste in the music airwaves, specially during (these) Sundays! Keep it up! However, I am still yet to hear what really is the change, or whatever has been changed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

OPM is (NOT) dead

There has been quite a stir online when the issue that OPM is dead has been given light on the media. It sparked a lot of reactions both supportive to the topic and otherwise. This is my take on the current situation of the country's local music...

OPM has evolved greatly, from songs with deep meanings using words that seemed like old world Filipino poetry made into a song, to simple and easy to understand lyrics, to music used as propaganda or to spark a revolution, instilling hope to people during times when creativity and democracy was in iron chains. OPM used to have a lot of reflective content; of what is happening in the country, may it be about a certain Filipino lifestyle, characteristic, or perhaps maybe just about a place. In the old days, when people don't have much freedom for anything, people were more patriotic, so was our local music. In the old times, writers really do put such an effort in the songs they make, and they make it big and the songs are immortalized. There were also days wherein OPM lyrics were so simple like most songs in the 90s. We had a lot of hits during that time because many people can greatly relate to the song's message, thus, the reflective content of the songs in those days were apparent, many people were able to grab and love the meanings, producing hits. There were songs that merely tells a tale of a heartbreak, a past love, or simply meeting a girl in a jeepney; presented in a very novel and tastefully executed way. At present when people have more freedom than ever, the quality of such content in the musical arts have greatly declined. As what is being shown in the mainstream media, most songs are merely remakes of old ones. I'm not against remakes, but aren't there anything else to tastefully write?

I have been an avid supporter of OPM, and I have been listening to it since I discovered what a radio is back in the 80s. I started purchasing cassette albums of local bands during the 90s, an era where many say was the greatest age of OPM. Then I started buying CDs when the new millennium came, as it did, OPM started to change too, sounding more international and its sound has been hitting foreign shores. As time passed by I noticed that the mainstream OPM has been dominated by remake after remake of old hits, which is apparent in telenovelas and on the masa-market radio stations. I wondered, what happened to making new songs? As I continue my recluse from mainstream music and television; I then submerged myself in the local live music scene; watching live bands instead of listening to some crappy song on the radio or watching recording artists who cannot sing, or actors forced to sing, or perhaps some singer reviving an old hit one after another. Watching live music and going to such places is where I get updates on bands and their new materials, as well as new talents. Hanging-out with like minded people also feeds my thirst and it builds my knowledge on what is out there in the OPM scene.

There are still quite a number of venues where one can still watch good local music and great bands, we have B-Side in Makati, Big Sky Mind, and Cubao X; where some of the last remains of the old Metropolitan Manila is still standing and which is in danger of being lost to a high-rise real estate. Saguijo (also in Makati), is one place that has been catering to people who loves good music and is a venue for great bands to show off their talents, at the same time showing some artworks made by local artists. I have been going to this place for years, and each time, I go home satisfied and drunk (figuratively) with the great sound of OPM music. It was where I first watched Urbandub perform, during the time their hit First of Summer was dominating the airwaves. It is a place for artists who make and write their own music. Going there is immersing myself in pure OPM bliss.

As I was preparing to write this blog entry, I had many thoughts regarding OPM songs. I even thought of defining it or how to define it... Here are my first few thoughts regarding the topic: That if a song is made by a Filipino artist, is it automatically an OPM? In my own opinion, an "Original Pilipino Music" should: reflect the life of a Filipino, be about a place or a certain Filipino lifestyle. Is OPM really dead, dying, or just evolving? I was wrong in the former, because music do evolve with time. As new OPM songs are becoming more "globally sounding", our bands are becoming ever more popular worldwide, enabling our local bands to be internationally known not just in Asia, but also in the West; bands like Typecast and Taken by Cars. However, I am not sure if these bands are widely known locally because I don't hear their songs being played in most radio stations. I cannot say much regarding the T.V. media, because I don't watch T.V. except for documentaries and the daily news.

NU 107, was a haven and an outlet for both the popular and emerging Filipino bands. When it disappeared, it was a loss, not just to local bands but for people who greatly appreciate rock and alternative music. Jam 88.3 then took in what NU 107 left, giving a venue for great OPM and alternative music. Then soon, the latter will be changing its format; to what, is yet to be known. If they will be driving their way to the masa-market radio station bandwagon, then it will be such a great loss. As they are the last medium on the radio who plays alternative music and gives opportunities for good local bands to be heard on the airwaves.

We have a lot of talented and great bands right now. Most sounding so good one will never know they are even a local band, with materials that can be at par or even better than any popular international artist or band. We have bands such as: Yolanda Moon, Encounters with a Yeti, Turbo Goth, Malay, Anyo, Lampara, Techy Romantics, Curbside, Wilabaliw, Not Another Boy Band, Sleepwalk Circus, Jejaview, Taken By Cars, Paramita, and many, many others. How many people, specially the masses know all or even some of the bands mentioned even exist? How many of them know the beautiful music they make? If they only know, maybe they won't be too much attached to crappy foreign pop songs, and the untalented singers will be forced to be better at their craft and release better materials.

I do understand that it is a matter of taste, each to his own as the famous line says; but even those who have access to greater forms of media, the middle class, immerses themselves in the foreign pop culture.  Most of them do not know that we do have such great talents in the local music scene. Most of them (IMO) do not know that we still have a thriving OPM scene.

Yes, at present, OPM is thriving; but only to those who know where to watch them, to those who can, to those in the know. I do think, not long from now, great OPM will only be for the exclusive few.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Phantom of the Opera in Manila (a review by musical first timer)

Last night, me and a very good friend went to watch The Phantom of the Opera at the CCP main theatre. We were lucky to get great seats at the orchestra at a very early part of this year because the seats got sold out pretty quickly. Thanks to Citibank, we got our tickets at a discounted price.

This is my very first musical, so I cannot compare it to anything at all; except to the movie version of the play, however, I think it would be unjustifiable if I did.

The set was marvelous, and I was amazed how they fit all the props on that stage, and with a few surprises. I can really say, that the set was not only expensive, fabulous and exciting, but also high tech! Regarding the production, everything was glamourous; from the costumes to the props. I was astounded with the talents involved in the entire musical; from how they design and put up the props, the orchestra, and of course... the actors. The musical was done in a very operatic or should I say classical fashion; and being a virgin to these kinds of production, everything to me was so new and was just simply amazing.

The musical received a standing ovation. I heard whispers from nearby audience that the ticket price was all worth-it and they loved it. As for me, it was simply a magical night I will never forget. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hope from shattered dreams and a broken heart...

I read a blog entry this afternoon that really affected me so much that I started to play songs about shattered dreams and broken hearts. 

Click here, for That Nishiboy's blog entry.

I can feel the the writer's pain, being a little of an avid reader of his blog and knowing a bit about the author. I can say, in that particular day, he dreamt and he longed; then suddenly all came crashing down on him. In that situation, I can't really say it was his fault, but whatever there is to learn, I hope he doesn't grow so hard that he becomes too numb to love in the many coming days ahead.

Some people can be just so adventurous that they treat others as merely disposable toys; disregarding how the other party feels, but then again, how would they know, how would I? Were the proper expectations set in the first place? I am in no position nor I want to judge anyone who sleeps to many beds looking for that orgasmic high. I don't want to judge those who spends a piece of their time to single-served strangers, exchanging body fluids, tasting their salty sweat and their cigarette flavored saliva. Only to go home to someone waiting for them, waiting for that kiss, for that warm embrace, waiting to taste their lips who kissed a stranger's mouth and sucked a stranger's cock. Whatever their reason for doing so, I am in no position to judge who and what they are. I only hope that this pandemic of carnal addiction would not turn this metropolis into a city of heartless souls. 

