A motel owner and his receptionist in an argument:
“What, are you out of your freaking mind?! Why did you let them in when it’s already obvious that they are minors. And they’re even in their uniforms for crying out loud! Do you want to get us into trouble?!!!”
In the game of “Annoying Dad”, my firstborn continually upgrades his skills such that he always breaks his previous record. All he has to do in the game is – well, annoy me.
Don’t get me wrong. Children are a bunch of joy. Period. And part of raising them will inevitably involve moments that your only defense in order to maintain your sanity is to laugh at how they can trigger your nerves.
The game is one way obviously. There is only one giver and one very lucky receiver, and that’s me. That is until I finally figured out a way to level the playing ground.
Right after watching the evening news, I chimed in with the intro of a TV program a high pitched “UW-WEH!, UW-WEH!, UW-WEH!,” while key events from the previous episode are being replayed on the screen.
Embarrassed, he put both his hands on his ears while shouting for me to stop. But the more he demanded for me to stop, the more I chanted the silly “UW-WEH!, UW-WEH!, UW-WEH!,” until he finally ran away, his hands still on his ears while laughing and cringing, all at the same time.
Ooooh yeah! Direct hit Mission accomplished One point for Dad.
“If there is any instance where infidelity is to be welcomed and encouraged is when you ditch your sacred matrimonial vows with your old familiar feelings of emptiness, sorrow, unworthiness, despair, anxiety, and depression and to finally possess the courage to walk away in search for something better.”
Melancholic tunes are portals to our past, and a gateway towards a beloved deeply intertwined with the fabric of our souls who in like manner longs for our presence from the unknown extents of the universe.
It’s comforting to know that whatever you’re currently doing, you are seeing another reality and perhaps living a similar or a different story altogether. I pray that it is a beautiful story. That flipside of reality in relation to mine must be very beautiful indeed, magical even. Is it really? Yep I do hope it is. Not that everything I have in here sucks but I’ve always pondered on what lies in there on your side, but you know, things here are mundane given this time of a pandemic. So if you are currently in a time of a great lull, well at least it’s kickass compared to dealing with a pandemic threatening to wipe out the population.
How am I doing? Fine I guess. Maybe because I finally found the courage to write you something instead of just floating around your formlessness in the bounds of my mind. I hope you wouldn’t mind but I’d really love to talk about how you are doing right now instead of flooding this precious space dedicated to you, of things about me.
So howdy? Having a nice adventure somewhere? How’s the weather? Happy people you have there? How is the other side of the world? May not be in this world that I’ve grown into but somewhere in the vast expanse of the cosmos.
I don’t think we still need introductions, do we? Finally we get to meet, so yep, here we are finally bridging the gap…
The only reason I know you exist is because of a melancholic piece that I am listening to right now. I am extremely certain that you are not only a figment of my imagination. You are not just conjured out of nowhere. Our past is tied, and maybe as such is our future. I know and believe that you already figured that out yourself a long time ago and that it pestered you in as much as it pestered me just as well. I’m sorry if the thought of me annoyed you for a lot of times. I too, am bugged by the thought that there is someone like you somewhere out there and I just cannot fully comprehend why. But I’m certain that someone is linked to my soul in which even quantum shit and all that cannot explain.
I know you are out there. I just don’t know where. Maybe it will remain as such until, well until who knows when. But if I were to ask God I hope you are currently in this world, at this very instance that I am keying all of this on my keyboard, offering a silent prayer to the vastness. Yes, to pray is all I can do even if it may just be another one of those doomed to get lost into nothingness, but I hope this small prayer of mine will find you and let you know that I am here, and I’m thinking of you. Yes I have you in my mind.
And I hope you are thinking of me too.
Each stroke of the key hits my soul, a different vibration, a slightly different twang that is yet to be discovered and added to the particle zoo. Can you feel it too? Does it send you the same feeling? The feeling of nostalgia, something pleasant but at the same time heart rending. Do you happen to know Stockholm Syndrome where you build some connection with your captors? The captor is this music right here. It is hurting me and yet I keep coming back to it to feel the hurt, because it’s only then that I can keep coming back to you to feel you.
