Monday, May 30, 2011

Giraffes and Unicorns


There is something comforting in waking up to candy-colored surroundings, giraffe and unicorn patterns on the wall, and rows of toys lined up on the shelves. Borrowed from one who still dreams of rainbows and fairies, this has been my cozy little haven for the past week. But today, I can't really say I woke up to such cheer. I actually haven't slept.

My parents drilled into us, their children, the importance of family. Under their tutelage, we have been there for each other. And in this critical time, everyone has come forth for our incapacitated parents' needs to the full extent of our respective financial and physical capacities. Save for one.

He came prepared for the discussion. Spreadsheets, charts, the works. I felt I was in a boardroom. Funny how the one with the most resources would fight tooth and nail to part with the least amount. The others tried to reason with him, but he wouldn't listen. I stood up when his cash flow projections came out.

"Nakakahiya ito. Ako na magbabayad ng hati niya," I said before retreating to the giraffes and the unicorns.

It's now early morning, still dark out, and I'm wide awake. I switched off the lights, and the lamp post outside cast shadows across the room. I buried myself under a mound of plushies and waited for the tiny green stars in the ceiling to glow. But none of these could comfort me. I miss Mom and Dad dearly.

photo from justusboys.com


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unos




Bago ko ipinatong ang ilang hollow blocks at kalbong gulong dito, pinaibabawan ko ng lambat ang bubungan ng aking pagpapasensya at mahigpit na itinali ang mga haligi ng aming pagkapamilya sa aking pagpapakumbaba.

Inihanda ko ang aking sarili upang di malunod sa pagbaha ng emosyon at madala sa lakas ng ihip ng kanyang pagkamahangin. Binuksan ko ang baong liwanag ng katwiran sa inaasahang dilim ng pagtatalo.

Mula sa mapanglaw kong kinalalagyan, ako ngayo'y naghihintay sa kaniyang pagdating.

see photo for source

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Doctor Is Out







Waiting for the doctor for a routine checkup. He's already over an hour late and boredom is slowly wasting my life away. But Whitney Houston songs from another patient's iPod speakers will likely do me in first. Hendaaaaayyy... Jeez! Please kill me now.

I hope the doctor is cute and worth the wait. He must be chinito, having gone to that school. He may not have a chinese surname but the rest? Dead giveaway. I'm wearing good underwear just in case. Gawd what am I saying?

I need coffee. Haven't had my daily dose of caffeine to jumpstart my day. Hubby, badly missed, prepares a cup for me every morning. Not a Nespresso with its fancy machines. It's just instant coffee with fresh milk. But still the best damn tasting coffee I've ever had.

photo credit: ten.com.au

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 22, 2011

M5




Our group felt out of place. Half of the guys sported Bieber's do while most girls were Hannah Montana wannabes. Great. We were at least a decade older than everyone. Good thing there was a smattering of parents to help us blend in the crowd.

I didn't know Maroon 5 appealed to Tweens. I thought "This Love" was my generation's, but the pre-pubescents knew the lyrics better than I did. No fair. Didn't they just have Bieber over to quench their angst and wipe out their allowance? I sipped my beer and sneered at a kid's soda.

Levine's performances gradually took me back to when the "Songs About Jane" album was released a decade ago. I screamed the lyrics back at Adam and tried to keep up with some kid's awesome moves. And as the crowd chanted and swayed to the familiar songs in unison, I realized I didn't feel out of place anymore.

photo credit: toonsntunes.wordpress.com

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 20, 2011

Baggage


Hindi ko napansin. Kanina pa pala ako nakatulala sa screen. Kumpleto na ang hinihinging information ng Cebu Pacific, detalye na lang ng credit card ang kailangan. Nilingon ko ang aking asawa mula sa aking kinauupuan. Hindi ko masuklian ang ngiting ibinato niya sa akin.

Kailangan kong umuwi sa aking pamilya. Matagal ko nang ipinagpapaliban, pero hindi na kayang takasan. Magaling akong dumiskarte sa trabaho, pero pagdating sa personal kong problema, madalas akong magtago. At dahil ayaw ko itong isipin, pati pagkwento ng detalye dito ay hindi ko magawa.

Ayaw kong iwanan ang aking asawa, pero ganyan naman yan, laging supportive. Nakangiti, akma ang piling sasabihin, bubuyuin ka, kulang na lang pagaspas ng pompoms. Pero umuwi kaninang may bitbit na mga bagong gadgets. Tingin ko mga bubutingtingin nang malibang habang wala ako.

Tiningnan ko ang mga nakatala sa screen. Tama ang personal details, ok na ang credit card information. Pero pinalitan ko ang baggage allowance. Uuwi akong backpack lang ang dala, walang pasalubong, balikbayan box o maleta. But for someone who's travelling light, bakit ang bigat ng pakiramdam ko.

photo from here

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

They Like It Doggy


I don't get it. More of my hetero friends have gotten hitched but don't want to have children. Well, this I understand, particularly if you're the type who doesn't want parental responsibilities. But then most of them have adopted dogs. And not just one, but an entire pack. Fine, I'm exaggerating, I meant two or three.