His story makes me remember what I lost, and appreciate what I already have. Also, makes me wonder how many more hearts will be broken and torn. How many dreams will shatter after every lustful tryst? How many relationships will falter and how many will be born out from tonight's scorching entwinement of sweaty bodies and spurting warm fluids? How many from tonight, how many tomorrow?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Self-Empowerment Training (RITM)

This is an a public invitation that a fellow PLHIV (pozziepinoy) from RITM asked me to re-post from his blog. I have personally attended this training several months ago. It is a good way to meet up with fellow PLHIVs from different Treatment Hubs. In our batch, there were seven from San Lazaro Hospital (including me) and seven from RITM. It was a refreshing experience to meet PLHIVs from a different Hub. While the seven of us from San Lazaro Hospital are the tenured ones in our batch because most of us were diagnosed in 2010 and already knew each other because we often see one another every Thursdays (OPD Day); the boys from RITM don't know each other, aside from the fact that they were all newbies because all of them just got diagnosed this year, they also don't get to see each other very often due to clinic schedules. So we were the ates and kuyas of our batch.

Anyway, this training is fun and educational. A good way to be able to move forward, specially for those who just got diagnosed.



              SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012, 8AM TO 1PM


Interested parties can text or call Ate Beth 0917- 836-0312. You can also email me at if you have any inquiries. Please indicate your complete name with middle initials for the certificates and ID.

This is a project of RITM-ARG and training is FREE! First come first served basis only. Limited slots available.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

For those who lost the battle

We have been fighting battles for equal right, discrimination, for medicines, for prevention, awareness, fear, for a cure, and many others; but our biggest fight is to stay alive longer and to be at the peak of our health. For some it is an easy battle, for others it is more than an uphill climb, or worse, a losing one.

In the memory of those we have lost in HIV/AIDS, let us keep fighting and keep on moving forward; because this virus will not stop us, until our life's final night. We will live life, and stay alive.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Of deaths and dying in the Philippine PLHIV community

Yesterday, I was browsing some HIV/AIDS clips in Youtube when I checked my Twitter timeline to see the news that a fellow PLHIV passed away earlier that day; the coincidence is just of good timing. I was terribly saddened by the news and it is always heart breaking to know someone passed away because of HIV/AIDS; the virus, the condition, the syndrome, the disease, that many others and me have been fighting. It's even sadder news when they die so young, like the young fellow patients I once knew who died a few weeks after I have known them.

A fellow PLHIV from whom the tweet originally came from told me that some PLHIVs sent him a message that they were scared of the news. I told him "tell them to face the facts, I know it's scary that we will end up the way almost every PLHIV do, but it's how we live that matters". It is always a serious and devastating issue whenever someone dies, whether we personally know them or otherwise, or if we are close to them or not. Dead is how all of us will end up, but when it comes to the PLHIV community, it is always an extra sensitive issue, and I believe it is one fact that many thinks of but are yet to face.

For someone like me who is fighting a battle with HIV/AIDS, it is a sad fact that we will go one by one. It's devastating enough to have this virus and even more with that morbid thought of us dying. My point is, let us not fear death, and let us not ignore it. At our situation, we are somehow lucky that we know what will most likely kill us; therefore, we have more reasons to value our lives and the people we love. Perhaps this awareness will give us greater will and more reasons to live life, and be alive.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Street Photography collection

Alley to paradiseBand standBata sa tabing dagatBoard and wavesFamily outingFamily outing II
Father and childGrowing old togetherHis name starts with the letter JLight and inkMiss boarderMorning swim
On her way to workPagluwasPink bikiniSea from a dreamSkim boardingThe couples
Walking hand in hand with the one I loveWe used to sit side by sidePaghihintayAninoDaanKuwatro kanto
Street Photography, a set on Flickr.
This is a part of a collection of photographs I have shot for the past four years, so far. Click on the link (above) for more Bohemian Diary street photographs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I have three new scars on my right arm and forearm. I am not sure how or when these scars will fade away, or if they ever will. Like a painful experience, these scars were once wounds; they did hurt a little as they heal, until they don’t hurt anymore. Like memories, these scars somehow remain, ‘though I may not feel the pain, the reminder is still there, for me to see or linger upon.

Scars are reminders that we survived.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sa Selda, ang bilanggo sa Ermita

Ito po ang kwento ko sa loob ng selda, kung paano ako hinuli at nakulong sa bilangguan, ilang taon nang nakakalipas. Hindi ko na maalala kung anung taon ito nangyari, pero ang karanasang ito ay hinding-hindi ko malilimutan.

Isang gabi, nag-usap kami ng kaibigan kong si PJ, nagyaya siyang pumunta ng Malate, tutal, matagal-tagal na raw kaming hindi nakakadalaw ulit sa lugar na iyon, baka naman daw may makilala kami o may mag-take home sa kanya. Sinundo ko si PJ sa apartment na inuupahan niya sa Cubao at kami ay kumain muna sa Gayway, este sa Gateway. Matapos ng aming hapunan ay sumakay na kami ng taxi patungong Malate. Baon ang masasayang pagmumuni-muni sa loob ng taxi at ang kaligayahan ng natitira naming pagkabata ay masaya kaming nagtungo sa Malate.

Dumating kami ng Malate ng medyo maaga, mga bandang alas-diyes yata ng gabi iyon at nagsisimula pa lang magsidatingan ang mga kabaklaan sa Oh Bar, sabi ko ay pumunta kami ng Bed na lang. Nung sumilip kami sa Bed, aba, halos walang tao, korny… Pero sabagay, maaga pa kasi. Kaya pumunta kami sa Oh Bar at nakipagsiksikan sa loob. Umorder kami ng beer at nakihalubilo sa mga lalakeng borta sa dance floor at sa tabi-tabi na tila mga call boy na nag-aabang ng mga customer. Naka dalawang bote na ako ng beer at si PJ ay isa pa lang, hindi pa niya naubos ang beer niya, kaya ako na ang umubos at hindi naman siya sanay uminom. Lumabas muna siya at ako naman ay naiwang nag-s-sightseeing sa loob ng Oh Bar. Sayaw-sayaw, lakad dito, lakad doon. Hanggang sa tumawag si PJ, at lumabas daw ako, may boylet daw siyang nakita at mukhang pogi. Naka-apat na bote na ako ng beer nang ako ay lumabas at hinahanap siya sa tapat ng Oh Bar.  Nakita ko si PJ na nasa tapat ng Oh Bar sa kabilang side ng kalye at may kumakausap sa kanyang bata na may dalang mga rosas at nilapitan ko naman siya sa may kanto ng Orosa at Nakpil. Nang biglang…

