Monday, January 24, 2011

Dancing With the Stars

dancing with the stars

Drinking days are definitely not over.

What better testament than a notoriously familiar hangover. You know how it is—a headache that seems to drill holes in your skull, pounding chest, strained neck, nausea, dry mouth, a chill in your muscles. Did I mention a headache that seems to drill holes in your skull?

I’ve been there many times. I can practically write a booklet on how to cure hangovers. But the heavy ones—there seem to be no cure. It’s that kind of hangover you’d kill to feel relieved from. It’s that kind that makes you promise to never drink again.

I woke up feeling I had woken up from a really bad dream. Memories flashed in a blurry swirl. I hoped it was just a dream and I’d eventually wake up from it. But it was no dream; my hangover was so terrible I couldn’t get out of bed. An appointment was cancelled.

Unable to get some shut-eye to somehow ease the hangover, I turned the PC on and played Alanis Morissette’s “Flavors of Entanglement” album on shuffle-repeat. I spent most of the morning lying in bed with the speakers blaring, dozing off every five or so minutes, and waking up for another fifteen or so minutes before dozing off again—a torturous cycle.

I had wrapped myself in my thick plaid comforter, which helped me start sweating my way into a hangover-free state. An hour or so later—and after Flavors had been played three times—I stood up and played some upbeat songs. I danced the rest of the hangover away.

I danced like I was in a rave party, although I have never really been to one. I just knew I was dancing like I was high on weed or cocaine because I could have sworn other people were dancing with me: there was my dearest friend in Canada whom I fondly call my ‘partner in crime;’ then there was Neil Patrick Harris—or rather his character Barney from “How I Met Your Mother;” Gabe Saporta who kept wiping his face with his shirt, revealing his ridiculously slim abs; Lady Gaga in what looked to me was a white jumpsuit; and Britney Spears.

I sweated like a pig in a sauna. I took my shirt off in between Barney’s whispering in my ear to do so, and Britney doing her dance routine. I was certain Lady Gaga frowned at the tiny space; she left minutes after Gabe did. In the end it was just me with my partner in crime, Barney, and Britney and our sweaty bodies dominating the dance floor that was my bedroom floor. And later, when everyone had left, I was feeling ready-for-another-drinking-session.

I hit the cold shower with a promise to take a leave from drinking—at least for a week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Morning After Dark


I had slept four hours earlier than my usual bedtime and woke up two minutes before midnight. I reckon it was my mind that had woken my tired body. I lay still in bed for a few minutes, hoping I could go back to sleep. Little six or so minutes after midnight (so my mobile’s clock read), I still couldn’t get back to sleep.

I stood up and logged on to my desktop computer, checked if any of my friends were online but found the chat window empty. I went to drink a glass of water, and as I was headed back to my room, I noticed the clear sky through the open louvre windows in the living room. I had to be dreaming, I thought. Or was I?

I opened the door and stepped out into the porch where the marble floor caught the moon’s gleam. I could not believe it:  the first clear midnight sky of the year—clouds scattered recklessly on the sky, stars that to me were so few I could count them if I wasn’t so captivated. It was a beautiful night. Even more so with the howling of dogs and the purring of cats faintly playing on the background as if it was some melody playing on the radio. A steady breeze made it all even more like a scene from a drama film wherein the protagonist looks up to the sky, and hugs himself out of the bitter cold as a songs fades in.

Not so long ago, I afforded myself, almost every night, moments like it. Then again, it didn’t rain often then. It was those times when I’d sit on the lawn or stay at the rooftop admiring the night sky smoking a few sticks of cigarette—sometimes a pack—all by my lonesome or sometimes with Melanie who shared my fascination of the moon and most everything else. Our conversations and laughter were endless, our yawns few. We didn’t mind the time. Nor did we mind that we had to wake up early for class the next day, which was technically just a few hours away. I miss those times, and I miss her quite badly. I miss how she’d laugh at my making faces, how we’d loop choruses of songs simply because we seemed to have forgotten the rest of the lyrics, how we’d talk seriously about something and find something so hilarious that we’d laugh so hard until tears were falling from our eyes. I miss her playfully slapping my arm because she couldn’t contain her laughter, how we’d let out our gases together or just a few seconds apart. I miss her keys dangling on my ears in the morning, telling me it was time for her to go home and that it was time for me to get up. I miss everything about her. I miss how we can just be our complete crazy selves with each other.

I crept back into my room and took out the pack of cigarettes I had stashed in a Ziploc bag. I went back outside, only this time I went to the lawn, looked up to the sky, and lit a stick of cigar. I had not smoked in weeks. I missed the smell of the burning stick, too, I realized. I imagined for a moment Melanie was with me and that she, too, was smoking. We got into smoking together, too, you see.

After I finished my cigarette, I went in to brush my teeth. I had completely forgotten that brushing didn’t remove the after-taste of cigarette; I took a cup of yoghurt, in the hope it would somehow mask the cigarette’s after-taste. Oddly enough, the taste of yoghurt and that of the cigarette sat pleasantly on my tongue. I went back to bed, smiling; I will see her soon—I don’t know how soon, but soon—and together we shall admire the midnight sky again. It was twenty-six past twelve when sleep finally returned.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bullocks Getting Married


"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out."
– Michel de Montaigne.

I was never a fan of weddings. But that has nothing to do with my utter dislike for formal events such as weddings—you know, I find it too rigid, especially when one is part of the entourage, and is required to be prim in a tuxedo or barong. I just don’t see the point of marriage. I could sleep through a wedding ceremony and not feel bad that I missed the bride and groom exchange vows, or their wearing of rings.

