Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dizzy down the boy (Efavirenz side-effects)

What does it feel to have the usual Efavirenz side-effect? I mean, this is nightly, as in every single night of forever as long as I am taking this drug. The side-affects are usually felt two hours after I drank the pill and is best to just sleep it off.

As of this writing, my face feels a bit numb just like when one drank too much alcohol. My fingers are feeling a bit more sensitive, there's some sort of an unexplainable sensation there too. Dizzy, that certain dizziness when you have drank a couple of glasses of wine or a few bottles of beer. It's mild, you can still control yourself but you know you are dizzy. I feel giddy, and I get annoyed very easily. I sometimes slur when I talk at this time of day. This is also the time that I don't like to be in tight spaces. There are days that I just want to strip off all of my clothes even in the middle of somewhere, because I feel hot, and I feel like my insides are going to burst.

That's all. I just want to share.

NOTE: Above are the usual side-effects; lately I have been experiencing insomnia on some nights, as well as depression. I am yet to experience hallucinations and those very famous vivid dreams. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

An open letter to the newly diagnosed with HIV

NOTE: A few days ago I received a letter from a person who was newly diagnosed with HIV. For some reason I was not able to reply to his message right away, when I had the chance to do so, the email I sent bounced back, with an error message saying that the email address doesn't exist anymore. This open letter is for you. Also, may the contents of this open letter be a guide to all the people who are newly diagnosed with having HIV.

Hi <letter sender>,

Thank you for sending me an email, and thank you for reading my blog as well.

I'm sorry to hear that you have just become one of one us. I guess I can say, welcome to the community too! How have you been during the first few days?

When I got the confirmatory letter from San Lazaro, I wept and broke down in tears, everyone does, it is a very common reaction amongst the newly diagnosed. Some do not cry at all, but they eventually do, once everything has sunken in. Unless of course they are one of the rare few who wanted to acquire the virus or the syndrome. It is okay to cry, it is okay to be depressed, you have every right to be so. In the light of it all, it is a beginning of the end of your old self. You are now a new person and you go back to knowing what you are; you have to, there's a new life ahead. Now you will be more focused on maintaining or improving your health and well being above anything else.

Reaction will vary from violent, to deep sadness, but do not be angry at yourself nor to other people, do not blame God, never blame anyone else. Whatever we may have done to ourselves, it is partly or really our fault, so we just need to move forward while looking back. What you have just acquired is a gift, a knowledge that only you can use or dispose of. A gift of power to extend your own fragile life, so use it well. Many people do not know what will kill them, at least us, we know we have a killer inside us and we can either let it take over, or live with it. With this virus inside us, we now know at least a few things that can kill us for sure, those are: the virus and the syndrome it causes (AIDS) and the lethal side effects of the medicines (ARVs); knowledge of those give us power to take more control of our lives or perhaps to prepare. I chose to live with the virus, and accept the thorns it brings along.

A lot of people will be cheering you up, and saying good and kind words to you, I will leave it to them to do that work. As for me, I'll be telling you the real facts, that there will be a long road ahead, and it will not be easy. The time consuming lab tests, lifestyle change, the battle of acceptance within yourself and to other people if ever you choose to tell others; and the battle to slow down the CD4 regression. However, the war only begins once you start taking ARVs. I will not further elaborate on that unless you request me to do so.

You will be encountering so many messages of positivity amidst being positive, it is okay to be positive at most times, but also, in my own point of view, it is okay to cry because it is what make us human. Crying helps relieve the pain anyway, so go ahead and let it go, let it all out. You will feel better afterwards.

There will be many questions along the way, and many challenges ahead. There will be people to help you, but remember one thing; only you can save yourself.

I will be here, if ever you need someone to talk to.


An Arrow of Words

Not Play
With words
Because we bare
ourselves to what can
a love,
a life...
of one...
upon our
broken or
It can pierce
like an arrow in
the thinnest air, flying
unknowingly hurting, it can
bleed another soul and leave scars.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Judge Me! (my cover of Time Will Reveal)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, butch and gaylets. Judge me, uploaded below is a product of one of my "I-want-to-do-this-right-now-or-I-may-not-do-it-again-ever" piece.

I am confident to upload this audio file of mine because only a few people here knows who I am, the real person behind this blog, so any humiliation will be minimal. Any feedback I will get from you guys, will be most appreciated, whether bad or good. Go ahead, judge my singing, please.

