Miyerkules, Hulyo 20, 2011


Painting No. 29 is shown in the projector when I entered the lecture hall. The room is dark and full of people. I went to the back to look for a seat. None. I headed toward the front, scanning slowly for vacant seats. One chair is available in the left front row. I wanted a seat on the right because I’ll be able to have a clear view in that part. Anyways, I have no option but to settle next to the fat old lady.

I have no plans of viewing this exhibit, which I thought are suspended paintings in the walls. But surprisingly, the exhibit turns out to be a lecture, with the woman behind the podium explaining each pictures of painting.

I was walking in the Palm Bridge with no destination in mind. The people walking towards me are wearing white mask-like things which do not fully cover their hairs and faces. The white things which appear to be papers actually look like decorations. But all of them give me the impression of human aliens who make me felt alienated because I’m the only one around with naked face and hair. I continue walking up to the Freedom Park. There is one big plastic cover used for a tent, hindering my way so I step on it and mouth some bad words to the guy and girl holding the ends of the plastic. Walking slowly, I heard the guy said to his companion that his exhibit of 50 paintings is at the SU (Student Union) building. I found myself heading into that direction. 

Two kids are seated on a bench. The girl in Indian sit is facing the left side of the boy whose legs are dangling from the bench and face is bent towards the girl. There are two orange-colored structures behind them looking like a one story castle. An L-shaped fence surrounds the yard. That is painting number 29 entitled Memorialism.

I thought memorialism… what the heck, what a word. The old fat irritating lady elbowed me and said a long shhh. So I mouthed what I’m thinking. Anyways, I’m curious enough to give the picture a second glance. I did not waste my time lending my ears to the lady behind the podium because I’m not interested in her explanations how the artist who pisses me off during my walk goes about his drawing of the painting.

The kids are talking about maybe something funny because the girl is smiling. Suddenly, the girl sat up, circumnavigate the bench, get down from the seat, and walks toward the fence - the side fronting the painting. I’m not surprised that the elements move.  The girl touches the fence with her right hand. Her fingers were pricked by the barbed wire. She cried, and the boy worriedly walks towards her. He tried to console the girl but the crying won’t stop. So he touches the fence too. Let his fingers get pierced and shows his bleeding fingers to the girl. The girl smiled. The boy bends down his face in the act of kissing the girl. Abruptly, they were transformed into an adult, 40 or 50 years of age maybe, as their lips met. Then they walk tracing the fence with their fingers, the old woman walking with straight back, the old man lagging behind with a slightly stoop shoulders. They stopped at the area where they need to cross over a dangling line of maybe rope or wire. The old man lifted the line so the old woman can cross over but the she won’t bend her head. So the old man lifts the line higher and higher, his arms bleeding profusely because the line was made of barbed wire too.

I woke up. Get the dictionary at the bedside table and look for the word memorialism. There is no such word of course. I played Madam Auring trying to analyze the dream. Then I concluded maybe it’s the effect of repeatedly listening to Romeo and Juliet by The Killers. There’s a male and a female character but different theme or is it? I realized though that I’m an imaginative person (I wish I can say artist) making frozen scenarios move. 

Huwebes, Hulyo 07, 2011

The lost letter

Before I met you, I lurched in the darkness. 

My heart fought my mind so you can take part in my life.

My heart triumph was your bliss.

For someone who chooses to always forget events, I committed that scene in my memory. But I’ll not go over describing that physicality when you finally conquered me.

I knew more than love, you were elated because you felt like a hero saving one damned soul from the dark.

We were happy.

Happiness - I profoundly learned and understood the meaning of that word.

I was consumed. I became an addict. 

I grope tight. I held you with the intention of keeping you forever. 

I was like that because you’ve been my freedom.

But the time I felt free was the time you felt restricted. 

And you planned to break loose from what you called a jail. 

I let you go. I don’t have a choice. 

Then you came back.

You were the light I savored with close eyes. But I was changed. Yes, your light was more than welcome, but I learned to enjoy it with open eyes.

It was a bad idea - the first from all the wrong ideas that follow-because I became careless. I overlooked that you detest questions and repetitive ones at that.

I justified my actions; I’m good at that. 

Because the dark that I used to love was something I became to fear.  

The reason was intolerable. We fought a lot. 

