6/11/2018
But not for long

The past week saw two relatively high-profile suicides. I say "relatively" because, face it, not everybody cares about a handbag designer or a food writer; not everybody can claim to have a pulse about the worlds of fashion or artfully-shot and masterfully-written social documentaries with a touch of punk spirit in them. Still, high-profile enough to warrant an outpouring of grief inescapable enough to be noticed.

These being suicides - we know little about them, but the word itself just screams something visceral, "suicide" - there was that degree of urgency, the sort of thing you get, without really understanding what it is, when the reality of the situation hit home. Kate Spade lent her name to a fashion empire. Anthony Bourdain was known the world over for his essays and documentaries. Together they managed to link people together, whether it be through shared tastes, worldviews or aesthetic. All this success, and all this time they were battling demons?

Just goes to say depression can hit any one at any time.

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6/07/2018
Thrill freaks

I've been going to work on the same street for roughly ten years now.

I know some people will pounce on that as proof of how I can be extremely complacent, of how I am incredibly resistant to change. I would agree, but in this case, it's really happenstance. I have worked on the same street for ten years, now, but that's in three different offices. And trust me, sometimes I wonder if my life will be better if I worked in, say, Ayala Avenue rather than San Miguel Avenue, if that change of environment will be enough to trigger some sort of animal instinct in me, make me want to fight harder, or at least a little differently than I do now.

That said, working in the same street for ten years has meant having some sort of view on how things change. Things have moved a lot in the past decade. I mostly notice this in restaurants. You see them come and go, trying to appeal to the college crowd and then fold up. Considering the University of Asia and the Pacific is pretty much in my backyard, that is a tall cry. The students there are rich, right? Their tuition fee is more expensive than La Salle or Ateneo, right? Does that mean they have more exacting tastes? It depends, I guess? I have worked with a bunch of UA&P graduates - fresh graduates, or, perhaps more likely, students in their internships - and they're happy to get down with take-out from KFC while plotting the course for the world, or at least this country, or at least this government. But that sounds a little too Illuminati for me.

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6/04/2018
Para sa bayan. Para kay Digong.

Hay, ito na naman 'yang mga hater na 'yan. Mga walang ibang ginawa kung 'di kumontra ng kumontra. Mga puro reklamo. Mga putang ina.

Bahala kayo diyan. Ngumawa na lang kayo ng ngumawa. Wala naman kayong magagawa. Kahit anong pilit ninyong ipasok ulit diyan 'yang putang inang Noynoy na 'yan, wala kayong magagawa. Leni? Putang ina. Pekeng bise naman 'yan. Ipinakulong na namin si de Lima. Ipakukulong namin si Sereno. Si Trillanes. Si Drilon. Si Kiko. Ipakukulong namin si Noynoy, pati si Leni, pati 'yung mga anak niya, dahil sa katarantaduhang ginawa nila sa bayan.

Sa totoo lang, naaawa kami sa inyo. Hindi namin maintindihan kung bakit hindi ninyo maintindihan. Sabi ninyo mahal ninyo ang Pilipinas, pero bakit kayo kumakampi sa kurakot, sa masama? Bakit ninyo pinagpipilitan na ibalik 'yung nakasama sa bayan? Mahal ninyo ang bayan? Pabayaan ninyo na manaig ang tama!

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5/28/2018
The chicken nugget challenge

I'm not supposed to be eavesdropping into conversations, so I'm not. I have my earphones plugged in, listening to Belgian radio from a month ago. Besides, the airconditioning at this coffee shop is loud and I can barely hear much, but I know enough to write this essay on the fly.

I know enough because this coffee shop isn't as full as I expected. I know enough because you don't often hear people talk about - and I am quoting here, the only thing I can quote - a "chicken nugget challenge with my boyfriend". The lady who said that does remind me of Marian Rivera. I had a glimpse because we're two tables apart. I chose this table because there is easy access to an electric plug. I had some emails to send, but now I'm here, killing time before a meeting.

Marian - let's call her Marian - smiles wide with her mouth, and smiles with her eyes as well. If you saw her online, you'd probably feel endeared to her - but not too endeared, because she has a boyfriend, and that is somehow a deterrent if you're a lonely person. She's wearing this black and green summer-y top, and has this choker of a necklace. I am terrible at fashion.

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5/27/2018
Once you've seen one, you've seen all of them

I don't understand why I can't sleep. The hotel room isn't bad, save for the rattling air conditioning and the fact that electric sockets are hard to find. To boot, I got a king-sized bed all to myself because of some bureaucratic mix-ups. I had three pillows because there was an extra bed in the room. More importantly, I am very tired. I should plonk my head on a pillow and doze off immediately.

I didn't. But I ascribe that to my tendency of late to not fall asleep when I have to. Most likely I need melatonin to reset my sleep cycles, but in these times when more is demanded of you, it seems to be a risk not worth taking. I turn the lights off at eleven and don't go to sleep until two hours later - and this is at my own bedroom. Am I that stressed today?

At least here in Subic I fell asleep relatively quickly. I can finally sleep without alarm clocks having to wake me up. Instead, I wake up at half past five on a Saturday morning. Yes, the days are longer and it isn't dark outside anymore at this point in the day, but the windows are drawn. And there's nothing urgent left to do. And I cannot sleep. So, instead, almost six hours later, here I am, nursing a headache, drinking an iced coffee (expensive, considering it's a rudimentary hotel - and hazelnut flavorings in coffee will never be my thing), and listening to Courtney Barnett.

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