May lumapit sa aking pulis. Sabi sa akin “Ser, bawal po yan”. Ang bigla kong tanung… “Anu ho ang bawal kuya”? “Bawal magdala ng alak sa kalye, kaya sa presinto na po kayo magpaliwanag” sabi ng pulis. Tapos may biglang lumapis na Police Mobile, yung mga nakikita niyo na mukhang jeep na maliit na kulay puti, iyon ang biglang dumating at pinasakay ako ng biglaan. Si PJ ay wala nang nagawa, maski ako, sumunod na lang ako sa gustong mangyari ng mga pulis at sumakay sa jeep. May apat pang mga becks ang pinasakay nila at nang makaupo ay nagsimula nang umandar ang sasakyan ng pulis. Lahat ng sangkabadingan ng Malate ay nakatingin sa amin, jusko... Ang kahihiyan ko! Ang bilis ng tibok ng puso ko habang hawak ko pa ang bote ng beer na hindi ko na nagawang inumin pa. Bigla kong tinawagan si PJ at sabi ko sa kanya na tatawagan ko siya agad kung saan man kami dadalhin ng mga pulis. Nagpapanick na ako at halos mangiyak-ngiyak dahil naiisip ko na bubugbugin ako ng mga pulis na ito. Tumigil ang jeep sa isang kanto at hinuli ang lalakeng umiihi sa pader, pati siya ay pinasakay sa sasakyan. Maya-maya ay tinatahak na ng pulis jeepney ang kahabaan ng Taft hanggang sa lumiko kami pa-kanan sa U.N. avenue. Pinababa kami sa Ermita Police Station, na may nabanggang kotse sa harap nito at umuusok pa ang makina. Ako, yung apat na becks, yung lalaking umiihi sa pader ay pare-parehong pinababa at pinaderecho sa loob. Sabi sa amin ng mga pulis sa loob ng presinto, bawal daw ang may hawak ng bote ng beer na bukas sa labas ng kalye, sabi ko naman ay galing ako sa katapat na bar, sabi naman ng pulis, ay hindi na raw pag-ma-may-ari ng bar ang parte na iyon ng kalye. Sumagot naman ako na eh paano kung may street party? Bakit hindi niyo naman hinuhuli ang mga tao? Eh hirit naman ng isang pulis “may permit iyon, kaya hindi kami nanghuhuli, pero ngayon, ordinaryong araw lang, kaya dapat doon lang kayo sa mga may lamesa nag-iinom ng mga beer, hindi sa kalye mismo, kahit hindi ka umiinom, may dala ka pa ring bukas na bote ng beer”. Lumabag daw kami sa City Ordinance ng Maynila, sabi pa ng isang pulis. Kaya wala na kaming nagawa, at lahat kami ay pinapasok na sa selda.

Tinawagan ko na si PJ at sabi ko ay nasa Ermita Police Station ako at nasa loob na ng selda. Tinawagan ko ang daddy ko, sabi ko nakulong ako, pinaliwanag ko lahat sa daddy ko ang nangyari at sabi ko ay sunduin niya ako, aba, ang sabi ba naman ay “maaga pa, mamaya na at baka hindi ka rin naman makalabas diyan at weekend ngayon isa pa, ignorance is not an excuse”. Tinawagan ko si Aubrey, tumawag ako sa boss ko, tumawag ako sa tita ko, at kung sino-sinu pa… Hanggang sa nawala ang kaba ko nang dumating si PJ. Siya na rin ang kumausap sa mga pulis at pinakilala niya akong kapatid niya.

Sa loob ng selda, ay kung anu ang napapanood natin sa pelikula ay ganoon nga! Marumi, maiinit, masikip, at punong-puno ng mga nakakatakot na mga lalakeng mukhang tambay sa kanto, maraming tattoo, at mukhang mamatay tao…Sa ibang salita, mukha talaga silang kriminal at mga hindi pa naliligo. Nakaharap ako sa labas ng selda habang may kausap sa telepono si PJ, nasa gitna ako ng loob ng selda, at sa gawing kaliwa ko naman ay ang apat na becks na mga paminta, sa gawing kanan ko naman ay ang mga nakakulong na nagising at bigla ba namang humingi sa akin ng yosi. Ako naman si bigay ng yosi kasi baka bugbugin nila ako kung hindi ko sila bibigyan. Tinanung ako ng isang matandang nakakulong kung bakit daw ako andun at anung kaso ko, sabi ko “hinuli po ako kasi may dala po akong bote ng beer sa kalye”, bigla namang sabi ng lalakeng medyo bata pa na mukhang nasa biente anyos pa lang “madali lang ‘yan, magbabayad lang kayo ng piyansa sa City Hall, makakabalas ka na, kaso Sabado ng madaling araw-ngayon, sa Lunes ka pa makakalabas dahil walang City Hall mamaya, sarado”. Hanggang sa nagising na ang karamihan sa mga nakakulong at lahat sila humingi ng yosi, binigyan ko naman. Nakipagkuwentuhan naman sila sa akin, sabi nila, huwag daw akong matakot at makakalabas naman daw ako agad, wow, very comforting.

Bigla akong na-wiwi sa mga nangyayari, tinungo ko ang C.R. ngunit umurong ang ihi ko sa baho at dumi ng nito kaya hindi ko kinaya, nagyosi na lang ako ulit. Tiningnan ko yung apat na becks, tahimik lang silang apat at walang kinakausp na mga bilanggo, ako naman ay chumika na lang sa mga nakakulong doon, mukha naman pala silang mababait, take-note... Mukha lang! Eh mga kriminal ang mga iyon! Bigla tuloy sumagi sa isip ko ang mga jail-rape na nangyayari sa bilangguan na napapanood ko sa porn movies, at kung anu-ano pang pelikula, baka ma-rape ako dito! Sa kaka-imagine ko ng kung anu-ano ay umupo na ako sa marumi at malamig na sahig ng selda sa gawing kanan habang nasa labas pa rin si PJ at hindi magkanda-ugaga sa pakikipagusap sa cellphone niya, at tuloy-tuloy pa rin ako sa pagyoyosi para mawala ang kaba… Dahil ayokong abutin ng Lunes sa bilangguan! Isa pang inaalala ko ay ang kotseng nabangga sa harap ng pulis station at umuusok, baka biglang sumabog iyon at lamunin kami ng apoy habang nasa loob ng selda!

Ilang sandali pa ay tinawag ang pangalan ko, makakalaya na raw ako! Sa wakas, makakalaya na ako pagkalipas ng dalawang oras sa bilangguan!

Dali-daliang lumabas kami ni PJ palabas ng presinto. Nagbayad daw siya ng P1,500 at nag-iwan ng I.D. para sa kalayaan ko. Hay, maraming salamat, PJ!

Pumunta na kami ng Makati at kumain. Hindi ko na alam kung anu ang nangyari sa apat na becks na naiwan sa loob ng selda o sa lalakeng hinuli dahil umiihi sa pader. 

Ang leksyon ng pangyayaring ito... Huwag magdala ng bukas na bote ng beer sa kalye at sumunod sa batas. Simula ng araw na iyon ay naging napakamasunurin ko nang bata pagdating sa batas.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happiness and Health; keeping the CD4 count up.

One common and constant battle among PLHIVs (People Living with HIV) is the challenge we face in either keeping or pulling up our CD4 count at a healthy and normal level. Here are some facts (from online sources) to what a CD4 is and its importance before we proceed.

“CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Another name for them is T-helper cells. CD4 cells are made in the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus gland, which are part of the lymph or infection-fighting system. CD4 cells move throughout your body, helping to identify and destroy germs such as bacteria and viruses.
The CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of your blood drawn by a needle from a vein in your arm. Along with other tests, the CD4 count helps tell how strong your immune system is, indicates the stage of your HIV disease, guides treatment, and predicts how your disease may progress. Keeping your CD4 count high can reduce complications of HIV disease and extend your life.”

