Thursday, 24 July 2014


Written August 17, 2013

This will be by the people, by one who is kin to their innermost feelings, and for the people - for those who are, those who were, those who will be. This is for the "here" and the "there". This is for me.

But most especially, this is for you.

Written August 18, 2013

Word, then verb. Sound, then echo. Name and thought, then memory. Then everything fades to nothing. Life is pointless, isn't it? You're here very briefly, and then you go. You're not even sure if you are one of kind -- of all the millions that walked this earth, how can you say you're the only one who's like this or that? 

You're not certain, if you can say goodbye when it's time to go...

Written November 1, 2013

I can only remember snippets of each succeeding visit - the ones which have become a regular feature of each one. Each memory is so like the others, that I often struggle to remember which year they were from. It was always the peculiar scent of burning candles, the ugly white baby's breath flowers, my grandmother's rice cake, and adobo. 

Written November 9, 2013

It was always rejection: people too busy to talk, too sad to answer, too important to mess with. And I am tired -- tired of shouting out to empty space, weary of knocking on doors that I will never see open. I want to go. 


Sunday, 20 July 2014

5 reasons why ‘social networking’ in the Net is an oxymoron

Coming from a geeky and possibly antisocial introvert who shies away from 75% of her upperclassmen and posts nauseatingly acridly sweet uninspired weird poems on Wattpad. Now, there may be several factors contributing to that unfortunate reality (being antisocial, I mean) including my upbringing, choice of books, exposure to mass media, the imminent threat of the proletariat rising up against the government, aaaand the zombie apocalypse (wat) – but for sure I can’t rule out the Internet. I’ve only recently realized how much of a joke it is, what with bridging gaps and forging connections, and am horrified to think about how it may be turning people my age into (uninspired, unenlightened) hermits. Say what you will, but you know it’s true. We’re becoming more socially inept by the minute.

And no, stop smirking - the grownups didn’t make me write this one. (Ha!) Although I can almost hear them cheering me on, as they sit and chat about the old times (cue SFX: Sunday morning FM music).

But you be the judge.
1.      Selfies – every day, every hour. DEAR LORD. Personally, I don’t have anything against selfies, and heck, I take pictures of myself once in a while too. Because pictures say a lot. So it’s hell week and I haven’t had any more than 3 hours of sleep? I’ll post a selca and let a cheery smile amid dark eyes and pale skin speak for me. Every picture is a story in itself – if I may be permitted the cheesy wording, each one can be a work of art.

Sure. My once in a blue moon posted selca. 
But I won't put any pretentious hippie captions.
(Er... even my own annoys me.)

2.      Documenting each and every moment of every day. I get it, that’s why we call a Facebook post, a status. We’re entitled to put what’s in our minds inside that little white dialog box, to be shared with the whole world. TO. BE. SHARED. WITH. THE. WHOLE. WORLD.
Every rant, every mean and sarcastic (in bad taste) remark, every sleep-deprivation/work-dilemma/alcohol induced stupidity. We put them out there where people can judge them. And the worse thing is that, unless we delete these posts, they’ll linger on and taunt us, “Oh, look what a self-absorbed twit you were. Bazinga!”
“Aaaaaaaarggghh! Stuck in traffic for the nth time,” quoth one FB user. Do we need to know that? Unless it’s an interesting traffic jam (in which case, post a picture) or your post contains sharply delivered social commentary on the state of public transportation in the Philippines, no one gives a rat’s ass.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE THINK BEFORE YOU POST. And if you’re going to tell the story of how your whole day went, do it on Twitter. It’s a micro-blogging site - use it for what it is, dammit!

3.      Gossip on the news feed/Twitter feed. TV actor gets mauled. Two actresses have a catfight over an ex-boyfriend or two. Famous personality admits to being gay/lesbian/bisexual. Within an hour after getting posted on social media, fingers start buzzing over the keyboard, poised to fling a word of rebuke or an (unnecessary, rash) opinion.
            And as if it’s not bad enough seeing what we now consider headlines, there are people who actually fall for it. Hard. 
No matter what day of the week it is, no matter if the person in question is a student or already part of the workforce. (Although I haven't done much research on that, you can go check the stats yourself.) No one can resist the faux feeling of being on moral high ground when commenting on the day's hot issues.
             Everyone's entitled to an opinion, true. But we forget that these words we fling around like shit online are as potent as spoken ones. The Internet is a meeting place like any other - rules and etiquette apply.
             (And we're gabbing on about online libel? Cyber crime, my ass.)

4.      “Like my content, please!” Out of the blue, one of your 1 237 Facebook friends messages you – and it goes like this:
Random friend: Hiiiiiiii ateng maganda! Pa-like naman po netong picture nato: Malaking bagay na po ‘yung isang like nyo. Maraming salamat po! :3
You: Okay, done! :)
      That went well… right?
But deep inside you’re annoyed, maybe even a little sad. That one friend was your preschool classmate – you added him about three years ago – and you’ve never really had a chat on Facebook before, until now.
Because that’s what (Facebook) friends are for, apparently.

