Day 6: The Last Day

I woke up just in time to answer the blaring mobile phone that's buzzing beside my ear for the past minute. I say hello, and the other line said " The time right now is 7:28:55am, Philippine time my created. You have exactly 24 hours to prepare for your demise. Lovelots, The Creator" Knowing this call would come sooner than later, I set to maximize the remaining time.

As I go down the stairs, I see my mom and dad, doing their usual morning stuff. I suddenly felt a pang of pain as I realized that this will be the last time I will see them, talk to them, or just interact with them. So I sprinted down the stairs and hugged them real tight. Let's go out, I said, let's fill this day with memories. Befuddled, they argued a bit but I will not be deterred. I also banged my sibling's rooms to get them moving so we can catch the Mass. Meanwhile, I loaded my phone and punched the code for unlimited calls. I also sent a message to everyone in my phonebook about the impact each of them had in my life. I wanted to call them but I want to go to church first.

While attending mass, I felt the connection that lingered during all the other masses I partook. Knowing that this will be my last, I poured my soul into every song and canticle. After mass, I started calling each person alphabetically, catching up on things, telling them how much I missed/miss/will miss them. Usually it took five minutes, but some close friends stayed for half an hour. I actually told some of them what will happen in a few hours and they were as shocked as I was.

While I'm raiding my contacts, I hailed a taxi and went to the park. I isolated each of my family members and explained everything, exposed everything and forgave and apologized for everything. Each showed their forms of remorse but I thought my heart would break when I saw mother's tears. Don't worry I said while blinking back tears, we'll be together soon.

After a day of fun, we went home to a surprise despedida concocted by my friends. In the gathering, I exposed myself, made things clear and had everyone's mind and heart lightened by midnight. It was so fun, I wouldn't mind going now.

After everyone found a place to stay (no one wanted to go), I booted up my laptop and said my goodbyes to the virtual world I also inhabit, as well as locking each my my online personas to that my memory will not be changed. I also created a will so that everything will be in order.

I found my parents huddled in their room, crying silently but showing a brave face for me when I went in. I hugged them tightly and asked for the greatest thing I can: pray together before sleeping, kissing their cheeks and making mano, and then sleeping between them. Just like when I was a kid.

Goodbye, my 23rd year. You were a game-changer

Day 5: The Goalposts

November 27, 2016

Has it been really five years since then? Things just went so smoothly that I can't even imagine how it fit together so well. I am now managing juggling a job, life and a vision. It was really a far, but still near, cry from what I have been.

Work is just like the baby bear's porridge in Goldilocks - just right. Research in renewable energy is a tedious task, but the possible rewards has never been so near to the touch. Improvements in solar energy efficiencies as well as in OTEC technologies, as well as  strides in integrating them to the national power grid, have brought lights to whatever has been shrouded in darkness before, with cleaner fuel. As one of scores of researchers who work hard to make this possible, it is like your child walking up the stage and getting a medal as the highest in their batch.

Speaking of children, Mikael is doing well, his day-care teacher says that he shows aptitudes in math and science, though I personally see him as a hands-on guy - something his pop never was, hahahaha. I'll just hope he won't be unconsciously breaking hearts and dashing dreams, whatever side of the fence he eventually decides to go. Artemis and I are arguing when t turn Kael into an older brother: by next year or when Kael enters grade school.

By the time Kaels gets a little bro or sis, I might be teaching, a weird turn from a staunchly engineering discipline that shaped me for more than a decade. I felt it was time to give back and, upon getting the requisite training and certification, I am now set to teach algebra and trigonometry to (unsuspecting) freshmen. Feels like old times already.


Day 4: On Relationships

"Neglect is the greatest destroyer of relationships"
I'm one of the most laid-back people I know when it comes to relationships. I'm there when you need me, or maybe when you don't. Sometimes, I can even be considered a storm-weather friend. The only problem is I seem to lose some of the information people confide in me a few pieces at a time.

Blame it on a possible case of ADD, memory retention problem or that I get too comfortable in a relationship - whether that be platonic or romantic - I lost track of things fast. This is especially true when the person in question and I start to drift apart. The fibers of memory binding us start to loosen, fray and eventually let go.

