Imaginariums

Nagising ako ng ala una ng umaga. ang ingay ng pusa ng kapitbahay namin, naglalampungan ang mga hinayupak. Siguro talagang wala sa bokabularyo ng mga pusa ang salitang “discreet” o talaga lang mahilig magpasikat ang mga hinayupak at nang -iinggit lang talaga. Oo alam kong wala akong sex for a long time pero di ko kailangan ang iba para ipamukha sa akin yun, much less, pusa! Ang ingay, pinilit kong hagilapin yung airsoft riffle ko sa dilim. Sa isip isip ko, maistorbo ko lang tong mga to at mabitin silang pareho amanos na kami.

Pagkahanap ko ng riffle pumuwesto ako sa bintana pero sa kasamaang palad, hindi ko makita kung nasaan ang mga hinayupak, siguro dahil sa madilim or siguro mali ako, alam din siguro nila ang salitang “discreet”. paksyet! Bumalik ako sa higaan na masama ang loob, di ako makabawi, di na din ako makatulog. paksyet talaga.

Naglalaro ang isip ko. Ang di ko mawari ay kung bakit sa lahat ng pwedeng isipin, naiisip kong Happy place ang imaginarium ni Vincent Van Gogh at Nakakamangha ang imaginarium ni Guillermo del Toro. wierd. nababaliw na yata ako.

So bumangon ako para manood ng TV, nanood ako ng documentary about EDSA 25 years after the people power. Naisip ko, aantukin ako sigurado nito, medyo boring ang narration ng dokyu. Ang daming mukha ng edsa ngayon, naisip ko tuloy yung kunduktor ng bus nung isang araw na nagtatawag ng pasahero habang nakatayo ako sa crossing, Panay ang sigaw niya ng ” Buni, Guadalopi, Ayala, Buni, Guadalopi, Ayala” Sa isip isip ko, “Buni? di ba makati yun?”

Hininaan ko ang volume ng TV, wala na yung mga pusang umaatungal. Pinatay ko ang TV, bumalik ako sa kama. Humiga at pumikit, mayamaya parang may naghahabulan sa bubong ng kapit-bahay, maya maya ay katahimikan sinundan ng atungal ng pusa na parang baby na umiiyak. Round 2 na nila. Paksyet talaga.

Buhay nga naman!

Sleep Talk

Let’s talk about the all sacred sleep. How long can you sleep during day time? How long will it take until you totally get adjusted with graveyard shifts and day sleep?

Naalala ko, bago ako pumasok sa trabahong ito, tinanong ako ng nanay kung kaya ko daw bang magtrabaho sa gabi. Dahil sa may katiting naman  akong tiwala sa sarili, sabi ko naman, “kayang kaya, ako pa”. dahil nga napasubo na sa kayabangan, pinilit kong pumasa sa interview, ginalingan kong mag-ingles dahil cute yung nag-iinterbyu, awa ng Diyos, ayun pumasa naman. Nag umpisa ang training, madali lang ang consonant at vowels, sinabihan na kasi ako dati sa kung anong dapat kong ieexpect, pero ampohta, walang nagsabi sa akin na mahirap matulog sa araw.

Ilang araw akong apat na oras lang ang tulog, pumapasok ako sa trabahong namumungay ang mata, parang bisugong lasing ang hilatsa ng mukha. Ang hirap matulog, ang nakakatawa pa, pag tinanong ka kung bakit parang inaantok ka, ang sagot mo; “di ako nakatulog buong araw eh?” Ayan,  diyan mo marerealize na baliktad na mundo mo. Napupuyat ka na sa araw, kaya inaantok ka na sa gabi.

Kinakabahan na ako sa kulang kong tulog, nag research ako sa internet about sleep deprivation para naman medyo mafamiliarize ko ang sarili ko sa kawalan ng tulog at para mawala na din kaba ko sa kalusugan ko. Pero naknanggalunggong, alam mo ba kung anong nahanap kong topic? Eto- How lack of sleep could shorten your life. Diyos na mahabagin, sino naming Poncio Pilato  ang makakatulog sa topic na yan. Parang nananakot.

