Saturday, October 3, 2009

It wasn't Ondoy; It wasn't an act of God. I did it. I sank Metro Manila

For the longest time, I stayed silent about the recent flood tragedy in my beloved Metropolis. In the City which I loved in spite of all its imperfections. In the place, unlike so many of my countrymen (and I understand why they had made such a decision), I refused to abandon.

So many people have been overtly expressing concern. Many had and are still helping, all the while making sure that the rest of the world knew that they did. But this point may be taken the wrong way so I am not even pursuing it. Nor am I enumerating the charitable things i did. Thing is, I don't care if no one ever knows about it because all I really wanted to do was help. Precisely why I didn't post this piece in Facebook.

Anyway, now that things are getting a tad more manageable and there are getting less and less things to preoccupy the City's virtuous, the blamestorming has began. Of course it's the government's fault; it's useless. Of course it's our ancestors' fault; they lacked foresight.

And then we all choose to ignore the garbage stuck to the structures that resurfaced when the waters subsided. (I recognize a candy wrapper. I was the one who threw it out my window as I was speeding down the street.) And in spite of this, we choose to distribute food rations to the refugees in the same plastic bags that clogged the sewerage system. I heard some people dump the mud and soil they had swept out of the ravaged houses straight into the drainage.

But let's take the discussion further. We had this flood now but who knows what tragedy we will eventually bring upon ourselves next time? Because now that the rest of the population who were lucky enough to still have working cars have all started cruising down the fastlane again, how many follow traffic rules? How many private vehicles drive within the bus lanes and how many goddam buses swerve from one side of the road to the other?

How many pedestrians cross right under the pedestrian overpass?

It is pointless to give more examples. But I hope you get my point. If not, let me spell it out. If we don't all change how we live, we will all eventually kill each other, if not ourselves. It's not going to be the next big typhoon, it's not going to be a tsunami or an earthquake. We will all get swallowed up by the earth while we we are busy going about our daily lives. At this point, having a good set of laws makes no sense. Any rule, big or small, reasonable or inane, will only be relevant if every-freakin-one, big or small, reasonable or inane, starts following it.


Monday, June 8, 2009

The Take Over, The Break's Over

I insist you admit, dear reader, that in one point in your life, you have also succumbed to some stupid thing longer than you should have just tolerated it. It's lent your life story a couple of may-I-listen-to-KEANNE-while-walking-and-staring-into-space moments. And after crying and howling and punching the bathroom wall, you proceed to do that one thing you regret all over again.

It's normal to be this way, I guess. Or at least it's not unusual for me. After all, as my friends have said so many times already, I've been emo way before emo was invented. But thing is, more than just coming back for more pain, the real reason why I can't just leave a certain set-up, no matter how much bruises it's gotten on my feelings, is that I always hope that things will be better.

Is that emo?

Is it emo to think that maybe, if I carry on as I am expected, that if I hang out with the people who could hurt my feelings one more time, they will not choose to hurt me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


(An Ode to Oh-Eight)

Because when I fall,
I don’t see what’s ahead.

But I feel wisps
of wind brushing
against my hair.
I allow them to find their way
through my stubbles, and
to glide through the length of my arms -
both stretched
from my shoulders
up to the side of my thighs.

When I met you,
I was standing on some edge,
where the horizon ended
and the sun was not allowed to enter.

There are times when I steal peeks
into your eyes -
in them, I see a reflection
of myself swimming through
violent wind
and finally arriving at that warm space
between your chest and your arms.

And then,
when I land,
I don’t feel a surface.

Instead, I look back.
I scale the depth of the fall with
words bigger than you

and I.

I remember when I took the dive -
I looked into your eyes
and thought I have found a picture
of a home
big enough for two people.

There was a time,
you know,
when I used my fingers to capture
the world with blue ink
because I trusted the transience of events,
as I left fresh letters in a trail
that told everyone where I had gone.

Now, here I am
with both knuckles
endlessly pushing against a door.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

only words

"i'll stop the world and melt with you."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

montgomery hits the gutter

San Mig Brewery at Dusit is about to close down and Kath decided to round up her people to properly say goodbye to it. So last night, I popped through the double glass doors and was immediately greeted (or assaulted - it depends on which station in life you come from, really) by a painfully familiar sound: "Kapag Tumibok Ang Puso (I think)" being covered by some show band. However, and it's a good thing, that was in no way any indication of how the night went.