Most people, or at least for most people that I have consulted this with, would have taken this in stride. However, the only caveat of my forgetfulness is that even dates get to be shady. An interesting effect of this is that I do not remember the first time I met many of my close friends before, making me think I have known them forever. And what one would feel if such a person vanishes is what I have felt for each person disappearing, so much that at some level, this sens of pain has been deadened somewhat (currently rediscovering these emotions, the painful way).

*prone to be edited and/or continued*


Day 3: 5 Questions I usually ask myself

I wasn't able to post yesterday. Crummy, I wanted to do this in a row.
Why are you so indecisive about things that matter to you? I think of what other people too much when thinking about decisions that affect my life (primarily romance related) such that in order not to hurt anyone else, I will take the path of least casualties (read: myself) and be a fence-sitter. Really, sometimes it's a wonder what - or who - am I waiting for.

Can you stop being sexually charged for a while here? The one thing I can attribute to hormones and youth is not exactly appealing to me. I mean, I like the deed as much the next person but its hurtful that I'm prejudiced in this manner (read: people think I will hump a lamppost). I have friends that frown upon it so much that they actually get angry at me as if I'm a miscreant and should be turned into an amoeba. This line of thought has been nagging me for so long that I have sometimes thought that there might be something wrong with me.

What would happen if I die today? Let's get something out if the way - I am NOT suicidal. It's just that, if I die, will anyone other than my family remember me? Will I get to really have the people around me say what they really thought/think of me? Will someone cry? Will the people that I wish will care about my death will? Would have I left the people that I love that ,yes, I have loved them to the best of my heart and abilities?

What would happen if a life-changer happened in my life today? I always play with the what-ifs. Super-powers, loads of money, amnesia, parallel worlds - name it, and I might have created a scenario about it. Maybe it's due to boredom or I feel something lacking in my life.

Am I loved?  In truth, this questions popped frequently only recently, when game-changers happened. I have anchored myself to few people to support my still-broken self and when one of them fall, I am sent to a sudden feeling of getting the carpet yanked off my feet. But then, this is the one question that I can answer, yet I don't believe still. I am loved but not in the way I wanted.


Day 2: An article of faith

I believe in God. However, as much as I believe the doctrines that the Church that represents my God hold, I cannot see myself strictly adhering to it's traditions and tenets. And most likely, if you believe what I'm supposed to believe, you will have to consider yourself an abomination, too. No, I do not believe in a God that will create my for the sole purpose of vilifying my entire existence. As much as I cannot believe that the same loving, merciful God will painstakingly create images of the Divine and cast them unto the eternal pyre, with no chance for redemption.

The God I know transcends my knowledge and understanding, but not to the point that all is unknowable.And the same unknowable God gives me experiences to catch a glimpse of understanding- usually by using people around me as finite illustrations of an infinite concept.

Many things are left out and, truthfully, for many other things I do not know to express. This is what I know. This is what I believe.


Day 1: 30 Facts

Wanting to know who I am, I naturally start with what I know. So I'll list down things I do know about myself, hopefully, facts and experiences untinged with the coloring of hindsight.

1. I love books. One of the most sure-fire way for me to drain the time is to plop myself with a book, even if I have read that book so much I'm already creasing the spice off.

2. I rarely plan, I'd rather have a to-do list than a battle plan since I'm weirdly particular about them - each itinerary is timed to the minute, with only a five to ten minute leeway for three or for activities spread throughout the afternoon.

3. I had TB when I was third year high school - probably explains why I have a smalls car on my left lung and a great aversion to smoke and ,consequently, smokers.

4. Supreme self-confidence (aka cockiness) is very evident when I was younger. I applied for only one secondary school, and four years later, two universities. In all honesty, I saw the second application as redundant since I was  so sure that I will get in the first university anyway.

5. No, I'm not Chinese,not one bit. As far as I can trace it, I am purely Filipino up to the third generation (the surnames are actually getting more Spanish the further I go). Non-chi people fail to see it, most filchi friends of mine notice it almost immediately.

Seriously. No.

6. I'm a spaghetti monster. Not the pastafarian kind, the where-was the-mountain-of-pasta-that-was-there-three-seconds-ago kind. My mom actually says I just breathe the stuff in.

7. I absolutely have no fashion sense, never thought I would have needed it. My motto had been "comfort is style", though I have been finding myself getting more conscious about how I look like nowadays.

