26 December 2013

Mary Lambert - "Body Love" LIVE Billboard Studio Session

Love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet and brother,
Arm wrapping shoulders, and remember
This is important
You are worth more than who you fuck
You are worth more than a waistline
You are worth more than beer bottles displayed like drunken artifacts
You are worth more than any naked body could proclaim in the shadows,
More than a man's whim or your father's mistake
You are no less valuable as a size 16, than a size 4
You are no less valuable as a 32a than a 36c
Your sexiness is defined by concentric circles within your wood
It is wisdom
You are a goddamn tree stump with leaves sprouting out

Yes, I am fangirl-ing right now. She is amazing.

24 December 2013

Depression ~ yet another useless monologue

Originally posted in http://www.chroniclesofdreams.blogspot.com last 1 a March 2007

What is this word that many use so loosely? Do they really understand it? Do they even know it? Do they even care?

You feel sad, maybe troubled, maybe frustrated – you say you’re depressed. You broadcast it to the whole world and ask people for solutions. Is that what you think it is? Do you really think you’re depressed?

No, you’re not.

Have you ever snuck into an empty room, as empty as you feel, and cried your heart out for no discernible reason?

Have you hurt yourself in places nobody else could see? Maybe banged yourself up bad on a few occasions, managing to hide whatever marks you had left – the torn skin, the bruises, the bumps and the scars.

Have you found pain enjoyable, if only to provide momentary pause to your misery?

Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom, or anywhere else where no one can hear you, screaming in your anguish, and sitting there for hours with the water running, pounding your fists and your head on the wall, slamming your body against it, pulling at your hair, feeling lost and confused – and that throbbing you feel still can’t conceal the burning marks from the shrapnel that hit you from your internal battle?

Do you feel alone, even in a group? Do you choose to stay alone because you feel that it’s the only way you won’t be troubling anyone else with your dilemma, because they won’t understand anyway, and you’re not sure if they would even try.

Would you rather sit in your own little corner and be ignored by everyone who, if you were only up to the challenge, you would want nothing more than to please? Would you rather write random words, whatever that comes into your head, making incomprehensible sentences, and just tearing up the paper afterwards? Or do you write for the sake of writing, not caring if others read your thoughts, because you know that no one will be able to comprehend anyway.

Do you suffer in isolation BECAUSE of your isolation, and shrink at the thought of a crowd? Do you keep company, hoping for that warmth you so long sought after, but in the end just being thankful when they leave you alone… and later on regretting what you’ve earlier wished for? And perhaps this is not an eternal combat in which you rage, but something that comes and goes as it pleases – and when it goes, it leaves you its ghost, scaring you out of your wits, and promising its return.

Do you cower in fear of people knowing your true state? Do you tremble at the thought that someone will find out what keeps you up at night – what, you still can’t figure out. Do you hide behind a mask, behind a moat of lies, bubbling with deceit, do you wrap your soul in many layers, and surround yourself with a wall so thick, and guard yourself with so many clever traps and loopholes, that you form for yourself an impenetrable shield – but you’re not so sure if you want a shield.

Do you find peace only in the dead of the night, when you can stay up, all alone, with no one else around to bother you, letting your tears fall – because you need to let them fall – praying desperately to whoever is out there, to whoever may be listening, to change things, to wake you up from this horrible nightmare, to save you – to save you now! – To take you away…

Do you have mood swings - those wretched tremors in your system? Do you feel the emotions - that fire running through you, in your blood – passing through your veins, your lungs, your heart, taking over all of you – conquering you, when all you want is to be free from all those tyrannies that you have to endure, knowing that this power that your passions - these foolish sensation, these dreams and wishes – have over you is in fact yet another dictatorship! Do you feel the need to express yourself, but never finding the RIGHT words?

Do you feel alone, despite our massive population, despite the millions of people milling about around you? Do you find the seclusion echoing in that bare space it has left within you, somewhere within you, yet to be discovered? Do you feel cold and shattered – as if you were broken? As if there is something wrong with you. Maybe there is… Can you relate to my questions?

Do you?

If you do, come to me… I need to know you… Please, I need to…

Are you out there? Are you like me too?

Confessions on Living a Lie

Originally posted in http://chroniclesofdreams.blogspot.com last 1 March 2007

One thing that often gets on my nerves is how people respond to the question “why do you study?’ especially how you could easily classify majority of these people into three groups according to the answers they give.

These are the Dreamers, the Oppressed, and the Martyrs. The Dreamers are those who emphasize the need of a good job and their hopes for a better tomorrow. The oppressed are those who feel that they need to study because their life depended on it, or simply because their parents made them study. Then there are the martyrs, who find it their duty so they could someday repay their debts to society, to family, and to God.

Really, have you ever heard of any lamer excuse for living?

Yes, life. For the fundamental stages of a person’s life, studying occurs in school, and if my comrades in this epic battle against terror teachers and mountains of requirements have only the aforementioned motivation for staying in school, then it is really a mystery to me why they still haven’t all dropped out.

Yes, I admit. I too was a dreamer, an oppressed, a martyr. Looking back to what I have done with my school life, I wonder if maybe I’m just weak, because you know what? I gave up.

For nine months, I stopped studying. Yes, I still went to school, and sometimes to class. I copied notes and shared what I understood with those who needed it. But my “studying” stopped there. I left test questions blank for lack of interest, and failed to submit my requirements because I no longer really cared. I skipped class, slept in class, daydreamed in class or didn’t go to school for days. The only things I ever worked for were group projects, burdened by the thought of dragging other people down.

Do you wonder what I did with all my newly found free time?

On my own, I lived. I lied down on the benches and stared up at the dusty sky, under the shade of the mango tree ridden with higads. I sat in the gazebo watching everything that’s happening around me, seeing a teacher trip or friends moving into a group hug. I walked around the school grounds and took in all the sights, smells and sounds – even the not so pleasant ones.

Whenever I had company, I lived. We would joke around, ask questions, talk. We would laugh, reminisce, and cry. We learned things we would never have found out listening to 1-hout lectures in our classrooms, and these are the lessons we cherished. It was because of these talks I got to know myself.

It was then I realized my mistake. The reason for my apathy is not of any medical nature, nor is it any form of delinquency; I just didn’t have any reason to study!

Thirteen years of school, since the dawn of my youth. Being a Scientian, I was obviously a bright child. I entered school without hardly knowing how to speak in full English sentences, and ignorant of the Filipino language. Thirteen years, I struggled with my natural laziness to keep my grades up.

Why? This I would confess in paper only once. Growing up, with the idea of being “the making and unmaking of the family”, is difficult. There is and always will be an image to maintain, a standard to set, a responsibility to fulfill. There will always be expectations, and nothing you do will ever seem to be enough, for each success will set more goals, and each failure will seem to garner more disappointment.

It was a tragic system that made one feel like a dog, having to go through the entire reward-and-punishment system. Each success would be awarded with a momentary breather, and every failure would tighten the hypothetical grip around one’s neck.

I studied to make my parents proud. I tried everything to make them proud; I tried to do everything I can, because I knew I can. Yet, with all the intelligence I have been gifted with, I failed to see that what I was doing was wrong.

For nine months, I dwelled in the shadows of failure and apathy; I swam in the waters of disappointment; I walked in the valleys of mediocrity. I took a break, shut out the world, and went on an internal journey, and re-emerged into reality a new being.

Why does this new person study? It’s simple, because she wants to learn. Because she is willing to spend five more years of her life trying to discover herself, to travel through the streets of conventional and unconventional education, in order to discover life.

This person wants to know life – how to stay happy, and make others happy; how to love selflessly and be loved back; how to remain in control of the things that need to be controlled, and how to surrender to the things that were meant to be; to live, love and die.

School, with all its nonsense subjects and requirements, is utterly pointless and useless, and a definite waste of time. It rarely teaches us anything we can use in real life. But the different people we meet along the way, along with our triumphs and letdowns, are the things we must truly study.

We study life because we wish to live. The moment we give up studying – the real studying – is the moment we die. We may live, but we are dead nonetheless.

20 December 2013

Migration Continues

The post migration continues while I am being overwhelmed by the book I currently have on hand. Steve Berry's The King's Deception is a good read, especially for those of us who've been cloistered in offices, coffee shops and libraries for way too long.

I think these migrations are actually doing me a lot of good. They're almost... therapeutic. I get to read and reminisce on songs and essays I've done before, and feel good about how much I've gone through to be where I am today - which isn't really all that monumental, but good progress nonetheless.

Here's a random thought: I want to go on a reading date. One where my date and I would each have a good book in hand, and we'd waste the day away in a comfortable spot, reading. It's going to be meditative and sweet and lovely. I don't know if many people notice, but we all have different reading habits, some more annoying than others.

Someone I could spend an entire day with, just reading and walking around, holding hands and exchanging thoughts. That would be wonderful.

19 December 2013

Songs to Caleb, and Unfinished Music

Originally posted in https://www.facebook.com/notes/precious-gan/songs-to-caleb-and-unfinished-music/501208391075

Happy valentines day everyone!

