Ma Lea

There was one time when I was playing a Call of Duty game which was set in World War 2. At that time I had played the game numerous of times so I decided to turn off the background music since I did not need to immerse myself fully. Instead, I decided to play the Lea Salonga Playlist that I made on my Spotify account. And the most beautiful thing happened!

There I was, barely holding on to my dear life. My health depletes in every second I fight for my survival with my comrades dying and my cries of despair are drowned by the canons flying above me. Amidst all these maddening chaos, Lea Salonga’s rendition of the old Filipino lullaby, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan started playing in the background. If you don’t know what this song is about, it is about a child longing for the song his/her mother used to sing to him/her at night. You can just imagine how relevant this song is to the scene where soldiers, who were young children once, are far away from their homes and in the middle of a fucking war. And as much as it’s thrilling and entertaining to play, it is also heartbreaking with her version so quiet and raw and only accompanied by the plucking of a guitar . Wow, all these thoughts just because of a Lea Salonga playlist.

After that, I suddenly started listening to my Lea Salonga playlist more often. Too often that I worry I might grew tired of it. But I just can’t stop. I don’t know much about the technicalities of singing, so I’ll probably describe Lea’s voice in the points of view as a listener.

She definitely knows how to turn your day around when you’re incredibly stressed or sad or bored. There has been many many instances when I have this slight panic at work, usually when the client gets a little bit more demanding than usual, and the Lea playlist would make everything calm and she gives you this promise that everything is going to be okay and it does, eventually.

Her Christmas album is my favorite because it made me celebrate Christmas in the middle of July. In it, she has the best speaking tracks I’ve ever heard. You know when you listen to an album and it’s got some unnecessary tracks where the artist just say irrelevant stuff just to fill the album? And you’re like, “Bro, why are you giving me this shit? I don’t need this. I listened to your album because I wanted to hear your singing voice, not this dumb mumbles,” But then you’ve got Lea Salonga talking in her Christmas album and you just fucking shed a tear because she sounded so loving and so nice and she sounded like mom from a Disney film and gah I love her. There is this one track there where she says something like, “Come on, sweetie. Wake up. Time to open your presents,” OMYGOD for a moment you’d expect to have presents for you to open.

I guess the most inspiring thing about her is that she made her passion and talent her life. She understands how good she is and she used every fiber of it and made her way to where she is right now. I mean if that isn’t life goals, I don’t know what is.

I love her too much that I get giddy everytime I see her on twitter. And then there are beautiful moments when she’d have a conversation with the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, the guy who created Hamilton. I mean, guys just make a collab already. They could like, make a song about a houseplant, I wouldn’t care. I would be so down to it. I would listen to it all day. I would make it my ringtone. Heck, I would lull my future child to sleep with it.

Sometimes I kinda wish they’re my parents. Not as replacements of my own because my mom and dad are the coolest and I wouldn’t trade them for the world but just as my second mom and dad. I mean I know they both have families of their own and stuff but can you just imagine Lin as your dad and Lea as you mom? I can dream, can I?

She’s just everywhere in my life right now and I want to protect this woman at all cost.

To Monseiur

First of all, I may have been smiling the whole ride home and I probably looked like a creep so I hate you for that. But anyway, Happy Birthday. You know, despite of the sweat, the smoke and the heat, I gotta say thank you for being a great companion in my long walks around the city. To be honest I, myself did not really bother thinking about the inconvenience of walking home because it really was fun. And it’s good for my cardio.

There is still a lot of things to thank you but at this very moment, I am in loss of words. Not only because of the usual reason that I’m too lazy but really I am still trying to process the whole thing the has been happening. And to tell you honestly, I am really terrified. I guess I am not really used to all these and deep down I feel like there is a camera zooming on to my sorry ass face just waiting to jump on me and tell me that this is all just a prank and we’re all just having fun.

But you know what? Fuck it. I may not have a fucking a clue on what’s going to happen next? But whatever, okay? I am so fucking ready for this so you bring in the hurricane. And why am I even writing this? lol I doubt that you read these writings but at the same time, I am quite relieved.

God I’m helpless.

Homies

Friends came home last night and damn it I missed them so much. Even though we still talk on a daily basis, it obviously feels different having to see them in flesh. I almost didn’t come because my head was feeling fuzzy and I only slept for 3 hours. Why did I sleep for 3 hours? Because the night before, my co-workers decided it would be fun to go for a swim. I came home at five in the morning and had to wake up at eight for work.

But then I thought, fuck it I love these people more than my bed and I am willing to stay up for another…10 hours. I have been awake for almost 23 hours omygod. For a moment, I felt like I was a college student all over again.