I’m curious as to how you look. Flowing hair? Short hair? Fair complexion or colored? Bouncy or flat busts? It doesn’t really matter because I’ve already touched your soul as you already did to mine. I just hope I’d have a tangible face to remember, a face I can hold, a body I can share my warmth with, lips that I can press my lips with, a parcel of my soul so dear and so loved that I cannot really fathom how God blessed me with everything.
What’s giving me assurance is the thought that you are also thinking of me. Like myself, I know you can barely picture my face as I can hardly do to you. But I rest in the faith that we both are unconsciously longing to know each other. That time will come I know. And I know that you feel it too.
But even if I am longing so much to see you right now, I regret to say that I cannot take your hand right away and take you in haste to the stars. You see, I’ve already made my choices, and I am never gonna regret nor forsake them. But when my life is over and after serving my time, we’ll have our chance. I hope by that time, through God’s great mercy it will be our chance to be exclusive to one another.
But for now, even a glimpse of you will give me enough hope and faith to look forward to the next lifetime hoping that I’d finally get to meet you there.
Wherever you are right now, at the seashore, atop a skyscraper, overlooking valleys and mountains or great plains, please be strong. For yourself and for both of us. I know that someday, God would allow me to meet you finally. Maybe not in this world and neither the next. But I know there will come a time where we can fill each other with our essence and love. I cannot do so much but to write this to you while waiting for that blessed day that I will finally lay my eyes on you and we can hold each other. Two lost souls in the cosmos. Separated by distance or even time but connected with love and this melancholic melody.
It’s crazy but I hope I can catch some glimpses of you either in person, photos, or even in written pieces, because I know we would know each other by that.
Till then. Wishing I’d look into those eyes of yours one day and see all that love that had been waiting to bind us forever…
Nothing gets a man quicker to his knees other than the thought of his wife and children.
It’s not the imminent crisis ahead, and definitely not the adversity that looms before him. He can welcome them with open arms and a smirk on his face.
But when he realizes how helpless he really is when it comes to the assurance of providing and protecting his family, at present and in the future, is an entirely different story. Man is limited, and he knows it but is sometimes adamant to admit it.
In as much as he would like to cover everything for his loved ones, he realizes that he cannot. Yet he does it, nevermind that he misses by a mile for the sake of his family.
But he can do one more thing, the best thing that he can and the best thing he will ever do: pray.
There is boundless power unlocked by a mother’s prayer but a father’s supplications are no less potent. And he knows that.
Recognizing this, he will bend his knees and will implore to the Ultimate Infinity which is God Himself to fill the huge gap that he himself cannot fill.
Behind his brute strength and full masculine bravado is his need to commune and replenish himself from a greater power. God is his rock of comfort. And there he finds solace.
With a height of 5’8″ they said I should have been a basketball player.
I’ve already had enough hearing what a waste am I for having such untapped gift of height which is the envy of many. However, what’s more vexing are the words that are left unsaid: how lame am I for not playing basketball; that I am doomed not to have the prettiest cheerleaders for a girlfriend; Class B; the Beta male.
Succumbing to this standard definition imposed by society, I pushed myself to play basketball despite my awkward moves and maneuvers lacking skill and authority. I already knew back then that I didn’t have the natural gift that only needs enhancement unlike Lebron of today, or Iverson back then. But I enjoyed watching PBA, so I was thinking maybe, that was enough to begin with.
I persevered despite the frequent humiliation and taunting hoping I would amount to something.
One day, I played basketball with some peers. God knows I poured my juvenile heart and muscles into it. I thought it all went well, just another forgettable play until the following morning when my cousin told me that someone remarked that I looked pretty much like a cane toad when I jump during rebound or while shooting.
That’s it, I told myself with the finality of a death sentence. I’m done. I’m outta here.
To hell with the ball.
From then on I’d totally murder even the slightest thought of playing basketball.
Fast forward to more than a decade. I was already an engineer working at a construction site. I related this story to a friend the safety officer, a middle aged man who happens to have an Ilocano father. He has the skill in listening and full of wisdom. What he said next left me dumbfounded:
…you should have not listened to it. If you really wanted to play basketball then, imagine where you would have been right now if you just kept playing.”
I may not have qualified to play at a prestigious university or any professional basketball associations, but who would have known? Had I learned to shut people’s negative opinions towards me and persevered ’til I got better, maybe I would still be playing?