I started having dreams about an unknown guy around the time when I was in the sixth or seventh grade. He usually comes into my dreams when I was sick, or generally feeling blue. After a while I started trying to record my dreams (life then was much simpler and I actually had time to regularly write things). By then I was already very much into writing poems and such. I guess it was only natural that at some point I moved on to writing songs, and try as I might, I couldn't help but have made a few songs dedicated to this particular figment of my imagination. A friend of mine later on gave him the name Caleb, but that's another story for another time.

So again, here's to you. To the guy who I hope to someday meet, who I hope to recognize for who you are, to love truly, and to never let go of. Here's one song I made for you back when I was just coming to terms with the fact that I am dreaming about you and though I can't recognize you, I'm waiting for you. And then there's another song, a new one I started and finished very recently, that's still waiting for you.

It's been at least 8 years since we first met, Caleb. Now I'm definitely older, though the years couild not really testify to my becoming wiser or more mature. I don't dream about you as often, maybe because I haven't really had time to dream these days. Life's taking up too much of my time. Still, I'm here, waiting. I'm not saying I'm waiting faithfully, I actually do once in a while feel attraction to other entities (coz once in a while I even have obsessions over inanimate objects), but I am waiting.

This also goes out to Sassa, who helped add the last two verses to the first song, who gave Caleb a name, and who helped me realize I wasn't actually crazy for dreaming about Caleb. (Apparently, I just happened to be very disturbed. Yes, friends from my later life, I was a very, very troubled kid. Haha.) Sis, I hope you have a happy Valentines day. I miss yew. :)

(Though I have a couple of songs with complete chords, somehow I can never seem to complete the accompaniments for the songs I've made for Caleb. Hm... Maybe someday I'll be able to complete them. Maybe?)

Boy in My Dreams(Song to Caleb 01, 2003)

Verse 1
G        D                          A             Gm7
Once I told you 'bout the boy in my dreams
G                                        A
You told me he must be the one for you
G      D            A           Gm7
But it can't be, no it can't
Em                      Am7
Didn't you know that boy was you

Verse 2
F#m                  C
I dreamt of you before we met that day
F#m                                D
I'll dream of you until my death day
A                                 A#
It's so weird that I just don't understand
G                    A
Of all people, why you?

I don't care about you that much
You're just a friend in this whirlwind heck of life
So why dream of you at all
I've never heard of such
Foolishness of my part
For such a sensible girl like me
To always think of a boy like you
A dream boy in my heart

You're just a boy in my dreams
Nothing else or so it seems
Don't mess up my head
I'm so confused by,
I'm so confused by,
I'm so confused by you

Verse 3 (Verse 1 chords)
What do I really feel for you
Am I in love or am I not
But no, you don't just rule in my dreams
You're in my heart, my fantasies

Verse 4 (Verse 2 chords)
You know I love you but I can't express
Do you ever feel the same way for me
You have a smile that I can't resist
I wish that you were mine

(Refrain and Chorus except last line)


Same Moon(Song to Caleb 2, 2011)

I don't wanna be another Cinderella
Waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet
I'd rather be Xena the warrior princess
Not wearing glass on my dainty feet

I don't want any silly love games
I don't want a race to the finish
I just want somebody to hold me
Someday, some night, some way

G           D             A               D
Give me something to hold on to, coz
E                                 F#m
Sometimes I wonder if this is all there's to life
G               D                   A                    D
And maybe you won't be coming 'round anytime soon
E                               F#m                        B
Just tell me we're looking up at the same moon

(Repeat from the beginning)

Ad lib
And I'll keep wishing, and waiting, and watching out for you
And maybe one day I'll turn around and I'll find you
I'll keep dreaming and hoping that one day soon
We'll be holding hands under the moon

(Repeat chorus one time)

In Response to "You Should Date An Illiterate Girl"

Originally posted in https://www.facebook.com/notes/precious-gan/in-response-to-you-should-date-an-illiterate-girl/495539316075

I should really be working on so many things right now. But there’s this post that’s just been bothering me lately and my columnist tendencies have me itching to respond. Below is the last paragraph of said post. I think the person who wrote it was simply ranting about how inadequate he feels next to this girl he is referring to, for whom he feels somewhat inadequate in comparison. Which is the sweetest, and dumbest, thing in the world. After writing this, I realized I started with a rant and ended with something that sounds very much like a lecture. That’s probably me subconsciously scolding myself for ignoring school work in favor of replying to a random person’s composition. Or more likely, that’s me scolding myself for submitting to every other single person’s hang-ups come February. I mean, I should be better than that, right? What’s weird is I’m not even actively seeking anything beyond friendships, and have already moved on from any romantic aspirations I may have still harbored for anyone for so long. Oh well. Angsty and confused, that’s always been me.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.
– from You Should Date An Illiterate Girl by Charles Warne(http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/dont-date-a-girl-who-reads/)

To Every Straight Male Emasculated by a Smarter Female
a.k.a. You Should Date a Girl who Reads AND Writes

This time around no sarcasm is in order. No tongue-in-cheek references or euphemisms for the sake of political correctness and diplomacy. This time I’ll be brusque, mean, and straight to the point. This girl may be having a bitch fit but this girl is a smart bitch with something to say.

You were right about one thing. A girl who reads will make your life god damned difficult; especially if you, yourself, are so damn difficult to deal with. A girl who reads is aware of what she basically deserves in a relationship and will not settle for anything less. She would not expect to be at the center of your universe, but she would not be pushed aside for every little thing you believe to be important. She would expect at least a few minutes of your day, not to stare at each other and smile emptily, or to grope each and every available part of your body. She would expect at least a few exchanges of honest thoughts and emotions. She would expect you to hold her hand when you walk, smell her hair when you sit side-by-side, kiss her nose when you say goodbye. She would tell you her dreams, and her hopes, and her plans, and she would want to know yours. You may not be the man she once dreamed of, but you are the one she now dreams about, and dreams to someday dream with. She will not accept life as it is, and wouldn’t expect the same from you.

A girl who writes will take it one step further and make your life hell. She would demand a full account of your priorities, and decide for herself where she would want to be placed. She would come up with reasons justifying why she should at least come before television, and would refuse to be secondary to anything along the lines of pissing contests or any competitions of such sort. More than an articulation of abstract notions, she would demand a few minutes of substantial conversation, perhaps a few lines on the highs and lows of your day, and she would expect a discussion afterwards. Feelings such as “happy” and “sad” have no place with a writer, who would much rather decipher the cause of your feelings of sudden optimism or inner turmoil. She would look at what is said and, more importantly, listen to what is not said or need not be said. She will read between the lines, sense the undercurrents, listen to changes of tones and take note of hidden meanings.

A girl who writes can tell when you lie, even when she convinces herself you didn’t. She would know when you hide things, and will let you because she has a lot to hide herself. She would pretend to be perfect, and hope you do not notice her imperfections. She would adapt to what she believes you would believe perfect, because a girl who writes knows how to change her tone to reach her audience. She would lie, and she would joke, and she would slowly unravel. She will be ashamed of her unspoken thoughts, of her emotions that she could not find the right way of expressing – how embarrassing, for a writer to be at a loss for words. She, who prefers the simple language to get her thoughts through; She, who would so easily pinpoint others’ errors; She, who simply wants to be loved for herself, but is afraid of being feared for who she really is.

A girl who reads, and a girl who writes, knows how rare a find she is. But even more, a girl who reads and writes knows how rare a find you are. You, who cares deeply; You, who feels inadequate; You, who tries to be everything she hopes you to be, yet fails adorably.

She will want to be everything YOU believe her to be, feeling the pressure from you putting her on a pedestal. She will see herself from your eyes, and she will hope to be the only girl in your eyes. You see, the girl who reads and writes knows reality, she knows how easily happiness may be snatched away. She has seen more than anyone should see in a life time, and knows how lucky she is to have you. For her, no other guy measures up to you, and she hopes that someday you’ll see her in that way too. She looks not for perfection, but passion that comes from knowing how good the two of you are together, She would not look for a life worthy of a story, she could make up enough of those to last her decades. She asks merely for understanding and respect, not a fairy tale. All she wants is you who loves truly. And when I find you, I will love you, and I will never, never, never let you go.

This Time, For Real

Originally posted in https://www.facebook.com/notes/precious-gan/this-time-for-real/420476571075
Note: Link in Part 2 no longer works, but the related post has already been migrated to this blog

I think the best thing about moving on, as in REALLY moving on, is that it makes you realize how strong you actually are, and how lucky you are not to have ended up with that last person you were with (to nobody's offense). Moving on lets you dream again, maybe not of happily ever after, but a happier after. And if there's anything I learned in my nearly two decades of existence, dreams are a very powerful thing.

I'm including two works in this note, the first is an article from PDI, the next is a random free verse poem I wrote about the love story I want for my life. Funny thing is, when I wrote it, I didn't actually have any particular person in mind, even though I was still very much into a relationship at the time.

Well, "Caleb". Whoever you are, wherever you are, I still haven't found you, but I don't mind waiting. Just please don't take too long, and don't give me a hell of a time when you finally appear in my life. You owe me that much for making me wait so long when we could have spent so much time together already. Then again, if you came too early and we end up wasting what we're meant to have, that would really suck too. Okay, never mind. Just so you know, I'm waiting. Don't take too long, but don't rush either. <3

My daughter's letter to the man she will love someday
By Cathy Babao-Guballa, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Date First Posted 22:05:00 08/08/2010

RELATIONSHIPS ARE always a difficult terrain to navigate.

