Tag-ulan ang iyong kaarawan

Bandang alas siyete ng gabi nang tumila ang ulan. Huling araw ito ng Mayo at hindi pa man nagsisimula ang tag-ulan, tila hindi na makapaghihintay na tumangis ang langit. Tinahak ko ang basang kalye patungong plasa. Kahit balot ng dilim ang daan, tila mga salaming kumikislap ang lubak-lubak na sementong napupuno ng tubig. Nagliliwanag sa nagbabadyang pagsilip muli ng buwan. Marahil sa iwag na galing sa mga poste.
Wala akong dalang payong o sombrero man lang. Sa isip ko, hindi naman siguro uulan ulit. Sa kabilang banda, hindi ko naman nasisiguro ang daloy ng panahon lalu na ngayon. Pero kailangang magpaubaya sa kabila ng pangamba. Kaya ipinagpatuloy ko ang aking paglalakad. Hindi alam kung saan dadalhin ng aking mga paa.
Sa bawat yapak, sa bawat talsik na nalilikha ng pagdampi ng aking mga tsinelas sa basang kalsada, iniisip kita. Sumasabay sa tugtuging pinakikinggan ko mula sa aking selfown.
Pasensya ka na
Sa mga kathang isip kong ito
Wari’y dala lang ng pagmamahal sa iyo
Ako’y gigising na
Sa panaginip kong ito
At sa wakas ay kusang lalayo sa iyo.

Tila nananadya ang musika o talagang nakikiisa sa aking damdamin habang ako’y naglalakad patungo sa hindi ko mawaring lunan. Muli, iniisip kita. Muli, palagi. At sa bawat distansiya, kinakailangan kong kumawala. Sa iyo. Sa mga alaala. Sa mga pagdududa. Ngunit mas malakas ang pwersa ng musikang humihigop sa aking sariwain ang simula. Ang pag-alala nga ba ang lunas upang kumawala? O dapat pasanin ang bigat ng bawat hidwaan at sugat na ginabuno natin sa ating mga puso?
Tatlong taon. Tatlong taon mula nang lumagas ang bulaklak mula sa kambal na puno ng narra sa grandstand. Mula nang nagkasalubong tayo. Mula nang ang lahat ay nagsimula sa biro at unti-unting sumibol ang pagkakaibigan. At mas lumalim (o lumalim nga ba?). Walang kuwento ng pag-ibig sa ating dalawa, dahil batid ko na sa simula pa lamang, mas matibay pa sa mga puno ng narra ang balakid na namamagitan sa ating dalawa. Ito ang katotohanan. Mahal kita. Isang pagmamahal na nananahan lamang sa bawat talinhaga at harayang ginadihon ng aking isipan. Ah, pagmamahal. Pagmamahal nga ba? Marahil hindi ko pa lubos na nauunawaan ang tinagang ito. Hindi naman talaga pagmamahal ang iniukol ko sa’yo. Dahil kung ganon, bakit kailangan nating ibaon ang punyal sa ating mga puso, bakit kailanganng makipagsuntukan sa bawat pagpapalitan nating nga mga masasakit na mga salita. Walang kuwento ng pag-ibig sa ating dalawa.
Tayo’y nananahan sa siklong paulit-ulit na lumalason sa ating isipan. Hindi ko alam kung ano ako sa’yo. Walang lubid na namamagitan kung kaya’t nawawala ang aking pagkakakilanlan sa kung ano tayo. Ano ka. Higit sa lahat, sino ako. Ganunpaman, kahit iwasan kong tanggapin ang katotohanang hindi puwede, mas mabigat ang pag-alala kesa sa galit na nararamdaman ko sa’yo. Hindi ko alam ang dahilan kung bakit. Hanggang ngayon, naghahanap pa rin ako ng sagot.
Kaya patuloy akong naglalakad. Nananalangin na sana, sa paglalakad kong ito, ay hindi muna tatangis ang langit. Sana, hayaan muna akong kumawala sa muhi at paghahanap ng sagot sa mga katanungan. Kung bakit kailangan kong magmahal sa kabila ng bawal, kung bakit kailangang umiwas sa puna, at isipin na bakit kalingain ang taong hindi ko naman lubos kilala.
Sana dinggin ng langit ang aking panalangin. At hintaying umulan mismo sa iyong kaarawan.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