But separation had never been an option because despite the situation we remained in love, really in love.

The sunflower – to mention it now will make no difference but it did a lot before.

I used to get comfort from anger. So when you did all those terrible things, I thought, do more until I get suffocated from rage, be consoled from it, so I can let you be. 

However, the things that I’m very familiar with before became all aliens to me.

Anger never gets me better. 

The thought of revenge never makes my days at peace. 

So now, I forgive you and I wish you happiness. 

Do breath now freely.

Maybe that will bring a domino effect and ill be one of the lucky pieces.

Goodbye light. 

I might welcome the dark again, but I dreaded it now. 

Or maybe I’ll just grab that another light-pretender in the horizon.

Maybe, when the time arrives that I can risk again, I’ll go for it all. 

For now, I’ll take comfort in the gray zone. 


Lunes, Hulyo 04, 2011

Prison Break

I’ve been addicted in the series Prison Break. The characters  follow me in my dreams. The series condensed me with this reality…not at all connected…but what to grumble for?

Breaking out from the past is nothing like visiting the place and exiting by the doors. 

It’s not that easy. There’s a need to plan. To fucking expose self to all the hellish details again. Not just once, but as many times possible until self can find the weak link to burrow holes through. Then make do with the agonizing crawl.

Once out, self do feel the sudden relief from all the binding stings.

Not for long though, because, past probably don’t want to be left behind. 

Self is again furious because in the plan, the ghosts will be sealed behind. Them, following through the hole and playing two-faced son-of-a-bitch is not at all a possibility. 

The very reason for beating such a sealed area, which is FREEDOM, is compromised.

Then, not able to let go of the idea of roaming around with restrictions, the planning again and the crawling, cycle repeating, until self realized that what have been the stimuli is just a word. Just a darn word.

At the end of it all, what will be found out?

Self doesn't want to be free at all.

Because the past, the agony and pain, the ghosts that weighed her down..

are exactly the things that gets her off.  

Miyerkules, Hunyo 29, 2011


A muffled cry. 

My eyes scan the area. 


Nobody dwelled here since my family abandons the place to live just a few lots away. This house is where I spent the 7 years of my childhood. 

A square structure with one sleeping room, a bare living room, adjacent to the kitchen/dining area. Nothing really changed. The same gray, dim house.

I’m in the moment. 

Blocking every sound around me, looking at each corners, touching each crevices, I let myself tap the restricted memory bank in my brain. 

Unconsciously, I look for a grieving person. No one is around. Exhaustion is overpowering that I have to sit at the wooden slab of chair. 

I want to be a stranger as much as possible, but a full contact, even with this old furniture, screams beyond familiarity. I used to roam this house almost always half-running. I never got tired. But now, 10 minutes of slow-walk surely wears me out. 

Someone is crying again. It’s getting louder. 

Hello! The crying stop. Not a peep for a moment. 

Then again, now gasping cries… out of breath? 

Ghosts, if such things exist, must be playing with me, again. 

I close my eyes; tilt my head upwards to counter the gravity that’s weighing me down. My mind wander off, thinking about my intentions for getting back here.

A panting breath forces my eyes to open. 

Up in the ceiling… a hanging sack… someone moving… crying… now speaking. 

Please let me out. I won’t do it again. 

Ghosts never appear before my eyes. Maybe I just need to blink and it will be gone. 

Thrice, four times… it’s still there. 

Hypnotize… perplex. 

The voice is fading… slowly fading. 

I panic… stands in the chair… reaches the scissor in my sling bag. Why I always carry one is still a puzzle to me.  I cut the bottom of the sack, afraid of slicing the one inside, at the same time, pondering how I will seize the thing when the bottom is all cut up.

Hey, can you hear me? 


Stop crying, ok. I’m here now. Grasp the sides of the sack. Don’t let go till I say so, ok? 


In my arms is a petite girl with long shiny black hair, eyes bulging from crying. 

Who put you there? Where are your parents? Why are you here? 

I can’t control the questions and some of it evaporates in my mind. 

I feel my muscles tingling, wanting to release the anger that’s continuously building up.

