Saturday, February 27, 2016

Heaving Positivity



If you’re still bleeding you’re the lucky one
Cos most of us are sleeping six feet underground
Eyes wide shut, stories--untold, hymns--unsung
Forever silenced by the mound,
Growing heavy with each setting sun.


If you’re still feeling you’re the lucky one
Cos most of us are aimlessly walking, hardened by someone
Nameless faces, ripped pages in decapitated frowns
Hearts, feelings mangled beyond recognition
No longer living and reduced to a sorry state of simply existing.


If you’re still weeping you’re the lucky one
Cos most of us are bereft of any hope, sucked bone-dry of faith
As that elusive silver lining continues to drown in unforgiving skies
Anhenodic, we nurture old wounds and lick them anew
Each day repeating itself, in this beguiling loop.


Every morsel of emotion is our signal fire
That life has not left us, but merely bitching ire
So if you’re still gasping through polluted lungs
In a world riddled with corruption and moral unrest
Worry not, it’s just a silly test.






-LMN-
(2/28/16)


*short poetry from a sleep-deprived graboid.









Sunday, August 16, 2015

Picasso


The best novel I ever read was written by the master storyteller himself, Sidney Sheldon. It is not the typical fairytale kind of a story where the prince rescues the damsel in distress from a tower ensnared with evil incantations by a wicked sorceress. There is no coiffed up prince. No fancy horse-drawn carriage in place. And no happily ever after. There is, however, an abundant supply of violence, sexual innuendos, double entendre, scheming, immorality, vice and corruption. In the story, the protagonist was a beautiful, young and inexperienced lawyer who struggled to rise on the upper echelon of her profession. She gets framed for allegedly threatening the chief witness against a mafia boss with a dead canary with a broken neck. As the story progresses, the damsel becomes romantically involved with a married man plucked from the same profession. The entire book is riddled by a cornucopia of forbidden pleasures. In the end, the man remained married to his wife and the protagonist watches him rise to power from afar. Morality is somewhat restored and the main characters get on with their lives.

This is the beauty of fiction. The lives of the characters are completely under the mercy of the whims and fancies of the author. The author can play god. His powers, plenary more or less. So long as he does not produce a material that challenges the long established moral code of man and so long as he does not conjure something so sexually revolting that it comes at par with pornography. For he may run under the covers of intellectual property rights but he cannot hide from the punitive backlash from our very own Revised Penal Code. The material must not be NSFW.

Denouement is indispensable in every play, narrative or story. At some point, the characters’ plight comes to a close. The messy plot, untangled. The web of lies, wiped clean.

This story is not penned by the genius of a master storyteller. She is no Sidney Sheldon. This is no fiction for this is a story plucked from a reality.

The man is graphic artist who creates art through online freelancing. He is a frustrated nurse who was confused at the time when adult decisions had to be made in choosing a course to take up in college. He went on to take up nursing in a dazed state but still managed to excel effortlessly despite the lack of drive. His heart belonged to creating art. I’d like to believe he was a Picasso at birth, born with the special skill of swirls and dashes. He is an introvert with a big heart. He is quiet and shy, prim and proper and a huge animal lover when I first met him at thirteen.

The woman is also a frustrated nurse. She found refuge in writing at a tender age of 10. She used to be drawn to beautiful writing of little to no importance but has now tried to keep abreast with socio-politically relevant issues plaguing our earth. She is a junior in law school as a logical consequence of an ugly childhood riddled with domestic melodrama and whatnot.

It was the usual hi and hello with these two. There was no coffee nor first date. It was the quirky way he talked and the way he propped himself up on his seat. It was the way he awkwardly posed for pictures and his tight-lipped smile that has drawn her to him. Thus, she decided to let him inside her protective little bubble. He became her friend. Finally, she found a kindred soul. But it was not until 2014 when the man finally mustered the courage to tell the woman how he really felt for her all those years. It was an incessant interplay of skinny love and petty fights that got them both wondering why they fight over trivial things in the first place. The storm occurred before the calm.