As a woman, you spend hours pondering—alone or with your girl friends—the intricacies of the human heart. You always hope and pray that the next generation will get it better than you did.

Below is a letter I found in my daughter’s website (I have her permission to share this). She wrote it to “the man I will someday love.”

I was expecting to read a gushing, romantic, idealistic tome. I was humbled instead by her sentiments. It’s filled with sensible expectations.

I pray that this will make every girl believe that hope does spring eternal, and even if your heart has been broken a few times, you can always put the pieces back together, and make it right the next time around.

Take your time. Don’t rush and don’t just “settle.” If it’s part of His plan, God’s best awaits you out there.


Dear You,

I will admit that sometimes I really do wonder if you exist.

There is a part of every little girl’s heart that envisions her prince charming. At age three, it is usually of a man who can save her from the wrath of an evil stepmother, wake her from eternal slumber or give her that true love’s kiss.

In elementary school, he becomes the boy with the least cooties, the one who’s willing to cross the playground to share his Oreos even if it makes him a target for the week of all the other boys.

Come high school, it’s that boy you stand with at prom, who your father stared down at the door, who provided you with an experience complete with photos you will cringe at a decade later, a corsage that yellows in the refrigerator, and a faded memory of a night that seemed almost too magical to be real.

Nineteen years into this life, however, and still unwilling to give my heart away, I am still that same little girl who hopes for her prince charming. And although I wonder why it has taken you this long to sweep me off my feet and whisk me off to your palace on horseback, I know that it is probably because meeting you will be better than any fairytale I could’ve read as a kid.

A couple of heartbreaks and a few years wiser though, I will admit that there are times when I question your existence. Because I have yet to meet the guy who makes me hear songs like “All My Life” or “A Whole New World” in my head when I see him does not mean I don’t hope that it’ll ever happen.

I may already know you or may still meet you someday—something I leave completely up to God because I’m pretty sure our story will be epic.

However, I can’t promise you that I’d make the world’s most perfect princess. In fact I’ll probably keep you on your toes and amuse you with my eccentricities—there are a lot of them. I’ll probably steal a bunch of your T-shirts and turn them into shirt dresses, or drive you slightly mad with my obsessive compulsivity and my need to fix your collar constantly.

I can promise to be your best friend however—that person you can rant to after a rough day, the hand you can hold when you get sad, or the person you can text when situations get awkward.

I’ll probably mess up your hair sometimes and hug you for too long, but that’ll only be because I absolutely adore you. I’ll bury my head in your shoulder during scary movies and make you feel like superman when you kill those flying cockroaches that really shouldn’t exist. I’ll cook your favorite food on your birthday and try my best to make friends with your mom.

I’ll respect your nights-out with the boys and make you seem like the perfect guy to my barkada. I’ll watch basketball or soccer games with you, and not complain when you cheer too loudly at the TV set.

I’ll know the difference between giving you space and being constantly there for you—even if it means sitting and playing video games with you or taking hot chocolate runs when it rains.

I’ll listen to your music and we’ll go on epic adventures together—seeing the world, taking awesome pictures, eating awesome food, and never running out of things to tell each other along the way.

I won’t be waiting for you to sweep me off my feet and take me on a magic carpet ride, because I know I won’t need anything like that to fall for you—I will love you for you.

You will be that someone to make goofy faces with in pictures, to lace fingers with when I’m lonely, and to take long walks under the stars with on the beach.

You’ll be the guy who takes me the way I am—and will laugh as I burst into Disney song or pick out pink wallpaper.

You’ll be that someone I envision a future with—us filling out visa forms as we travel the universe, picking out our first dog together and arguing about what to name it, or being snap-happy stage parents in our preschooler’s annual mini-plays. And I keep hoping that maybe someday when we find each other, you will become that someone whose smile I wake up to in the morning and the last one I speak to every night.

So to the man I know does exist, and who will help me maybe make sense of the world someday, this man I can’t wait to love. Please know that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. But for now, I wait. Fingers crossed and palms held together, I hope that you’re out there somewhere, waiting for me, too.

With the hope I will be yours for always,


E-mail the author at cathybabao@ gmail.com

My Love Story
By Precious Rochelle O. Gan, Bittersweet Honesty: Dare to Dream
Date First Posted: 21:02:00 06/28/2008

I don't want my love story to be of any interest to anyone.
I want it simple, insignificant, barely making ripples in the water.
I don't want my love story told and retold,
As if it was a legend that must be known to all.
I don't want to feel the pains of being heartbroken again and again,
Nor of being left alone for a long period of time while he goes to war.
I don't want to wait indefinitely for a love that may never be mine,
I refuse to be a desperate damsel in search for the perfect man,
Or be left by a man for another man.
I don't want to be the subject of a tale of a love lost,
Or of the reunion of childhood lovers.
I don't want to wait until the end of my days,
And I do not want to tell of a love that can never be.
I want to read the colorful stories of romances of heroines
And smile to myself because that's not me.
I want my love story to be short, simple and sweet
That no one will care to know about my life of love.
No one will know of it, and it will be completely mine,
Never to 
be witnessed by all except the wind and the sky.
Completely unique, forever entombed in my heart,
It will be my little secret, shared with only one person.
And when we are gone from this earth,
We will carry our story to our deaths,
Forever gone from the earth,
The most insignificant love story never told.

17 December 2013

Homage to Sherrilyn Kenyon

So I've been seeing a lot of book lists lately and while I'm tempted to join in, doing so requires some research because I tend to only remember stories and not titles. I can't event remember authors if he/she's not one I usually read. In the meantime, I'd like to pay homage to every Sherrilyn Kenyon book ever, because for the past years, her books have kept me whole. Here are twelve quotes that have truly left an impression.

1. "Just because you can doesn't mean you should."

2. "Sometimes things have to go wrong before they can go right."

3. "Life isn't finding shelter in the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

4. "In your past lies your future."

5. "The strongest steel is forged in the fires of hell."

6. "Acheron always says that our scars are there to remind us of our pasts, of where we've been and what we've gone through. But that pain doesn't have to drive or determine our future. We can rise above it if we let ourselves. It's not easy, but nothing in life ever is."

7. "It’s easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present and their pasts, but you’d be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight. And more often than not, it’s lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of their soul."

8. "Strange how you always remember the pain someone gave you, but seldom the hurt you caused them."

9. "There are some pains that run too deep for anything to absolve them. The best we can do is pick up the pieces and hope for the strength we need to keep going."

10 "How could one sentence uttered in anger cause so much damage? But then words were the most powerful thing in the universe. Cuts and bruises always healed, but words spoken in anger were most often permanent. They didn’t damage the body, they destroyed the spirit."

11. "How can anyone be afraid of love?" "How can they not?" When you love someone... truly love them, friend or lover, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt—you literally hand them the razor with a map of where to cut deepest and most painfully on your heart and soul. And when they do strike, it's crippling—like having your heart carved out. It leaves you naked and exposed, wondering what you did to make them want to hurt you so badly when all you did was love them. What is so wrong with you that no one can keep faith with you? That no one can love you? To have it happen once is bad enough... but to have it repeated? Who in their right mind would not be terrified of that?"

12. "You know, it’s amazing to me the wounds we carry for eternity. But what has fascinated me most these last few years is how the right person can heal them. I remember a wise man once said to me that everyone deserves to be loved. Even you." 

16 December 2013

I Have a Happy Crush and it's a Wonderful Feeling... Sometimes

I have a law school happy crush and it's a wonderful feeling. When one has been badly scarred by a past relationship, and life in general, knowing you can still feel butterflies in your stomach is a wonder to behold. And it's amusing how a short conversation with a person you don't have much in common with can brighten up an entire day. Or cause uncontrollable reflexes like unconscious smiling and other tingly feelings.
But it's also embarrassing and nerve-wracking and scary.

It's embarrassing, because when you're attracted to someone, people can tell. Sometimes it's the more obvious signs, like they catch you looking at him when you have no business to. Or it can be more subtle, like that smile you can't seem to keep off your face, that tips people off that you may or may not be attracted to someone in the immediate vicinity.

It becomes nerve-wracking when teasing you becomes everyone's new past time. Even more so when they decide to take it upon themselves to "make it happen". Why? Because moving on to my third point...

It's scary because a happy crush is intended to remain a happy crush. But the more you spend time with the person, partly made possible by these friends who want to "make it happen", the more you risk falling in love.

And I don't need to fall in love right now. I crave it, sure. Strong as I believe myself to be, I remember how much more loved and self-assured and happy I was during the good times in my past relationship. That feeling is addictive, and try as I might I haven't totally rid myself of the hunger for it. Which is not just scary, it's terrifying.

Because what if, because of this terrible jonesing for a love-filled relationship, we mistake crushes for so much more, and in the end, become definitely crushed, broken to the point of no repair?

04 December 2013


Everyday I need to remind myself that ending everything is the most selfish thing I could do. That I am truly loved and death could only bring misery to the people for whom I have held on for this long. I need to do this every single morning. But sometimes, sometimes it's just too much of a chore. I don't know how much longer I can do this.

