Monthly Archives: March 2009

GARGLE

A poem I wrote about one-night stand…

Gargle
Feb. 15, 2008 (Fri)

Early morning

The morning after
A one night stand
How does one feel?
This is the real deal

Random scenes
In playback mode
A lure to remember
Last night’s philander

Guilty as hell
Bent on anger
A life wasted
A heart cheated

Mirror, mirror
Look me in the eye
Am I the fairest still?
Sure you can see, but can you feel?

Rock-a-bye
Put guilt back to sleep
That was one night only
That was one night only

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Filed under Fountain Pen, Poet, Interrupted

Suicide Note

Outpouring of emotions too deep for sorrow,
Bearing of souls too abysmal for salvation, and
Parting of words too profound for goodbye.

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Filed under Poet, Interrupted, Suicide Note

Bar, Interrupted

The sleepless nights,
the send-off,
the blood bath,
the homecoming,
the endless waiting,
and the end that must justify the means.

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Filed under 2008 Philippine Bar Exam, Fountain Pen, Poet, Interrupted

2008 Bar Exam Result: IF IT’S A NO

The results of the 2008 bar exam is due for release days from now. I am anxious.
I stayed in manila for months, out of anyone’s sight. I fossilized in my QC-HQ.
I preoccupied myself with reading, movies, weight management, and spiritual devotion.
I consciously developed good habits, revelled in my new rituals, and communed with God on a daily basis.
I planned on staying here until after the results are out. I was doing just fine.

But as the countdown begins, the pressure is mounting – I’m beginning to doubt my courage.
Every time the breaking news are flashed on tv, I would stop breathing.
Some days, I can think of nothing but the bar result. They follow me even in my sleep.
I’ve seen the two sides of the coin, so to speak. I’ve dreamed of flunking and I’ve dreamed of passing the bar.
The flunking bit was far more realistic, the uneasy feeling stayed with me long after I rose from my bed.
Now I’m really shaken. The courage I had before is being replaced by fear. Fear of what’s about to happen.
Fear that my heart might not withstand the impact. I need a cushion of protection. I need my family. I’m going home.

Right then and there, I booked a flight to Catarman.
Besides, I rationalized, if it’s a ‘no’ I’ll have to go get my books anyway. I can’t avoid them forever.
It’s not their fault if I fail. They’re not the enemy.
Since they’re not my enemy, they should be my ally. So I’ll fight this out with them at my side.
That’s what families are for. Win or lose, pass or fail, they’re involved in this.
Fact is, they’ll be associated with my victory or defeat.
Sink or swim, we’ll be in the same water – the least I can do is let them in on the boat ride.
And a hell of a ride this one’s going to be. The results are due for release sometime next week.
I’m just hoping that I would be in Catarman before the result is out. The anticipation is killing me.

But supposing it’s a no? What if my name’s not in http://www.sc.judiary.gov.ph official list of 2008 Bar Exam passers?
Or if that site is busy, what if I Google my name in the internet and it yields ‘0 result’? What then?
Oh I’d be really crashed. I’d be disappointed. I’d cry. I’d go to my room and stay there for 40 hours.
I’d talk to no one. I’d sleep on it and dream about it, and when I wake up I’ll be extremely thankful that it was just a dream.
But then I’d realize it was not a dream. A new wave of pain would rush through me. I’d try to sleep back, but I couldn’t lull myself into sleep.
I’d look at the sky. I’d search for God in the clouds. I’d seek enlightenment from the stars.
The cold night’s wind would breeze through my face. I’d be reminded of the cold reality like a slap in the face.
Now that’s the truth I’d try to forget every night, the same truth I’d have to wake up to everyday.
Unfortunately, this is also the kind of truth that people (outside my family) will find hard to forget.
I may ascend in the social ladder by some notable deeds or good fortune,
but a mere mention of this truth (a major screw-up in the past, each of us has one, this happens to be mine)
and I’d plummet to the bottom of the feud chain.
Time heals all wounds, true, but time can’t do anything about the stigma that’s been indelibly printed in my hands and feet.

But I can do something about my growling stomach. I haven’t eaten since the news came out.
I’d go downstairs to grab some food. Starving myself was not how I imagined my death.
I’d eat ice cream – double dutch, extra creamy, on the container, without spoon – the kind reserved only for the major major heartaches and low times. Flunking the bar exam is so in that category, I deserve a gallon.
So there I eat with gusto the cold treat. I think of nothing but the explosions of taste in my mouth.
I sting my tongue and shock my teeth with each bite of coldness, hoping to numb the deeper pain I feel inside.