It seemed like several lifetimes ago when I found he got sick with an unknown illness. He stopped going to school for a year to recuperate. Within the course of that same year, while I was busy prepping for retdems and finals, he was growing thin as paper. His abdomen, board-like. His breathing, labored. Painkillers became his bestfriend as I, his own bestfriend was not there to comfort him. He transferred from hospital to hospital and finally, he received a confirmation of his diagnosis through core needle biopsy in Cebu Cancer Institute. He had extrapulmonary tuberculosis of the liver. The news was a big sigh of relief as cancer was the worst possible scenario.

I thought he would hate me after his ordeal, for failing to visit him, for failing to find out immediately on what had happened to him. But there was no hate. We remained best of friends despite the occasional fits of stupid arguments.

The only thing that connected us was our love for music, animals and the arts. He loves anything that involves technology and gadgets but he loathes reading. I, on the other hand, am a sucker for books and beat poetry.

We are both similar and different in so many ways. I guess the universe never tires to conspire with the collision of paths of two completely different individuals because there is beauty in the fusion of black and white. There is a glimmer of hope and endless possibilities in the collision of souls.

This is not the typical love story. But this is about how a self-confessed introvert and obsessive-compulsive individual has tried to move mountains on reforming his ways, in addressing stress through healthier ways instead of resorting to obsession and compulsion. In coming to terms with himself, his regrets, his fears, his pride and his ego. This is about how a person clears his schedule and leaves his house at 12 midnight despite pressing deadlines just to help you find your lost Labrador. This is about conquering fear of heights and drowning knowing that another soul is willing to risk life and limb to save you. This is about someone who insists on dragging you to Watsons to buy face and hair products because he is afraid of what other people might think of him. This is about those moments when he stays up late at night talking to you even if his eyes are about to betray him because he is not a night owl like you. This is about purchasing a 26er mountain bike and getting into shape even if it’s contrary to his nature and just simply conceding because she is an outdoorsy person.

This love story is a lot of things. And it is just beginning. The story continues… There is no fairytale ending just yet.. Happy birthday





Tuesday, August 11, 2015



Ten Shades of M




Wilde said each man kills the things he love
With a bitter look or an endearing glance
With flattering words or words that cut like knife through flesh
Even said the coward does it with a kiss and the brave with a sword
It's an interesting metaphor because it's actually true to the core


Met my love when my eyes were young
It was not love at first sight
No. It was unfortunately not that melodramatic
He did not have me at hello nor sweep me off my feet instantaneously 
It was not sweet serendipity
Nothing at all like a good ole chick flick knavery
For we met ordinarily and started platonic as everything else should be
Blunt. Real. And Raw.


Years passed and the friendship was nurtured
But unwanted weeds had to be pulled out
 As I realized I had developed feelings
Tantamount to ruinous love trappings


Some kill their love in their youth and some when they're grey and old
And in my case, I tried to murder it a tender age
For it wasn't supposed to be there. It was an unwanted guest.
An embodiment of Gregor Samsa's Metamorphosis into a vermin
Yes. The feeling was a vermin. And so I had to stifle it.
Felt the stronger need to do so when he didn't seem to notice the rage within my being
And yet it was also a cyclone
That I wanted so much for him to calm..to quiet to a steadfast pace
But there was none


I felt crimson with hurt, pitch black with grief
As it was clothed with an unrequited cape
Of all forms of loving, the basest in its face


I killed my love at 16 and killed it again at 23
I killed it with bitter looks. 
I killed it with words of flattery.
I killed it with the sharp knife of my tongue and I killed it with apathy.
And when these turned futile, I sought the help of conscious forgetting.