My parents had a fight. I tried to stop them by crying because that always does the trick. My parents will stop arguing. Father will ask me what is wrong. Mother will bark profanities. But that doesn’t matter because fighting will end. But that time my father just left without even a glance. Mother is really angry; she’s even close to hitting me. She got the sack, called the neighbor, that one in front of the house, and together, they put me in that sack.

Thoughts are swirling in my mind. But nothing forms into words.  I just hug her. We hug for a very long time. 

There is no warmth from the other body, just coldness, searing my bones. Finally, her crying subsides.  

You’re lovable. What you’ve seen today? Don’t try to understand it. Forget me. Be happy pretty miss. 

Then she leaves skip-running.

Those last words are not what I expect. I’m waiting for a thank you. 

Those words get me back to my musings of why I’m here now. The place, that I always averted my eyes whenever I’m in passing.

I’m here to play shrink with myself. 

Jonathan Kellerman’s influence if someone will ask me. Though, he never suggests analyzing oneself. In his novels, when the protagonist is getting in that direction, he shifted the characters mood/mind to something else. But of course, that’s a novel, fiction, written to entertain. 

But here now, I’m the author of my own story, and maybe this is really the plot I want. Now, who will do the psychoanalysis other than me? 

Psychoanalysis makes me think what kind of psycho criminal ill become (that is if I have the tendency).  Professional help is not a choice of course, other than the issue of money; I believe my screws are still in their proper place.

A muffled cry. 

I look around. 

In front of me is a vacant lot with grasses my height; a ruined house at my back. And me… standing in the middle of the street.

My arms automatically hug my body. 


Huwebes, Abril 14, 2011


She is drinking again. But this time with a real friend. Taking alcohol should be done with reasons and so the justifications. 

She is frustrated with her job interview and her friend has a heart problem. Justifiable, indeed.

The place is not suited for a serious talk, which is fine, since they only need a diversion from their current states. The bottles of beer are shared with broken conversations and some singing. Most of the time, they are silent. The companionship is not awkward even with the lack of words. They are both comfortable with silence, which she really values, and one of the reasons why she looks at her as a real friend. 

Two buckets down before they decide to quit the night. While walking to find a cab, her friend asks her if she is open to bar-hop. She can still handle herself and her companion is still sober, she thinks, and the night is still young, so why not. 

The next place is noisier and more populated than the first one. She chooses the seat near the stage where a band is playing, thinking that ear-shuttering noise is exactly what they need. 

The place is a good venue for people-watching, which is one thing they both do for the heck of finding weird things in people. 

As usual, words are minimal. But lot of eye movements are going and laughter, loud ones, are shared, then an abrupt silence, then cycles. 

The band is playing dance music from time to time together with the dimming of lights. They are nodding their heads and moving their bodies to the beat of the tunes. 

Tonight, she is different from her usual days, which made her look more approachable. Her friend as usual looks uniquely beautiful. The longer they stay at the place, the more evident that they are different from the other patrons, which makes her uneasy and the want to leave gets strong. 

She is observing her friend for a sign of drunkenness knowing that the alcohol is already taking its effects on her. Her friend however is enjoying the tunes so she drops the idea of leaving. 

Some people start to notice them. Usually people don’t have the guts to approach them, but alcohol can give that false feeling of being stronger. Alcohol can also lower the barrier people usually surround themselves. 

One guy asks her, “You look familiar, do I know you from somewhere?” She looks up and says no, then mind the beer in front of her. Another guy approaches her friend and asks for a dance. They dance…

She wakes up feeling the weight of her head and wonders where she is. It takes minutes before she recognizes that she is in her friend’s place. She thinks hard how they are able to get home. She plays in her mind the series of events last night but she ends up with her friend dancing with a guy. She recalls the events again and again and again. But she always ends up with the same scene. 

Panic building up, she wakes up her friend sleeping beside her. She asks her friend the same question she’s trying to answer herself. Worst. Her friend only remembers patches of things. The last scene she remembers is when a guy asks her to dance. 

Barrage of questions, litanies and concerns escape her lips. Then finally she said, “We are still us. We will never talk about this again”. 

Minutes of silence, then her friend’s cellphone beeps. The friend let her read the message. “Hi love, how are you? My friend is still aching from that slap your friend gave him. When will I see you again?”. 

She looks at her friend and says, “NO. But whatever your decision is, whatever the consequences of your choices, be responsible.”. 