Three litters of overpriced beer does have spectacular effect on things, doesn't it? I was surprised to be able to hold that much stuff in me without rushing to the CR and sticking my finger down my throat. Though i do remember taking a piss more than twice. But we could pretty much assume that my memory doesn't really hold much credibility given said alcohol consumption.

By the end of the night, we were playing darts by the bar and it was quite surprising how I turned out to be the best player among us - people who don't even know how to hold the damn thing properly. Like I said, alcohol is the serum for my super powers.

* * *

Kath's people, I first met two years ago during her surprise birthday party. The real surprise that night, however, was the inexhaustible supply of Sambuca that gave me a heartburn that lasted until the next time I went out for drinks. (Yeah, I'm guessing it was specifically the night after.)

Last night, it was kind of surprising that seeing them again had no awkwardness about it. It felt like I really knew them and that they really wanted to hear what I have been up to. "Yeah, I'm working for an advertising agency. (I think I was still with a magazine when we all saw each other last.) Only this industry would be insane enough to hire this," I said while pointing to myself.

It also felt good that I have stopped wanting to talk about the mess that HAD become of my personal life. In between shuffles between the smoking area and the bar, I kept on making loaded statements which while amused them, only I fully understood. Karina wanted to hear the full story but I was only interested in sharing the fool version. Lovely.

* * *

I'm damning all men and building my empire.

* * *

Before hitting Dusit, I was with the Adfor Brats (otherwise known as Ex-Adformaticians or Ex-A.X.). There was a gallery opening and it was all Leo Burnett people. At first, I was asking myself what the hell I was doing there. Good thing, I eventally realized that the people there didn't really care about me as they were there for the featured artists. That and the fact that I was also there to appreciate the artwork, not to be adored like one. I fell in love with a painting called "Self Esteem" which Angel Guerrero of Adobo Magazine bought before i could even start to convince myself that it would be perfect for my room.

There were also homemade toys and we spent the longest time oggling the "Malabanan Monster." It was bloody brilliant. A clump of brown goo made hard and shaped to resemble a super-villain mud-man - it's like "Nardong Putik gets even nastier." I want to buy a Malabanan Monster. But then I noticed that Tanya wasn't really seeing the full brilliance in the art piece so I asked her if she knew what "Malabanan" was. I was only too happy to add to her library of useless knowledge.

Me: It's the siphoning company that empties our septic tank.

Tanya: Oh.

Tanya bought a painting and that's when it got comfortable for us to gobble down the free booze like anything. She got wasted and cancelled our supposed dinner at 1521 toningt. Product placememt here: you must try the wickedly wonderful "bad banana chips" there. It's nothing like I've ever tasted, and I think I'm in love! These days, I only fall in love with inanimate objects, mainly because I can forgive them for not loving me back.

* * *

Speaking of Adfor Brats, Grace Feliciano, the bestest buddy every depressed and depressing person should have, is giving me a godson. I'm so happy.

* * *

On my way home from Dusit, I suddenly noticed a red car with people in it waving and screaming at me. It was Em and Earnie and their posse! The odds of hobnobbing in the middle of EDSA. I don't rememeber what we talked about as we sped through the avenue in separate cars but just before I started typing this long and burdensome read, she told me that I drove well. But only after I told her how much alcohol I was on. (KIDS, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. I AM A BAD PERSON. YOU ARE NOT.)

And then I explained to her that it's an aqcuired skill every partyboy has to learn. Well, us who were deprived of drivers as soon as we got our licences. But make no mistake about it, it's a skill that I still am working on. The only thing that gets me through is the fact that I am not afraid to die. I just don't want the physical pain that might come with the process of it.

* * *

The gutter along CP Garcia hit Montgomerry, my car. I was hurt for my car. Just like a real lover, Montgomerry takes me to where I need to be and he just waits for me patiently until I'm ready to be with him again. I love riding Montgomerry and he likes it when I work his stickshift. No one has the right to hit Montgomerry.

The damn gutter came out of nowhere and suddenly woke me up just as I was about to hit the intersection. Damnit damnit damnit. I wanted to report the gutter to the police.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I believe it's called an orbit

Re-entering the blogosphere hasn't been as easy as i imagined it to be. It's just that when you get used to steeping in your own acrid-smelling drama, the feelings and emotions no longer trickle down to reach you fingers.

The keyboard remains untouched.