17 November 2013

Dirty Business

Last April 2013 I posted this:

"To the forces that rule the universe I now make this promise, to churn out at least one completed piece per week. It need not be relevant, it need not be amazing. Right now I just need to get myself back on the writing bandwagon where I know I’ve always belonged. So help me, universe."

I cringe at my failure to comply with my basic promise.

How has life been? I'm happy to say, I have never felt so alive, while walking around like the dead most of the time. Welcome to the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Anyway, I've been trying to organize my thoughts for the last few hours, but it's hard to put into words all the strong feelings I've accumulated these past months, and in light of recent events (Tropical Storm Haiyan, or Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm in recorded history has decimated parts of the country merely a week ago), "strong" feelings seems to weak a word.

With that thought, I figured I'd just share the single essay I got to write this past semester. In verbatim, sans edits I found after submitting said paper. For your bashing pleasure.

In. Re. Atty. Dante B. Gatmaytan’s Professorial Chair in Law Lecture: House Rules (The Rule of Law after Reyes v. COMELEC)

There are three things that annoy me about common politics: It’s meddlesome, it’s dirty, and it’s counter-productive. I hold the same view on the propensity for gossip, election campaign periods and the exercise of divisive religion – but that’s a topic for another time. Personally, I’d much rather expend energy on being a good person, which already takes up so much time and effort.

 “Please, if you think a person can’t be political, don’t aspire to be a judge ever.”
Strictly speaking, Politics comes from the Greek word politika which loosely translates to “of, for or relating to citizens”. Merriam-Webster defines politics as the art or science of government, concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy, and consequently, with winning and holding control over a government. It’s a stretch, but the connection makes sense. Of note, law dictionaries rarely contain a definition of politics, and usually merely make reference to political questions. In our country, the personification of politics is a person, who is highly influential, entrenched in the government, is massively rich and usually corrupt. In other words, we have accepted the warped notion that a government SERVANT is one who puts himself above the needs of his constituents.

Still, I take exception to the professor’s statement that a political person should not become a judge. In my head there are three kinds of politics prevalent in the government system – party politics, loyalty politics and advocacy politics. The first two kinds can more collectively be known as common politics and should have no place in the Courts. As history and our current state of affairs show, nothing good can come from a Court filled with Justices who feel beholden to those who put them in power, or could keep them in power. Stewardship for the people is one thing, being a lapdog for a person (or group of persons) is another.

But in my opinion, a person engaged in advocacy politics is not necessarily bad for the Courts. To clarify, I think of such person as one who takes an active role in legitimate advocacies such as the rights of various marginalized sectors, reproductive health, environmental responsibility and the like. I say this because I think a person who genuinely supports such ideologies (versus those who cling to abstract partisan thoughts such as forms of government, party platforms or the lack thereof, etc.) may be more capable of putting the interests of the State above his or her own beliefs. I think that such kind of politics, when exercised in the proper venue (i.e. outside the court room) do not necessarily jeopardize a judge’s moral ascendancy. I hesitate to make such absolute statement however, because a judge’s responsibility is first and foremost to interpret and uphold the law, whatever the law may be, which may be difficult for someone who is narrow-minded. My point is simply, that not all people who engage in politics are bad. I say this while crossing my fingers in hoping that it will always be true.

On following the process for change in the Supreme Court
I strongly concur that any changes must adhere to the rules of procedure already in place. As was established during the lecture, the position of the Court in the minds of people is far from one of high regard (and I say this after spending a deliberate amount of time trying to come up with a way to make that statement diplomatic). Disobeying its own rules would easily further derogate the Judiciary from its current image into that of an impotent, inutile and unnecessary branch of government. Now, more than ever, the Court needs to send a message by setting an example and by being THE continuing example of adherence to the rule of law, which shouldn’t even be an issue if the members of the Court could only comply with their mandated duty as the sentinels tasked with protecting and interpreting the law.

Must change come from within the Court? I think not. I think that because some of the Justices are really old and set in their ways, change would be very difficult to initiate from within. I think change must come from the demands of honest, highly interested individuals outside the Supreme Court, who have a directly vested interest in a Judiciary that is respected and obeyed. I also believe that the proper forum for making this demand is not on the streets, disrupting economic activities and causing general upheaval and discomfort, but in a venue conducive to the exercise of rational discussion and argument.

On attacks from the media and the Legislature, and on opportunities for moral recovery
While I agree that the Reyes-Velasco clash and the PDAF controversy, when they finally reach the Supreme Court, are ample opportunities for redemption on a massive scale due to the media attention the hearings will definitely attract, I’d like to think that every case is an opportunity for moral recovery and, hopefully eventually, the alienation of political underpinnings attributed to the Court. I agree that only when the Court regains its moral ascendancy that it could come up with decisions that though unpopular are unquestioned.

In my perfect world, here’s an idea (which I intended to call radical but realized to be actually quite logical): Maybe we need to clean house in a grand manner. How about initiating impeachment proceedings against all Justices for whom there have been allegations of grounds for impeachment? We stroke the ego of the Legislature by giving them the chance to strike out at the justices they have a score to settle with, settle the question once and for all of who is and is not selling his soul to the devil, and free up seats in the highest court of the land. This would give us the chance to appoint Justices with iron-clad balls and ovaries who feel beholden to no one but the people and the rule of law. Of course, in my perfect world, the Judicial and Bar Council would be asking smart questions and the candidates would be dominated by apolitical people (or at most, those whose political inclinations are inclined only towards advocacy).

Side comment: On why I am upset.

Seven days a week, law students devote some of the best years of their lives immersed in mountains of cases. We skip work, we sometimes miss out on important family celebrations, and we skip sleep, forget to eat, and fail to indulge in other basic needs in hopes of complying with our academic requirements. We suffer through the occasional insult and character attacks not just of our professors and peers but also of the common man who looks at lawyers as cold, heartless beings out to make more money from those who have already been victimized. The least we could ask for is to be reading ponencias and dissents written by respectable individuals. Instead, we are reading decisions by some persons whose honesty are questionable, whose integrity are in doubt, and whose partiality are anything but; resolutions by a Court that has been caught with its pants down and holed underwear showing and at a loss for the proper response. The way things stand right now, how can I not be upset?

10 May 2013

Undone - A Dodgy Rap

Someone save me from this darkness that devours and consumes
There's a burden to my spirit that I cannot seem to lose
In truth I can't bear sleeping though in truth I cannot wake
This dreariness, a nightmare that I could barely take

This road I'm on is one I've set, I know just where I have to go
This deepening resentment is hurting more than I could ever know
These battle scars that I've acquired from years of conflict I've never won
I'm at a loss, I am quite lost, I unravel, I am undone

Out of control and out of ground, I long to hide, long to be found
A steady mess, a wretched space, I try to fly yet fall from grace
I dream of warmth, I dream of cold, I dream of words I've never spoke
A ray of light is all I ask, the strength to wait for this to pass

Note: This started out as a loosely rhymed poem but ended up a dodgy rap. My thought process befuddles me as well.

04 May 2013

Battle Scars Strike Again

Normally, all I need is the company and conversation of my few real friends to get me out of my moods. Apparently, tonight isn't a "normal" night. I am in a funk. No matter what I immerse myself in these past few weeks, I feel like I'm wrapped in a dreary dark cloud with no means of escape. I tried exercising, I tried eating it out, I tried drinking, I tried retail therapy, I tried seeing my friends - nothing seems to work.

The black girl inside me is thinking "Mm-hmm. Girl, you just gotta get laid." The rational side of me is thinking, "Stop talking to yourself, you crazy fool." I'm not even making any sense now.

I hate being driven to this point of desperation. I know I have other options I have yet to discover, but right now, what else can I do? I'm all thought out. This is my last resort.

29 April 2013

Microphones and Me: A Love-Hate Relationship (Otherwise known as my decidedly delicious renewed devotion to the paper, the pen and spell-check)

When I was 5 years old, I won Little Miss Talent in one of those grade school beauty pageants. It was a pretty big deal since I was competing with mostly older girls, some over twice my age. It wasn’t much of a surprise either; I was a little kid in rags, begging for alms and crying for vengeance in a shortened declamation piece – who doesn’t like rooting for the underdog? My performance was so good no one cared to notice how my discomfort with wearing lipstick made me look like a goldfish gasping for breath. That win sealed my fate for the next 3 years or so, I was repeatedly requested to repeat said piece sans costume – on stage, at parties, even at my parents’ friends’ doorsteps.

By the time I was in high school, I had an unexplainable case of stage fright. I can still sing, dance and interpret literary pieces in groups in front of a crowd, but give me a microphone and a script and I’m colder than a freezer in Baguio in the middle of December, before global warming messed with the seasons as we knew it. One time, I had to deliver a monologue in English class and I just froze. I was terrified to my tear glands but much worse, my writer self was disappointed –that was one well-written monologue gone to waste. I guess you could say early adolescence did its damage and took away my confidence (or my need to be in the limelight) but not my fascination with telling a story.