Eto ang listahang ng mga topics and facts na hindi nagpatulog sa akin ng ilang araw. Pagpalain nawa ang mga author na nagsulat nito, asshole.

How lack of sleep affects your memory. Ito ay tungkol sa study sa US na nagdidetalye kung paano bumababa ang activity ng the temporal lobe sa brain pag may sleep deprivation. Ang temporal lobe ay ang parte ng utak ng tao na namamahala sa language processing. Isipin mo, kung ilang oras ang dapat mong ipuyat sa call center bago mo tuluyang makalimutan mag English.

Sleep deprivation and life span (sabay sign of the cross). Ito naman yung study na nagpapatunay daw na mas mahaba ang buhay ng mga taong nakakatulog ng seven hours pataas kesa sa mga taong natutulog lang ng anim na oras pababa. Ayon kasi sa pag-aaral na ginawa, kailanngan daw ng isang adult ng  pito hanggang walong oras na tulog para hindi maging lapitin ng sakit. Nyahaha. Nakakatawa, sa call center kasi, yung mga agents minsan, gustong magkasakit, yung iba naman nagsasakit-sakitan talaga para lang makapagabsent. O di ba? Aminin mo pare. Seven to 8 hours na tulog? Letse, paano ka pa naman makakagimik nyan?

Pero ito ang nakakabuwang sa topic na ito. May isang research na ginawa din sa US about the effects of sleep na ang mga respondent or test subjects ay mga cancer patients. Mahigit isang milyong pasyente and naging bahagi ng research na ito at napag-alaman na ang mga pasyenteng natutulog lang ng apat na oras pababa ay mas mahaba ang buhay kesa sa mga pasyenteng natutulog ng mahigit sa pitong oras. Naknggalunggong. Ano ba talaga ang totoo at dapat paniwalaan? Kanina lang mas maigsi and buhay ng sleep deprived, ngayon naman mas mahaba. Naisip ko tuloy, siguro depende na and sagot sa psychological set-up ng tao. Ito na siguro yung sinasabi ng professor ko dati na half empty or half full. Pag pessimist ka daw, ang baso na may laman na kalahating tubig ang tingin daw niya dito ay half empty, pero pag optimist ka, ang tingin mo daw sa basong kalahati ang laman ay half full. Ampohta. Kung buhay ko ang pinag-uusapan, lagi akong half-full.

Tapos eto pa; Effects of sleep deprivation to the human behavior. May lumang kasabihan na, “Magbiro daw sa lasing huwag lang sa bagong gising”. Tama naman, pero kulang, dapat ”Magbiro ka sa lasing huwag lang sa bagong gising na kulang sa tulog” o mas masahol ang “magbiro ka sa lasing wag lang sa bagong gising na lasing na kulang sa tulog” Sabi kasi sa topic na ito, Mas madali daw mag-init ang ulo ng mga taong kulang ang oras ng tulog lagi. Yun din siguro ang dahilan kaya bumili ako ng pellet gun para dun sa pusa ng kapit bahay naming na kahit tanghaling tapat ay nag-iingay na parang batang umiiyak. Ang ingay sa lovemaking ang hinayupak na pusa. Parang nang iinggit. Sa susunod titirahin ko na ng pellet gun ang hinayupak na pusang yon.

Ano pa bang topic ang meron? Ah, di bale saka na lang, tulog muna ako.

 

Glowed In The Dark

earth

Just when the lights are off, we shone the brightest.

Last March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM up until 9:30 PM, it was lights off in 647 cities and municipalities in the Philippines. No, it was not because of a power shortage, it was for a nobler reason- the Earth Hour. The Philippines ranked # 1 amongst all the countries that participated on this global event. The #2 spot was occupied by Greece with 484 cities participating. The official ranking was released by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) office.


647 cities and municipalities estimated to have over 15 million participants from the country is a giant leap from the estimated 1 million participants from last year’s earth hour. This is clearly a sign of the country’s growing awareness with the environmental problems that we are facing.


