Friday, October 27, 2006

Now, Back to Work!

B'la is a fictional place that doesn't exist only in the imagination. It exists in the minds of people who once lived or have always been living there even if they're no longer there physically.

Speak, Memory!

My memory is no longer playing tricks on me these days because maybe it has deserted me. I got to the Butuan bus terminal late in the morning yesterday, thinking only of getting the fastest bus home. I placed my backpack on my lap, not on the overhead compartment as most people would have done; perhaps, a sign that I didn't trust my memory that much anymore. I took my seat and left my memory (or what was left of it) spinning the images of the past weeks: mostly of how the yellowish lightbulb of a late night bus from Malalag cast shadows on the tired, bent bodies of farm workers going home from work or how the reddish light inside the jeepney fell on the faces of women trying to find humor out of what happened to them that exhausting day selling sackloads of durian in the market; and how---when I arrived in Gingoog late one night, a grumpy tricycle driver broke into a grin when I told him I was about to die (with exhaustion)!
There were still three people on the Cagayan-bound Bachelor's bus when I arrived at the terminal late in the morning yesterday. When the bus was about full I happened to look around and got a sneaky feeling that something was wrong. Why was I on a bus for Cagayan de Oro when I knew I was supposed to be going home? It took a long while for me to figure out where my home actually was. When I did, I got off the bus very fast only to be told that the aircon bus for Davao city has just left.
Oh, memory, my memory, why has thou forsaken me???

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The End of the Game

7:41 tonight marks the end of my lonely running marathon that tested my will and (psychological) stamina. With all these girls in the next cubicles chatting with baldheaded, toothless white foreigners on their computer screen, I'm going crazy! I got to get home and ask Eve to open that Absolut vodka bottle gathering dust on her bar counter. What a pity!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Let's take a break

...because there are certain things I can't simply let go.

This Spanish Pueblo

So that nobody will know I'm still in Gingoog, right inside an internet cafe, seized by panic while wrestling with sheets of papers I don't understand, feeling the guillotine of an unforgiving deadline on my neck and the sword of Damocles right over my head, I'll try to pretend that it's the middle of October once again and I'm having a nice little chat with jepoi and the androgynous mandaya moore in one of those dreamy beaches on the island garden city of Samal. There, where the nights are hot and and full of possibilities, one can easily drowse inside those seaside cavanas, wake up with a full bladder only to find out that the rest room is a kilometer away! The place is simply enchanting. One can easily conjure a thousand and one debaucheries happening in open air in just one night while no one is watching! But Gingoog is another story. A former Spanish pueblo in between the bigger cities of Cagayan de Oro and Butuan, this coastal town has turned itself into a bustling little city today, where one can enjoy a dip in its clear blue sea and get connected with the world wide web in one of its internet cafes nearby!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Chema's by the Sea

Pictures on the Wall

It's about dusk and it's raining hard outside the Inquirer office. Inside, I keep glancing at the pictures on the wall as I open this computer. A bond-sized black and white picture of a man wearing a white hospital gown, his face scrunched in pain, his hands pressed onto each other very hard across his chest, as if to absorb what he might have been feeling at the moment. Several hands can be seen near his head and shoulders pulling the white sheets apparently used to carry him. Commander Robot, the caption says. "Galib Andang grimaces in pain as he is carried from a military plane in Villamor Air Base for treatment of his gunshot wounds."
Next to this picture is another bond-sized black and white picture placed perpendicular to the first one. This other picture shows women carrying placards that read, "Palayain ang mga detinidong pulitical na Moro," "Free all Moro political prisoners." The caption says : A Muslim rally in front of DOJ building in Padre Faura as they demand for the investigation of Muslims fall guys during the government's crackdown on terrorists. The pictures are already dated. The shots were taken on December 8, 2003, apparently months before the dreaded Abu Sayyaf leader was killed in what was widely speculated as a prison massacre. I don't know why I keep staring at the picture.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

This is for Dasia

...because a picture speaks more than a thousand words!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

In Search of my Mother's Garden

Nowadays, I rarely get the chance to talk to my mother, who never ever felt and will never feel at ease with the wildness of my nature. But late in July, I stole the chance to be with her only to stumble upon her garden where everything---from wildflowers to wild ideas---grew in profusion. My mother never had an inkling of the amount of wildness growing in her garden. I found eavesdropping bougainvillas, the secrets of love, fortune, and numerous sensuous delights thriving everywhere.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Face of Love

A Gen X-er's link to the next generation! My link.

Sinful Secrets!

I was walking along the seedy parts of Uyanguren last Sunday when suddenly I was drawn by an aroma I couldn't resist. After a couple of vain attempts, I finally managed to track down the culprit: inside a thorn-covered shell that the vendor opened up for me to reveal these sinfully delicious secrets!
A dear friend Janis, who just flew in from Manila, had something to say about durian, which fortunately she tasted for the first time last Sunday: It's a fruit that doesn't know any subtlety, doesn't pretend and doesn't hide anything. It tastes and smells as it should.Its taste is strong and heady, like spice. It lends itself out in the open without pretensions, without shame. It dares exposed itself to the world and because of this, it is simply, deliciously scandalous in both its smell and taste!