NOTE: The playback volume of the file may be louder, please adjust your computer's volume control as needed.



Don't get
too near 
The light
For it might consume all of you
You and your pure heart, to love
It may corrupt your being, too
Don't get
too near
The sun
It might
Burn the
out of you

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Hugging my new pillows, for me to sleep drooling on
 Naked, I woke up to soft new sheets this afternoon
We dream on my bed, with smiles on our heads
As we tread each day, on and on, and on... 
Making new memories, with each...
and every pulsating heart beat.
In our heads, on my bed
We sleep, we play
We love
You &

Sunday, January 22, 2012



Rush hour, traffic rush
I obliged on an impulse
Rush hour, time slows down


I met, we met. Us.
Dinner and gifts we gave to
Each other's eyes, look.


Time to cut the rope
That pulls us together, then.
Finality. Closed.

When the sun lights up the sky for a new morning.
It is the beginning of a new ending.

HIV & drug induced depression (Efavirenz side effects)

Last Friday the 20th of January, was just like any normal day for me. Until early morning came and I felt something weird. I felt sad, deeply sad,I felt like I was absorbing everyone's sadness around me, yet, I have no single reason to be sad about. It got worse hour after hour, until I almost bursted into tears at my workstation for no apparent reason. I twitted the moments I felt like that, and many responded, thank you so much.

It was one of the more serious side-effects of Efavirenz, it is one of my medicines to manage HIV. I talked to a fellow PLHIV and he said that it is normal, and I have to live with it. More online research was made, and I found out that either I live with the depression or I have to switch meds, which I don't want to anymore. I already changed cocktails twice. The usual dizziness I usually feel from the evening, went on until the next day, plus the depression went worse, I felt like I was exploding in extreme sadness, it was unexplainable,  and overwhelming.

I have been taking Efavirenz for almost 6 months, some side-effects take even years before it will manifest, so I am yet to encounter more. I am preparing myself, mentally, and emotionally, for most of the serious side-effects are psychiatric, while the physiological side-effects involves the usual liver damage which can be treated with another type of drug, the other side-effects involves some other physically changing effects. The worse side-effect of all I think, is the "suicidal thoughts" side effect, probably due to extreme depression caused by the drug. I have read a lot of warning and fact sheets online, and they all warn about the same thing.

So as I turn a "sophomore" into this new life of mine; this coming April, the more I need to prepare. I have been infected with a bacterial URTI a few weeks ago and the antibiotic prescribed was stronger than when I had Pneumonia last 2010 and early 2011. Insomnia has been lingering around with me lately, and exhaustion.

I don't live in a bubble and part of it all is exposing myself to a lot of life-threatening bacteria and viruses plus everyday stress. Ironically, the medicines that keep me alive, might kill me too.

Thank you to my twitter friends and physical world friends who responded to my tweets. I deeply appreciate all the encouragement. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

AKG K518LE (review)

I got these pair of headphones as a gift from my best friend Anne. She asked what I wanted for Christmas and I said I want a new pair of headphones.

AKG has been in the business since the 1940s and was acquired by Harman International Industries in the mid-90s. They are known in the entertainment industry to produce high-end professional headphones and microphones. Also, many recording studios uses AKG headphones because of their high specifications.

What I have is the AKG K518LE, the LE stands for limited edition, although I really don't know how many of these headphones were produced. This particular pair is their entry level model and also their cheapest one with an SRP of 4,590 Philippine Pesos.

AKG  K518LE 01

The headphones are heavier than my previous Audio Technica pair, but they really feel very solidly built. When the Audio-Technica ATH SJ11 feels more like a high-end toy rather than a serious listening device, this pair feels serious, although the former is very ultra-light. It is a bit "plasticy"to one's feel, more rubbery. The foams on the ear-cups are harder then any pair I have owned and the cord is thicker too. The cord in this one is the shortest I have ever seen in a pair of mid-end headphones, it is just 1 meter long. The cups can be swiveled in many directions and can also be folded to be fitted to its pouch which is included in the package. The jack plug is gold-plated for maximum sound transmission from device to headphone. The jack plug is also sturdy enough to withstand the movement of the cord while traveling or commuting because it is tapered tight. The headphones also comes with an adapter for those big jacks that I have never seen in portable audio devices, which is also gold-plated. The headband has a stainless steel spine with is exposed at the middle of the band, where the brand name is also shown.