Anyway, before we got together, we stopped by a Taekwondo tournament to cheer for a friend. Well, we did more insult to her than cheer and we weren’t even able to watch her play because we were pretty tired from walking around and it’s just too hot and we just wanted to grab a drink and sit and catch up. Now before you start talking about how we were such bad friends, I’m pretty sure our friend did not want us there because we have been giving her a really embarrassing moment ever since we stepped inside that venue. We’ve been calling her names and screaming dumb stuff to her and basically made scenes until people were looking funny at us and our poor friend was trying really hard to pretend she had no idea what is going on. But of course, she knew how far we’d go based from the years of embarrassment she experienced because of us.

We took a spot at some rooftop and talked about our wildest after-grad stories and first-job experiences. It’s weird because talking to my friends still feels like it’s just another weekend and we’re caffeinated cramming college kids all over again. I almost forgot that in two days people will have to go and things will go back to the way it actually is.

We talked about a lot of things. From politics to fucking terrifying ghost stories –Like who the fuck is ever too old for ghost stories??? I mean, when I was a kid, I used to think that ghost stories are targeted for young audiences just so they would obey parents. I used to believed that when you get older, you also get less scared of the supernatural. O hell no. 

The best part of that night would probably be when we started to enumerate how wrong our beliefs were when we were in college. And fuck, I wouldn’t go into details about what those beliefs were but I am telling you, we all agreed that they were all stupid and immature. I love real-life character developments.

Anyway, this post is shit and this has been on my draft section for too long and I needed to wrap up.

Break from Being A Cast Away

I haven’t been updating this for many days now despite of having a lot to talk about. Well, you can say that laziness might have something to do with it, but not entirely. To be honest, I have been writing a lot. Ideas are everywhere, especially on my bathroom moments and on my long rides from home to work. But sometimes, when ideas are too much to fit inside your head, you don’t remember everything  when you try to write them down. Especially when it has been hours since you have thought about them. Worst part is you only get the shitty ones and the best ideas are just gone. Forever.

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Then again, maybe it is entirely about laziness and I have just been coming up with ridiculous excuses.

The main reason of not producing a single output is probably because I have been so immersed with this survival video game called “The Forest.”  Here you get stuck in the middle of an island surrounded by cannibals (except that I don’t because I used a cheat code for disabling them) and you’ve got to build a base and hunt for food and stuff. It’s a really fun game because it’s minecraft but with better graphics. Plus, the island is MASSIVE and there’s a LOT of areas to explore.

So yeah, I guess I really am a person full of ideas who never finishes a single one. Personal projects are frustrating because it’s not really urgent and you have all the time in the world to do it. But then when you create a deadline for it, your laziness will reason out that “it’s not that important and you have other stuff to do”. I still have no idea how to fix this.

As you can see, this post does not make sense. I’m just writing for the sake of…continuity?

IHelp me. How do you actually finish something without its quality diminishing as production time goes by? How do you contain your ideas and keep them fresh and loved until the very end? How do you avoid distraction and how do you manage yourself?

Purchases and Predictions

​I was invited to go to the BLTX Naga yesterday. If you don’t know what the BLTX is, it’s a gathering of artists and writers–creators basically from different parts of the country where they sell stuff like comic strips, tshirts, poems, short stories, CDs, stickers, kidneys, souls. 

Anyway, I was able to purchase a few stuff. I would have bought more but I was on budget because my mom asked me to buy dinner. You know, ever since I got a job, my mom has come up with the most amazing ways of asking me to pay for stuff. It’s not that I had any problems with that but I believe that woman has the power of Charmspeaking. Her pleads and persuasions are spoken with such power that you cannot say no. 

In fact, she inserts these pleads in the most irrelevant conversations and you wouldn’t even realize she’s been doing that until the moment the phrase, “Okay, I’ll do it” escapes your lips. Oh how i wish that power can be passed down.

Right, so I bought a two-part comic book by an artist from Manila because the style reminded me of the film Diary of A Teenage Girl. 

I also bought a sketchbook with the map of my beloved university as the cover.

Of course I bought postcards from my friend because it is a universally acknowledged rule that in order to show your support to friend who’s an artist, you buy their stuff. I mean, praises and promotions are great but they gotta pay the bills. 

And lastly, I bought a set of Tarot cards from my freshmen year Humanities teacher. I was also given a free reading using those cards. 