I have nothing against basketball, not even to those who found comic relief in my “freak show” version of playing ball. I still don’t play but I still do love watching NBA especially the finals where the action and drama blends into an intoxicating concoction.
This particular door to greatness may not have opened for me but the lessons I learned from such experiences are priceless:
It was a test on how much I wanted something and how much I was willing to sacrifice to attain my dreams. Basketball may not be for me but there are other stuff I achieved where my sacrifices were worth it.
Don’t give your switches to anyone. This was my big mistake. Despite the white noise and how much you suck as they think you do, don’t let it affect you. It’s you who will live your life and not them. You will never obtain everyone’s affirmation anyway, so might as well do what you think is good for you.
And lastly, it pays to be kind to everyone. You will never know how far the ripples of your good deeds will go.
My officemates are hardcore bullies, They litter inside my workstation, They loiter inside my workstation, Deliberately make all sorts of noises, Have no qualms in disturbing me whilst I’m in deep thought, Interruptions spark at their whims, They climb my chair, Take my pens and notebooks like they own it, Drink my coffee(!) Wrestle for mouse control, Ruin my documents by “ambushing” my keyboard while I’m typing, Press the power buttons of the AVR and CPU while I’m working, Piss behind my chair –
It’s really tough being bullied while working from home.
This Covid-19 stole great times ahead with family and friends But it doesn’t really bother me all that much: social distancing avoiding the crowd things as such. Been the recluse for yep, not that long – only a lifetime and still going strong. If at all this is but an expansion of us loners’ Eden
But what I can’t settle myself with is the thought of your comeliness once overflowing now mandated to be partly hidden.
Oh how atrocious my erring might have been that my soul warrants such scourge and torment?!
How am I gonna see your hair caressing your cheeks or the smile that escapes your lips as the wind embraces you and carries your sweet scent on mountain highs and valley lows into and beyond the event horizon and throughout the cosmos
Twas sweet a past where I have but memories of your lovely face in all its immaculate radiance and that sweet smile, that despite of this world right now painfully going through a tight rope, puts in my heart an ample amount of hope
The legislation that I loathe and abhor may still be a friend though in a way – if only to hide the bitterness in my smile.
And this I earnestly pray that it will come that blessed day where you can take your mask away and so does mine and our lips would meet in due time
Humanity must have been doomed its fate sealed: you fuck nature, it fucks you back. Harder.
Gasp after gasp, the succeeding more painful than the ones before, for life left in the air if anything’s left there at all or anywhere.
You may still be alive, yes. Barely though. “Never mind” you say. “There is still a chance. A small glimmer of hope and mountains of ashes to build the new upon. And being half dead a man is better than a dog altogether dead and damned.” Or is it?
A lady saw a pastor whose right butt cheek is showing from his worn out jeans. When the pastor saw the disgusted reaction of the lady, he immediately turned his back. Completely appalled, the lady left. The pastor’s companion who is with him, saw it all, turned and asked his friend:
“Hey what’s the big idea?”
“Oh this (points to his exposed butt cheek)? Practicing what I preach.”
“What I preach. Which is why I willingly turned the other cheek.”
What if I meet the anti me? The once I thought obliterated during Big Bang long lost then found the volatile concoction the catalyst the critical mass the same badass face-to-face?
They said he’s me and I am he It’s just that we have opposite charges What does that even mean? Is this the Yin and Yang of Oriental origins?
And from where is he exactly? How can he just pop out of nowhere from nothing?
By who’s authority is he summoned into existence? And in the same way be gone in an instant in a fraction of a second? Can he just leave and come back no more? Is he even aware that when we meet the borrowed energy by which we both exist will return to the Source and cause us to cease just being?
Is he my evil twin? Or am I the evil twin? Would he embody the things I envy? Will he complement my imperfections? Will he turn green drooling of what I already achieved? Or will I be the one to flood the Himalayas and turn the desert green?
Shall I punch him to break his nose? or will the anti-me give me a hug and a pat in the back? And end up releasing energy and obliterating ourselves in the process? Or will it spark a new cosmos same as what we know today? Or maybe it already did?
Son: Dad, can you shed me some light on tactical interrogation and cross-examination?