But my heart was a feeble dullard
No amount of virtual, collateral and direct cardiac arrests 
Completely silenced him to a figurative grave
And later, he revealed the tell-tale reasons for his silence and disinterested semblance


He was insecure and weak
He was afraid
And with cowardice, he forged a friendly parade
He grew comfortable watching the waves while further deceiving himself
Of the idea that it was okay to admire its beauty from afar
The paddle and canoe remained untouched
Because to him, 
I was a hurricane.


And so finally, I understood
The cryptic nuances of our he-said-she-said affair
It was crazybeautiful. He was is crazybeautiful.
Now, the light of his love is flooding me like a thousand splendid suns.


Yes! I still love him and I will continue to
Beyond words, distance, space and time
Beyond my earthly state
In a watery grave or a dust-laden space


I killed my love at 16 and killed it again at 23...
Or so I thought..


-LMN-
(Aug  13, 2014)











Monday, April 21, 2014


SHADOWS


Shadows crept in the black of night.
Darkness consumed what is left of her sight.
She stumbled and tripped.
Hurt and bled.
 She scoured for color.
Other than the color that bathed her flesh crimson
Other than the brownness of the scars that plague her integument
And other than the pinkish tissue that line her fresher scar tissues


She searched the pitch black void.
Hands outstretched,
 Frantically feeling for any morsel of light
A much-prized light in an age enveloped with unforgiving darkness


A candle would be useless.
 A matchstick rendered inconsequential.
For what she needed was to be inundated. 
An inundation of perpetual light that burrows flesh and breaks bones.
A lighthouse shooting white spectrum across dark obsidian waters
Bending gracefully in the fluidity of life's dance


For a split-second, it was there.
Creating ripples of color
Shining brightly like a hot summer day
Infecting everything in its path
Contagious as a yawn. Uplifting. Festive and beaming.


But its beam turned into a gloat. She knew it was temporary
And  later let out a sob that would echo for ages eerily
In her mind, she desperately conjured an apothecary
To prepare for another six months of monstrosity
That...if she'd be lucky.


The light was still there..burning faintly now.
The hot summer day turned into a cold winter spell.
Chilling. Gnawing. Grating.
 Fading painfully slow
As the unforgiving darkness permeates the final traces of her own ember.

-LMN-



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ANATOMY OF FILIPINO STUPIDITY

I love the English language. Heck I worship it. I get shivers down my spine everytime I come across a beautifully written article or hear a perfectly delivered pun (in English of course.) I can't help but admire a witty and substantial exchange of ideas during a harmless, random conversation and I can't help but feel a complete and deliberate elation everytime I unearth an alien vocab. I don't know if other english enthusiasts also feel this way but you know most of the time, the truths we discover are not true to ourselves alone. 

Okay, I may be boring you with my humble preamble but I barely can think of anything else stirring to write as an intro so please bear with me (besides I technically authored this blog so that basically leaves you with no room for a decent choice ;p). Mkay, going back to the subject, the english lang! Yes! It's amazing how 74% of the Philippine population can understand spoken english without really having to speak it eloquently as the natives do (by natives I meant the Americans). And no this is no miracle since we were once colonized by the Americans after they oh so heroically freed us from the clutches of Spain in 1898. And with every arrival of white settlers, we get a light sprinkle of their culture as well just as how Raja Humabon embraced what Spain offered the natives back then which eventually infected the entire nation, with Catholicism, as by far its greatest and most pervasive influence up until this time. 

Contrary to the trend set by the Spaniards on Philippine colonization, the Americans barely meddled with the strongly engraved imprint left by their amigos on religion. Yeah Protestantism wasn't so much of a big hit on the native balut-eating Pinoys but the english language was. Yep! The amiable big Joe brought freedom and at the same time education to the Philippine islands. Something most Filipinos barely even have access on back in the Spanish regime since quality education was confined only to the elite otherwise known as mestizos. Those whose family names leaked wealth, power and influence became immediate candidates for unparalleled and unlimited access to "habla espanyol", education and knowledge. I am not in any way saying that I am pro-American colonization nor do I completely abhor the Spanish regime because both eras left positive and at the same time, crippling effects over the Philippines as a nation. I could go on and enumerate them one by one but alas, to write such would defeat the purpose of this article since I have irrevocably constructed and decided in my puny head that this write-up will be about the unforeseen negative consequence of embracing the english language.