There’s no denying that the last part of 2017 pierced me like a dagger.  Just as I thought that 2017 inundated me with lots of good memories spent with family, friends, colleagues, and students- what do you know- out of an issue that was blown out of proportion and a decision which compelled someone to label me with unimaginable terms I could hardly swallow, I almost capped off this year with a broken soul.  But NO. I didn’t let that dagger get in the way of looking back at the best memories, and in the same way looking forward to a brighter 2018.

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ig202017 made her graceful exit, but left me lessons which I continue to learn from.  It taught me to be grateful for the blessings I receive in life and in return share that blessings to others, be it in the form of talent, time, and material resources.  The more blessings one receives, one has to pay it forward, and I am thankful and happy that I get to share it with people who matter to me the most, without counting the cost.  It taught me to be kinder, it taught me to disregard what other people say out of that display of kindness.  Unfortunately being kind to others became my hamartia (In tragedy, it is commonly understood to refer to the protagonist’s error or tragic flaw that leads to a chain of plot actions culminating in a reversal of their good fortune to bad.-wikipedia.com).

2017 let me appreciate the people around me.  I think I have adjusted well enough especially with my relationship with  colleagues, and most especially, with  students.  Handling The Young Netizens Club (TYNC) this year with more than 40 members made me realize that I’ve got hands and arms to hold on to in pursuing my vision. I must say that these members have been a great part of spicing up my year.  We have encountered a lot of bumpy roads, but there’s always an opportunity to teach them lessons and values about life.  Each encounter has let me discover about myself as well as I discover something in them.

It sounds cliche, but this year has been a roller-coaster ride.  At least 2017’s better than the previous year.  I became grounded and resilient, which I think helped me in overcoming certain issues that I encountered this year.  I became passionate with certain individuals, I discovered secrets, I confronted people, and forged friendships with them.  I realized that you don’t need to leave home to experience all of these.  You don’t need to leave home to find yourself.  Just as Santiago in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist learned in his journey: “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” I have found my treasure here. At home. I couldn’t wish for anything else.

My wish this 2018?  Probably not for myself but for other people.  Not that I’m being selfish or what. My wish is that my friends would be kinder and more appreciative as they already are. I’m pretty sure that this year would be a blast and whatever is in store for me, let it be a surprise.  Carpe Diem!

 

#Yearender 20 FB posts that prove my 2016 was all about DRAMA.

Because 2016 is all about staying, leaving, and letting go.  Here’s a recap of my 2016 as “told” by my FB posts.

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Enduring the long hours of travel going back to Manila with my friends.  The vessels were fully booked because everyone was returning from vacation as well.

 

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Some trolls really loved to make this year a living hell for me. And I’m glad it was over.

 

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Yeah, right.

 

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Not sure if this post was meant for me or for someone else. I don’t know. Can’t remember really.

 

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Happy Easter post is happy easter post.

 

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This really happened.2016 and still the memories lingered.

 

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I lived in a scary house. Strange things were happening there. Or I may be plain stupid and clumsy.

 

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I have friends who are like that. And I’m so grateful for them.

 

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This is the best thing that happened to me this 2016. No doubt.

 

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Went back to teaching this year, and yes, lots of teacher post. This is one of them.

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OK.

 

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My longest birthday post to date.

 

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First post about “crush”.

 

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When Papa was in the hospital, I never really took pictures of him/with him. Probably I didn’t want to collect these kinds of memories. So this device just simply reminded me the struggles Papa had to deal with throughout the times he was in the hospital. Those times were the saddest times of my entire life.

 

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One of the “Dear Crush” posts. Can’t remember the reason behind this post though.

 

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Papa’s tragic passing was and will always be the saddest moment of my life. Here’s a post about reminiscing him and everything that he has done to me. I will always miss him.