“Your immune system contains different types of cells that help protect the body from infection. One of these types of specialized cells are called the CD4 or T-cells. HIV attacks these types of cells and uses them to make more copies of HIV. And in doing so, HIV weakens the immune system, making it unable to protect the body from illness and infection.”

“HIV most often infects CD4 cells. The virus becomes part of the cells, and when they multiply to fight an infection, they make more copies of HIV.
When someone is infected with HIV but has not started treatment, the number of CD4 cells they have goes down. This is a sign that the immune system is being weakened. The lower the CD4 cell count, the more likely the person will get sick.”

Thus, as mentioned above, the amount of CD4 cells are of important basis of a PLHIV’s health. The higher the number of CD4 cells in the system, the better. A normal CD4 count is from 500 to 1000 cells/mm3.

Here in the Philippines, a PLHIV is required to have his CD4 count checked every 6 months. When I was first diagnosed, my CD4 count was at 526 back in April 2010. It then went down to 385; I started taking medications when my CD4 hit 295. Six months after beginning ARV treatment, my CD4 went up to 589, it went up again last June to 687. During the time that my CD4 count hit below the 500 level, I did get sick; I got Pneumonia twice within three months, so yes, my immune system was already indeed weak and vulnerable as science says.

When I started ARV treatment, I really did not do anything radically different to help boost-up my immune system. No vitamins until now, no food supplements, no herbal treatments whatsoever. I just stayed happy as I usually am and learned to let go of things that would heighten my stress levels, because stress is a very big factor to our immune system’s decline. Although I do believe in another thing, that one can never be truly happy without being accepting of oneself, thus, living in denial is a health hazard.

Also, surround yourself with people who care. Remember, when you disclose to someone you know, it does not mean that they care or will do, some or most people are only curious of you and your condition despite of how much you trust them. So be wise on whom you disclose your status to.

I admit, I still do smoke, I figured that I’d rather psychologically de-stress with something that might kill me a few years from now, rather than not smoke at all and be stressed about it and than put my health in bigger jeopardy because of mental or emotional stress then it will kill me sooner because of a weakened immune system. However, despite of my now back smoking habits, I was still able to pull-up my CD4 count to normal, and still going higher. I know of many PLHIVs who have a hard time doing so, yes it is a case to case basis, but still, the point is, pulling it up to a normal level is indeed a big challenge every PLHIV face with or without any Opportunistic Infections they might have or roadblocks they might be facing.

Being happy is one thing, but being genuinely happy and thinking one is happy are two different things and there is a fine line between the two.  Be genuinely happy, accept yourself and the things you can’t change, and let go of the extra baggage, embrace life and be alive.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Automatic Loveletter (a band review)

Around two years ago, I stumbled upon this live video of All Time Low's *Remembering Sunday, with Juliet Simms singing somewhere along the song. The moment I heard her sing I thought that “she’s so damn good”, although I never paid attention nor check out her band until only this year when my partner told me that a certain Juliet Simms was one of the finalists in the My Voice contest in the States, and that she was his favorite contestant. This very video (right) is what made me know who Juliet Simms is and her band, Automatic Loveletter. 

*All Time Low’s song Remembering Sunday is one of my ultimate favorite song of theirs. This song is about a man falling in love with a girl but losing her in the process, then tries to look for her again, but the girl doesn't want to go back to him anymore, and goes away.

Checking out Automatic Loveletter’s music has been such a wonderful experience. Their songs were great and Juliet Simms’ voice is powerfully different with a unique sound between husky and high pitched. Their music reminds of the likes of Paramore and Flyleaf. The difference is that the band's music somehow sounds unpolished, making it sound as if more emotions has been put into their songs, you can almost feel the angst or that certain feeling that the singer tries to show. However, generally, they sound more like those bands back in the 1990s where their instrumental setup is basic, with straightforward lyrics that will make you reminisce of past break-ups with lyrics such as:

You color my eyes red
Your loves not alive it's dead
This letters written itself inside-out again
When rivers turn to roads and lovers become trends
Hush, this is where it ends.

Track: Hush
Album: Recover

…And will also make you feel giddy all over, like the first time you ever fell in love.

Tonight we're alive for the very first time
Tonight we're alive 'cause there's no where to hide
Don't give up on me now
I won't let you down
When we come back to life

Track: Back to Life
Album: Truth or Dare

…Or some lines to bid goodbye to whoever made a mark in our lives. 

It's goodbye to the ones we left
There's a place on my pillow should you need to rest
And a sense of belonging that never ends
But I'll always be hoping that one day I'll see you again.

Track: Pillows
Album: The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On

Automatic Loveletter videos:

Make-up Smeared Eyes


Hush (acoustic)

Black Ink Revenge (live)

I was just wondering why this particular song (below) is not part of any of their albums, I like the up-beat tune of this song and the wonderfully light lyrics it has. 

When We First Met 



When we're together we drift away
Often out of sight
We feel things that we can't explain
If we try hard we just might

Shake shake baby on and on
We're gonna break break, break on out
Shake shake baby on and on
We're gonna break break, break on out

Sweep me off of my feet
Take me back to the beginning
The night when we first met
So me and you can keep a secret
You're not close enough to hear it

The night when we first met
The night when we first met
We first met
The night when we first met

Waves crash down, the moon is high
Take my hand, lead me in
Our clothes are on the shore, the waters cold
We keep each other warm

Shake shake baby on and on
We're gonna break break, break on out
Shake shake baby on and on
We're gonna break break, break on out

Sweep me off of my feet
Take me back to the beginning
The night when we first met
So me and you can keep a secret
You're not close enough to hear it

The night when we first met
The night when we first met
We first met
The night when we first met

We are in love
We are in love
In love
In love
In love

Sweep me off of my feet
Take me back to the beginning
The night when we first met
So me and you can keep a secret
You're not close enough to hear it

What they don't know can't hurt
It felt so right when you kissed me
Close your eyes and you miss me
The night when we first met
Shooting stars got us wishing
That our eyes pay attention

The night when we first met
The night when we first met
We first met
The night when we first met

I don’t know why such a band hasn’t been very famous or popular in the mainstream scene when they are this good. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the videos. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Anyone Can Cook

I always wanted to be able to cook a nice meal for anyone, but this past few weeks, I have been exceptionally inspired (ahem) to do so, well, on almost a daily basis. I admit that I am not an exceptionally good cook, but I continuously hone my skills in this art of cooking as much as I can, because I believe that a good meal and a full stomach is one way to happiness, and I like to make people happy and that one person in particular.

Photos courtesy of PB

So I continue to cook, putting my heart into each dish I make and hopefully making each one be more tasteful and delicious than the last. As a famous line in the popular animated flick Ratatouille says, “Anyone can cook”.  
Click the player for music, Le Festin - Ratatouille OST

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Experiencing the Smashing Pumpkins concert in Manila.

It was a very rainy Wednesday night when my friend, as well as me and my partner braved the torrential downpour just to watch the Smashing Pumpkins perform in the Araneta-Smart Coliseum. I was doubtful that it we would still have good seats considering that we arrived in the venue an hour before the start of the program. However, when we got in, I was surprised to see a lot of seats still empty, oh well, it was raining hard that night and traffic was horrendous all over the city. So I believed my friend when she told me that there were still a lot of seats remaining for that night, that early. 

The front stage area was barely filled in half, so while we wait, I was doubtful it was ever going to be filled by half when the concert starts. It was past 8:30 PM and people kept coming in, the show was supposed to start by that time. It was almost past an hour and the front stage area was already way past half filled, so not bad, a lot of people did come. The upper box areas of Araneta were also quite filled with people, not bad for a very rainy night.