Earth Hour is a brainchild of the World Wildlife Fund and the Sidney Morning Herald. The event started last 2007 when 2.2 million Sidney residents participated by turning their lights off including non-essential appliances for an hour. Since then Earth Hour is celebrated annually every last Saturday of March all over the world. The Earth Hour 2009 was participated by 88 countries and more than 4000 cities. A small country consisted of a group of islands in the Pacific led the way this year.


Is it something to be proud of? Of course it is! We maybe a nation of diverse dialects and different cultures but Filipinos knows how to unite when unity matters most. We are a nation of proud workers who took pride in the work we do no matter how menial it is and not a nation of servants who deserve nothing but scraps (as a racist Hong-Kong columnist claims). We are a nation who respect religious freedom and not prosecute those who differ from our belief. We are a nation of humble people who are slowly rediscovering our sense of patriotism again. Deep within this dormant flame lies an ember that still burns of Bayanihan. Let the Unity shown by this Malayan race during the Earth Hour 2009 stand as a testament to that.

Of Blisters and Touches

Let me take this route,
A battered path
By generations of souls
The pavement is rough
Mine soles blistering

A voyage for the senses
When sense doesn’t exist
Like dogs baying at midnight
Praying for reprieve
Reprieve they ought to have

For a wandering soul
Without hope for rest
It is the absence of hope
That keeps them hoping for hope.
A chaotic cycle we live in

So trek ad infinitum
When vultures abound
Laying awake while a dirge is said
Soothing voices amidst mockery
A requiem for the living

So stop while you could
And lie still if you must
The earth breaths beneath
Every tremor is a groan
Every breeze is a smile

Let it go slow
Hues are recognized
By sight
Not by touch

Like heat that remains
When the last ember died out
The secret of the journey
Is not on the destination
It is by knowing the way.

Realized how to recognize
The rest would fall into its place

A Journey Back To Endor

 

endor

The banana orchard at the back of my aunt’s house is long gone and I can barely remember how it looks like already, but if I close my eyes and think hard, I could still remember how it feels like to be there.


 

The orchard was a part of Manong Pancho’s property. It is untended, mosquito infested and magical. The banana orchard use to be our playground. I still remember how much my mother hated it when I play there because of the stains on my clothes when I go home. Yet no matter how many times I get pinched at my arms for playing there, I can’t resist going. We love pretending to be Ewoks, the furry, short, stocky, flat-faced, bear-like looking creatures living primitively in the forest moon of Endor. This George Lucas creation that first appeared on the movie Star Wars became our constant persona when we are playing at the banana orchard. That banana orchard was our Endor.


 

Usually when I arrive at the orchard, the brothers, Mado and Mar are already there, since they live the nearest to the place. also the brother tandem of Jon and Tirso (not their real names), and so with cousins Dino (not his real name) and Rowen.


When we’re playing ewoks, I was always Wickket, the leader of the ewoks, the other guys would think of their own names. Yet even though we play parts as ewoks our natural personality would eventually turn up. Mado and Mar are inseparable even when their roles (according to their names) as ewoks should not. Dino is quick to smile, he is a daredevil but he listens to me. He likes adventure and the youngest of us all. Jon is the bossy type and Tirso is the playful one. Rowen on the other hand is the silent type. We have different personality, looking back now; I wonder how we survived as friends.

When we assume the ewoks persona, everything turns magical. A simple banana tree would turn into an impregnable fortress, stones would turn into gold, sticks would become spears, the orchard would become the forrest of endor, and we would become immortals. Child play and all its grandeur, its magic and its sense of justice.

Time passed, we grew older I guess. and our forest of endor was forgotten. The awe for the mystery of endor was replaced with teenage adrenalin when we entered high school. We attended different schools. I found new friends, and my childhood friends found theirs.

I left our municipality to attend the university during college. I have lost track to almost everything from my hometown. I guess I stayed away too long.

When I finally had time to stay home, I was informed that Dino was sent to a juvenille detention facility. He was accused of raping a girl. There are rumors that he was high on drugs during the time the incident happened. I could hardly believe my ears. Dino the smiling kid? rape? My mind is trying to grasp a reality that it cannot absorb.