Language is essential to every race. It is the lifeblood of a nation. Absence of a common spoken language in a tribe, minority or an entire race could sprout miscommunication, misunderstanding, tension, angst and ultimately mayhem. I need not further prove my point on that since its obvious. But what is not obvious to most of us is how the english language has created a semi-permeable barrier to the youngsters nowadays, *how the continuous use of english as a medium of instruction inside the classroom created a invisible wall for deeper learning for the students most especially in the study of the sciences and math! where most words are unfamiliar to them and how english got in the way on fully expressing ones opinions, ideas and notions. Most Filipinos have difficulty expressing themselves fully because somewhere along the line during the formative years of learning,  our brains were too busy decoding written and spoken information both in english and in our native tongue. Thus, learning wasn't deeply engraved. Thus, the enitre learning process becomes haphazard resulting in mediocre individuals with a cognitive capacity that of a 3rd grade pupil. Don't get me wrong, I know what you're thinking. I know it's an edge on our part as Filipinos that most of us are fluent in the universal language, an undeniable upperhand that attracted Korean and Japanese foreign nationals to learn english the cheapest way possible. And yeah it's a big help for our tourism blah blah blah.. just shush it for a while will ya and let me say my piece.

As always, we put the blame to the government, to the shitty way educational programs are being developed with the budget spending swerved down the road to corruption and yes partly, the government is liable. The government is liable for implementing the dual language of instruction with english confined to the sciences, math and of course english subject and Filipino to Araling Panlipunan and the rest of the subjects. This obtuse move resulted in the difficulty as well for some teachers to teach and express themselves comfortably and fully. The worst part is, some words in which they find difficulty in translating into Tagalog becomes horrendously "tagalized." NEOLOGISM AT ITS WORST! Contrary to popular belief, coinage is no longer exclusive to psychiatric patients. The sad part is, it's the students who suffer in the end.Quality learning gets flushed down the drain time and time again. Good for those who have access to substantial books and other reading materials and the  internet but how about those who belong to class E? The poorest of the poor? Those whose english speaking skills weren't introduced yet at a younger age unlike the haughty gradeschoolers we usually witness now with parents who strictly implement an english speaking zone in their respective homes? 

The human mind is probably the greatest tool given by God especially if accessed and used to it's full potential... beyond the 21% of that beautiful, pinkish, meaty, soft and wrinkled tissue of a brain. Everyday, we are confronted by stimuli that are subjected to our five senses. These senses in turn send signals to our brain for interpretation. An interpretation that involves thought processing and analysis. Thought processing in itself forms ideas. These ideas are then converted to words. And for these words to be converted to an action, language is needed for the coherent expression of these words. But if an individual is caught in between two, full and coherent expression of an idea is in peril and comprehension is jeopardized in the long run. Most of us cant even speak in our mother tongue fluently and I admit, sometimes, I even don't know the equivalent term in Cebuano for a certain simple english word. It's irritating, frustrating and sad. It's sad that kids and teenagers now think of themselves cool if they speak the universal lang. Some even laugh boisterously at mispronunciations and grammatical errors forgetting the fact that we're warranted to commit such errors since we are not native speakers of the said lang in the first place. 

This is a free country and since Paulo Coelho said freedom of expression meant freedom to riot, then I guess I'm in for a brawl. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

An Unconventional Wedding




Poor toenails. Witness the muddy demise of  the red nail polish.
Have you ever tried hiking up a steep slippery slope in some mountainous region you never dreamed existed? Ever experienced having your muddied feet washed by some random stranger in a harmless and unintentional re-enactment of the symbolic washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus? And by some random coincidence, have you ever stood up eating so close to the main course table in some stranger's banquet inside a room full of guests also inconveniently eating in vertical position? Well... I have. ;) 

Chocolate-covered tarsals. Nomnom! Ate Leizel  after an effortless toss and turn down the  God-forsaken hill of doom.