 

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When dear crush became a disappointment.

 

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#TeamTYNC!

 

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First Christmas without Papa. But still, it’s a merry Christmas.

 

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Happy Birthday Papa! Grant us an awesome 2017.

 

11 Things People Don’t Realize You Are Doing Because Of Your Anxiety — Thought Catalog

Roberto Tumini1. Decline invites even when you really want to go. Sometimes, anxiety can be so debilitating, that you can’t muster enough energy to go out. No matter how excited you were for the event beforehand, when the day actually comes and your anxiety is in full force, you say no. You don’t want to be…

via 11 Things People Don’t Realize You Are Doing Because Of Your Anxiety — Thought Catalog

What If?

Keeping in touch with my friends from Manila makes me realize how much I miss the urban jungle.  And with all the fucked up events and little disappointments happening right here at home, I keep reconsidering all the choices I made.  Sometimes I wish I was still in Manila.  I’m encumbered with what ifs and I need to escape.

 

Still Breathing…

It’s been ages since my last blog entry.  Sundry compelling ideas have been running through my mind lately which I couldn’t put into writing. From summer escapades to my homecoming. Like a lot. Guess I was too busy on social media and I got no time to write longer articles.  And I was having a blast as well.

So there.  Speaking of blast, I promise I shall post regularly (or at least if time permits). For now, I just wanna tell you guys that I’m still here.  Having the best time of my life. 🙂

Homecoming

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It wasn’t an overnight decision. It wasn’t a consideration that’s completely out of the blue. It has been crossing my mind for a long time. I guess, everything is all about proper timing.

Yes. I am coming home. For good.

You know the feeling when you wake up from this strange dream and you suddenly realized that you’ve been encumbered by sundry emotions and the only choice is to wake up? Not that you’re having a nightmare, but having the wisdom to realize that the essential things in life are not found in the urban jungle called Manila. But for the record, I have no regrets. Manila has taught me a lot of lessons and discoveries about myself. Those two years have been, cliche as it is, a roller coaster ride. I enjoyed it. Totally.

I could cite instances and circumstances that somehow made me who I really am. Imagine St. Augustine’s life at Carthage (forgive me for the comparison, but yeah, it’s in Manila that I experienced a lot of firsts and not-so-firsts–experiments and exploits and all). I loved my jobs. Despite the stumbles here and there, I somehow learned from what Manila offered me. These made my decision more difficult. But I knew I had to make a choice. A choice I have to make sooner than I expected.

I am thankful for the opportunities. I consider myself lucky because it’s easy for me to land a job that helped me survive (eww, I sound like a gasbag). Maybe because I’ve always been an optimistic prick who never expects a lot. So there, the confusion arises from choosing between two opportunities. Should I stay or should I leave?

Weighing up the pros and cons between staying and leaving, it seemed that the decision to leave leads the race. The sacrifices that I have to make are so minimal. Of course, I’m gonna miss my friends, my “gig” at the Broadway open mic, my visits at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, etc. On the good side, I’m gonna leave behind my struggles of traveling and beating the traffic every day.

I choose to return home. The home that I always long for in my almost two years of exile.

I’d like to think that I’m the prodigal son who wanders and struggles until he realizes that there is only one thing he needs to do:

Come home.

Of Rays and Rainbows

No religion or belief can help you if you don’t, as Rainier Maria Rilke wrote, ‘look deep into your heart’.

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This evening, I made a little confession to a friend. Although it did not concern me at all, I told him about our friend’s, well, real sexual preference. Good thing about my friend is he’s so open minded, and our other friend, being gay, is not a big deal to him. Well, to us. It really doesn’t matter. Then, the chat segued to another revelation and the reason why I told him that is because at some point, our friend and I kind of bullied someone on Facebook. Although it happened years ago, I just felt that I needed to tell him the truth because I knew all along that it wasn’t right. Yes, I told him that at that time I was battling with homophobia.

I had this experience when a student tried to invite me on FB and was asking questions that were kind of personal. At first…

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