I was lost and was quite bored when the band played their songs from their album Oceania, although I saw a few people singing to their songs, my friend and me were really lost and she surprisingly fell asleep. I was feeling a bit disappointed mainly because I no longer know what the band was playing. I kept on wondering, will they ever play the songs I wish they would play, the old ones? The crowd was mainly composed of my same age group, old-school fans that were listening to the band way back in the 1990s so the venue was generally peaceful and quiet with a loud clapping in between songs as the band played their newer songs.

When the band roadies finally put the keyboards aside, my heart pounded fast, and I was ecstatic, because I thought… “Finally, here we go, this is what me and the rest of the fans came here for”, because there were no keyboards in old-school Smashing Pumpkins music! We were not disappointed. People started screaming, raising their hands, and clapping their hearts out when the band played Tonight, Tonight; which was one of their greatest hits back in the old days, from their on, people were singing along to the Smashing Pumpkins’ greatest hits, “this is the Smashing Pumpkins that we came here to for”, I said to myself. The crowd went wild when they played Bullet with Butterfly Wings and 1979 as well as when they played the rest of their old-school hits. My partner and me were surprised and happy that the band played their song Stand Inside Your Love, that song was our sort of theme song.

Overall, the band did not disappoint, the band ended their two and a half hour gig with a song from Kiss. They played all the songs I wish and expected them to play except for the song Perfect. We had a great time, I’m sure rest of the fans did too!

Friday, April 6, 2012


It was in the year 2005, I was a thin and frail twink on his first day on the production floor when I saw this brave chick clattering her fingers on her workstation keyboard. She was fine, with long swaying hair and smooth brown skin. She caught my gay aura wit her strong personality, and I thought she was going to be my supervisor, to my dismay, the michellin looking guy beside her was my supervisor to be. Not bad I thought, he's kind of cute in a way and he looks daddyish. At that moment as I was looking at her, she looks at me with a strong stare, and the first words I heard from her was "bakla ka ba?" (are you gay?) and I shockingly said yes. Then she said "tara yosi tayo" (c'mon let's smoke). We were inseparable from then on.

I met her at work, her friend was my supervisor, 'though I constantly wished that she was my supervisor then. I don't know, I was just attracted to her in a way. Our professional relationship blossomed into a closeness that friends have, until I became her gay best friend. Time came when she introduced me to her family, I love her entire household and her family was one big chaotically controlled jumble of characters. A normal family I never had, and they treated me as one of theirs. When Angel and I broke up, she welcomed me in her home, adopted me like a baby of her own, and I've always wanted to be treated like one. She became my manager at work, but we draw a fine line between friends and subordinates when at work, I was fearful of her at the office, my nerves shake during meetings and when she demands things from me, simply because she didn't treat me like a friend at work. After office hours, we were back to normal again, we were like schizophrenics on a high during those days, living in one house, working in one office, and being in one team altogether is one crazy chaotic business, but we managed to get through all of those without any effort.

I remember one time when I become so depressed that I started to lose weight so much that I look almost like Karen Carepenter in her last days, she bought groceries and started cooking meals for me to stuff me back to a healthy weight. She took great care of me when we were still working together, she bought me food everyday, and she always wait for me to go home during my date nights, like a mother waiting for a kid to go home from his first date. I remember the night when I was so drunk and crying over this guy who dumped me. I couldn't even stand up in front of Club Government, I was crying and puking on the curb along Makati avenue. She was at work and she cancelled her meetings just to pick me up and send me home. On a separate occasion, I was so drunk I blacked out, she bathed me herself and I found myself in dry and clean clothes the next day.

She took care of me when I was hospitalized because of some wild reaction to Nevirapine (A first line Anti-Retroviral Drug), she spent nights in the hospital just to make sure I was okay, I was deeply touched when her entire family went to visit me in the hospital, just like when a dear a family member was sick. She was at my side until I recovered and did not need any help anymore. Although she would still visit me on some days and her dad would visit me every single day. Angel saw how she valued me as her friend, Aubrey saw how Angel still loves me, and I saw how blessed I am to have them in my life.

We had our arguments, we had our major quarrels, just like usual friends do. Our love for each other made us rekindle our lost friendship once more. Then I knew that she just doesn't want me to go away, because she loves me so much that she was possessive as a friend, I knew that the hard way.

Aubrey and her family is the family I never had and I've always wanted. She is the girl I've always needed and I was her baby until she has her own.

Our love for each other is a true testimony that love between friends do conquer everything; distance, quarrels, misunderstandings, and of boys and men. Men will come and they may go, but true friends stay and never go.

You will always be my one and only, my love. Aubrey.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Little King (part 2): Nomads

With four boxes and just one piece of appliance to carry with them, King and his mom found themselves in a small house in Montalban, Rizal. King already accepted the fact that his real father will not be seen anymore and that they have to live a new life now. The house was small, with no bedrooms and no running water. King learned to use the water pump or pozo to fetch water. He also learned how to raise roosters for cockfighting because his step father was into it. During spare time,  he would go to their neighbor's house to watch television, like what he did in Calamba; he watched T.V. peeking through the neighbor's window. He later found out that his mom was pregnant, he's going to be a big brother soon.

The headlines on the newspaper was of former President Ferdinand Marcos' death when King was asked to sell some cheap polvoron for them to get by. He didn't have any choice because his mom was already pregnant. So he carried the polvoron bags in a bigger plastic bag and walked across the town to sell it He went from house to house, corner to corner asking people if they would want to buy some, saying his mom is pregnant and they needed money, he was able to sell a few pieces. It became a routine, until one day he passed by a bakery, and the breads and pastries looked very tempting to him. He wanted to buy some, but he couldn't because the little money he earned from selling polvoron will be used to buy them dinner for that day. For a few pieces of coins they can have fried eggs and cheap rice for dinner or perhaps a piece or two of dried fish (tuyo) for him and his mom to share. King's attention was caught by the pristine mamon cake, it looked so delicious and wonderful that he wanted to buy it right then and there; he said to himself that it has been a long time since he ate a cake, so long that he forgot how it tastes like; but he thought of their dinner and went on to sell the polvoron goods. When King got home, he told his mom what he wanted for his birthday, all he asked was a piece of mamon cake. Which his mom got for him on the day of his birthday, and he was very happy.

They transferred to another apartment but in another municipality; San Mateo, Rizal. The apartment has no running water, but instead of fetching water to a water pump, King would go to the nearby neighbor to fetch water from a faucet. King was getting older, he was already seven years old at that time and just like many kids, it was time to go to school. Unlike other kids, King was poor, his family was poor that his mom couldn't even send him to a public school. Instead, his mom would borrow used books and collected used and printed bond papers to be used as notebooks. King would erase all the answers and notes on each page of the books, one by one until it doesn't have any traces of answers on them. His mom spent an hour or two a day to teach him school lessons, but just the very basic; like reading, writing, and mathematics. His stool was an empty can of Skyflakes and his table was a tall biscuit can, the one that most people see and buy in bus stations. So when King is hungry during lesson time, he can conveniently put down his papers and books on the floor and open his tin can table to get some biscuits for snacks. If King was not selling polvoron, or studying, or fetching water, he and his mom would read local comics, rented for 50 centavos per comic. Dennis was born, King is now a big brother. So during his spare time, aside from reading comics, he would help his mom take care of his baby brother.

