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.

13595625_831938816940426_1649532360_n

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.

13578575_831938463607128_119882959_n

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.

Go Set A Wat–just happened?

Crying over a book is hard because you can’t hug a book. The physical qualities of a book doesn’t have that warmth and tenderness that you long for. Either a book is too small or too hard or too thin or too edgy for your embrace that it will never substitute the comfort of a hug. So you awkwardly put the book on your chest and lay on your bed, crying as your heart gets broken to pieces because of that same bloody book that you can’t even hug.

Saturday, I spent my money for this book that costed more that my regular budget because it was the sequel of one of my favorite books. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee had just been published last year and everyone was excited. I’m not really a fan of hard bound because they’re too solid and too perfect and it doesn’t create those cute little wrinkles when you’ve read it a couple of times so I waited for the paperback and here we are.

Her first book (at least the first one to get published), To Kill A Mockingbird, has been my favorite not only because it was so familiar to my childhood years but it also served as a moral compass from the time I was 16. I even wanted to make “Atticus” as a second name for my future son and “Scout” as a nickname for my future daughter. That is how much I love that book. It taught me a lot about courage and prejudice and how people understood and believed different things. And that in order to understand those differences, we have to consider things from their point of view. And believe me, it changed how I saw the world.

Now, years after reading that beautiful book, a sequel was published. Did I mention that Harper Lee wrote Go Set A Watchman before To Kill A Mockingbird? But her editor thought it was not ready for publication to which she also agreed. So she wrote another story which she based from it and is now a renowned classic. Let’s move on.

Go Set A Watchman is about Scout, now called with her full name Jean Louise and is 26 years old coming home to Maycomb from New York for a two-week vacation. This is the thing I love about sequels – the nostalgia you feel for a place you have never even been to. We all understand how Maycomb feels like even if no Maycomb County is the same in the mind of every reader. But damn it we all know what it feels like.

I believe Jean Louise grew up to be a fine young lady. I love how she still has that Scout attitude in her. She’s definitely the woman I imagined Scout would grow up to be. She speaks her mind and I love how she tells Henry, her boyfriend, straight up that she’s not ready to marry anyone. Speaking of Henry, I’m a little sad Scout didn’t end up with Dill. But I guess Harper Lee was just telling the reality of childhood sweethearts. Sometimes you just don’t end up with the kid you proposed to at the school playground. And who the hell is Henry anyway? I never heard of a Henry. And it’s really annoying everytime he whines about Scout not marrying him and shit. Like leave her alone. But I guess Scout likes him in her own way so whatever.

Aunt Alexandra is back bitching again. Omygod she’s like every young person’s worst nightmare. She’s the epitome of every old fashioned grumpy old woman who had this superiority complex and is always disappointed with the “kids these days”. But I’d give her credit for staying to take care of Atticus who is now 72 and has an arthritis. I still picture him the same though.

And if you’re wondering where the hell is Calpurnia in all these when Atticus needs her most? Well, she’s old and retired. She’s back in her home resting. There’s also another reason why she left the Finches.

Jem died.

Yes bitches Jeremy Atticus Finch fucking dies. And you know the awful thing about that aside from the fact that he’s well…dead, is that there no further talk about what really happened except he got a sudden heart attack. Like I need details!!! Plus the book mentioned it in a really casual way. Kinda like, “After the sudden death of Jem, Calpurnia decided to move back to her hometown blah blah blah…”

Wait what?

Words so quick you almost don’t catch it. You read it again and you still could not absorb it. You read it one more time and you go, “Harper Lee, bless you soul but you sadistic b–” I can’t really call an old woman who just died that word.

That was the biggest twist really. My god. I was imagining Jem to grow up like Atticus but now he’s rotting in his grave. And it really hits you how much things change when someone you know dies. Like Maycomb suddenly stops feeling like Maycomb. It’s a Jem-less Maycomb County now so it’s not Maycomb anymore so yeah.

But I’ve gotten over from Jem. Like I already accepted the fact that he won’t be in the novel so I think we should move on.

So basically the story is about Scout finding out that Atticus has been having this series of meetings with racist white people where they talk about segregation and separating Negroes to white people. And Scout got so disgusted by it that she literally throws up.