Now, in my life, I’ve only been given readings twice. Once, when I was in highschool there’s this thing that circulated around campus that my classmate can read palms. When I asked her to read mine, her eyes glowed and in these exact words she told me:

As you embark your journey to complete your higher education, you shall cross paths with a young man that is gifted with a pair of almond eyes. And that gentleman shall be your significant other.

Yep. She totally said that. Shut up. And as you all know, a couple of months ago, I finished that journey of completing my higher education. So, where my almond eyed boyfriend at?

So anyway, this reading is my second time. And I don’t think my Humanities teacher would be talking about another possible boyfriend with another distinct pair of eyes. Who is ever sure of the future, anyway? So I gave it a shot.

I asked my friends to stay with me because I was a bit scared. I don’t even know why my hands were shaking as I was shuffling the cards. I was asked to pick four as it would represent things about myself. 

The first card told me that I am a person full of ideas but I never finish one. Which was fascinatingly true because recently, I’ve been experiencing a lot of creative juice spurts (I really should look for another term for this. The longer I use this, the less appealing it sounds) and not a single one has been started. Gotta think about ways of actually doing it. And actually do it.

The second card, from what I can remember, talks about a certain companion that I am so totally distracted to. And that I have the tendency to lose focus because of that person. Which is a bit embarrassing because the companion he’s probably talking about is a friend who I’ve been hanging out with most of the time. And he was just standing a few feet away from me. Now he’s probably thinking I have a crush on him or something–which I don’t. 

Plus I don’t think I’m distracted. I mean I finish work on time and…oh maybe he’s talking about the “ideas I kept on having but never starting”? Wow. So does that mean the companion he’s talking about is the…internet?

The third card was scary. I was told that I would experience a treacherous journey because of a backstabbing bitch who is probably jealous of me. And then my Humanities teacher told me something so perfectly cinematic that I almost felt there was a camera hovering over my shoulder. 

“Be careful of who you interact with,”

I don’t know if he talked that way on purpose but I swear to god  he totally waited for the room to quiet down before he said it. Or maybe the room really quieted itself down for him to speak. 
In the fourth card, he told me that I was stubborn which is probably the reason why someone would stab me in the back. I wouldn’t be talking much about this because I might end up defending myself from being stubborn which I would get accused of. Read further to get my point.

After that, my friends and I thanked him and we went out. We needed some air (The place was packed with enthusiasts so it was really hot inside. Our sweat totally ruined our “Stranger Things” outfit). We reflected on the readings that I had. And we also had a small intervention about my stubbornness to which I defended myself and everytime I try to, they’d point out that I’m being stubborn all over again. 

Okay if there’s a lesson from all these, it’s that, don’t ever bring your friends to a reading. In fact, keep those readings to yourself because they would use those readings against you and they would even reach the point where they can manipulate you.

Anyway it was a good, rainy day. It was amazing seeing artists support each other. 

The Secret Life of

Long ride. Rad travel playlist. Blinding sunrise. My head on your shoulder. Your cheek on my forehead. Arms entangled. Breathings in synched. Heads adjusting but not changing position. Soft exhales. I’m fake asleep. Quiet affections. Quiet questions. What? The fuck? Is happening? Are you aware of all these? Have you really fallen asleep? Curious but did not dare look. Lower back aching but did not dare move. Never been in this situation but somehow felt very familiar. Very comfortable. Very frightening. 

But all these are left in that car. Neither of us dared to talk about it. Ever again.

We’re still good.

Tiring Travels

Yesterday was an incredibly weird day consisted of a series of irrelevant happenings and I would like to tell everyone about it. Okay, maybe “weird” wouldn’t be the term. Just odd? strange? unusual? Anyway, it started off a normal day when I, together with a friend decided to go to our old university to get our alumni IDs. I also went to finish my clearance which I should have done ages ago but well, things have been happening.

After that, we went for a pizza, which was a mistake by the way because we ordered too much and I thought I was going to explode. Let me tell you another thing about my eating habits. I said “another thing” because if you don’t remember, I already talked about it here. So my family was never bestowed with the gift of having great appetites. The five of us can’t even finish a small cake in one evening. It would be a miracle if we went past the second helping of a meal. That’s the reason why we don’t go out to eat very often. Everytime we do, there will always be a left over that we had to take out in guilt of wasting food. I’m telling you, if there’s like a buffet, people would definitely misunderstand us.

We left the place stuffed with pizza and guilt.

We went to go somewhere rather far after that. But I guess we were both just craving for a long ride. Or maybe we were just craving for a bus ride because the ride that we had wasn’t even that long–just 30 mins away from the city.