They needed to transfer to another apartment again, so they did, and it was just a tricycle ride away from their old place. At their new place, King stopped selling polvoron, instead he started to sell puto (a local white rice cake, small and white with cheese on top) and he uses a bilao to sell them. They needed more money and King has to work for it, peddling his goods in a wider area than before.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Little King (part 1): Transitioning

There was once a little boy named King. Born from a well off family, and an only child. He was simply living a normal childhood at the age of five, with toys so many that his neighbor kids envy and clothes that only worn by the wealthy. His skin was as smooth as a newborn's, a sign that he was a well sheltered boy. King, always get what he wants, new toys, and the most expensive ones too. He enjoys traveling at a very young age and by army helicopters courtesy of his wealthy and powerful uncle and by commercial planes when nothing was available. He was a bright and talented little boy who belonged to a clan of the rich and politically influential in the southern islands.

For some circumstances, King's mom met a guy, a someone, named Donald. Who lives in a slum area in a spot alongside a street called Lantana, in a place called Cubao. King and his mom would often go there for some reason unknown to him. He was shocked by what he saw the first time he went there. He saw people living in rooms that seemed to him that were like cardboard boxes but actually they have plywood for walls and doors. They find their way through a maze of wet and slippery alleyways and as he looked up to the sky, he saw nothing but the jumbled electric wires and wet clothes hanging from above. There were people shouting, shirtless drunk men at every bend and tiny stores selling cheap goods at every alleyway they go. That was his first sight of poverty.

One day, King's mom packed their bags and told him they were leaving and that his dad is not coming home anymore, which was at that time working abroad as an engineer. He has subtle and faint memories of his dad, he couldn't even remember his face. The next thing he knew was that they were in Sta. Rosa, Laguna in someone else's house.

King and his mom moved in with a huge family of 10 in a big apartment in Sta. Rosa. They had a little grocery store on the ground floor and the rooms were at the second floor. The owners of the apartment were so nice to them, specially to him. When the owners of the apartment would scold their kids, he would be treated so nicely that their own kids hated him. He felt bad and started feeling left out, so he thought he should help out  with manning the store and taking care of the deliveries of the bottled soft drinks to nearby houses and sari-sari stores. He learned to bike at age five, but with a side car. He was so good with it that he can drive it nearly on it's side for a few meters before he needs to have the sidecar back down on the ground or else he would be out of balance. He was happy, and he adapted quickly to his new environment.

King saw his mom packing their bags again one hot summer night, and they moved to their own place, a somewhat bigger one in Calamba, Laguna. He and his mom had nothing but a few bags of clothes, a Sony colored T.V., a portable water heater and a foldable table with them. He still remembers his blue Mighty Kid rubber shoes; those were the last items of their former wealth. Most of the time, King would just watch T.V. and he liked Michael Jackson so much that he memorized almost every dance step his idol does and sing to every one of his songs. King loves to sing and dance, and his number one fan was his mom.

King and his mom were packing their bags again, they are moving to another house after just  a few months in the big house they just settled in, and they barely settled at all. The next place was still somewhere in Calamba, just a tricycle ride away was their new home. The new place was just as big, with kid neighbors and he remembers seeing a big palayok on top of a cement pillar in the middle of a plaza a few walks away from their new home. He remembers an old house, which he knew later on was Jose Rizal's ancestral house just almost across the plaza with the palayok. Although the house that they just moved in was bigger, it was not any nicer, it was old and it creaks, with cracks on the wooden floors as well as on the walls, the windows were made of old style framed windows with capiz shells, just like the one in very old Hispanic houses, it has high ceilings and big rooms. One has to go through a small, long and dark alleyway just to go to the main road and back to the house. There was a very big and old santol tree a few meters outside their rented house whose wide branches extends beyond the rooftop and gives shade during a hot noon. Their colored T.V. was gone and was replaced by a small portable AM/FM radio without even a cassette player. King has his own room although it was empty except for a small box bought from the nearby market to store his clothes and for a weaved mat (banig) for him to sleep on, he has a small pillow and red checkered blanket. It was the night of his birthday, Donald gave him a blue toy robot and his mom introduced Donald as his new father.

Donald was dark and bald, big and fat, so fat that his neck was almost non-existent; with tattoos all over his body and scars of what seemed to be bullet wounds patched across the skin of his arms and thighs. He has a big black-eye that never went away on his left eye. Donald smoked a lot, menthol was his choice of cigarettes and he would wear only his sando and briefs whenever he's around. He would disappear for months and would only stay at their place for a few days, then disappear again. King never spoke a word to Donald, not even a mere "hi" or "how are you?". Whenever Donald was around, King would just stay in his big and dark empty room. He started to wonder where his real father was.

When King started to ask his mom where his father was, his mom would reply that he is never coming back and that Donald is now his new dad. King was furious, but he never showed it to his mom. One night, Donald was in their house, smoking his usual stick of menthol cigarette by the window, he asked his mom "I want my daddy, my real daddy, where is he?". His mom replied that Donald was his new dad and his dad left them for good, King replied in a young little boy's high tone of voice "I want my daddy back, Donald is not my dad, he is just some jerk in his underwear with a big belly!"; Donald slapped him on his face so hard he fell to the creaky wooden floors. King cried out loud, saying "I want my daddy back, I want my daddy back!"as tears fell down his reddish face. His mom picked him up, embracing him, comforting him like a baby; saying that his dad is away and he has a new dad now. King sobbed quietly while his arms was around his mom's neck, whimpering "daddy daddy, where are you?", and he fell asleep on his mother's arms with his head quietly on her shoulders.

During days when Donald was not around, was King at his happiest. He would play outside with the other kids and watch Shaider through the neighbor's window. King would peek through a huge window with twisted iron grills and held on to them as he enjoys Shaider defeat the mignons of Puma Ley Ar.

The santol tree was bearing fruits and his kid neighbors would climb the tree and pick some. There he had a taste of his first santol fruit. King was didn't like the taste of the meat, but he loved the juicy, cottony soft seeds it, with its sour taste with a hint of sweetness. The rainy season came, King loves the water. He loves the water so much that he always liked to bathe in the rain if it is hard enough. One day, while he was bathing in the rain his right slipper broke, so one of his older guy neighbor friend did, was to make him a boat out of his broken slipper, a few wires for the fence of the boat and a little piece of plastic for the sail, King was very happy. The rain gave me a strange comfort.

It was Fiesta time in Calamba and there was a perya (fair) in the town Plaza. King and his mom happily checked out what was there to see in the town fair, it was a warm evening and his eyes caught the attention of the three colored cubes with a different color in each side of each cube, it was called the color game. People would bet on a table with squares of different colors that are also in the cubes; the cubes are placed atop a briefcase like case held by a length of wood, when the wood is released, and the cubes fall, the color on top of the cubes is the winning color. King's mom gave him a few coins, and he bet on a few colors he fancied, luckily he won every bet he made, doubling at each bet. He and his mom bought rice cakes that night from the money he won. With a few more money to spare from his winnings, he had his first ferris wheel ride.

His mom told him they are moving to a new place. So they were packing their bags again, this time, the bags were replaced with boxes for their clothes and with such very few stuff left, they had only 4 boxes of belongings plus an electric fan which he was asked to carry.

to be continued...

The Stranger's Hand

We touched hands as lovers do

Even for a brief moment,

I was very close to you.

No one can steal that event

They can only stare and look

Our fingers discreetly hooked,

and clinging to our pockets,

hoping, pretending, no one...