Why do people get married, anyway? Because they’re ‘in love?’ What a pile of bullocks.

I don’t mean to generalize because I know each of us has his own perception of marriage, but I think people get married because, in a way, society deems it to be normal—sort of like, ‘the right thing to do.’ People get married because it is some sort of validation; when one gets married, that must mean he is a fully-able individual—financially, mentally, and emotionally secure and all. Somehow, society wants us to adapt to the belief that getting married is a sure way to happiness. So whatever happened to happiness being a state of mind? Are we to forget about single-blessedness and—what was that again?

A friend once said that, for girls, it is only normal to want to “walk down the aisle” in white (or whatever colour it is) gown, with a bouquet of roses (or whatever kind of flower in hell it is), with a man waiting at the altar. True. Most girls would want that. But I know of some girls who make their lives miserable by frowning over the fact that they’re turning 27 and are still not headed for the altar.

As for boys? Someone once told me that a boy becomes a man when he gets married and starts his own family. Another pile of bullocks. But I know, most boys these days are alien to the idea of marriage. Even most gay boys won’t celebrate if same-sex marriage were to be legalized in this country. Or anywhere.

Two people who are ‘in love’ must not think marriage is going to bind them forever—however long that is; it does not guarantee that you’re going to stay bound to the person you tied the knot with until your last breath, and even if you did, it does not guarantee that you’re forever bound ‘in love.’ Marriage is not a security blanket of any sort. Marriage must not be perceived as the only way to grow as a person.

I think marriage is inimical to autonomy—in the personal sense; you can’t do certain things when you’re married—speaking from a vicarious perspective.

Despite my view on marriage, though, I am all for supporting kith and kin who get married. I attended two of my cousins’ weddings the end of last year and early this January. If they’re going to commit themselves to—how must I call it—a lifetime of conjugal growth (or lack of growth,) might as well put on a happy face for them, right? Like Declan in the movie “Leap Year” said, it’s kind of a “forced merriment” during wedding occasions. And besides, I don’t have any problem with other people getting married as long as they don’t require me to give a speech, dance, sing, or do any of those crazy things they ask you to do without taking no for an answer because they think ‘hey, this is our moment—you are obliged to do as we ask.’

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wolves Like Chasing

wolve chasing


this is the sun-drenched skin
of your unloyal highness
amidst praises and sins we do
things gods cannot

chasing wolves like chasing
swallows chasing bees
and dry these hands waving
neither cannot hold

poeir you got and knees i do
is it enough? what could these together do?
chase the sunset or our shadows
as close as we can get

for only lampposts stand tall in gloom
and those that bend for beckon
no other, not snowflakes, not molasses
only your unloyal highness

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fragile At Lights

fragile at lights

his eyes made of hazel buttons sown
not perfect but beautiful
always begging your fall

his hands calloused, worn from circuitry
and reluctance born of constant pleasing
unforgiving intellect and pride

his back broad, muscled, difficult to embrace
from where he placed my ground
an inch in darkness, a mile at day

still i love him
with every twist and burn,
every word unsaid and heard

his philosophies pure, unabashed but still reserved
sleeping silently in hands that harbour
his trust fragile, elusive, unborn

his laughter strong, echoing and filtered
through ears of kith and kin
in pedestals only coming

his territory fenced, vast, unexplored
awaiting superficial grandeur
shelters not to the unsung

still i love him
all the untold and beckon
all revoked, even broken

his eyes reluctant, fragile at lights
all things beautiful and dark
unrequited, unspoken of

still i love him
all the circles we ran
and the ones we never will

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Great South


One of the places I dream of visiting is Vietnam. I am drawn to Vietnam in an odd way that when Discovery Travel and Living Channel (now TLC) would feature it on its shows, I just "have to watch." With all honesty, I know nothing about Vietnam. But with the help of visuals I’ve seen on TV, I see Vietnam as a quaint little place gifted with rich culture and a stupendous amount of natural beauty—much like the Philippines, if I may boldly add. I dream of one day walking past its vast fields, watching farmers plough; visiting temples and villages; wandering around Ho Chi Minh City; watching lights being reflected on the waters of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi; take transient residency during my stay at one of its famed house-cum-inn where one could experience Vietnam as locals do; eating phở noodle soup; and riding a bike, pedalling through the quiet albeit tiny streets on the outskirts of the city. 

I am certain I will like Vietnam even more when I finally get the chance to visit it.

All this talk about Vietnam, or rather my fascination at the place, was brought about by an article I read on the Internet regarding a recent discovery of Hang Son Doong cave, which is said to be probably one of the world’s largest, and is “big enough in places to accommodate a New York City block of skyscrapers,” says the writer of the article. This cave is “part of a network of about 150 caves in central Vietnam near the Laotian border,” adds the article, and “contains a river and a jungle”.

viet 2
 viet 3
viet 4
 viet 5
viet 6
viet 7

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hands Clean

hands clean


you took another step
away from the shore
your eyes blank, ready to smash
my world
the words unspoken
echoed violently as you breathe;
as i stood sinking

the waves drew closer
every blink of my eyes
sooner, you will be
the moon
stirring the tide
a beautiful place
too painful to visit

silence will
whisper to my ear
on solitary nights and even when
the sun is brave enough to tease
the sky with your image

so go, if you must
leave if you feel it best
to keep your hands clean