Don't get me wrong. I love dogs. But not to the point where you dress them up in cutesy little outfits. Or hire a nanny. Set up a 24/7 nanny cam. Import stuff for their dietary requirements. Grooming bills more extravagant than mine. Vet visits as frequent as post-natal care. And dominate conversations with Lassie's antics.

Uhm, why not just have children in the first place? Maybe if you eat enough balot while you're pregnant, they'll come out equally as balbon don't you think? I'm a dog lover, but for that kind of effort, I'll consider having children. But I don't have pekpek. Minsan nga lang, may maaamoy kang slight na malansa.

photo from here

Monday, May 16, 2011

Take Two


A female friend called. I expected another drawn out discussion on her turbulent lovelife and decided to blog while she spoke. My fingers worked the keyboard, as I recalled the content of an unposted blog entry. Words quickly filled the screen, forming a hastily typed up replica of its original, still lost in the bowels of Blogger's repository.

I scanned the reconstructed post. It resembled the previous entry closely enough, but I couldn't commit to publishing it. Maybe I saw it as a poor copy of the original. Or the sentimental side of me stubbornly thought that nothing would ever compare with the first.

Perhaps not everything deserves a second chance. Its moment has passed, emotions have dissipated. It read familiar yet fell short, and with a click of a mouse, I dumped the entry in the bin. As I started afresh, I began dispensing over the phone relationship advice on how my friend can move on from her first.

photo from here

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Binatilyo


Pasimple kong iminulat ang isang mata para silipin kung gising pa siya. Ang hirap din palang magkunwaring tulog. Sana'y di niya napansin ang di ko mapigilang pagkurap at pekeng paghinga nang malalim. Nakapikit siya. Nakaidlip na nga kaya o tulad kong nakikiramdam, naghihintay.

Dalawa kaming Southeast Asians na nasali sa maikling programa ng isang paaralan sa kabilang dulo ng mundo. Ilang buwan na kaming magkaibigang matalik at pareho kaming malungkot sa nalalapit nang pag-uwi. Naisipan naming uminom nang gabing iyon, at nang makauwi ay parehong may tama.

Umungol siya. Bumangon ako't umupo sa kaniyang kama. Inilapat ko ang aking kamay sa kanyang noo para tingnan kung siya'y nilalagnat. In-adjust ko ang thermostat bago nahiga sa kaniyang tabi. Hindi pa rin ako makatulog. Nag-iisip nang nakapikit. Hanggang sa lumapit siya at humarap sa akin.

Walang umiimik, ngunit parehong nagungusap ang aming mga mata. Lumakas ang kabog sa aking dibdib, at alam kong ganoon din sa kaniya. Inakap niya ako, namin ang isa't isa. Dalawang bagong mulat, parehong di sigurado sa kanilang gagawin. Parehong nagkasya sa pag-idlip nang magkayakap, magkasama.

Nagising ako na excited siyang nakaturo sa bintana. Nagliwanag ang aking mukha at nag-unahan kami palabas. Tiningala namin ang langit at pinanood ang marahang pagbagsak ng puting pulbo sa aming mukha, palad, katawan. Sa gitna ng busilak na kapaligiran, di mapigilan ang ngiti ng dalawang binatilyong nagsasalo sa kanilang unang karanasan.

photo from here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kisap


Matapos itaktak ang stick ng yosi sa kaha nito, isinubo ko ang dulo ng filter at ikinasa ang lighter. Kumisap ito ngunit hindi nagliyab.

Pinagmasdan ko siya. Kanina lang ay ang saya naming dalawa. Kailan lang nagkakilala pero mabilis nakagaanan ng loob, makahulugan ang usapan, may katatawanan. Hanggang sa humantong sa inaasahang kapusukan. Kasunod nga lang ay ang bigla naming pagkapagod.

Nakakapagod. Ang ngumiti. Maging sharp at witty. Mag-ayos. Mag-gym. Maging kaakit-akit. Hanapin ang kaniyang kiliti. Ipaalam kung saan ang sa akin. Tantiyahin kung gusto niya ng dirty talk. Impit ba o ungol. Marahan o marahas. Magpaasa. Umasa.

Pinanood ko siyang magbihis. Sa bawat saplot na kaniyang isinuot, unti-unting nanumbalik ang itsura niya nang kami'y magkakilala. Kanina'y hello at kumusta. Sa ilang saglit nga lang, isa na namang pamamaalam.

Makailang beses kong inalog ang walang kwentang lighter bago ito muling ikinasa. Tulad ng dati, kumisap lamang ito, ngunit hindi tuluyang nagliyab.

photo credit: shgay.com

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bulong


Gusto sana kitang bilhan ng isang dosenang bulaklak. Kahit na mahal. Kahit na hindi ka mahilig dito. At mag-iipit ako ng isang sweet na love note para sa iyo. Sasamahan ko na rin ng tissue, dahil tulad ko, mababaw ang luha mo.