It was a perfect ride, really. You would expect that the 1 o’clock heat would be hell but it wasn’t. The clouds are everywhere and the the weather was fine. And the wind, ah the wind. It was in those moments when everything is in tranquility and everything seemed lighter as if I have forgotten that I was actually stuffed. Plus, we were listening to this old Filipino band called Cinderella.

Now, what I love about this band is that most of their songs are as simple as proclamation of endearment and admiration towards a person they may or may not know. Just the adorable thoughts of crushing over someone. No wild promises of forever. No harsh truths of infidelity. No devastating memories of heartbreak. No confusion of who should accept or reject love. No grand fights for anyone.  And to be honest, these kinds of songs are a lot more believable and genuine than the rest.

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When we arrived, we went to a surplus store but we were unsuccessful of finding amusing things. And we’ve got nothing else to do. It also started raining so we couldn’t go for a hike. So we started to look someplace we could sit (and pee). We were still full so we went looking for a cafe. And so we walked around for almost half an hour just to find that damn cafe but we couldn’t find anything. And so we walked for another half an hour back to where we started and bought a bottle of water and Gatorade at a 7-Eleven store. Which, when you realize it, we actually hiked in the fucking rain. After a long discussion and a few exchange of blames, we decided to go back to the city. That’s right, all that for a bottle of water and Gatorade that we didn’t even finished.

We got back really tired and hurt and we really just wanted to sit down. So we went for a coffee at an actual cafe that was not present in that town (well I did some research and apparently there was a cafe but it was just a bit further down the road). You could imagine the weight when we finally sat at our table after we ordered where we laid our heads for a while as we laughed at the horrid experience.

The idea of surplus store exploration wasn’t completely erased so we headed at some Japanese surplus store and dove into the random things there. And look at the treasures that I found.

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I think that best one is the album. The cover really caught my attention because it has been circling the internet and has been associated with the animated film, Grave of the Fireflies by Studio Ghibli which is one of the most heartbreaking films ever. But I did some research and the album is actually a poem that’s converted into a song. It consists of four tracks: A sort of commentary? (I can’t tell because it’s in Japanese), the actual song, the English version of the song and a minus one. The poem was written by this guy named Sankichi Toge who was an activist and a survivor of the atomic bomb when it hit the city of Hiroshima. And he wrote a collection of poems about it and one of them is what I just bought for 35 Php. These are the actual words:

Give back my father, give back my mother;
 Give grandpa back, grandma back;
 Give me my sons and daughters back.
 Give me back myself.
 Give back the human race.
 As long as this life lasts, this life,
 Give back peace
 That will never end.

I’m not much of a poet. Really, I just suck at anything that has to do with poems. I never had the gift of writing and reading them. But, I felt…something.

Anyway, I also bought a medallion of some sort from Disneyland? And three beyblade badges. My friend bought a crossed rifles pin, which is pretty cool. And a 2012 London Olympics keychain.

And after looking (and failing) to find treasures again in Booksale, my friend got hungry. It’s weird that it’s almost dusk and I haven’t felt the slightest hunger. We got to a restaurant and he ordered some lomi and we discovered that the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines (who is also from the city) is coming. Told ya it’s a day filled with irrelevance. And of course we stayed a little longer to see her.

She had a short speech of appreciation to everyone who supported her in the election. I myself voted for her and I am so proud of where she is right now. The reason why I admire her is because after the death of her husband (who’s leadership is so impressive people were giving him the title of “the best president we never had) in 2012 from a plane crash, she continued his legacy by serving the people not only of her city but of her country. When I thought about it, her story is similar to my favorite Filipino heroine, Gabriela Silang.

I got goosebumps just hearing her talk. Not only because I was starstruck but because I’m proud. And I’m not even from the city. Heck, I’m not even from my own hometown. But fuck it I’m really proud.

Right now, I’m starting to lose words which means I’ll have finish this as soon as I can. After her speech my friend and I walked home, like we always do. Well, not home home. He walked home and I walked to the terminal. And as we were rapping our verses of Yorktown (a song from the musical Hamilton) we heard a crack. Almost like a gunshot. We almost thought we summoned a fucking war by singing a song about guns and battles but it was just fireworks. And of course we stopped for fireworks. Who doesn’t stop for fireworks? Pedestrians who were walking with us, I suppose. I talked about my fascination with fireworks before and aaarggh it’s really so pretty even if it emits harmful chemicals that causes health problems and air pollution.

And finally to top my fascinating day, a baby was crying his eyes out in the jeep. And everyone was really trying to sooth him, which was incredibly  cool seeing the sense of unity among these group of strangers who came from whatever life they had that day and just wanted to take some rest and go home.

And man, I was really tired when I got home.