The design is simple yet it stands out from any crowd, however not that attention grabbing. It will turn heads but it is not as attention grabbing as those big and clunky headphones with bombastic and outrageous designs. This one is stylishly discreet. The brand is also not that popular amongst the many, thus, not many people will know you are sporting such an expensive pair.

AKG  K518LE 02

The sound in this pair is exceptionally clean, no overwhelming bass and no overwhelming anything. So whatever genre you play, you will likely to hear what is intended for you to hear in that particular song or music genre. To check on how powerful the bass is in this pair, I tried playing some R&B tracks I have, it is still not overwhelming unless I boost up the bass in my iTunes equalizer, when I did, I then hear what kind of bass this pair can deliver, not that powerful which also equates to not overwhelming, it is good in my book. What impressed me is the clarity and equality of instruments. Like the ATH SJ11, this one gives crystal clear audio. I can feel the bass and all the other instruments in Usher's Love in This Club Part II track, plus the instruments are not overpowering the vocals, clean, very clean indeed. On playing some post-hardcore tracks, this pair gives clear output to what post-hardcore music must sound like, I can still hear all the instruments in Underoath's Reinventing Your Exit, while when I switched to Silverstein's Discovering the Waterfront I can tell which is the lead and secondary guitar, I can hear the keyboard very well and even the violin. Knowing how noisy and loud as well as diverse post-hardcore music can be, plus the growling, it is very easy to mistaken all that loudness to just noise, unless one is using exceptionally clear output devices such as this one. To further test the clarity of this pair, I further listen to more post-hardcore tracks: Alesana's Ambrosia and Goodbye, Goodnight, for Good sounds exceptionally clear with bit rates at 320kbps; Fightstar's Paint Your Target at 232kbps (VBR) sounds great as well! Changing genres, I played two tracks from the Sleep Dealer: Nozumi (at 320kbps) and The Way Home (at 192kbps), both gave me goosebumps as I was listening, I don't just hear every instrument, but I can also feel it. Exceptionally clear headphones are essential when listening to post-rock or ambient music genres, because it is the instruments that give life to the music, given that this particular music genre doesn't have any vocals at all.

Sound leakage is at a minimal to almost none, it is excellent so that people nearby won't be bothered no matter how loud you play your music. Sound isolation is also where this pair excels a lot, unlike any of my previous pairs (both Audio Technica and Sennheisser), you can almost hear nothing but the music you are listening to, which is pretty dangerous when commuting.

AKG  K518LE 03

This pair is a bit tight and the foams are firmer than any of the previous pairs I have owned. Which is both great and a pain too. Great, because the external sound is isolated because of the tightness of the headband and it won't fall out of place when you bang or sway your head on those times you get carried away too much to what you are listening. The foams are designed to be firm (I guess) perhaps because of the model's rugged design approach. This pair can be pretty sweaty during long periods of listening and the tightness can be a bit annoying, so you have to give your ears some rest at some point.

I highly recommend this pair, specially if you want exceptionally clear sound output with a great ruggedly-solid built to match. The carrying pouch is a perfect add-on too! It also comes in 7 colors.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shooting Sunset: Manila Bay

Golden Peace
Golden Peace 
A peaceful afternoon as the sun seems to return to sea.

A laid back city sunset
A laid back city sunset 
A man sits down after dinner by the bay, as others prepare for bed.

Golden Yellow and a sailboat
Golden Yellow and a sailboat
A sailboat passes by as the sun sets at Manila bay and seagulls look for fresh dinner.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Salawahan ang katawan ko
Sa umaga nasa'king piling
Ngunit ninanakaw ng dapithapon
Sa paglubog ng araw ay ang paglisan ng kabutihan
Magnanakaw ang gabi 
Butil-butil ng pawis ang binubuwis
Sa magdamag, tulog ay malimit
Nanginginig sa lamig sa kuwartong mainit
Pagpalo ng araw sa akin ay siya muli
Ang kinagabihan; kathang isip
Ngunit ang puso may sinasambit
Ang dapithapon nanakawin siyang muli

Isang tulang contribusyon ng isang kaibigang nasa malalim na karamdaman ngayon. Magpagaling ka kaibigan.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Uso, pauso-uso
Suso ng suso
Kung saan-saan
At kung sino-sino
Hindi mapigilang tukso
At lukso ng dugo

Nagiinit ka ba?
Trip mo ba 'to?
Tara na at i-take-out ang tinapay ko
Huwag mo nang balutin
Isubo na habang mainit pa