From comic strips to juvenile short stories, poems and scripts, my arsenal of self-proclaimed-literary-gems expanded to more jaded free verse, lyrics and puerile journal entries. Thankfully, our journalism teacher’s writing tips and exercises not only gave my complaining a more justifiable purpose, his discussions also changed my perspective of writing from being an outlet to being an instrument. Since then, I wrote not just to rant, but to suggest change. It was inspiring to write with meaning, even if probably less than 5 people will ever read your work. Though I don’t have the grades to show for it, journalism class taught me discipline, to wake up at 3 in the morning either to meet a deadline or write for leisure. Unfortunately, as my writing prowess (the ego in this piece already weighs so heavily, I don’t see the point of holding back any more ill-appointed praise) grew, my aversion to speaking in public got worse.

College, in a way, was a welcome reprieve. In class, one did not need to stand up during recitation – being rid of the pressure of people looking made my life a lot easier. By not using scripts, I also got rid of the pressure of having to remember precise sentences and made my presentations more spontaneous. I also learned to focus only on one person, usually the teacher, whenever I had to speak in front of class – by doing so, I trick myself into thinking I’m talking only to one person or a small group, something I never had problems with. Of course my solution wasn’t perfect, the fear was still there and my self-assurance unravelled in unfamiliar occasions.

Unfortunately, changing priorities and a financially constrained college paper also limited my writing to one to two articles per semester. As I learned to cope with my problem with the spoken word, my ability to chronicle my thoughts and experiences stagnated and deteriorated. Ah, the damage that laziness and making excuses could do. For the longest time I was a terrible speaker, for the past few months I couldn’t even write anything I’d be proud to claim as my own.

Will I stand for this? Will I simply accept this shell of a person with nothing to be proud of but a CPA license? Of course not.

To the forces that rule the universe I now make this promise, to churn out at least one completed piece per week. It need not be relevant, it need not be amazing. Right now I just need to get myself back on the writing bandwagon where I know I’ve always belonged. So help me, universe.

04 April 2013

I Like Talking To You

So here's something I'd like to confess: I find talking to you very enjoyable.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not declaring undying love or fatal attraction or whatever cliche one could come up with. I just like talking to you and I find you pleasing and I'd like to talk to you a lot more, every rare chance I can get. Your range of topics is attractive and the way you carry on conversations is a huge turn on. I think you're intelligent and manly and your interests are stimulating.

Anyway, I think I just had myself a wordgasm.

Update, 9 April 2013, 23:35H
I see you online and I have this irrational need to talk to you. Irrational, in that I can't even come up with one passable excuse to talk to you without showing how interested I am in actually talking to you... or how interested I am in you.

01 April 2013


Last Monday, my yaya had a stroke. Like the trooper that she is, with half of her body paralyzed, she fought hard not to be brought to the hospital. By the end of the night, she had full mobility, though under express orders not to sit up or get out of bed. But all was not well.

It's been almost a week now. My yaya is strong and will be coming out of the hospital soon. But she can't talk or holler or laugh the way she used to. She takes longer to express her thoughts; her rough, loud way of speaking replaced by a gentle, mild mannered tone.

She is still my yaya and I love her with all my heart, but she's changed and I miss her all the same. Here's the part they failed to point out about growing up, it means the people you hold dear will grow old.

19 February 2013

Beautiful Pig

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/15/Beautiful-Pig

I have no problems with my weight, it is you who has a problem with it. I don't care what others may think.Time and again I have proven people wrong of their prejudgements of me, despite my weight.

It is you that is my problem. You and your obvious loathing for what you see in me.

I have enough confidence for me to survive. I may be how I am, but I have a face that is pleasant enough with a personality to kill. I am likeable enough that no one would criticize me openly just because I am fat. And I don't care about what they say behind my back.

FAT. That's the word for it. I AM FAT. Not overweight, not hormonally imbalanced, not metabolically retarded. I. AM. FAT.

Stop projecting your frustrations on me because it doesn't work. Stop comparing me to anyone else because I DON'T CARE. I will lose weight when I want to, on my terms. I am beautiful, and no amount of calories will ever take that away. I know that if I don't control myself I might be too fat to haul my ass off this floor in a couple of years. But even then, I will still see myself for what I really am. I am beautiful. A beautiful pig.

This is my life, not yours. I am not you. Stop trying to turn me into something you want to be but couldn't. Stop forcing me to live a life that is not my own. Stop making me repress who I really am! This is who I am, right here right now. I don't want to be anyone else.

Someday, I'll make you proud. But it will be on my terms, in my own way, with my own methods. Regardless of my weight. You know my potential, what I could be in the future if I just work it. I know you look forward to that day. That day that you'll be proud to say that I am yours - smart, savvy, and with a really sexy body.

Why can't you just love me for who I am now, instead of who I could someday be?

Of Friends, Music and Lots of Words

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/22/Of-Friends-Music-and-Lots-of-Words

You say, I only hear what I want to.
- Stay, Lisa Loeb

16 August 2008, 23.51
     This day ends, for me, with a very pleasant thought. I am gaining friends. It may be too early yet to say that these friendships will be as meaningful as the ones I have, and am, experiencing from the Laudrichites or The Ten/Orange Circle/The Fraternity (once again, special mention to Selah for giving so many names to our female-dominated barkada), but maybe, just maybe, they will be.

    I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't even be thinking about this. But just a few months ago (I am shocked at how time flies), I could barely pick out guests for my debut party (NOT ceremony). The plan was to have 50 guests rocking their heart out on the eve of my 18th birthday, and so far, I could barely think of 20 people whose presence WOULD NOT ruin that night for me, and with the departure of some of those friends to places beyond our timezone, that reduces my "circle" even more to a size i could easily count without using up all my fingers and toes.

    No, I know it is impossible that by the time my birthday comes up, these new friends I've made will be able to achieve what those dearest to me have. I have too many walls and hoops that they will have to break down and jump through to get to the very core of what I am. Walls and hoops that only my friends and not my family have managed to somehow overcome. But maybe, just maybe, the imperfect mix of our various backgrounds and current (and hopefully, future) shared experiences would be enough to bind us together that in four months, these people will still be around to form my group of the 50 most special persons in my life. ê

The Pensive: Preparing for Hell

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/28/The-Pensieve-Preparing-For-Hell.-D
(Made before JPIA 50 hellweek, circa 2009)

A very appropriate title, since our hellweek will officially commence in two days. In the midst of my preparations, many thoughts surface in my mind, and to be quite honest, it's a bit more than I can handle right now. This situation I mainly attribute to the recent conclusion of yet another bloody examination period (otherwise known as the weekly torture caused by Econ 100.1 and BA 99.1,which suppressed all my thoughts),  and thus they are all just rushing in. That being said, I've chosen to enumerate as many thoughts as I possibly can.

1. Why do foreign shows dubbed to the Filipino language seem to lose their original quality? I mean, it's more or less the same dialogue, and the same story line, so why the degradation of the show in whole? Not only that, but why isn't there anything original on local television right now? I'd hate to think that this is all that our artists could come up with. Then again, this sabbatical from quality television can just be in response to the demand of the masses which once again makes me reevaluate my standards and realize that they are probably too high.

2. Why does Chinese Star Movies have to be in pay-per-view, while the other Star channels are already part of the package? I really find it unfair, especially since it seems too much of an expense for us to pay an additional monthly fee for that ONE additional channel because our television's   usually tuned in to the cartoon channels anyway. But still, I want my Asian movies fix!

3. How come the longer a guy is into a relationship, the more he takes on feminine traits? It's not that I'm actually complaining, but it's just a bit puzzling. As for this matter, I feel it more than I think about it, so there isn't really much I could say or do but sigh and miss that one person who's making me think thoughts that I myself do not understand.

4. Who is the tambay princess? I've checked the list of unique characters and there is still no Precious Tandoc, just me and Presh, and the only person with the last name of Tandoc is Darryl. Now, unless one of us got married to him [which both Presh and I vehemently deny], the only possibilty is that it's one of us, or that our tambay hours got combined [as well sa our lst names: Gan + Platon = Ganton or Plagan ], which would make it no wonder that whoever that Precious Tandoc is became the tambay princess.

5. Why do people want things? Why do we aspire to achieve our dreams? Why do we dream at all? What purpose do our dreams wish to achieve, aside from giving us purpose, and if a person doesn't dream at all, then what will happen? Will time stand still? Will he just die? Is there actually anyone who doesn't have dreams at all, consciously or otherwise?

6. What does life have in store for me before I turn 18? In the coming months, will I lose weight, will I grow taller? Will I have greater confidence in myself, or perhaps a greater sense of responsibility? How will my personality, and who I am change? Will I change at all, or will I just stagnate and be the same when I am 18, or 28, or 68 as I am now? I have no fears of growing old, I look forward to the challenge, to its perks and its rheumatisms. But what if I grow old but not change at all? What will happen if I stay in 2008 while the rest of the world moves on?