 No. I am not talking about the infamous town fiesta so generously practiced by more than 70% of Filipinos with the other 30% eager feast goers who are obviously just in for the free food.(I hate to admit it but yeah, just so you know I'm part of the other 30% haha!) Yep! I hope we're on the same page because my relentless narcissistic drone on this article will be about weddings-the unconventional ones!

My first unconventional wedding happened last year in the remote town of Barili located in the Northern part of Cebu Province. Me and Ate Leizel got the humble invite from our nurse aide Ma'am Moodie whose younger brother was set to be married. Since we were both off duty on the scheduled date, Ate Leizel and I were just stoked as ever most especially because we'll be travelling on a motorbike.

The trip started off smoothly except for the fact that I had to hold on to dear life as I struggled with my "gigormous", ill-fitting helmet that made me look like a puny astronaut for I was seated at the rear end of the bike. We grazed the concrete jungle of Cebu unscathed and eventually reached our desti.... oh wait... no... By some twist of fate, a sudden blanket of ominous clouds loomed at a distance as we traversed the long and winding road along the mountainside. Yep this happened a little over an hour during our sojourn after we exited Carcar City and took a right turn towards Barili. 



Okay for starters, I've never been to Barili and honest to God I was expecting it to be just at least over an hour drive and vwahlah we'll reach the church in no time but no! It wasn't anything like that. Nah-ah! It was as if a series of unfortunate events was set in motion just for us that day. I made mention of the ominous clouds right? Well yeah, the obvious eventually happened as we continued to drive. What started as an innocent drizzle ultimately turned into a violent downpour so we had to stop by a vulcanizing shop in a vain attempt to let the rain pass. The latter turned out to be pointless as we noticed the unforgivable shower didn't seem to have plans at stopping any sooner so we had no choice but to head out again in the open. My butt did start to protest after I found out that the said church was located at the topmost hill as it was actually the last barangay in Barili. >_<

By the time we reached the church, the wedding was almost over. We were soaking wet. The crowning glory resting over our heads were so close to being gory and our feet didn't look like feet at all. I swear in that moment I felt like an Abu Sayaf who barely made it out of the war zone. Luckily, Ma'am Moodie had an extra pair of pedal pushers and a pink shirt just my size so I was able to trade my costume for a casual and comfortable one. 

The bride and groom then signed the wedding contract and had their pictures taken. (I know. We missed the smooching part.) Anyhow, we were not personally acquainted with the bride and groom so Ate Leizel, Ma'am Moodie's boyfriend and I just stood awkwardly near the church door gawking over the nameless faces surrounding us. 

Eventually, the crowed thinned out as a couple of guests piled a hired 8-wheeler truck one by one. Yep you got it, an 8-wheeler truck! Women in hot pink silk clothing and white high heels as well as men in barong tagalog somehow miraculously managed to get aboard the multipurpose truck so as not to miss the eagerly awaited reception at the bride's humble abode. By this time, the entire wedding experience just got more exasperating yet interesting at the same time. (P.S.Got a little pissed seeing Gwen Garcia's mobile transport etched with her name in acronyms across the vehicle's body which was an obvious pathetic attempt at an early political campaign.Yeah me bitching out on Gwen. Ugh!)