And then she realizes why Calpurnia was being cold to her when she visited her. And now she gets really confused and alone because everybody in Maycomb is okay with it.

And then she has this really heartbreaking confrontation with her dad. She was like screaming at him and telling him that the one person she trusted and looked up to betrayed her and stuff. Atticus was explaining to her that Negroes are not ready to have civil rights and they are growing in numbers and they aren’t educated yet and shit. And Scout went on just screaming awful things to him.

It was really awful. I, myself also felt the betrayal because I adored Atticus for being the wise father that he is or was or maybe still is. And then when Uncle Jack smack down slapped the shit out of the Jean Louise, we all realized the deal with this book–That Atticus is not some god we should worship. He’s a flawed human being too. I’m not siding with him but no one really goes to extremes. He’s not good and he’s not bad either. He’s a human being. It’s time to grow up now and let go. This is not a childhood story anymore.

There will be moments in our lives when our heroes would fail us. And that’s one big character development for everyone because we are finally separated from them. We grew up and we won’t be needing their approval anymore and we can all live our own lives guided by our own beliefs and principles outside the influence of our heroes. You are now your own watchman.

Even if I love To Kill A Mockingbird more, I believe this book is important because, aside from it costing a LOT, it’s quite relevant to my life right now.

Daddy Day

My dad is far from being an Atticus Finch–the best fictional dad I know and kinda wished I had (Although, recently I’m starting to have second thoughts because I’ve been reading Go Set A Watchman, the sequel for To Kill A Mockigbird by Harper Lee and I found out some things about him). But I love him more than Atticus not because he’s real and he’s my actual dad but because I just do.

This year has been an important year between me and my father because this is the year that I had the courage to confront him about the things that has been bothering me for many years. And he responded to it and we had our very first talk ever. And in that talk, I get to understand just how much he loves his children and how sorry he is for the things he’s done in the past.

And I get to do the impossible and forgave him. For real, this time. And I loved him more than I ever thought I did.

Barbie & Africa

Before I begin talking about the weird obsession I had this weekend with the Barbie film series, can I just talk first about the song Africa by Toto?

When I was a kid, I used to not share my parents’ passion for 80s music. It wasn’t as epic and groovy as I think it is right now. I believe that it’s because I was brought up where 80s music was sung in the karaoke by drunk adults and it’s usually just hollering lyrics until they pass out. So the appeal didn’t really get me until later on.

But man, this song is THE SHIT. It has been my anthem for days now ever since I made a playlist on my Spotify account about 80’s songs. I fucking love it! I know nothing about music language but the conga beats and the catchy electric piano thing (?) that plays repeatedly are the best parts of that song.

Plus, I just love songs that celebrate places. You know when they like, thank the Gods for giving them a place to stay and how that home is wonderful and how they always long for it whenever they are someplace far (although the person who wrote Africa has never even been to Africa at the time he was writing the song and he only had the television as a reference). And when they personify it and proclaim how the place is the only thing that doesn’t abandon them when life gets rough?

When I listen to songs about places, they’re all celebratory and nostalgic and these two things are a really beautiful combination in my opinion. I love that these songs teach about collectively loving and honoring something instead of being a bit possessive over a person which is present in romantic songs.

I think that’s why country and folk music will always have a place in my heart (even if Africa belonged to the soft rock genre).

So let’s move on to the Barbie series. It’s not that I’ve been obsessed. I was tormenting my friend for days by sending her one line each day of a song from Barbie Princess and the Pauper. BesidesI don’t think she was even tormented by that. Back in high school, Princess and the Pauper was our jam because back when we were kids it was everybody’s jam. I was just feeling nostalgic about our nostalgia in high school about that damn Barbie movies.

I should stop repeating words. It’s getting annoying.

Cj9NupeWYAETZY6.jpg

ANYWAY.  When I mentioned Barbie movies, I only meant the second generation Barbie films. So in the Barbie Film series, there are 3 generations. The first generation was in 1987 and was aired as TV specials. The second generation was from 2001-2009 and was about fairies and princesses and ballet and all that really good stuff. And no one dies in the end.  And that was THE SHIT. I haven’t watched ALL of them but I definitely didn’t hate anything about it. And I know there are a LOT of flaws and loopholes and white people in the Barbie second generation films but it’s the stories I grew up with so it’s stuck in my heart for as long as I live.