7. And of course, my all-time favorite: Paano naglalakad ang sirena?

Song: Nothing

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/30/New-Song-NOTHING

Today is, supposedly, study day. But I got sick, and I got a new Jem track, and my sisters got me to watch Camp Rock. So now, I'm trying to study, but I got a few words stuck in my head. Sayang naman if I don't use it. So here it is, another original song. I've got the lyrics nailed and a basic tune, but once again, no accompaniment whatsoever. Jeez, I so need to improve on using instruments. Music writing sucks when it's just in a capella... especially when your nose is shock-full of snot and what-have-yous and your voice is coming out all crazy. Adiway, here id is. Adyone cawes to put some music into it? :p [p.s. will anyone please be honest enough to tell me if it sucks??? please, please, PLEASE do..]

Precious Rochelle O. Gan
An Original Work

These are my words
This is my song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
I am nothing
I am no one
I am fine
I am fine

Looking in the mirror
I see my face
I'm invisible
I am nothing
Walking in a dazed crowd
No one even bothers if I'm alive
If I'm alive

These are my words
This is my song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
I am nothing
I am no one
But I'm fine
Yes I'm fine

 How do you define ordinary?
What is normal?
What is not?
Living with my own mistakes
Never giving any mind to what is there
I don't really care

These are my words
This is my song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
I am nothing
I am no one
I am fine
Mighty fine

From this second onward
Listening to what others have to say
What have you got to say?
No one really matters
Stand up from the shadows and take your place
No more time to waste

These are our words
This is our song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know

These are our words
This is our song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
We are nothing
We are no one
We are fine

The Worst Thing


They say it's better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. But the worst thing in life is not having loved, but being made to believe that you're actually capable of being loved, when the truth is that you are not capable of being loved by an person or creature, regardless of your affinity and sphere of living, for any extended period of time. To be made to think you were ever worth something, when you truly never were. Not now, not ever, not at all. That is the most painful thing at all.

Not to have loved and lost, but to realize that there was nothing for you to lose in the first place.

Leave Me Alone

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/35/Leave-Me-Alone
(Most Multiply posts will be coming from 2009. Forgive the misery in all 2009 reposts.)

These battle scars are proof of my pain. Maybe, just maybe, if I could materialize how much it hurts, the pain would cease. It doesn't matter what's the reason, I don't want to bear my heart out to the world. I just want to breathe again without my chest getting tighter and tighter. Still, all this time, I know the one thing I want, but I can never have it. I had it once, but you cannot insist a square to fit into a circle. One has to change its shape, but that's not the way for people. Right now, if I just had a choice, I'd throw my heart out and feed it to the kids begging on the streets. Hearts are for humans, and humans are social beings. Right now, I just want to be anywhere but here.

Quote for the day.

"I don't know what's sadder. This, or the truth that I actually feel freer and more relieved that it's now over between us."

Not everyone may understand what I'm saying, but the few who do, I hope you get what I'm trying to say. Please don't force me to come out. I don't want to be anywhere but in my own jail cell. I caused this to happen, I dealt the final blow to what marked the most meaningful times in my life. The worst thing about this is that though all this time he insisted I was not a burden, at the end I proved that once again I was right.

Delusion was never  good thing, but maybe if I had deluded myself a bit more he would have turned around. But I can't take anymore, so I gave him the reason he needed. My life as I know it is officially over. Please give me time to figure out if I still want to proceed.

Pre's Top 3 Pitfalls of Common Courtesy

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/39/Pres-Top-3-Pitfalls-of-Common-Courtesy

There are just some things that I fail to understand why we, as supposedly logical beings, keep on doing. thus...

Precious' Top 3 Pitfalls of Common Courtesy

Disclaimer: This entry will be in Taglish so as to simulate actual day-to-day conversations.

1. Injured girl is running late for her next class. Takes time to go up the stairs, to walk, and is basically mobility-impaired since she's injured. duh.

   Friend 1: Oh, ano nangyari sayo?

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to explain.

   Friend 1: Ah. So hanggang kailan ka ganyan?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain.

   Friend 1: Ah ok. Sige, ingat ka ha.

   Kiss kiss, hug hug,  beso beso takes at least 5 seconds. Girl passes Friend 1 and meets Friend 2.

   Friend 2: Oh, ano nangyari sayo?

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to explain.

   Friend 2: Ah. So hanggang kailan ka ganyan?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain.

   Friend 2: Ah ok. Sige, ingat ka ha.

   Now, imagine if the hall was filled with at least 5 friends of Girl. That would be nearly five minutes of conversation, notwithstanding the minimum 10 minutes to walk up the two flights of stairs (since she's injured. duh again). Girl would only be in time for attendance, but our time  computation hasn't yet included the time it would take Girl to pass from friend to friend and from (for this example) friend number 5 to the classroom.

2. Imagine something similar to the previous dialogue in a situation where you really, really, REALLY need to pee in the middle of a very stressful, time-consuming exam.

   Friend 1: Girl, musta na!

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to accomodate Friend 1's innocent, caring inquiry.

   Friend 1: Ah. May class ka pa?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain "Yup, exam sa ________. Magsi-CR lang ako."

   Friend 1: Ah ok. Sige, good luck!

   Kiss kiss, hug hug,  beso beso takes at least 5 seconds. Girl passes Friend 1 and meets Friend 2.

   Friend 2: Girl, musta na!

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to accomodate Friend 2's innocent, caring inquiry.

   Friend 2: Ah. May class ka pa?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain "Yup, exam sa ________. Magsi-CR lang ako."

   Friend 2: Ah ok. Sige, good luck!

Such conversation uses up at least one minute, depending on whoever Girl may be talking to. Now imagine if there were 3 friends on the way to the washroom, and 3 friends on the way back. Also take into consideration the travel time which we will right now set at 5 minutes back and forth from the washroom (since it would be fairly safe to deduce that if the washroom was too far away, a student would not dare to go there in the midst of the examination), as well as the minimum time a girl takes in using the lavatory, which is around 3 minutes. That will cause Girl to lose at least 14 minutes of her essential exam-taking time, which we all know is like having your toes pulled out.

3. Now, imagine an injured girl who has to pee really, really, REEEAAAAALLLLLYYYYY badly in the middle of a very stressful exam. Need I say more?

Of Blogs and Lies

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/41/Of-Blogs-and-Lies
(Forgive the masochistic post. This was a dark time. Haha.)

Since I've gained a mind of my own, I've stopped believing in blogging every little thing that happens to me. I've stopped dwelling on too many emotions, or zoning into any specific events.

A blog is like a window into the blogger's soul. His heart, his mind, is opened up to the entire world depending on how much information he decides to divulge. If that person says one thing too much and the entry is read by someone whose intent is to do harm, then the blogger has given that antagonist the most powerful weapon: the blogger himself.

I, for one, do not like being put on a pedestal. I do not enjoy the limelight, and the shadows is enough comfort for me. Even in high school productions, though my acting skills are competent, I'm much more comfortable working behind the scenes, despite being in charge of mostly everything with only two to three other people to work with. The only time I put myself in the spot light are voice and theater workshop recitals, and that was only to please my folks who paid so much for my moment on stage.

I do not wish to wear my heart on my shoulders, and though I am quite relieved that there are people now who can tell what my most basic emotion is at some moment in time, it also scares me. I do not know these people. At least,  not as much as I'd like to. That scares me.

Secrets, emotions, feelings. All these things are the most basic weapons traitors use to dismantle their enemies. With each passing day, these are the weapons I give out to the world. But I cannot live any other way. I feel like an even bigger person than the (big) person I already am right now. Like there's always a new idea, or a strong emotion that's trying to burst out of me. So uncontrollable, that it often leaves me at a daze.

I can't trust my emotions right now. Whatever I think, whatever I feel, if it's not definite, then I must not take it for such. Happy is happy, sad is sad, the middle is nothing. Stop thinking too much of things, stop hoping and wishing, stop caring. Just stop.

So when I say I'm okay, sometimes I am. Sometimes, I lie. Sometimes, I really can't tell. No matter what, I will say I'm okay, and I'll continue to aspire to reach that level of okay-ness that society finds acceptable.

Then again, I may be lying.


Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/49/PAMANA

“Isa nga hong baso ng yelong nakababad sa coke at isang pandesal na siksik sa keso.”

“Aba, isang bata lang ang alam kong umoorder ng ganyan.” Lumingon si Manang Elena sa upuang bago kong inokupa. 

“Tino? Tino, ikaw na ba yan? Ang laki-laki mo na, iho! Siguro’y mayaman ka na ngayon, ano?”

Sampung taon na mula nang huli kong nasilayan ang bayan ng San Rafael, ngunit halos wala pa ring nagbago.

Nariyan pa rin ang tindahan ni Mang Igme na paboritong tambayan ng mga lasenggo dito, at itong karinderya ni Manang Elena na amoy usok dahil sa dami ng imported na tabakong pinapadala ng kanyang anak na nagtatrabaho sa States. Mabuti nama’y kahit papaano’y umasenso na si Madam Josepina, rinig na rinig ang ingay ng may kalumaang aircon ng beauty parlor niyang dati’y small-time lang na barberohan.

“Heto na ang order mo, iho.” pumukaw ang boses ni Manang Elena sa aking pagmumuni-muni, “Ano nga palang ginagawa mo dito ngayon sa bayan natin?”