Notices, not a glimpse of the quick bond.

Even for a quick moment,

until this very moment.

I can still feel the roughness,

and the comforting clasp of,

your thin, brown, wide, and warm hand.

I quickly took a glimpse of,

the one weaving his fingers,

to my shaking little hand.

I saw the face of a boy.

Whtih a striking dirty face,

with pretty, big, sparkling eyes.

Train stopped and opened its doors.

Then you let go of my hand,

as gently when you held it.

And right there you walked away.

You did not say any word,

Not even another glance,

Not even a single clue.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Ang Huling Yakap

Freshmen tayo noon, unang araw ng klase, nakita kitang nakaupo sa bandang likod ng classroom malapit sa malalaking bintana na tanaw ang isang malaking mall na kilalang tambayan ng mag estudyante ng kolehiyo natin. Ang ganda ng bagsak ng liwanag sa iyong mukhang nakadungaw sa labas, suplado ka 'nun, at wala kang kinakausap. Naisip ko na parang kilala kita noon pa, kaya ako ay lumapit sa kinaroroonan mo at tinanung ko kung may nakaupo na sa tabi mo. Nagpakilala ako at tayo ay nag-usap, napagalaman natin sa isa't isa na magka-eskuwela pala tayo noong highschool, ngunit lumipat ka ng paaralan kaya hindi kita nakilala. Hanggang first year highschool lamang pala tayo naging magka-eskwela. Nagpakilala ako, at nagpakilala ka, gandang ganda ako sa pangalan mo. Simula noong araw na iyon ay hindi na halos tayo nagkakahiwalay sa loob ng kolehiyo.

Sa walong subjects ko, anim doon ay kaklase kita. Parati akong late sa unang subject natin sa umaga, at sa tuwing darating ako sa klase ay may naka-reserba nang upuan para sa akin na nasa palaging kaliwa mo. Magkatabi tayo sa lahat ng subjects na magkaklase tayo, ako ay palaging nasa kaliwa mo, hindi ko alam kung bakit. Naalala ko pa ngang nagkokopyahan pa tayo ng tuwing may quiz.

Naging malapit tayo sa isa't isa, at tayo ay naging mag-best-friends pa, at alam ng lahat iyon. Pinagdadala mo pa ako minsan ng baon at ganun din ako sa iyo kapag may dala akong pagkain. Lahat ng bagay ay share tayo. Tuwing walang professor ay hindi tayo magkandaugaga sa kakadaldalan na tila walang pakialam sa iba nating kaklase. Hindi ko pa nga nakakalimutan na palagi mong sinasabi sa akin na kamukhang kamukha ko ang isang sikat na Ice Hockey player sa Canada.

Dumating ang panahong gabi-gabi ay nagtetext ka ng good-night at tuwing umaga ay may good-morning akong matatanggap sa text. Gusto ko yun bigyan ng malisya, pero ayoko, dahil mag-best-friends nga tayo, normal lang naman iyon yata kahit sa magkaibigang lalake. Ang alam ko noong mga panahong iyon ay may girlfriend ka, dahil may litrato kayo ng girlfriend mo sa binder mo; ang ganda ganda nga niya, at ang saya-saya niyo sa larawang iyon. Nakaipit ang litrato niyong dalawa sa cover ng binder mo.

Matatapos na ang isang trimester, malapit na ang final exams 'nun, at wala tayong professor kaya pumunta tayong dalawa sa malapit na mall para magpalipas ng oras habang naghihintay ng susunod na klase. Hindi ko na halos maalala kung paano mo sinabing hindi mo girlfriend ang nasa larawang nakaipit sa binder mo, at bigla mo akong inakbayan. Iba ang pakiramdam ko 'nun sa iyo, may malisya na, at hindi ko alam kung bakit at kung ano, pero... Parang binuksan mo ang isang pinto ng iyong pagkatao sa akin noong araw na 'iyon. Walang pasok ng ilang araw, hindi ka nagparamdam sa akin ng Sabado at Linggo. Nagtetext ko sa iyo, ngunit hindi ka nagrereply, tinatawagan ko ang cellphone mo, pero hindi mo rin sinasagot.

Dumating ang araw ng pagsusulit. Late na naman ako, at walang nakaupo sa tabi mo, andun pa rin ang reserbang upuan, ngunit hindi mo ako kinibo hanggang sa mag-uwian na. Laking pagtataka ko kung anu ba ang nagawa ko sa iyo? Pero hindi mo na ako kinakausap.

Araw na ng kuhanan ng class cards. Habang ako ay nakatayo at nagtetext sa gitna ng corridor at hindi magkanda-ugaga ang mga kaeskwela natin sa kakakuha ng class cards nila sa iba't ibang classrooms, ay bigla mo akong niyakap ng mahigpit, at sobrang tagal. Ang bango mo, na-miss ko ang amoy mo. Nilapit mo ang iyong mukha sa aking kanang tenga at bumulong ka ng "sorry". Tinaggal mo ang iyong kamay sa pagkakayakap sa akin at bigla kang tumalikod. Wala akong nasabi, hindi ako makagalaw noong mga sandaling iyon; hanggang sa naglaho ka sa dami ng mga tao sa paligid natin. Iyon na pala ang una at huling yakap na mararanasan ko mula sa iyo.

Sampung taong ang nagdaan at ikaw ay nagparamdam sa Facebook gamit ang ibang pangalan, isang alias. Hindi kita maalala, hanggang nung sinabi mo ang pangalan ng isang Ice Hockey player, at nung ni-search ko iyon sa Google, ay kamukha ko. Ikaw ang nawawala kong best friend nung college. Nagbalik ang mga alaala ko sa iyo, ang mga alaala natin. Medyo matagal din tayong nag-usap at nagkamustahan, matagal ka na palang nasa ibang bansa at sabi mo pa nga ay nagka-boyfriend ka pa. Single ka noong mga panahong iyon, kaya laking tuwa ko, kasi single din ako. Hindi na ako nagtanung kung anu ang namagitan sa ating dalawa noong nasa kolehiyo pa tayo, hindi ko na rin tinanung ang pagkatao mo. Nabuhay ulit ang kumunikasyon nating dalawa, at araw-araw tayong nag-uusap sa Facebook. Palagi kitang inaabanagan na naka-online, at palagi tayong nag-uusap. Hanggang sa naging busy ako at ganun ka rin, nawalan tayo ulit ng kumunikasyon. Makalipas ng ilang buwang hindi pag-uusap ay sinubukan kong hanapin ka ulit sa Facebook, na gamit ang tunay mong pangalan. Kinasal ka na pala, at may mga anak na. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hipokritong Banal

Ilang libo na naman ang magsisimba para,
humingi ng pera sa panginoon nila,
o humingi ng tawad at pagsalba,
ngunit gaano karami kaya sa kanila?
Ang nanununog ng pagkatao ng iba?

Marami na namang tao sa mga simbahan.
Mga taong humihingi ng tawad sa mga nagawang kasalanan
Sa nagdaang linggo at mga nakalipas na araw.
Para ulitin lamang at tumungo ulit para humingi ng tawad, paulit-ulit.

Isang linggong lumipas muli sa huling pagsimba.
Damit mo'y walang kupas mula ulo hanggang paa.
Dali daling tutungo sa bahay na banal
Upang makinig ng misa at magdasal

Ngingitian at magsasabi ng "Peace be with you"
Ang mga taong katabi at 'di kakilala
Ngunit ang mga kaaway mo ba at kinukutya,
tinigilan mo na ba at pinatawad ng salita?

