Wednesday, September 28


So we have this v. giggly classmate in fiction. Everytime she laughs, it drives us crazy:

Prof: You know I want to create a character based on her.
Bambi: And kill her?

Hahahahaha. Hah. Hahahaha.

Friday last week, two classes wrapped up with food, wine, and chit-chat. That's Sir B (with, apparently, this year's Palanca second prize winner for the essay; I didn't know; I've been sitting beside her all semester) in Via Mare. Sadly, those of us who came from Ma'am J's class were too full to order anything thanks to a variation of any of the following: pizza, donuts, empanada, baked potato, crinkles, sushi, and, of course, wine. Poetry class will wrap up next week and Sir J told us to bring food. So this is what they do in grad school? No wonder F. Sionil... Kidding!

Taking my seat, the first thing Sir B told me was, dapat ikaw ang manlibre, I just signed your check. Haha. A bit more short of money than usual, I wanted to tell him, "Can I cash half na?" Hehe. But seriously, I picked up a book I've abandoned before and found - of all things - a payslip between its pages. Normally, that thing (for me) is laden with deductions (absences, tardiness, etc), but the particular one I found had none, and it reflected, in my mind, a respectable amount. I miss getting paid on a regular basis, such as when you run out, you always know the 15th or 30th is a week or so away (obviously, saving is in a completely different galaxy).

Eva and I, we both thought we could hack it. But walking into Papu's earlier, she told me she might not last long. Me too. I need to either step up my whoring efforts or stop getting picky. These, or I shall say hello again to cold showers, complaining about traffic, and perpetually wishing that the elevator would go a tad bit slower. A desire to take 15 units next sem is yet another complication. Why didn't Jesus give me rich/generous parents?

Thursday, September 22


Wonder how people managed before bullets (unless bullets came simultaneously with thought itself; hmm, funky, Wittgenstein-style thought, this one):
  • Saw Capitalism: A Love Story two nights ago. Bawled through about 80 percent of the movie. Wonder if that's normal. Surely, is predictable to cry at warm Emmy accepting speech, when some fat lady says, "Sometimes, things just take time." But at sight of Wall Street and NYSE being cordoned off with yellow police line and financial giants lobbying tirelessly to get bailout legislation passed?
  • Asked Alan, is it selfish and arrogant (and foolish) of me to choose not to work for them corporate folks to avoid the commodification of, well, my skills for their benefit? I think he said no, but I sadly forgot his explanation. All I know is, I cringe when I think how big business will make use of whatever I produce and make money off of it. But isn't that what I'm doing now? With PR and research gigs? I suppose, but as I am not tied to anything, I can choose gigs, and choose those that remotely contribute something.
  • Months ago, was contacted by huge Japanese energy company to "spin" a press release by Ibon International and feed it to media. Told them to send it over, and jaw was on floor at length capitalists are willing to go just to amass wealth, forsaking people's welfare, heritage, and, ultimately, life itself. Told them, in so many words, that there was no way I could, in good conscience do it. Last I heard, Noynoy Aquino was lauding the investment. (Oh fuck, will cry again). Word apparently got around was recently told that contact had been saying that I was getting "picky" with rakets. Will probably not hear from him again. Bye, big bucks!
  • But isn't this how the world works? You whore yourself for money, then you buy stuff and convince yourself that it was just as well?
  • At the risk of sounding like a Miss Universe candidate, is money the only currency in the world? This is sounding more and more idiotic and naive as I go on. So will stop now. But to go back to Capitalism: A Love Story (for more organic unity), will always think there is an alternative to this dog-eat-dog desperation, and while it may be inconceivable, to stop imagining so may be the end of me. Or: I am just being a lazy-ass motherfucker. Have long resigned to the fact that will never, not in this lifetime, get rich (barring acts of god, surprise inheritance, finding bag full of money in N. Domingo, etc.). Not a matter of mentality; just choice. Whenever I think of applying for a corporate job and getting a car and a house and a nice bi-annual vacation, I drift off a little, happily, then I think, then what.

Monday, September 19


  • Prof decided to hold a make-up class in her office at the UST Publishing House. First time it happened, it was Quezon City Day and therefore a holiday, so we held class in Manila. Genius.
  • The UST campus is like an oasis in the middle of Manila. But perhaps as testament to its strong Catholic leaning, there are so many, many, many people inside. So many students in uniforms. So many lithe bodies running around in skimpy shorts. Which brings me to:
  • "Do you miss youth?" I asked Alan, who didn't miss a beat and quickly said, "All the time." We laughed so hard we nearly tumbled over to the grassy area in front of the huge arch. It was so weird being in UST. For one:
  • UP Pep won its fourth title in five years. As someone who lived through the fun, fun era of the UP-UST rivalry of the early 2000's, I used to shudder at the thought of stepping in that school. Many years, one Thomasian ex, and a college degree later, I'd like to think I have outgrown silly school stuff.
  • Wahhh! UP won and UST was out of the top three again. Happy quadricentennial, UST!
  • For the fifth straight year, I'm doing the cheerdance article for Kule. Three years after I graduated. Yes. Once or twice, I handed in columns or the occasional article for the severely undermanned kultura peeps, but I wonder how long I will want to write about people lifting each other to form scorpions, scales, pyramids, or similar. Which reminds me:
  • Prof asked, out of nowhere, if I was with the Collegian. "Are you a journalist now?" she said. "No, maam. Just PR and corporate shit." "It's OK. We all have our day jobs."
  • Chanced upon the Emmy's earlier. One winner was a nice, fat lady from Justified. She could barely negotiate the stairs to the stage and had to be helped by the presenters. With the biggest smile, she gushed, "Sometimes, some things just take time." I bawled over my bowl of goto. Bawled.