Uso, pauso-uso
Suso ng suso
Kung saan-saan
At kung sino-sino

Papasukin mo ako sa bahay mo
Kahit hindi na ako humiga sa kama mo
Patirahin mo lang ako sa kweba mo

Uso, pauso-uso
Suso ng suso
Sususo ka ngayon ng gamot
Para sa namamatay mong katawan
Buhay na kaluluwa
Sinusunog ka na sa higaan
Ng walang katapusang kawalan

Halika, tikman mo ang tinapay ko
Habang mainit pa ito
Alam mo ba kung anung lasa nito?
Masarap ito pare
May libre pang queso 'yan
Halika, tikman mo na 'to

Anu pang iniisip mo?
Halika't maki-uso
Halina't bumigay na sa tukso
Anu ba namang malay natin?
Malusog naman ako

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Friday, January 6, 2012

X II: for Fred and to his grieving heart

You left me on the edge of a cold sandy beach
Icy waters greeting my feet
Like the endless tears of pain in hell
You left me on the edge of a cold sandy beach

I stand frozen
Looking at the distant memory of you
You kissed me goodbye
And hugged me 'till my tears dry

Waves are coming for me
Piercing wind, scratching my face
Yet I stand there frozen
Looking for you
Waves are coming for me,
yet I stand there frozen,
as tears drown my longing for you.

I walk towards the water
Freezing water, like your heart when you left me.
I walk farther from the shore
Like how I must walk away,
from the memory of you
I drown myself in the deep ocean blue

How I wish I can just drown myself
To feel nothing but the freezing cold
Until my body numbs
Until I can no longer feel...

As I let myself go in the waters that swallowed me
How I wish you could hear my plea
I let go of the future
...and the memories of us.
 Is that we will ever be.

Poem for Fred, as I try to feel his grief of his recent heartbreak.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Thursday January 5, 8:19 PM, 2012. Sitting on my bed with Chungking Express playing in the background. Lights are out, and feeling the cool breeze coming from outside. Smell of cigarettes fills the air. No, it wasn't me, it was someone else who's smoking. At this very moment, Fred is enjoying the second DVD being played in the entertainment system he is just now enjoying. We assembled this entertainment system together four years ago, it took that long before he's able to enjoy it. We watched Happy Together by Wong Kar Wai earlier, now I am making him watch Chungking Express as I left the rice cooking. I can smell the rice now, it is making me hungry more and more as I type these words. I have the roasted ribs ready to be heated up sitting on my work table, Angel cooked it for me for New Year's eve. Fred doesn't want to eat, not because it was Angel's cooking, but he just doesn't eat pork, that's all.

Fred just had a break-up,  and he needs someone to be with him right now. This is what's good between us, we're friends, we are comfortable to be with each other without any malice or anything, I guess this is what happens when wounds heal after break-ups. In our story, I was the one who broke-up and gave-up. It has been four years since that day, time does heal wounds, not even scars are apparent and felt between the two of us, we are like just two old friends. I am making Fred watch these movies so he can somehow find different perspectives on relationships and why they don't work out the way we want them to. I do hope that after this movie, he will feel better about himself. 

Me and Fred had been a couple for 10 months back in 2008, I broke-up with him in December of that same year. We had our moments, we had our terrible moments, but I don't actually remember much memories about the two of us or the things we did together unless we talk about it. Whenever we are together now, we have the "oh yeah, I did that?" line or "Of course I should know I'm your ex" or the "I know you" lines. It feels good because we are just like two kids talking about our childhood memories. Unlike Angel, whenever we (angel and I) talk about our past, it feels like a kid talking to a parent, well he really acted like my parent when I was growing up back when we were together. 

It is not easy to be friends with people from our past that have tainted us in some way. No matter how we reach out to them or no matter how we distance ourselves from them, there are ways that they will either reach out to us or we stumble upon a memory of them. Distance helps, time helps, we can be friends with them again, but perhaps not now and not anytime soon. It may take weeks, months, or years; but it will definitely heal the wounds. 

Time is needed for any wound to heal, whether it is a physical wound or a wound caused by a broken heart. 

We must step back, way back, and let ourselves and you as well as that person heal. Perhaps one day, the two of you will bump into each other and greet each other happily. Until wounds are closed, one must not force himself into the other one's life. 

One will know he has moved on when he sees the past and a faint smile is worn on one's face, and no hurt is felt even from the faintest heart beat.