8. I consider myself the ugliest of three siblings.

9. My elementary school nickname was pusa. Not because I'm cute or cuddly, but because I manage to get myself so dirty my classmates are seeing patterns that look like a set of a cat's whiskers in my face, starting from the nose.

10. Elementary dream job: Priest. I think this started due to a shortage of books that I was reading the Bible while having lunch at school. Everyday. That and Catholic School.

11. Had an appendectomy when I was 8 or 9 years old. After that, my parents usually stop me from being hyper by saying  "Sige ka, bubuka yang sugat mo."

12. I love eating ice. But then I don't like suddenly shivering because I down a large glass of ice.

13. I have entered a theatre playing an R-18 movie before I graduated from high school.

14. I always have trouble buying shoes since I'm flatfooted. The sides of my left foot is cramped, while the toes of my right are crumpled.

15. I have dyslexic fingers. I usually interchange characters in a line of text, especially if I have no conscious effort to check, as well as when the train of thought is unimpeded. I actually have to correct two errors for this statement only.

16. The "rebellious" phase of my childhood mainly consisted of subversion instead of direct confrontation. I derive a strange pleasure from bending the rules to suit me.

17. I was almost got to spend a night at a police station when I was a junior high school student.

18. I developed hyperacidity due to drinking too much iced tea. Instead of stopping, I continued on drinking the stuff until the symptoms disappeared.

19. I usually shift among three voices.

20. On average, I think I have lost a cellphone a year for since I started to have one. Meaning I inevitably lose contact with some people every year.

21. One of the things I missed most when I was a kid was the time that my mother cleans my ears.

22. The left side of my head is flatter that my right. That's probably why I was advised against going for a crew-cut by my hairdresser.

23. I send SMS in full English. Most of the time.

24. I tend to concentrate on one thing so much that I literally cannot hear what other people are saying, nor do I realize that they were trying to get my attention too.

25. I kissed a Chem classmate at the men's CR. I later learned that our instructor saw it.

26. I usually remember how to go to a place after I travel to the location once. It's essential for a guy with semi-itchy feet.

27. I have never punched a person in my life. The nearest was that one time I bitch-slapped my brother for being to much of a dick.

28. I have a hyperactive imagination. Leave me bored for half an hour and I might've conjured up a story in my head, complete with special effects. Usually, it's magic-themed.

29. I never mastered the art of riding a bike. Or a roller blade. Yet, I'm still planning to get a driver's license.

30. I usually ask a question pertaining to an info about a person several times before I almost not forget it. 


Straight from the bottle

TO be given one's own medicine is such a bittersweet experience. And to think that this has been a recurring theme of my life for the past two months, it really feels like Nemesis or Karma or whoever entity is discharged with righteous retribution is shoving it up in spades. To think that I've never been a fan of her form of justice.

I still believe in the cumulative effects of doing good and evil, that's causality talking. But having the effects bear an eerie resemblance to the cause is another bag of chips entirely. The most recent issue/case-in-point/predicament is with a very close friend of mine who one day decided to clam up and not spill a detail about him recently. All I have is a gut feel (telling me that there's something definitely wrong) and a series of uhhs, emoticons and wala namans. To think that this is what I did before to other friends, just to see if they will just eat it all up or at least make the effort to check what really is happening.

Speaking of other friends, my attachment to some of them has begun to border on to obsession or utter dependency. As if I wished to make a few people bear the weight of my world - something that I personally bemoaned from the actions of my best friend. And in truth, one of these people came forward and told me that. It's not that I'm not aware, I said, but I'm stuck here and no one has come forward to extend a hand or two. But I realized right after that there were people that helped me, just not the ones I expected to. So I continued my bitch spiral while waiting - what a surefire way to get rid of negative emotions, yes?

After several game-changers these past eight weeks, I'm not really wondering why I'm running the full gamut of possible human (and possible simian and bestial) emotions. What am I surprised about, actually, is that I'm not a raving lunatic, getting myself drunk just to get a chance to punch a random dude.

Well, guess I'm starting to patch things up, along with a bad case of the colds. Just a few more loose ends.


Maybe it's just the rain

As the sky sheds her torrent of tears,
I stare at the great expanse of my hopes and fears.
Parts I cannot hope to mend
and words I would rather have left said.