5.      See what your friends are liking/favoriting/sharing. This is only a recent development. So you were bored one day and your thoughts were going from schoolwork (you model student, you) to that download that’s taking too long (darned Internet connection) to that girl you were crushing on forever (should you have asked her out?). You wonder what she’s up to now.
The healthy way to deal with it would have been to dismiss the thought and think of unicorns and marshmallows.
But of course you don’t. You go to Facebook and run a search for her recent activity. (Well, she wouldn’t know you’re doing it, right?) You learn that she’d recently broken up with her boyfriend (Great! Now’s your chance!) - but then, another guy’s posting sweet nothings on her timeline. And that leads you to this guy’s page, where you check if your crush likes his posts and pictures as well.
Positive. Whad’ja do now?


     Overthink. Obsess. Misconstrue meanings. Yes, social media's turning us into raging psychos.


Need I say more?


Have a good day, everyone. :)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Social tips from the timid

Actually, you’re possibly screwed if you’re taking social advice from me.

But, yeah, you’re welcome.

1.       Most people, if not all, are egocentric. Even you. Try not to let it show. It’s a turnoff, even if you have a strong personality. You’ll drain the life out of conversations and social interactions if you keep the thread revolving around you, you and you alone.

Adding a dash of “How about you?” (at the very least) never hurt anyone, hmmmkay?

2.       You were in kindergarten once. You should know how to say “Good morning.” Or afternoon/evening. And hello/thank you/sorry. (And tie your shoelaces too, but that’s not the point.) Before you disturb anyone, ask them for favors, engage them in interviews, at least give the impression that you’re not a total d*ck. ‘Yung wala man lang utang na loob, gano’n.

Greeting people makes them feel appreciated, and they’re more likely to give you what you want.

3.       Don’t be pushy. You don’t ask to see someone’s personal playlist, let alone his phone when you’ve only just met.

It’s kinda threatening. 

4.       Don’t be too rigid, don’t judge so hard. Don’t single out other people or openly give derogatory comments just because they’re in a different religion, taking a different college course, cheering for the other basketball team. If it’s an argument, remember that logic prevails. Dropping details like, say, seeing them pick their noses in public won’t help you win your case, attorney.

      And for the love of all that is holy, don’t bash people when they’re being too “intellectual”. You’re not only bringing them down, you’re also effectually insinuating that you’re too dumb to get it.

Just. Don’t.

5.       Learn how to work in a group. Don’t try and say you’re an introvert just because it’s cool nowadays. And actually, even introverts know the value of teamwork.

      In collaborative publishing, for example, remember that whatever you do separately from your colleagues casts a reflection on the institution as a whole. You’re all under the same banner (and the same logo, and the same dreary and depressing drink-to-cope office). Without their company it would be extremely hard to produce outstanding output, maybe even any output at all just to save face.

6.       Spare us the drama. It’s for kids. At the most, for high school girls swooning over and having catfights over bishie-pretty guys. Even if you’re actually still in high school, this isn’t acceptable behavior—university is just around the corner now, reality is beginning to hound your footsteps, poised to jump and strike at any moment.

      Spare yourself from giving the wrong and unreasonable impression that you’re the weak and weepy type. And don’t risk repulsing potential allies by the childish “silent treatment” and backstabbing practices you’ve mastered over the past few years—you need all the friends you can get, young one. Brace yourself, winter is coming.

7.       If you know you’re good, let others say it for you. Granted, little instances of bragging here and there will probably be acceptable and not too repulsive. Heck, at some times you might even be justified for being proud of something. But there’s a fine line dividing honest, deserving, look-what-we-Filipinos-can-do pride from just vulgar boasting.

And, yes, hello, even Wikipedia requires secondary sources.


Have a nice day, everyone.

Sunday, 6 July 2014


Let me tell you what the problem is with words. Let me tell you, with the warmth of greeting from a mute palm or at that moment when I wordlessly turn from you in misunderstanding.

The tongue in flattering falsehood deals, and tells a tale it never feels.

See this, and see how discriminate words are. We walk under the city sky and feel the rain falling on our heads, all of us beggars and bourgeois alike, be it that the shower is a blessing or an annoyance. Not so with words--sugared and yielding where something hangs in the balance, scathing in scorn, merciless in indifference.

Deceit the guilty lips impart, and hush the mandates of the heart.

But there is one thing where rain and words do not differ. You may have seen it. In the busy streets of Manila when it rains, when each little drop of water comes knocking on a sheltered heart: metal, concrete, asphalt--lies. No one listens, no one cares. Not you. Water gathers dirt and floods the city, the tears of an angel unheeded. We might have tried to listen if it wasn't here. If it was parted from us from a long time.

But souls' interpreters, the eyes, spurn such restraint and scorn disguise.

When rain, when words have left us, all that's left to do is to look at the skies. That's when we seek communion, in the silence looming more ominous than words. With tears in our eyes, a prayer in our parched lips, our palms outstretched to clutch the memory of a blessing.

We only love it when it's gone.


Italicized lines from Lord Byron's To a Beautiful Quaker.