I will not be able to write a post until the 8th of January. I’ll be home with my family.

Happy New Year everyone.

Somebody said that it is a waste of time to wait for something better, to expect more, to look forward to a more wonderful years ahead. But I think that as long as we do not stop hoping, nothing is wasted, nothing is in vain.

The crowd is evil

Television has lost its appeal on me a long time ago simply because I dread seeing people being led to a brainless existence and enjoying this existence. I stopped attending Mass because I cannot stand overhearing mundane conversations around me while the host is being raised by the priest. I feel suffocated inside a night club not with cigarette smoke but with people who make pretence of happiness, their laughter signifying vacuity.

Being a part of the crowd is immoral, it is a complete abnegation of one’s identity in favor of the faceless and perverse crowd. This same lack of morality, its refusal to understand individual morality makes the very composition of the crowd depraved. It tranquilizes an individual making him believe that he is safe in its company, that an individual can do whatever he wants because his presence and his action is negligible and immaterial vis-à-vis the size and operations of the crowd.

I wonder why some individuals continue to hold on to their individuality when the entire exercise of setting himself apart from the rest is tiring at best and futile at worst. Modern society is tricking us to believe that it values individuality but when we look closer and peer deeper into the subtleties, it wants nothing from us but to conform to all its whims.

The crowd is slowly killing the individual.

But how pleasurable this banality is

Somebody once told me that I overrate sex, that I am too caught up within its crafty, labyrinthine path that one day I’d wake up totally enmeshed in and unable to escape from this game I all too enjoy playing. I laughed at the person giving me the remark, disregarding his comment as something at the height of naïveté. Sex moderates itself and the idea of being ‘oversexed’ is a fallacy. Sex operates within the bounds of diminishing marginal utility; inevitably one will get tired of it. And besides, I reason, that I am not getting any younger, the natural course of things is to slowdown. And thirty, forty years from now I shall altogether lose interest in it.

But he went on by saying that I’ve redefined moderation to a point that it becomes unrecognizable and unbelievable. My appetite for sex, he observed, is beyond compare. It’s as if I’ve been starved of it for years and reintroduced to it; I’ve transformed myself into a maniac who needs sex like one needs air and water to survive. I gave him a meaningful wink that caused him to almost choke in the oxygen he was inspiring. “Spare me,” he emphatically declared.

“And are you sure you’ll live for thirty or more years?” He jokingly asked.

“Well, I only intend to live until in my fifties. I do not dream of growing too old to be unable to perform well in bed,” I sarcastically answered.

“That is if you reach that age without having contracted syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or God forbids, HIV,” he finally said.

I looked straight to his eyes and asked, “What do you want me to do? Stop doing it and become an asexual salmonella like you?”

“What I mean is moderation. I do not have to define what moderation means in order for you to understand it. I have complete trust in your intelligence and ability to comprehend.” He paused, “And you’re all too aware that you are over-doing it.”

I was silent for more than a minute, sipped my cup of lukewarm cappuccino, and before me came a surge of countless images of the faces of people I had sex or made love with (as the two are totally different ideas and acts). I confused one from the other, forgot when I had the most unforgettable, the best, or when I did it for the first time. Sex has become too cheap and easy. And it was I and my almost insatiable thirst for it that made it too cheap and easy.

It’s as if my entire existence rests on this platform whose sole purpose is to seek pleasure. Sex ceased to be an emotional experience for me, and I do not remember whether it ever was an emotional experience shared with another person. What I know is that it is an exercise that dissipates bodily heat, facilitates an exchange of bodily fluids, and mediates the union of emptiness contained within equally empty bodies. But how pleasurable this banality is.

I can’t wait to be home for the new year

New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.

Hamilton Wright Mabie

I love the cynicism in this:

Why won’t they let a year die without bringing in a new one on the instant, can’t they use birth control on time?  I want an interregnum.  The stupid years patter on with unrelenting feet, never stopping – rising to little monotonous peaks in our imaginations at festivals like New Year’s and Easter and Christmas – But, goodness, why need they do it?

John Dos Passos, 1917

A promise not kept

“I’ll write something about you and this meeting, ma’am, and will ask my friend to have it published on Monday.

“That is too much.”

“No, no, no, it’s nothing.”

I imagine her asking her maid to wake up so early in the morning today to buy the Monday edition of Panay News. Opening the part that contains my column, she will find an entirely different article, not the one I promised her.

The worst form of betrayal is not keeping a promise.