Daddy: (without even looking up from the broadsheet he’s reading) You’re barking at the wrong tree son. There’s someone more skillful at that, better than anyone who wears the badge. Go and ask your mother…
Condemning, in accordance to one’s own biases in the guise of “doing God’s work” is never, not even close to God’s way.
Recall the story of Mary Magdalene and Zacchaeus. Did Jesus slap their faces with the tablets of the ten commandments and ordered the Heavenly Fire to consume their wretched souls because of their sins?
No he didn’t.
Instead, He showed them love and forgiveness which led to their repentance and conversion, finally forsaking their old sinful ways.
Love, genuine love, is what will win souls and not the fear of the fiery lake of brimstone and sulfur. If we ain’t doing that, we should ask ourselves: really, who’s work are we implementing?
(Nevermind that the intro is with an icky similarity with Aiza Seguerra’s Pagdating ng Panahon. Once you get through that, all will be good I promise.)
I’m telling you I softly whisper Tonight, tonight You are my angel
愛してるよ 二人は ひとつに Tonight, tonight I just to say
Wherever you are, I’ll always make you smile Wherever you are, I’m always by your side Whatever you say, 君を想う気持ち I promise you “forever” right now I don’t need a reason I just want you, baby Alright, alright Day after day
この先長いことずっと どうかこんな僕とずっと 死ぬまで Stay with me We carry on
Wherever you are, I’ll always make you smile Wherever you are, I’m always by your side Whatever you say, 君を想う気持ち I promise you “forever” right now
Wherever you are, I’ll never make you cry Wherever you are, I’ll never say goodbye Whatever you say, 君を想う気持ち I promise you “forever” right now
The Sun woke up this morning to see me outta my bed Took over from the Moon my sentry the instance the Darkness gave way to the Light I exhaled yesterday as I breathed in tomorrow All revved up my engine in full chime Ready to take possession of another historic day
We don’t hold tomorrow Such a pity We have plans grand as the heavens Funny thing is tomorrow has got her own plans as well which usually screws us like hell Which is why at times I don’t make any plans to save myself from disdain of life as I know But how will I relish the future if I can’t savor it today And how will I know if my wishes are granted if I don’t dream of it at this very moment?
protest all we want, violent or otherwise, day-in and day-out, and
pound the pearly gates ‘til kingdom come, begging for the inexorable change gods currently knocking at our doors to reconsider and be back on a more convenient time.
Or if we know better, we can stay calm instead of going bananas.
It is completely understandable if we are tempted to think we can argue with it and have our way in the end. But we know all too well that in offering resistance, we are only prolonging the agony, unnecessarily.
It is either we welcome change with flying fists up until the last ounce of our blood and die without seeing the dawn break, or, we can make a good friend out of that motherfucker.
Fortunately, we get to choose our battles. Let us then choose wisely, shall we?
I yanked a string too strong that made the church bells chime and the fabric unraveled:
And there she stood just her and nothing more nothing between my eyes and her golden skin and succulent curves revealed in all their glory set free from whatever covered her and thrown onto my outstretched hands
I prayed for sunshine The wind brought rain Like pesky little kids Sliding from my crown To my sole and further down Rinsing with it My remaining Patience and optimism “Wonderful” saith the thunder As the sun grew dim And the tree died laughing Of the gag show before him
You don’t like sopas and I don’t know why Puzzles the hell out of me Who doesn’t want a hot pot of chicken soup made creamy with evap made colorful with cabbage and carrots and made gut-heavy with elbow macaroni?
Detest is a word too strong least priority maybe but then, I could be wrong
Yet you made one for me just the same saying:
“I still don’t love sopas. May never be. But I’m trying to learn to love the things that you love.”
More than the hot pot of sopas before me I thank you my sweet balm for all the love and for keeping me warm For a thousandth time again and again to the heavens I implore good favors for you my lovely woman who cooks sopas for her man
A condescending attitude is often mistaken as piety. Removing that illusion however, will reveal hypocrisy at its finest, the main reason Jesus reproached the Pharisees for being like whitewashed tombs that are beautiful in the outside but filled with dried bones and rotting flesh inside.
Now that paints an ugly picture especially when viewed from the outside. Because in as far as witnessing is concerned, nothing comes off as a surefire “turn off” than a hypocrite pretending to be a saint.