“Wala naman, ho. Dinala lang ako dito ng trabaho ko.” Kahit kaila’y hindi talaga ako magaling makipag-usap sa mga taong nakakaalam sa nakaraan ko. Hindi rin nawala ang pagiging mahiyain ko kapag nakikipagkuwentuhan sa mga nakatatanda sa bayan namin, lalo na kay Manang Elena. Palibhasa’y hindi ko makalimutan ang kahihiyan ko nung nahuli niya kami ng matalik kong kaibigang si Cris na kumuha ng pagkain sa karinderya niya ng walang paalam noong grade 1. Hindi lingid sa kaalaman ni Manang Elena na bihira lang kung makapagtanghalian kami, at dinaan na lang niya sa tawa habang pilit na binabalik sa aming mga munting kamay ang dalawang piraso ng tinapay na sinubukan naming nakawin. “Manang Elena, si Cris nga po pala, kamusta na siya? Nandito pa ba siya?”

“Oo, di naman siya umalis. Ayun, hindi pa rin nagbabago. Tulad noong bata pa kayo, ang dami dami niyong pangarap sa buhay. Gusto mo ba siyang makita? Madalas yun nagpupunta dito para maghapunan. Hintayin mo na lang, ha?”

Una kaming nagkakilala ni Cris noong pitong taong gulang ako. Dalawang taon ang tanda niya sa akin ngunit hindi ito pansin dahil sa pagiging maliit at patpatin niya. Bagong lipat sila noon, dalawa nalang sila ng kanyang ina mula nang iniwan sila ng kanyang ama para sumapi sa rebelde at hindi na muling binalikan. Maliit lang ang San Rafael at walang nananatiling sikreto, kaya’t alam ng lahat ang sitwasyon ni Cris. Madalas siyang tuksuhin ng mga kalaro namin, iniwan daw siya ng tatay niya dahil natakot ito kay Cris na mukha daw kalansay. Madalas siyang mapaaway at ang mga sugat niya mula dito ang dumadagdag sa pagiging nakakatakot ng batang si Cris. Ako lang ang hindi nanukso sa kanya, palibhasa’y hindi ko rin halos kilala ang aking ama. Bihira ko lang siya nakikita at lagi niya kaming iniiwanan dahil sa kanyang trabaho. Kung saan-saan kasi siya nadedestino para makipaglaban. Kung nasaan ang gulo, nandoon din si ama. Sa mura naming edad, hindi namin naisip na maari pa lang magtagpo ang aming mga ama sa labanan. Mahiyain ako at mahinang bata, siya lang ang kaibigan ko dito noon. Kung tutuusin, noong panahong iyo’y ako lang rin ang kaibigan niya.

“Cris, bata ka!” nagising ako sa pag-iisip-isip ng garalgal na boses ni Manang Elena. “Haliko, iho. May naghahanap sayo.” Dahan-dahan akong tumayo mula sa aking kinauupuan. Kamusta na kaya si Cris ngayon? Madami na kayang nagbago sa kanya? Naaalala pa kaya niya ako? “Tino, ikaw ba yan? Pare! Ilang taon ka na bang nawala? Bakit ngayon ka lang bumisita?” Isang malaking ngiti ang dahan-dahang lumitaw sa mukha kong kanina’y puno ng kaba sa muli naming pagkikita ng tangi kong kaibigan.

“Isang dekada nang nagdaan. Buti nakilala mo pa ko. Eto, mabuti naman ako. Wala pa ring asawa. Ikaw, siguro nakatuluyan mo na yung nililigawan mo nung third year tayo, no? Ano nga ba pangalan nun, Jenny ba?” matagal na nga akong nawalay kay Cris, pero dumadating pa din ng natural ang pang-aasar ko sa kanya.

“Tol, alam mo namang ikaw gusto nun e. Pareho lang tayo, malaya pa rin.” Tawa ni Cris, “Anong pinagkakaabalahan mo ngayon, Tino? Anong nangyari sayo mula nang umalis kayo ng ina mo? Ano bang nangyari? Ang bilis niyo kasing umalis tapos wala man lang kaming balita mula sa inyo.” Parang wala pa ring nagbago. Magaan pa din ang pakiramdam namin sa isa’t isa. Sa sandaling iyon, pakiramdam ko’y nagbalik kami sa pagiging kinse anyos at tila isang iglap lang ang lumipas na sampung taon.

Gabi na’t nag-iinuman kami sa tinitirahang kubo ni Cris sa gitna ng palayan. Tahimik dito, marahil kaya’t dito niya napiling tumira. Kahit kaila’y pareho kaming hindi nahilig sa ingay. Pareho na din kaming ulilang buo ngayon, siguro kaya’t mapapansin ang kalat ng lugar. Binatang-binata pa nga talaga.

“Hoy, Tino. Kinakausap kita. Ano na namang nasa isip mo?” Napatingin lang ako’t ngumiti, senyales na hindi ako nakikinig. Kamot-ulo na lamang si Cris at inulit ang tanong, palibhasa’y sanay na siya sa dali kong mawala sa usapan, “Tinatanong kita kung anong dahilan ng biglang niyong pag-alis ng Ermats mo.”

“A, namatay si tatay. Alam mo namang hindi namin kayang bayaran yung upa dun sa bahay namin kung wala ang sweldo niya.” Kibit-balikat ko siyang sinagot. Mahirap mang paniwalaan, wala lang talaga sa akin ang pagkamatay ni Tatay. Di ko naman kasi siya halos nakapiling para mangulila noong nawala siya. “May mga kamag-anak si Tatay sa Maynila, doon kami nanirahan ni Inay. Naging malungkutin si Inay at di nagtagal sinundan niya si Tatay. Tumigil ako sandali ng pag-aaral pero nakapagtapos naman ako. Sa katunayan, isang taon na akong nagtatrabaho.” Yung mga huli kong salita’y kinailangan kong ulitin, sumabay kasi sila sa pag-hikab ko.

“Ang aga-aga pa, inaantok ka na, pare? Napagod ka ata sa biyahe. Saan ka ba nanggaling?”

“D’yan lang sa kampo namin sa San Ignacio. Pahinga ako ngayon, pero babalik din ako sa susunod na linggo. Galing akong Tarlac, yun yung huli kong destino bago rito.”

“Kampo? Nagpulis ka ba, Tino?”

“Hindi, nagsundalo ako. Tinyente, di tulad ni Tatay na hanggang Sarhento lang.” Tumaas ang kilay ni Cris, siguro’y hindi makapaniwala sa sinabi ko. Palibhasa’y siya ang matalik kong kaibigan. Sundalo ang lolo ko, sundalo din ang tatay ko. Yun ang dahilan kung bakit bihira namin siyang nakikita. Gayunpaman, wala akong galit sa mga sundalo. Kung naging absent man si Tatay sa buhay ko, pinili niya iyon. Madami akong kilalang kapwa sundalo ngayon na linggo-linggo nagpapadala ng mga sulat sa kanilang mga anak, at tuwing uwi’y nag-iipon para malibre ang pamilya. Hindi katulad ni Tatay.

Nagbalik sa normal ang mukha ni Cris, at mukhang may mahalagang sasabihin. “A... pare, tutal naman isa ka na palang tinyente, baka pwede mo akong tulungan?”

Sus, yun lang pala. “Oo ba. Anong problema? May nanggugulo bang mga rebelde dito? Hindi pa naman ligtas itong tinitirhan mo. Mag-isa ka sa bahay na ito sa gitna ng bukid, malayo ang susunod na bahay. Huwag kang mag-alala. Magpapadala ako ng ilang tao ko dito. Di mo ata natatanong, big tim na ako.”

Natawa si Cris, bihira kasi ako magyabang noon. “Hindi, ayos lang ako dito. Bago ka lang kasi sa kampong ‘yan pare. Hindi mo pa alam ang mga baho ng ibang sundalo niyo.” Ano daw? “Tanungin mo ang kahit sino dito sa bayan natin. Kumakain sila sa mga karinderya pero hindi nagbabayad, kinukuha nila yung mga paninda ni Mang Igme na walang paalam, ginugulo ang mga kustomer sa parlor. Mbauti sana kung iyon lang...”

“Teka, teka, pare.” Nagugulumihanan kong sagot, “Sobra naman yata yung mga binibintang mo. Saan mo nalaman yang mga yan? Tanod ka ba dito?”

“Ah, parang ganun na nga.” Simula ni Cris, “May binuo kaming samahan dito, tinawag naming ‘Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan’. Hindi na kasi maaasahan ang mga alagad ng gobyerno dito, wala nang ginagawa kundi magpalapad ng papel sa mga mamamayan, pero wala naman silang nadudulot ng mabuti. Kami ang gumagawa ng trabaho ng mga tanod, kami din ang nagpaparating ng mga hinaing ng taumbayan. Kami ang...”

Wala akong namalayan hanggang sa nasuntok ko si Cris. “Walanghiya ka, Cris. Rebelde ka pala!”

Nanlaki ang mata ni Cris at bigla siyang tumayo mula sa pinagbagsakan niya sa sahig. “Hindi ako rebelde, Tino! Isa lang akong mamamayang nagmamalasakit sa kapwa!”