I met her a week ago in a local diner waiting for her breakfast. That time I was reading a local paper where I write a weekly column. I was writhing in shame because of the missing final letter s in the verb of my last sentence. This old woman coughed softly and gave her comment about the headline of a news about a socialite campaigning for her son who is running for congress against a powerful politician in one of the districts of my province. “Daw indi man ni sila taga-Iloilo, ano sagad nila kapadalagan diri haw?” (These people are not from Iloilo, why are they running for an elective post here?).

Feeling that I’ve not been appreciated as a writer, I showed her the column I wrote which moments ago I was already thinking of burning because of the missing s. She read my column like how my mother does. I think all teachers have this way of reading, same expression on their faces, same reaction especially if the writer of what they are reading is seated next to them.

She introduced herself and wrote her name using beautiful cursives on the back of an old business card given to me by a Macedonian friend. Mrs. Delfina Gerochi is a 76-year old retired grade one teacher who used to teach at Dawis Elementary School in the municipality of Zarraga. Sixteen years after retiring, she related that she does not find her life boring. She has chickens, a dog, and a cat in her house that she takes care.

“Kanami gali sa imo magsulat. Ako nagasulat man sang mga poems.” (You write beautifully. As for me, I write poems.)

I thanked her and suggested that since it is difficult to find a publisher for poems, unless you’re nationally recognized or you publish your own poems which can be very expensive, to open a blogsite and have her works posted there. I momentarily forgot that she’s 76 years old. I apologized for the gaffe and explained to her how blogging works. I did not know whether she was able to grasp the entire concept of this ‘art’. I told her to ask any of her grandchildren about blogs and that she wants to have her own, and they’ll know what to do.

“Had I had children as intelligent and accomplished as you at such a young age, I would’ve raised heaven and earth just so I could give them whatever they wanted.”

Although blushing is a talent I know I do not possess, I blushed when she said this.

I promised her to write about our meeting but I never did. Not until I woke up today and remembered that my column will come out today. And so I’ve caused an old woman so much of a disappointment. At her age, inasmuch as nothing so spectacular will bring her much surprise, a very small act of kindness and promise mean a lot. And I regret depriving her of those.


Note: Whoever knows Mrs. Delfina Gerochi, please leave your email here so that I may write a personal letter to her. And if it will not be so bothersome, have it printed and given to Mrs. Gerochi. Thank you.

My sister’s drawing

My 12-year old sister drew this in my computer when I visited our hometown two months ago. I found the drawing several minutes ago while looking for old files in my hardly-opened folders. Indeed, most beautiful things are found hidden in the least expected of places.

How I miss my sister.

Sparing you the maudlin diatribe

The sudden turn of events is starting to be overwhelming. I am going home for the new year because my sister requested for it and that ‘we cannot afford to miss the chance of having a family picture’. But in the time of photoshop and picture editing whose products are indistinguishable from real ones, we can have a family picture for posterity at the fraction of the cost of a two-way travel. In the end I succumbed because of her ceaseless threats. She vowed not to talk to me until our last days on the face of the planet if I continue being stubborn and do not go home. I scramble this time to find the soonest trip home without having to cost me fortune.

I was riding a jeepney with this guy talking to somebody, presumably a client, over the phone, giving the rest of riding people the impression that he has a job and that he is a busy guy who works even on a Sunday. He was waiting for ‘whoas’ and ‘wows’ from us when I heard him saying ‘Don’t worry po, ipapadeliver ko bukas. Hintayin niyo lang ang fak ko.’ It could either be the mispronounced expletive (which makes the sentence grammatically non-sensical and the conversation inappropriate and unethical on a public transportation) or he was referring to the singular of fax which all members of the thinking public know as fax (plural is faxes). Everyone gave him a piercing look similar to what you would give to the hairdresser who cut the bangs you’ve patiently grown for ten months.

I get jealous with writers who can express my thoughts better than I can. Some were so good at it that reading them reduces me to an envious middle child who already did everything he could only to be repeatedly ignored by his parents and is crying in the corner while his eldest and youngest siblings are selfishly keeping their parents’ affection for themselves, without leaving anything spare for him. Why can’t I be original? Why can’t I be as articulate as the person sitting next to me? Why am I having this hard time writing a single sentence which a kindergarten student could write with grace in his English composition class?

I rant and ramble, trying to sound angry even if I am not, to hide my ineptitude and inability to clearly express my thoughts. Lengthening this is already too much of a burden, so here, thank me because I am sparing you of my maudlin diatribe.