If we as Christians are to convert the gentiles and bring the wayward sheep of Israel back into the fold, we should instead come from a place of love.
Recall the story of Mary Magdalene and Zacchaeus. Jesus did not cite the 10 commandments to condemn them right then and there of their sins, nor did He summon heaven’s fury to devour their wretched sinful souls. He instead showed love and mercy through forgiveness, as His standpoint which eventually led to their conversion.
Out of love came forth mercy and actions within the context of love.
But a condescending attitude is begotten from a sanctimonious “holier than thou” mindset. And that, is the exact opposite of our mission as children of God which we claim to be, which is to spread His message of love to a lost world.
I will tell them why the trees slumbered in a lullaby I will reveal to them how all tears have gone dry it was when you promulgated my verdict: “good bye”
It was still the sunshine’s reign as I recall like ‘twas but yesterday but before I can brace my self for that mortal dagger driven to my chest the chilling sun and the freezing moon started to sing a melancholic tune
Nurtured in the soft breeze’s caress and nourished in dew brought forth colors that are changing in hue for what seemed the start of a colorful show marked the end of the summer glow
what else is there to say but to let the light leave with the day and this darkness that had befall be there to stay while bells they toll
I will whisper its dismal moan to those in twigs still holding on oblivious to the truth that it won’t last for long
I will whisper it to those caught in midair as they drift farther and farther away from their beloved they just left bare
I will whisper it atop the mounded heap which to earth did terminally cede
fool’s show it is indeed for the varied colors that abound speaks loudly of the end without a sound
that instead of diabolical plots and rhapsodic images of your sweet affliction, He manifested Himself through reason before anything I envisioned would irreversibly come to fruition
I must thank God and probably so should you –
that instead of regrets and abysmal sorrow or that fiendish grin and gratified puffs at the sight of a gasping prey and the smell of blood, I uttered a silent wailing plea Supplicated for restraint within my inner sanctuaries And stabbed my journal ‘til its blood filled the oceans as it is tossed to and fro by tempests and billows
Life is not about outmaneuvering others to get ahead of them, nor is it limiting and enslaving yourself to the moves of the majority. It’s about finding your own tune and getting in sync with that beat.
Adversity and conflict isn’t always synonymous to opportunity It will forever be a thorn in my soul Yet, that bastard has caused me to not run away but to run INTO God
Sure there is adversity in daily existence that you need to keep slugging with in spite of being bored to death And while I am busy living I am also busy getting myself distracted to make that daily existence bearable at least
Nevertheless, there is always something to be thankful for: sex food work beautiful family being fucking alive and this art that has become my saving grace
But there is something special about those nut-cracking moments: You let loose of your grasp off yourself and your advantages both tangible and illusory and find yourself clinging instead to the Rock of Ages Only when you do so can you tap the power Power that is greater than anything earthly or mortal The kind of power that keeps the galaxies afloat to light up the vast depth of nothingness
Adversity causes one to improvise It yells at you at the top of it’s lungs to get the fuck out of the ordinary before you succumb and watch the best of you die without seeing the dawn break
But I haven’t totally lost yet my sanity by asking fervently for my share of perennial uphill goings just to always experience God’s grand deliverance
With much supplication I ask that I would instead meet His presence
from highs and lows and most especially the mundane
This reminds me of tatay (God bless his soul) who introduced me to immortal songs. Songs that doesn’t respect any year or age or social class. Still haunting, still has the potency of thousands of onions.
While my penchant is rock and alternative music, these are the type of songs that tell me I am one with the universe.
Baby talk isn’t blaberring silly and incomprehensible “gooh-gooh gah-gahs”. It is about fostering heart-to-heart ties between parent and child that are stronger than steel and endures longer than a universe’s lifetime.