She gets her things, heads to the door and before exiting repeats the word 


She gets home and sleeps the worry that’s eating her. She wakes up with a dream. The dream is peopled with recognizable characters. 

She is a supportive friend, giving warnings from time to time but still helps when she can especially witnessing how hopefulness and love bring out exceptional happiness to her friend. 

But something good will never come out from a wrong start. Enjoying the moment will never be applicable and heartache is inevitable. Though she understands that lessons learned are priceless. 

Maybe her friend is aching from the results of her decisions, but more so in her part because she still feels responsible. 

She is drinking again, alone this time, and without justification. 

There maybe hangover tomorrow, but she imprints in her mind that it will be just a dream, it really never happens and soon will be forgotten.

Martes, Abril 12, 2011


Within the glasscase, a simple room with wooden flooring and walls was depicted. My eyes were caught by a cradle near the door, made of colored green and red abaca. A boy, probably three years old was asleep peacefully. 

I inspected other parts of the room. No bed, just neatly folded bedclothes and boxes. Some miniatures of hanged dresses also visible in the walls. 

I squinted to see a girl, maybe five years of age, sitting in the corner of the room, her sitting-height just as tall as the divan beside her. A blank far away look was visible in her face. But something at the back of my mind made me look closer. Replaced, was a frightened look, eyes directed to the cradle and a leg slightly bent forward as if taking a hesitant flight from her position. I followed her eyes, taking a closer look at the cradle. I saw a snake draped at the body of the sleeping boy. I was stunned and a story was conjured before my eyes…

The girl though frail was up with speed and snatched the sleeping boy from the cradle. Shaking, protective arms fiercely enclosed the body of the boy. She stumbled to the three-flight stairs causing the boy to shriek very loud, reaching the ears of their parents and some neighbors that were in the yard. 

All at once they arrived at the door. The mother cursing snatched the boy from the girl and slapped the girl’s bottom after securing the boy in her arms. 

I expected tears from the girl but only  a snobbish frown crossed her face, though shaking was still evident. 

Without any utterances, she ran at the back of the house, her father and some curious neighbors followed her. From her short pockets, she produced pebbles and desperately threw stones to the grasses while muttering incomprehensible words. Then a snake slithered towards the girl. 

Without fear she kept throwing pebbles despite the panic voices behind her. Just in time, her father lifted her up from the ground as one man struck the snake with bamboo killing it. 

A triumphant smile crossed the girl’s lips followed by a loud cry. After three heaving, the father let her down and the girl ran to her mother just a few steps away. She stood proudly in her feet with a triumphant look directed towards her mother. But a stern look was given back. 

The girl looked down, jumped to pat the hair of her brother and slowly walked towards the house and into the room. The mother called her thrice but the girl never looked back. She sat in her place where I first saw her and sank her face between her knees.

I found myself looking at the glasscase again. I looked carefully at its content specifically the space where I first saw the girl. 

In her feet just barely visible was a paper with stick figures in it – a curving line with an X sign in the middle and a circle with a downward arc inside it. A disgusted look from the girl was pointed at the paper. 

The electricity that ran down my spine made my eyes focus to the sleeping child. What I mistaken for a snake is just a green cord used to secure the child in the cradle.
A great artist, the one who made the artwork, to be able to deceive these keen eyes. A great artist indeed, to be able to let the imaginations of the viewer took over themselves just by looking at the artwork.
I felt a nudge to my shoulder. My companion told me that I was looking at the painting for too long. 

A painting? 

But before I can utter the question, he asked me what interests me in a room showing a sleeping child not even clear if a boy or a girl and with another child sitting across, obviously looking over the former and who’s entertaining herself by drawing something unclear in the paper in front of her.

Nothing really, I told him, just that I was fascinated with the construction of the pieces and the concept of enclosing them in a glasscase. 

“What glasscase? What pieces?”, he asked me. 

“That is a framed painting darling, are you already hungry?” 

Yeah right, and I looked at the artwork again. But another scene started playing before my eyes. I jumped back and hurriedly left the spot. 

“Yes darling, I’m definitely hungry for me to mistake a painting for a 3d object. Let’s eat, hurry”.

Glasscase… the word was retained in my mind. Until now, you see…