People, places, times and things -
each holds a piece of my memories.
People, places, times and things -
each a chance for heaven or a shot to the abyss.

As this little thought unwraps in my head,
I am aware of time's relentless march.
It might be time to move, I guess
rather than get lost in melancholy once again.



The interred are stirring, disturbed by my presence, as well as yours. The sense a newcomer, the freshness of your spring piqued times forgotten. You know of your fate, and welcomes it as well as you can.

Still I tread in the place of eternal fall, searching for the perfect spot to bury you. You stared at me with imploring eyes tinted with the yellow and red of the swirling leaves. Mesmerized as always by your enchanting gaze, I slowed my step and looked at you in all your glory enhanced by the sombre, solemn space. It's as if you  , yourself, are stuck between this plane and the next, somehow taking in the most beautiful. I almost feel my soul falling unto the abyss of your eyes, and at that moment I broke my gaze. It is time.

The ground is fresh, ready for another memory to be given to its eternal embrace, to nourish another seed in this forest of amber and jade.


Inertial Pull

Kung lagi kang mababatuhan ng "ikaw talaga yung 'di nagbago sa 'tin" phrase in at least two or three sets of contacts, it starts to get a little bit disturbing, and all the more depressing.

Recently, I've found myself in an never-ending hamster's wheel. Each episode in my recent times is vaguely reminiscent of previous memories. It's like right before that most pivotal moment, everything reverts to the beginning, with each actor oblivious to the con.

All except me. Sometimes.

It's easy to "just get by" to every day. Blind to the ramifications each of your actions will take. Take  the phrase "whatever will be, will be" to its most extreme form. To be too proud to procrastinate everything on the grand delusion that everything will magically be rectified.

I wish for a life "happily ever after", an ideal where everything did turn out well, where I will be able to live life without sacrificing anything. Truthfully, I tried make that dream a reality, foolish child I was and am. To purchase the happiness of the people around you with bits and pieces of yourself, and then tax them when you find the absence too high a price to bear.

I have always known that my life is to be at the sidelines, an ever-watching witness to the story of other people's travails. However, would it be too selfish to ask for a small piece of the sky and a small patch of light for me to see as well?


The dull blade

There sits a blade in the far side of the room, dusty and unused. It was one of the sharpest of the master's swords, and was once his favorite. It was used often, and the constant use never chipped it. Nay, each blow it took helped sharpened it, and the master was pleased. It was always talked about when the master meets other masters, and never did it disappoint.

The reason of the master's preference was that the blade was versatile. Whichever way the master used it, be it forward-edge or reverse, held like the sword it was or the assassin's knife it can be, the blade performed superbly. Other masters respected the blade, though some wished the master will not be overconfident of its blade and let his own skills be rusty.

Alas, the day the other masters feared eventually crept on. The master was too haughty of his blade that he became careless of other matters. He truly and fervently believed that his blade will be able to save him. Truly the blade was his saving grace, but it wasn't enough to win all the essential battles. Truth be told, the master's skills were so dependent on that one blade that he became weak.

Eventually, the master slunk out of his battles, choosing instead to boast about laurels that have withered and returned to the earth. He now uses other blades, blades that work differently from his favorite. He might not wield them with the same finesse as his favorite, but his mastery over his preferred blade was enough to win him some battles, though he used that blade less and less.

Over time, the once-preferred blade gathered dust, its sheen slowly vanished, and its oft-feared edge gradually tarnished. No one dares confront the master when he bears that blade, not knowing that nowadays, it's only for show. The master knows it, but his damned pride will not acknowledge the need of training. What I know is more than enough, he bellows.

But one night, he was watching a duel between masters while bearing the dusty, old blade. A long-forgotten feeling rose up in him and he found himself swinging the blade to and fro. The feeling urged him to go and join the battle, yet he held back for the fear that the illusion he perpetuated with his blade be discovered. After a while though, the feeling became unbearable and he hastened to the field, brandishing his blade in the best way he believed possible.

The continuous blows transformed both blade and master. The blade shed off some of the dust it gathered and regained some of his previous splendor, while the master saw his old skills return. Flushed with the battle that ensued (no one won, as it was only for practice), the master started to wonder what happened to him and his trusty blade such that he had to deceive everyone just to save face.

And here the story starts again.