The 3rd generation was shit. It’s not even THE shit. It’s just plain shit. I won’t even talk about it…much. I haven’t seen any of its films but fuck I saw how they ruined To Be a  Princess song by auto-tuning it and changing the lyrics in Princess and the Popstar. HOW DARE THEY that is just offensive. Wha–are they trying to make inside jokes with themselves? I don’t know. I mean I understand that they’re all about modernity and fashion these days but could they not bring the classic Barbie films with them? Can they just leave them in  2009 because they can manage without the magical microphone?

Great, now I’m mad. Where is my fucking Call of Duty?

Capture.JPG

Noises after Silent

Last night, I went to watch a local band play live.  Although we had to stay at the back where it’s too hot and everyone was sticky and sweaty because we didn’t pay a single centavo, it was worth it. Hey, it’s not easy to listen with great satisfaction to popular bands these days without throwing in some cash. And we didn’t have cash.

I decided to participate in that concert because it was one of the few local bands where I’m familiar with most of the lyrics. The band actually,  was the official soundtrack of our apartment days so it obviously meant something. And I get to go with the people I love whom I haven’t seen in a while. Plus it’s fucking free.

Also, I just got home awhile ago despite having to go to work in a few hours because the small concert ended at almost 10pm–too late and too risky to ride home alone. So I stayed over my friend’s house. Yep, I’m still crashing into people’s places. It’s been a while since we last gathered together in that rooftop. And everyone felt nostalgic and we went on recollecting the past events that happened of our tiny group. Our arguments on the details about these stories made me realize that I really should write more about stuff for future references.

My head’s a bit fuzzy so I’ll be cutting this short. I suddenly lost the ability to prolong my energy to last a day when I lack sleep. Surprisingly, I sort of miss it. Dammit I sorta miss going to school. But I’ll talk about that later.

Right now, I’m trying to get back on my reading and writing and stuff. I’m planning to organize my schedules for my free time so I won’t feel bad about myself for not doing anything. I’m currently on this book called Basagan ng Trip by Lisandro Claudio. So far, his commentary on the Philippine politics is hilarious and really informative.

And yes this entry is garbage but having to write about something is better than nothing. I’ll try better next time.

Where Is That Second Star To The Right?

I don’t know how many attempts I’ve had in making a single entry about what’s been going on with my life. And you have no idea how long this entry has been left on the draft section waiting to get posted. It’s shouldn’t even be that hard because there’s a LOT of things that is in need of telling.

But the drastic inability to convert experiences and thoughts into words has been terrifying me. Along with that, my loss in interest in reading and my passion for sketching.

I am starting to feel frustrated. I keep telling myself that maybe I should give myself a break. I mean, I just got out of school and that I should have fun and stuff or maybe this is all just a phase and that I had to give myself some time to get my mind off things. I mean, I’m still on the adjustment period because of having an actual job and all and that changed my daily routines entirely.

It does take most of my time considering I would often leave the house at 8 am and come home at 10 in the evening from Mondays to Fridays. And on weekends, well, I haven’t had a day off on a weekend because I’ve been going to places a lot in which you won’t know about because I haven’t been talking about them.

But then again what if it’s not just a phase? What if this is the driveless, bookless and dull life that I will have until I grow old and wither away? Is this how you become an adult? That you will have other stuff to think about? And that you will have no time doing the things that you promised to yourself to never stop doing for the rest of your life.

But I’ve known adults who still find time for things outside their jobs that they actually love. And they do it flawlessly. And I wish I could do that too. Because I still want to keep enjoying books and drawing in my free time.

And I want to keep writing for the rest of my life because I don’t want to forget when I tell stories. When I grow old, I want to be the one who lives to tell the stories of my youth. And when I die, I still want to be the one who tells the stories of my youth. And I can only do that by writing about it.

It sounds a bit ambitious because who is ever sure of their future? I mean, who is ever that constant that after periods of experiences in their lives, they still think and want and believe on the same things.

How do you fuel your life with excitement for the things you love? How do you keep interested? Curious? Obsessed? How do you do this when you have priorities set?

Adult in training is horrible.