What did I miss out? Where did I fall short?
Those who did make it were good students, but I had more potential than them.
Intellectually speaking, I was a far cry from them. Don’t you dare remind me about modesty.
That’s the last thing that could make me feel good at moments like this. Never had I felt this low.
Sure there was one time, when my heart was seared in open flame. That was my first broken heart, but that was different.
My heart’s been fed to the dogs alright, but I survived it with barely noticeable a scar.
This one, though, would definitely leave an ugly scar right on my face.
I’be branded for life – a bar flunker, a social outcast, a failure, a loser.

Thankfully I’ve had some practice on how to lose once or twice, on a smaller scale of course.
It taught me that everything shall pass. To keep holding on, never give up, for the best part is yet to come.
If anything, this bar experience (from pre-bar review, to the actual bar, and to my post-bar retreat) drew me closer to God.
I had to fail so He could catch me – so I could feel His power, and so I could learn to trust Him.
The Bar is so great a voyage that one cannot embark half-heartedly, I know that now.
If you’re half prepared, full faith – you’ll capsize midway (there are exceptions of course).
If you’re fully prepared, but lack faith – you’ll run aground before you even get past through the shallow waters
(full effort is not full victory, unfortunately).
If you’re half prepared, and of lukewarm faith – expect to hit the iceberg and soon declare mayday.
Lucky for me I grew up in a coastal town, I don’t have a problem swimming to the shore if it ever gets to that.
What I worry about are the sharks deep under that will come charging at the slightest hint of blood, of injury, of defeat.
A feeding frenzy they will be, and I – in the middle of it all as the humbled prey.
Spare me dear Lord…if I have to die, let it be quick and painless.
If it’s a no, it’s up to You.

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Filed under 2008 Philippine Bar Exam, Kill All The Lawyers, Suicide Note

Deflowered in the Rubble

(This is the bastardized version of Conrado de Quiro’s Flowers in the Rubble.)

Reading de Quiro’s take on reality just made me feel nauseated.
My heart cried for change but my head sniggered who am I kidding? The world is too big to cover all grounds, to house all street children, to feed all the empty bellies. At first, i read his craft because of his good writing style, using metaphor to get his point across. I viewed it more in the objective eye of a literary reader. But as his words started to seep through, things began to level in a more personal plane. Objectivity was tossed aside.

I hated his guts, it was official. He’s a pessimist, an idealistic prick, criticizing every public official, government policies, economic schemes that suits his folly, even department stores were not spared. I thought here’s a man who shies from popular ken to get attention. But as i read further, i felt a different stirring inside me. I couldn’t quite put my fingers on it at first. Then it became clear what was so unsettling. I hated the writer not because he was biased in his writing but because he had the audacity to tell the truth.

Truth hurts — everytime. This particular truth hit me to the core. The cold truth about the hungry children dying out there in the streets while I sleep soundly in my soft bed — orphaned lot who lost their family, innocence, trust in the humanity of mankind, and all hope that someone (anyone) will care about their plight. In this society which embraces apathy as a virtue, that truth is like a slap in the face.

He writes with raw anger at the government, he haunts the conscience of our country’s leaders who turned blind and deaf to the pleas and cries of the oppressed. My heart bled as I read, how much more he who wrote it. I admire de Quiros for being brave enough to embark on a duel with his own conscience. His writing made me feel guilty about my own lifestyle. I normally shy away from reading anything that stirs any feelings. But this book is unlike any book i’ve read.

A good novel usually leaves me by the end seeking for answers. What happens next? But this book made me ask myself what will I do next? I guess the difference lies in the fact that this book pushes you to get involved in the moment, to move out of the pages and take to the streets, do what has to be done. After i’ve put the book down, i can’t make the uneasy feeling go away. I can’t blame those people who seek for answers up in the mountains. Maybe it’s their way to appease the voice inside them, the voice that won’t let them sleep in the night, haunting their dreams, or wakes them up at midnight breaking in cold sweat. But i wont take that radical a step.

Much as my anger is raw and my chest is heaving, i have to let good reason take control. In my own way, i am waging a war against poverty. I dont want to feel guilty everytime i look at a lovely dress in a department store. Those things make me feel good about myself. But one look at the beggar sitting across the store with tattered clothes and grime-soaked feet, and all good feeling disappears. What’s left is only self-contempt. Woe to you De Quiros! You crumpled my tiny little world like a piece of badly-written poetry. Maybe i can just be like all the rest, shut my eyes and muffle those cries for help. Or i can stop reading de Quiros altogether? But that won’t solve the problem in the long run.