For the past months, I have been making myself believe that it's okay not to write about things. And during that time, it kinda worked. To cope with unrequited love, one must not put meaning to any gesture, occurrence or anything. Officemates expect you to be happy. There is no room for sadness. You have no right to dampen the mood. Happiness is the new coca-cola and if you don't sip from it, you're just another moron buying house-blend tea from the cafeteria. So my recourse, I turned to my other circles. I exhausted my friends' company until their ears bled, rejecting all my first-hand rants and complaints. I knew I was starting to become a drag to be with.

Even before that, during my stint at howbaduy, I resorted to vagueness and misdirected identities to protect not myself but the people I was dragging into the mess that is my life. I am not sure how to go about this, because truthfully, I feel that I've lost my right to express. I don't know what's actually happening, and what's just taking place in my head.

One person once told me, as he was gently letting the fact that he will never love me slide in, he said that I protect myself from the world too much. It had nothing to do why he was rejecting my feelings, really. Maybe it was just a criticism he had to say. Maybe my psycho-ness and drama was making things inconvenient for him. Maybe it was destroying his image. So I have to say sorry if I am finding it hard to cope. If I am finding hard to be pleasant 24/7. If I can't be all happy thoughts all the time. If small talk wasn't my thing. If I am finding hard to be friends with him. That it's not easy to let my defenses down because really, hurt and ache and pain could be tiring, and sometimes the easier pain and ache and hurt to deal with is the one I inflict on myself. I'd rather move about and think that I was the one who decided that all things are hopeless.

It's funny how everything goes back to the fact that I like him and he doesn't like me. It's difficult to wake up every morning and to stand in front of the mirror and think that I look fine. To over look those bulges that stuck out, or to ignore the fact that i don't have a defined jaw line. It's hard to say something and not think that I said the wrong thing or that I delivered it the wrong way. You see, when an item has stayed on the shelf for too long, the guys at quality-control would surely soon swoop in to throw the item in the stock room.

This is not self-pity. This is just an unusually heavy post and I promise to try to become happy again. I have been smiling all day, especially after he told everybody that he's falling for someone now. I have been smiling and working and going though the same routine that I should be anyway. But this is my blog and I realized that I don't have to be someone else here.

The next post will be happy. And I assure you that I will find a better star to spin around at - it could be career, family life or social scene. I will try my best to be a whore. Anything that won't have to involve letting myself get close to another person anymore.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The official first post

I have not written anything with literary merit for more than four months.

While I am aware that said statement is grossly vulnerable to questioning (like what makes me think that I've ever written anything that has literary merit), i choose to open this blog with it because it sounds like a disclaimer. It suggests that the reader should not expect much from the entry. It says that I haven't flexed my writing muscles for a while now and therefore, expect crap.

* * *

If you think about it, life is full of disclaimers. "Slippery when wet," "Contents may not be suitable for children," "Enter at your own risk," "Whatever makes you happy." Even "Maybe" could be considered an effing disclaimer. Disclaimers foreshadow drama. At the same time, it washes the guilt off the thing that would cause the pain.

Case in point:

"I am this way to all my friends." Fucker. Now that's the bitchiest disclaimer of all the bitchiz.

* * *

When someone tells you "I am this way to all my friends," and you process it, to whom would you give more credit to, to yourself or to him? I mean provided that you supposedly care for said person possibly more than you care for yourself. I believe that the said statement could only mean one of two things:

1. "You delusional freak."

2. "I'm a whore."

And so you should drop out from the masters program so you could devote all the time trying to solve this mystery.

* * *

The second thing that you should probably know about me is that I am a copywriter. I am holding the first thing that you should know about me hostage until it's totally unnecessary for you to find out about it.

Anyway, I get paid to lie and to mislead people. I know, I know. I'm so lucky, having found the career that requires me to do something I love doing. You see, when I'm bored, I lie even to myself. And lying to a mass market to influence spending habits is definitely a step up.

* * *

When I found out how many namesakes I have in this city alone, I immediately claimed this blogsite address. I've had it for quite some time now. I could whip up a million and two reasons why I have not written anything here, but I am afraid I wouldn't know which of them would be the truth. Perhaps they all would be true. Perhaps none of them would be. Perhaps I'm thinking about it think too much.

Yeah, I think too much.

What I don't have to analyze, however, is the fact that I haven't written anything here 'til now. And maybe that's the only thing I can afford to tell anyone. Having this url means I cannot make any disclaimers for every disclaimer I will be posting here as they shall all be attached to my name.

That is, if I really am carl clemente.