“Anong nagmamalasakit? Hindi ba’t kayo yung nanggulo sa kampo namin noong isang linggo? At binugbog pa nga isang kasamahan mo yung isa sundalo namin noong nagpunta siya sa karatig-bayan! Ano bang problema niyo, ha?”

“Wala kaming problema! Yung binugbog ni Kaloy, sinubukang halayin yung kapatid niyang dalaga!”

“ Sinungaling Puro ka palusot! Akala ko ba hindi natin tatanggapin ang pamana ng mga ama natin? Bakit hindi ka tumupad sa pangako?” binuhat ko ang upuan at binato kay Cris, hindi siya nakailag at bumagsak siya sa parehong lugar na binagsakan niya kanina.

“Hindi ako nagpapalusot, Tino! Hindi talaga ako rebelde!” Kung ano man ang sinasabi ni Cris, wala na akong naririnig maliban sa aking paghinga at ang mahinang tawanan sa may di kalayuan. Inikot ko ang lamesa at lumuhod sa harap niya, at pinaulanan ng suntok. Noong una’y hindi siya pumatol, nang biglang may nagbago sa paraan niya ng pagtingin sa akin at muli siyang tumayo at sinipa ako ng malakas. “Tino, gumising ka nga! Hindi lahat ng aktibista ay nagiging mga rebelde!” Binato ko siya ng isang boteng nahulog mula sa mesa, at pagharap muli sa’kin ni Cris ay dumudugo na ang kanyang ilong. “Tino! Hindi kami rebelde! Hindi ako rebelde! Hindi ako gumaya sa Tatay ko, gaya ng hindi ka gumaya sa Tatay mo. Alam ko yun. Sundalo ka, pero hindi ka gumaya sa kanya, dahil iba ka. Iba rin ako, Tino. Ibahin mo ako sa Tatay ko!” pinatid ko si Cris at bumagsak siya sa sahig, hindi siya umiimik ngunit hindi ako natakot. Nawalan lang naman siya ng malay, hindi nakamamatay ang pagbagsak sa sahig.

Sa gitna ng pag-aaway nami’y hindi ko namalayan ang tatlong lalaking nagtatago sa anino ng isang malaking punong mula sa bintana ng bahay ni Cris. Sa sandaling katahimikang sumunod sa pag-aaway namin ni Cris ay naalala ko ang mga nagtatawanan noong nag-uusap kami. “Tingnan niyo nga naman yan. Nagpunta tayo dito para dukutin si Tinyente de Guzmn, e handa na pala silang magpatayan nung pinuno ng SNM,” sabi ng isa sa dalawa niya pang kasama. Kasing bilis ng paglitaw ng galit ko kay Cris ang pagkawala nito. Nangibabaw ang pagiging sundalo ko. Tungkulin muna bago emosyon. Hinila ko ang nakahandusay na katawan ni Cris habang gumagapang malapit sa bintana at sinampal siya para magising. Bumukas ang mga mata ni Cris at sinubukang tumayo ngunit pinigilan ko siya. “Huwag kang gumalaw!” pabulong kong sinabi, “May mga tao sa labas. Tignan mo kung kilala mo sila.”

Sumilip si Cris sa bintana at muling sumalampak sa puwesto namin. Parang namumukhaan ko yung matangkad. Yun si Ka Ambo.” Noong huli akong nasa San Rafael, si Ka Ambo ang isa sa mga pinakamatagal na nagsasaka sa lupain ni Don Salazar. “Tinanggal siya sa trabaho tatlong taon nang nakalilipas. Nahuli kasi siyang nagnanakaw ng bigas. Dalawang araw na kasing hindi kumakain yung mga apo niyang iniwan ng namatay niyang anak,” pagpapatuloy ni Cris. Ngayong pansamantalang tumigil ang paglalaban namin ni Cris ay bumalik ang pagiging parang magkapatid namin. Sumandal ako sa tabi niya. “Bakit hindi sila nakakain?” tanong ko. “Pinusta ni Ka Ambo yung lahat ng sweldo niya sa sabungan, kaso natalo yung mga manak na pambato niya. Kalagitnaan pa yun ng buwan kaya hindi pa sila sinuswelduhan uli.”

“Kasalanan naman pala niya,” simula ko. Umiling si Cris, “Kasalanan niya man, hindi ganoon ang pananaw niya. Kahit man lang raw sana limusan siya ng ipapakain sa mga apo niya, imbis na tanggalin siya sa trabaho. Para kay Ka Ambo, responsibilidad iyon ni Don Salazar. Hindi din siya pinautang ng kooperatiba dahil marami na siyang utang dito. Namatay yung dalawa niyang apo matapos ng isang linggong walang kinakain. Pagkatapos noo’y hindi na namin siya nakita pang muli. Sayang, kung nakumbinse sana namin siyang sumapi sa samaha’y malaki sanang naitulong niya, madami siyang mga kilalang maimpluwensyang tao dito sa atin. Kaso hindi niya man lang tinanggap ang alok namin ng pagtulong.”

 “Kung ganoon, bakit nandito siya ngayon? At bakit hindi siya tinulungan ni Don Salazar?”

“Dahil pareho kayo ng inisip ni Don Salazar. Kasalanan naman talaga ni Ka Ambo kung bakit wala siyang mapakain sa mga anak niya. Pero responsibilidad pa rin naman ni Don Salazar na tulungan ang mga nagtatrabaho sa kanya, lalo na ang mga tulad ni Ka Ambo. Sa mga sweldo nila galing kay Don Salazar nanggagaling ang pang-araw araw nilang ikinabubuhay. Ang mga katulad ni ka Ambo ang dahilan ng pagbuo namin sa samahan, para makibaka para sa pangkalahatang ikabubuti ng mga kababayan natin. Kung papapiliin kami’y hindi kami mag-rarally o manggugulo sa kampo ninyo, ngunit hindi kami makapapayag na may mang-aabuso sa mga mamamayan ng San Rafael.”

“Tino, hindi mo ba nakikita? Hindi ako nagrerebelde. Nakikiusap lang ako at ang ibang miyembro ng samahn na huwag sanang tapakan ang mga maliliit na tao. Hindi mo ba naaalala ang pangarap natin noong bata pa tayo? Sabi natin ay tatanggihan natin ang pamana ng pagpapabaya ng mga ama natin at babaguhin natin ang mundo. Iyon lamang ang–” Hindi ako makapagsalita, hiyang hiya ako sa hindi ko pag-intindi sa matalik kong kaibigan. Niyakap ko nalang ng mahigpit si Cris. “Hindi kami rebelde, Tino,” pagpapatuloy niya na mas masigla ngayong bati na kami, “Masdan mo ang mga lalaking nasa labas ng bahay ko, may dalang mga armas at handang makuha ang gusto nila sa ano mang paraan. Sila ang mga rebelde. Sila ang mga kalaban mo, Tino, hindi ako. Tulad mo, hindi ko tinanggap ang pamana ng–”

Hindi ni Cris natapos ang sinasabi niya dahil sa sandaling iyo’y dumungaw si Ka Ambo sa bintana kung saa’y sa ilalim kami nakaupo ni Cris. “Mga ginoo, kamusta?” kita sa kanyang ngiti ang nabubulok niyang mga ngipin, “Tinyente de Guzman, nandito ka pala. Halika’t sumama ka sa’min.” Hindi ko namalaya’y kumuha na pala si Cris ng isang kutsilyong tumalsik mula sa mesa noong nag-aaway kami at sinaksak niya ang braso ni Ka Ambo. “Tino! Tumakbo ka na!” tinulak ako ni Cris papuntang pinto, sa kinatatayuan ko’y natatanaw ko ang mga papalapit na kasamahan ni Ka Ambo.

“Cris! Anong ginagawa mo? Halika na, tumakas na tayong dalawa. Magpapadala ako ng reinforcements.”

“Tino! Huwag na! Umalis ka na, at ako nang makikipag-usap sa kanila.”


“Hindi kinakailangan ng dahas para masolusyonan ang lahat. Papakinggan ako ni Ka Ambo. Hindi man niya alam, kinauutangan niya ako ng loob. Hindi niya ako sasaktan. Umalis ka na!”

Tila ba isang panaginip ang gabing iyon. Sa mga sumunod na araw ay lagi akong bumabalik sa karinderya ni Manang Elena, ngunit hindi ko nakikita si Cris. Huli kong nabalitaa’y kinuha siyang hostage ng mga rebelde, ngunit hindi namin sila mahanap. Matapos ng ilang buwa’y pinalaya rin nila si Cris dahil wala naman daw siyang naging atraso sa kanya. Nasa Mindanao na ako noong mga panahong iyon.

Pagkatapos ng sampung taon, isang gabi ko lang muli nakasama ang matalik kong kaibigan, at nauwi pa iyon sa isang engkwentro. Gayunpama’y masaya akong maalala na pareho naming tinalikuran ang mga pamana ng aming mga ama na pagkawalang bahala at paghahamak sa kapwa.

Cris, siguro nga hindi tayo tinadhanang magkasama ng landas, pero magkakabangga pa tayo muli. Madaming beses pa. Magkaibang panig, ngunit pareho pa rin ang layun. Sa ngayon, diyan ka na muna sa parte mo ng mundo, dito naman ako sa parte ko. Baguhin natin ang mundo.