Time passed and we moved on, I was always away from home, but I tried to come home every chance I get. Everything is doing well when I heard the news that Tirso was arrested for stabbing someone to death. I heard that the stabbing was a result of an altercation during a basketball match. I sighed while listening to my mother telling me the news. I can’t just believe it is possible. I asked my mom who had he stabbed, she told me a name. The name sound very familiar, I her asked again, I heard it right the first time. It was a friend of mine during my high school days.

As I was writing this, a line from an old song called “constant change” keeps playing on my head, it goes; “have we outgrown our peter pan and wings?/ we’ve simply grown too old for tales of knights and king…”

Where have Endor gone? Where is its sense of fair play and justice? have we left it behind the banana orchard along with our childhood eons ago? Right now, if only I have a way to go back to that orchard in the time of the ewoks and the forest of Endor, I would.

A Testament of Faith

christ_the_lord

This book marked the return of bestselling author Anne Rice to the catholic faith and perhaps it also marks the end of a great series about the damned, more popularly known as the “Vampire Chronicles”.

This book is about the child Jesus in a whole new light. The story about a child confused on having the power to kill a boy by simply wishing him dead and the power to bring the boy back to life. A child curious about the mysteries concerning his birth that his family seem to keep it for themselves and discuss it in hushed voices most of the time.

The story began in Alexandria, Egypt,. several years after Jesus and his family went there to escape herod. After having told through a dream that it’s time for them to go home, Jesus and family packed and set back to Nazareth, the home of his parents. where they were reunited with family members who stayed behind.

Aside from the conflict in their journey home and the mystery sorrounding Jesus’ birth, The story also tell of Jesus’ education and his coming of age.

A biblical story told in an Anne Rice style narrative, too little could go wrong. Vampire or no vampire, Anne Rice is still a great tale spinner.

News went out that a film based on the book itself was scheduled to start shooting somewhere in Israel last 2007 with the hope that it will hit the screen later in 2008 but with no other clear reason aside from “creative differences” the project was shelved.

Playing Memories in the Box of Smiles

Smell induces memories. It reminds us of things, of places, of times, of events that so long ago took place and was cramped up and locked into the lonely and forgotten corners of our mind. Waiting patiently to be revisited and smiled upon once more.

 

Whoever thought that rummaging through the dusty boxes in the forgotten nook in your house could be something that is worth doing?  Who would think that a simple dusty box sitting in the dark corner under the stair could pack so much smile.  Smiles that resonates from laughter dating back from many moons ago. Back when your muscles are less weary and your mind was less fogged. In the time when the heat of the sun is enough to warm your soul and the memory of the moon would keep you longing for the night. Back when things are much simpler.

 

Today, I was seating on my office chair. I was staring at my empty screen, watching the cursor blink. I can’t think but i needed to. I was pushing my brain to function too much, so much that I actually felt my head hurt. The pain seems to tear everything inside my head. I actually felt afraid that the pain would destroy so many stray memories I left along the corridors of my mind. I am in my mid 20s its to early to loose them.

 

I got out of my chair and stretched my back a bit. Ergonomic chairs are not as good as they are advertised.  Anna called for me from her chair, offering me a strawberry. I took one and smelled the fruit. It’s red and smells so sweet. I thanked Anna and went back to my chair and slouched. I closed my eyes and let my mind travel. The smell of the strawberry is so familiar. It smells like Christmas during my childhood; fun and carefree. It specifically smells like the strawberry perfume that my aunt, who was then working in Manila, gave my mother for Christmas. I remember putting the empty bottle of that perfume in that box along with my old doodle notes and some cheesy love letters written on linens with a sweet smell that I have received from pretty young ladies in high school back then. And some empty linen pads that I intend use for writing sweet nothings that I never had the guts to make happen. The box also contain the first six chapters of the novel entitled “Curtain of Smoke” that I began writing when I graduated from high school, something I am not so sure I could finish, Nevertheless, something that I enjoyed writing. In my life, that box contains my stash of smiles.

 

Sometimes I am amazed how we use the dig into the recess of our past to nullify the worries of the present. It is amazing how smell can put a smile back into our faces. It is amazing how playing memories from that box of smile could lighten up my day, even just from this ergonomic chair.