American hotdog she has got It’s what the other ladies have not Hotdogs of different races Australian, Hungarian, Italian Canadian, British, or German But the most famous of them all Is the certified all-American
Never mind that these hotdogs are Freckled Speckled With large tomatoes in the face And who the hell knows where else
Even the gramps Who has trouble getting up Let alone keeping it up They are completely irrelevant: The stench of death reeking in him Nor that he is 4 decades her senior
Scorn her as much as you like With much gusto until you relinquish life I’m warning you though You’ve been long dead before you make her cry Whatever drug she took that made her numb Anesthesia of hardships Sedated in BS or whatnot She’ll cling to her hotdog Until he runs out of fortune And that, she’ll tell you Is a valid reason:
“I got an American hotdog You dirt-poor dicks Whatever says my kababayans I don’t give a shit Aint gonna toil anymore Gonna buy me an I-Phone Premium bags, and shoes Bear the coffin-dodger’s child I will Gotta be laid in bed of cotton Gotta let him fuck me Till he passes out and die Gotta suck him hard Till he bleeds dry Fuck true love What can you get out of which If your stomach is empty And you can’t buy all your impulses So what if he smells putrefied So long as I lay in bed of greens”
Thus she clings on To his horrid face So long as he gives her A queen’s privileges
One old man When he is around He’d sit by the porch A cup of tea in his hand In an idle afternoon While the scorching sun Retires after burning rice paddies Mountains, dirt roads, and faces At times it leaves torrential rain That reminds us of its promise It’s sure to be back in the morning
But what I remember oh so vividly That while he sips his bitter tea He’s all ears on the stereo Not on music stations But tuned in on A.M radio
I didn’t understand His penchant for the agony of twiddling thumbs With the occasional curses Murmurs, smirks, and grunts About politics in all its Nobility, hypocrisy, and bullshitry
It was a mystery how he could bear Listening to news On what transpired from within and without And listening to the host And repetitive commercials Peddling lies and whatnot
But he didn’t mind Just looked far away With the all-familiar grin What he labelled as circus Worked out fine for him
Almost three decades passed No longer do I see him In the rain nor setting sun Nor his hot cup of bitter tea That cools him down But something remained Which transcended him and his life As I sit with headsets on To the AM radio tuned Murmuring Grunting More generous in my cursing
Thank God for Lady Bel When there is none to lend a hand She is there A silent assassin Coldly executing her mission
Her attitude reminds me Of a lesson I already mastered Or so I thought I did But when I saw my current state Compared to hers now Damn, I know I already forgot The grit of a bloodied soldier To just be there Present in the moment Slugging it out Regardless whether The going gets uglier or not
She is in the flow Like an exemplary soldier Keeping at what she does Even when it sucks While I’m here Engaged in a similar firefight Albeit engaging two fronts Banging my head Trying to cough up a witty line For this poem and prayer For Lady Bel
Bless Lady Bel o Lord Bless her good heart Via what she is at the moment A rock, a solid one I can learn, relearn rather Lessons long forgotten and gone
The minimalist Willingly calloused himself Stripped off his senses Scarce in words As much as thoughts Gets upset not with a Few clothes A few jeans Or zero mobile data Afraid he’ll be creatively bankrupted By social media
Despite having revered as god He has locked horns with minimalism For poetry’s sake Unfamiliar feelings he now writes With inappropriate words Of a child quivering before a dentist The motocross rider as he somersaults A lover whose tears from the raindrops you cannot tell To be answered “yes” or “I do” by a lady
The things he shun To not let his feelings run Stoicism rivalling that of Marcus Aurelius A layer of rock That take eons to wear
He then realized He has flesh and blood He can grin And he can fuckin’ cry! He’s not a machine gun That eat bullets And spew them who the hell knows How much rpm
Now he aches to write poetry Vivid and teeming with life And the feelings he trained himself to abhor The superfluous often thrown to the dogs Like a whore That will make him sore With a red carpet and open arms He now welcomes home
Albeit, he writes clumsily A virgin lover in a quandary Whether he’ll Kiss her or fondle Screws up his words, falters and all Still he writes some more For non other than he can fathom It’s only poetry that will save his soul
I want to write poetry Lord Poetry that is torn From the flesh and guts Poetry that constitutes The same Protons Electrons Neutrons As the stars The rotting bone clenched in a canine’s fangs Or fart
I want to write poetry Lord The poetry about whores and saints Corrupt politicians Capitalist fiend incarnates Murderer commies Rabid “de-most-crazies” Of Republicans and Democrats The proletariat and intelligentsia
I want to write poetry Lord Poetry that will make her heart race to the moon And back to earth With an itch she can’t stand Until I’m finally found