Monday, September 12


I heard somewhere that where you align yourself in bed says something about you and the way you perceive yourself. If you sleep on either the left or right side of the bed, you are supposedly, on a subconscious level, waiting for an as-yet absent person to come into your life. If you sleep on the center, you're fine with being on your own. (If this is the case, please stop reading at this point because the wanton neediness might offend your incredible sense of self.)

So I looked at my own bed at home, which is a twin, then did a quick mental review of the hotel beds I've slept on during my recent out-of-town gigs. I realize that I always sleep on one side, because, more than anything, I'd be reading or doing something on the laptop, so then I could just toss whatever it is on one side. But rarely, if at all, do I sleep at dead center.

Not to take these things too seriously, but after breaking off my last relationship two years ago, I felt a nagging certainty that I'd be on my own for a very long time. The realization, while sad in hindsight, didn't come with any attendant sadness, or opposition. "It is what it is." It is not resignation per se, but a calm acceptance (except on restless nights when the bed is just too big and the space too tangible, when some radio station suddenly plays "Send in the Clowns" or "A Case of You"). Two and a half years hence, it's still true, and I'm none the, well, sadder.

But I admit: the sighs that now punctuate every remembrance that I'm on my own have grown longer and more pronounced, the air exhaled more forcefully. I don't want to call it urgency, because I'm 25, and I enjoy it, I think, but sometimes I wonder how I'm going to look back at this stage of my life 10, 20 years hence. Or when I'm 60. Will I feel sorry for all the time wasted alone, or will I think, as I do now, that my time will come, and if not, then there is no shame in it. There is no shame.

PS. This is just about as (emotionally) naked as I can get. Let's quickly shrug it off, shall we.
PPS. A quick look-up on more sleep-related psycho stuff reveals that I normally sleep in a "yearner" position, which supposedly means I am "cynical" and "suspicious." O God, could it be true?

Sunday, September 11


An exchange with The One with the Russian Name*:

Him: I'm gaining weight.
Me: Good.
Him: Not comparable to how you define gaining weight based on your ability to gain waight, pero i am gaining weigh.
Me: Hey no need to be catty. Hehe.
Him: Miss you. Haha.
Me: Hehe. I'm writing a poem sequence about my ex's for a class.
Him: Dissing the ex's. Hmm.
Me: On the contrary; celebrating them.
Him: You knonw every relationship teaches you. at the end you become perfect for the one you were really meant for.
Me: I agree.

*Supposing hell freezes over and I actually muster the nerve to post the poems somewhere, this is him.

Monday, September 5


Last week, was out of town on assignment (love how important/journalistic that sounds). See, there is always that turn from one week where you do absolutely nothing to another so infernally busy (granted, some deadlines had been long-standing, but that is not the bloody point).

Room with a view. Of a power plant.
So on plate are: revision for fiction class (4,000 words); second essay for nonfiction class (5,000 words); last set of poems for poetry class (5 poems); raket outputs (3 articles); and Youngblood article forced into saying yes to for upcoming Collegian reunion (1,000 words?).

Gah, too many words.

Out of town assignment was interesting. Insisted on hiking up a mountain to make story better and ended up being laughing stock of forest rangers, local cooperative members, or similar, when muddy uphill terrain proved too much for suede shoes and skinny jeans. Shoes can be replaced, jeans, washed, but dignity, sadly, can never be regained (but what about Milton's Paradise? Hm?)

Highlight of my career. Haha.
Assignment, with hours-long land trips, also involved a lot of sitting on ass with Rufus Wainwright blaring in ear and staring into space. Years ago, amid academic drudgery and with absolutely no clue how future would unfold, never thought it would be like this: so much writing, so much words, and never thought would find it, oddly, not as fantastic as pictured in delusion-addled head. For instance, got hold of copy of annual with my feature on Chris Tiu, and felt weird sensation in general gut area. Maybe a case of not knowing that you have it good already? Who knows.

PS. Missed Under the Storm launch last Friday. Now am excited to get complimentary copy from Eva and see all of the signatures she so nicely amassed for self.