Bibili rin tayo ng magarang damit, at dadaan sa suki mong parlor. Para maganda ka pag tayo'y namasyal. Ipagmamaneho kita buong araw, at tayo'y o-order sa mga paborito mong kainan. Kahit na mga bawal sa iyo, di kita pipigilan.

Mamamakyaw tayo ng mga pasalubong sa mga apong spoiled sa iyo. Bibisita rin tayo kina Tita, dahil siguradong nami-miss ka na niya. At bago umuwi, dadalaw tayo kay Papa para mag-alay ng dasal.

Kaya Ma, sana nama'y makabangon ka na. Mamulat na'ng iyong mga mata. Maramdaman kong muli ang iyong haplos. Mapakinggan ang iyong tawa. Sa kabila ng matagal mong pagkakaidlip, sana'y naririnig mo pa rin ako. Nakikilala.

Andito lang ako. Naghihintay.

photo credit: flickr - atilay

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ships In The Night


He looked out the window, at the strip of silver which cut through the city and snaked out to the sea. The sky's reflection in the water was only broken by the floating patches of green and the froth trailing a ferry headed upriver.

It's beautiful when the water mirrors the sun at this hour, I thought to myself. I finished my drink, walked to the kitchen and threw the bottle in the bin. I tied the mouth of the plastic bag and carried the load out to the garbage chute.

He pulled the metal handle and shoved the trash bag down the chute. He waited until the sounds of its passage through the building's pipes stopped before heading back to the unit.

I locked the door behind me and went to the bedroom. I tried to catch up on my reading but could not concentrate.  I slid the window open and lit a cigarette. Staring at the skyline, I wondered if he was out there at all.

He stayed in the dark, watching.  One by one, the lights went up in the buildings across the river. Where are you, he mouthed silently. Our paths should have crossed by now. Feeling defeated, he went to the bathroom to get ready.

I buttoned my shirt, while waiting for the elevator. I need to get out of here, I thought to myself, as my neighbor started belting out Manilow's "Ships". "We're still here. It's just that we're out of sight. Like those ships that pass in the night..."

He pressed on the elevator button impatiently and hurriedly entered the cabin when the doors finally opened. He jumped after belatedly noticing the other passenger but quickly recovered and muttered a greeting. "Uhm, hello."

"Hello," I replied to the stranger. We secretly stared at each other's reflection in the polished metal doors, as a cold feminine voice called out each parallell universe bridged by this vertical path.  

5...

4...

3...

2...

"John."

"Sean." Names blurted at the same time.

G.

photo credit: flickr - job sun

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Magkano


Para sa akin, lahat ng bagay ay may halaga. At ang bawat halaga ay may katapat ding presyo. Hindi lang ang mga tradisyonal na nabibiling mga bagay, kundi pati ang mga pinahahalagan ng bawat isa sa atin. Ang ating mga pinakaiingatan, pisikal man o hindi.

Sa EDSA lang, marami kang madadaanang karatula ng mga inalalakong bagay. Bagong katawan, kagandahan, pagkabata. Makinig ka ng balita't nariyan ang hustisya, dangal, tiwala. Depende sa iyong hinahanap, marami ring lugar ang pwedeng puntahan upang bumili ng aliw, kaligayan, at kung minsan, pag-ibig.

Minsan ka na sigurong natanong nang pabiro kung magkano ang ibabayad sa iyo para gawin ang isang bagay na hindi mo gusto. Halikan yung pangit sa kanto, siyotain ang ayaw mo, magpatira. Pag mahirap, mataas ang ipipresyo. Minsan hindi pera ang katapat, tulad ng pag-ako ng karamdaman ng taong mahal mo.

Pero nagulat pa rin ako nang iyong ipagkanulo ang ating pagkakaibigan, ang ating pagiging magkapatid. Ilang beses ko mang timbanging. Ulit-ulitin ko mang kiluhin. Kailanma'y hindi ko inakalang sampu-singko lang pala ang tingin mo sa atin.

At naghahanap ka pa ng sukli.

photo from here

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wishful Thinking


Mahirap magtago ng sarili at ng relasyon. Minsan hindi pwedeng magsama, dahil baka may makakita. Hindi naman ako kerida, at ganun din siya. Minsan, sa pag-iisa, wala ka na lang magawa kundi ang magsulat. Na sana...

I want to set fire to the oceans. And they will cease to keep us apart.

To unfurl a map of the world and fold it. Until you are close enough to touch.

And heat time inside a furnace. Until we can bend it to our will.

Perhaps shape it into a circle. Whole, perfect, unending.

To prove no numbers are prime. For nothing deserves solitude.

Write of William's star-crossed lovers. Awakened before they fled.

That star we both wished on. Is but residual light from what is long gone.

But a collapsed sun gains power. And remembers its promise.

To take the sky and pour it in a jar. For me to give to you.

Wake beside you at first light. And wonder at the colors of each sunset.

Twilight descends. I poke holes at its dark fabric.

We at the far side of the moon await. The light to shine on its face.

photo from here
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