We trail-hiked for another fifteen minutes and boy I was just glad I got the chance to change earlier. Ate Leizel however was not sufficiently equipped with the right gear though for she was wearing an uncomfortable slippery black sandals with about an inch of elevation on the heels.On the other hand, I was wearing my comfy Caribbean slip-ons and yet I still struggled down the muddy terrain. Yep! The road to good food was an obstacle course for us. Ultimately, Ate Leizel slipped down the muddy trail and landed painfully on her buttocks and the best help I offered her was a hearty laugh. LOL. Call me mean but hey I bet you would laugh your heart out too and of course a kind villager helped her up to her feet immediately. I wasn't adding insult but merely shoving humor to the injury. Nothing beats a good old hearty laugh. =D 


Finally, we reached the bride's abode. There were already people inside and more people flocked the canopy outside the house as it was still raining at that time. An then all of a sudden, a kind-looking fellow offered to wash Ate Leizel's feet. The boldness of the offer took us aback. I mean who does that nowadays?! Plus the dude asked in a non-perverted, I'm-expecting-something-in return kinda way. He was just simply sincere in his offer to help. My friend declined the offer but the dude was persistent so in the end, Ate Leizel's feet was freed from the clutches of MUD..temporarily! :) 

We then made our way up the the house after Ma'am Moodie finally noticed our starving countenance from a distance. Yet again, even upon our descent to the bride's home, two men once again helped us maintain our balance. ;)

Inside the house, we were greeted with plates, utensils and of course food. The bride and groom sat across a table filled with the usual food that Filipinos dig and yes most of the people inside the house were standing so close to the table...while eating. O_O  I didn't exactly experience a culinary orgasm with the food prepared but it was more than enough to feed tired and weary guests like me. There was just this one uncomfortable moment when a guest deliberately grabbed the food by hand and placed it on our empty plates. Geeshh! She didn't even give us the time to decide on what to eat but even so, out of respect we yielded. 

Yes. The entire experience was exhausting, quirky and unconventional yet it was fun and utterly memorable. The most striking observation that I had probably on that sojourn was the conspicuous display of classic Filipino hospitality. I am just extremely grateful for the extra hands that casually helped us while we were there and I'm just mighty glad to say that modern day chivalry didn't completely die out yet. We may not feel it in the concrete jungle of Cebu or in any other city for that matter but it does still exist in places where inhabitants are most primitive, simple and yet pure and humble in their daily living. Cebuanos may call them "taga-bukid" and Manilenios may refer to them as "probinsyano". I say they are the real kind of people. It may be a quirky wedding but in the end, it made me realize how life is definitely more fun in the Philippines! ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cupid's Choke Hold





You used to signify every dreamy love song that i hear
In starry-eyed movies, you were the male lead
Sweeping passion-jangled ladies off of their feet
As you whisper sweet nothings to their trusting ears

I used to look forward to my summers in the past
For you were there making each memory a colorful blast
Not a moment was dull, not an instant went dismal
 Even the slightest contact, like electricity to my skin, it was grand mal

Yes. Cupid got me on a choke hold as I continue to consume the madness of it all
I celebrated the blindness of love, even unrequited, I was still foolishly enthralled
Wrote the typical poetry extracted from the deepest bowels of my reality
Full of stifled feelings and sentiments, I try so hard to convey to thee

But you were inattentive... hell, all throughout you were deafened
Like screaming hard to a person with huge ear mufflers, you continued to be apathetic
It was hopeless. I was hopeless.
 As I made a laughing stock of myself in full absurdity

Now, dreamy love songs are difficult to endure
Starry-eyed movies became painstaking to watch
And like neon lights triggering migraine,
Passion-jangled ladies in conventional movies turn out to be just plain annoying

I struggle to write poetry and finishing one has now become an equal agony
The arrow was released and I willfully made myself conspicuous
Now bathed in crimson, I pray without inhibition
As I slither free from the clutches of cupid's choke hold
I am free. Lo and behold!






P.S.  Sorry if I wasn't able to come up with an article. I just figured writing a touchy-feely poetry was fitting for this month of love. I hope you enjoyed reading this! Advance Happy Valentines!
P.S. for the nth time, plagiarism is a mortal sin soo please do not in any way copy any of my articles or poetry for that matter or I will personally banish you for eternity into the saddest, darkest and loneliest abyss you thought never existed (assuming that I have superpowers of course).>_< ENJOY! 











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