Woe to you de Quiros for making me feel this low about myself. But i guess only when i’m this low will i be able to have a better view of what’s really happening in the world below. From this plane, even the slight sound of a growling stomach can be defeaning. I feel helpless that i can’t row the boat of change with my bare hands, even worse, that the people in higher position, those equipped with the resources, power, and knowledge to cure this epidemic or at least treat its symptoms, are turning cold shoulders on this. I’m not the kettle here. I am as black as it can be. In fact, i’m a self-centered bitch. I only want to make this feeling of self-guilt disappear and go back to my care-free shopping days. If this is the only way to make al those asses move and do something about this epidemic, then it would do well for all of us to be a little selfish. It is not selfishness, but indifference that makes this world cold.

De Quiros deflowered me in the rubble. He assaulted me with his onslaught of ideas. All pretenses were stripped down, so i can feel his reality against my damp nakedness. He eased me down by literary techniques and aimed for penetration. His thrusts of truth shook my entire being. I will never be the same again. I don’t expect to have my naivete back. You can’t unbreak a broken hymen, but at least give me back my clothes to cover myself from this cold truth. I’m exposed, no thanks to you. But you can argue that it had to be done so that I would be more aware of how corrupt the world around me really is. I guess this is a classic case of how the end must justify the means.

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Filed under Fountain Pen, Kill All The Lawyers, Politically Correct

Love (in)Justice

2 years, 7 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days.
That is the length of time we’ve been together as friends and lovers.
Not counting of course, the not insignificant number of “on” and “off” episodes we had especially during our first year.
But thanks to pardon, we have the legal presumption in our favor.
The law presumes the non-interruption of possession over property unjustly lost but legally recovered.
Following the same line of reasoning, love presumes the non-interruption of relationships unceremoniously ended but amiably reconciled.

2 years, 7 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days.
That would fall under prision correcional minimum, if we view it as the duration of time we served sentence.
Considering the frequent misunderstandings and the petty quarrels we had over little things, we might as well consider our being together as self-inflicted injury.
But you handled the situation better than i did, which I’d like to think is excusable since i am a first-time offender while you are a repeat offender (translate: a person who was in a previous relationship).

2 years, 7 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days.
That is also the time that passed before this realization hit me.
I am Yin and you are Yang. I am Yin, female, soft, receptive, dark, empty.
You are Yang, male, illuminating, firm, creative, constructive.
There is a delicate balance between these forces that must be maintained to put order in everything.
If we are in harmony, everything looks beautiful, peace and love prevails.
Imbalance brings sleepless nights, mental anguish, and sufferings.
Lady Justice aptly used the balance to symbolize justice – to represent the equalization of forces.

Lady Love and Lady Justice share this mark: they are both “blind” to the ways of the world.
The Patroness of justice has blindfolded herself to avoid seeing
who is on the one side of the scale and who is in the other;
to shield her judgment from being swayed to favor the rich or to pity the poor.
In the same way that the Goddess of Love refuses to see with her eyes,
but only with her heart.
Only the heart can unravel what is invisible to the eyes.
While the eyes may see luster and physical endowments,
the heart can weigh a person’s inner qualities,
it can penetrate through the layers of a person’s character.
So don’t wonder if someone tells you “Magaan ang loob ko sa’yo”.
Only the heart can measure another heart.
In choosing its mate, it picks the one whose rhythm is in accord with its own.

I am no Confucius. But it doesn’t require his mind to recognize that ours is love – hearts beating in a rhythm as old as time. Balance in its purest form.
So take my hand, let us dance and celebrate life together. Yin and Yang. You and I.

With Lady Love as my witness, here’s to praying that Lady justice may render judgment thiswise:
Reclusion perpetua in brazos y bezos.
(Life imprisonment in each other’s hugs and kisses).

(P.S. I received a copy of the decision 4 months after I wrote this.
The verdict? Petition DENIED. Yuppidee, we broke up.)

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Filed under Fountain Pen, Kill All The Lawyers, Politically Correct

SCREAMO

Odd how loud music and high emotions blend perfectly together.
On their own, they are volatile and boisterious
but together, they meld to each other like silver and alloy.
Since there are no spaces between notes, there’s no gap for thinking.
You can just forget about everything.
You focus on the music and let all those other thoughts just slip away.
There’s a quick escape from all the lumpy issues – from all of the day’s reality.
You head-bang with the heavy drum beat and scream out the angry lyrics.
Let the music take you and drive everything else away.
That’s release without responsibility –
a radical way to destress,
declutter thoughts,
and depart from reality, at full volume!

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Filed under Fountain Pen, Poet, Interrupted, Suicide Note