Kung makapagdasal ka sa simbahan,
tila ang linis ng konsyensya mo.
Pagdating ng Lunes,
panlalait ang nilalabas ng iyong bungangang,
kasing baho ng mga salita mo ang binubulyaw.

Pumahid ka sa banal na rebulto
Upang makuha mo ang kabanalan nito.
Ang taas na ng lipad mo, pero wala ka pa sa langit.
Sana ay bumaba ka muna sa lupa, at magpakabait.

Bakit ka ba dumadayo sa bahay na banal?
Kung saan-saan ka napapadpad, sa kakadasal.
Takot ka lang ba pumunta sa impyerno,
kaya ka nagsisimba tuwing Linggo?

Isinulat nina Canonista at Razztanista 

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Ang Doncha ang isang terminolohiyang naimbento ng kabigan ng kaibigan ko, tinuro ng kaibigan ko sa akin ito at ginagamit na naming mag-t-tropa ang salitang Doncha sa pag identify ng mga tao.

Ang mga Doncha ay:

1.) Nagfifeeling Artista - Yung tipong pagnaglakad sa opisina ay todo lakad na tipong may catwalk? May fashion show ba? Asan? Hindi lang sa opisina nangyayari iyan, madalas yan gawin ng mga Doncha sa mall. Sila yung tipong, parang may photoshoot kung maglakad o kaya tumayo. Teka, asan ba ang camera nang maiwasan. Feeling artista, feeling ang ganda ganda nila porket may tatak ang mga gamit nila, mapa-bag, mapa-poloshirt, mapa sapatos; na kadalasan ay peke naman. Nag-sh-shades kahit hindi maaraw, bulag ka pa o may sore eyes? Ito rin yung mag taong ginagawang kwintas ang mamahaling camera, ang sarap basagin 'nun, hindi pa nila alam kung paano gamitin ng maayos. Ito rin ang mag taong gustong gustong magpapicture na tila wala nang bukas at panay ang pose; pose dito, pose doon, hoy... Hindi magbabago mukha mo... Hindi ka mukhang artista... Feeling  mo lang iyon!

2.) Ang mga doncha ay mga taong walang inisip kundi ang ari nila - Mapa-puke o mapa titi o kung anu mang pag-ma-may-ari nila, wala silang inisip kung hindi ang kinang ng kanilang mamahaling gamit.

3.) Ang mga doncha ay nasisiyahan, sa kumikinang nilang kasuotan. - Wala silang ikinakatuwa at binubulgar sa sambayanan kung hindi ang kagandahan ng kanilang kasuotan. "Look at me I have very nice clothes" ...parang ganun.

3.) Ang mga kwentuhan ng mga doncha ay tungkol lagi sa lalake babae o bading, depende kung anung klaseng doncha - Gusto nilang pinaguusapan at nilalait ang ibang tao, may mapagusapan lang.

4.) Ang mga doncha ay mahilig tumingin sa salamin buong araw, magpasexy at magpaganda ng katawan o ng mukha at titigan ang kanilang best friend na salamin.

5.) Kung gusto mong bad-trippin ang isang #Doncha, basagin mo ang salamin niya o kaya laitin mo ang suot nito.

6.) Mahilig sumunod sa uso ang isang #Doncha, 'di bale nang hindi bagay sa kanya ang damit na suot, basta nakiki-uso siya. Nakiki-uso din siya kung anu ang usong tugtog sa radyo o anu ang usong punaguusapan.... parang ganito... "Uy, iyan ang pakinggan mo, uso iyan ngayon si Nicki Minaj; ang galing galing niya no? Very artistic, very powerful, very tasteful".

7.) Mahilig mag-shopping and isang Doncha, mag-window-shopping, mag-shopping, at mag-shopping pa kahit hindi nila kailangan at hindi nila susuotin, may mabili lang.

8.) Mahilig sa may tatak and mga Doncha, 'di baleng maghirap sila basta branded ang mga gamit nila o kaya bibili sila ng mga "class A" na pekeng gamit.

9.) Sila ang pinamagandang tao sa balat ng mundo nila.

10.) Mahilig silang mag-party sa mga lugar na marami ring Doncha para magpapayabangan sila doon at para mapansin at magpapapansin. Ang mga baklang Doncha naman ay mahilig tumambay sa... (hulaan niyo kung saan ito)!

11.) Ang doncha ay madaling patayin dahil laging nakapost sa social media ang lokasyon nya.

Ang susunod na mag linya ay galing sa Twitter posts ko na pinag-p-post naming dalawa ni PJ at iba ko pang kabigan na may hashtag na #Doncha, at o nga pala, galing din yung iba sa Facebook.

  • Hindi porket nabasa mo na yung libro naintindihan mo na, lalo't nasa kapihan ka. #Doncha
  • Hindi porket nagdadasal ka pinakinggan ka niya, lalo na at english ka magdasal. #Doncha
  • Naka-Lacoste ka nga, peke naman. #Doncha
  • Hindi porket maputi ka, malinis ka. Lalo na't nag-g-gluta ka. #Doncha
  • Sa dance floor hataw gumiling, miserable naman paggising. #Doncha
  • Inuwi ka na naman ng lalaking 'di mo kilala kapalit ng isang boteng san-mig light... Hindi mo pa inubos. #Doncha
  • Yung una bf mo may fiancee, yung 2nd bf mo may gf at ung 3rd may asawa na may gf pa. Iniwan ka nilang lahat. Ikaw ay #Doncha 
  • Bigla ka nalang may nakakasalubong kung saan-saan na naka one night stand mo... #Doncha ka.
  • Naka red lipstick ka, FMAN Shoes at sexy nyorts sa Family Day ng school ng anak o kapatid mo. #Doncha
  • Mahilig ang donchang sumigaw ng "Woooo!" (Echo HIMYM) sa tugsh tugsh kahit hindi nila peyborit song. Basta nagpalit ng kanta yung DJ. Nakakalibre din sila ng beer with said DJ. #Doncha
  • Track record ng lab layp ng donchas (lahat ng ito ay habang BF sila ng said doncha):
    • BF 1 - Ikakasal na sa iba
    • BF 2 - Sabay sila ng ibang GF
    • BF 3 - May GF nang iba, may asawa pa.
    • Lahat ng to nakikilala nila sa tugsh tugsh.

Tugsh-tugsh=High-end na club
OMG girl! I met this guy...=May naka one night stand na naman ako
This guy=said guy above na di nila maalala ang name
Friend ko=Guy a doncha slept with the other day, when introduced to "This Guy"
Nyorts=shorts na kita ang kaluluwa
Woooo!=Characterized by 4 O's. Desperate cry for help
My Anthem=Kahit anong kanta basta pinatugtog ng DJ sa tugsh-tugsh.
Light Beer=Favorite drink.
I was drunk last night = Im not a slut
FMANS=Sapatos na makinang, mataas pa sa talon ko at nakakapatay ng tao ang heels
Ngingingi=Language ng Doncha
Jeans=What's that??? (Undefined)

Urban Legend: 
It has been said that a doncha has never, EVER, finished a bottle of light beer BUT always seems drunk.

Donching=An INTELLIGENT, OPINION-BASED and HONEST discussion about Doncha stereotypical behavior

Ang mga nakasulat dito ay hindi panlalait kung hindi purong opinyon lamang naming magkakaibigan. Kung nainis ka sa pagbabasa nito, isa kang... #Doncha!