Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Naaayos mo ang mga sira sirang gamit ko.
Yung laptop ko na dati ay madilim ang display, napaliwanag mo. Yung sana'y malamig ko na pasko, napag init at napa lagablab mo. Ang makulimlim kong buhay ay napapaliwanag mo ng bonggang bongga.
Yung mga halik mo nakakapawi ng mga lungkot at takot ko. Yung yakap mo, nakakapag aalis ng inis at pagod ko.
Yung cell phone ko na matagal ko na hindi magamit dahil ayaw gumana, naayos at napagana mo. Pati ang gutay gutay ko na na mga pinapangarap sa buhay, naipagtatagpi tagpi mo. Yung mga basag basag ko na na mga hinahangad at di na pinaniniwalaan, na iis-is at napapakinang mo ulit.
Masisisi mo ba ako kung ayaw ko na ikaw pakawalan pa? Na ayaw ko na ikaw ma experience ng iba? Na gusto ko na lang umuwi sa mga yakap at halik mo?
Masisisi mo ba ako kung gustuhin kong sirain na lang ng bonggang bongga ang buhay ko at ipaayos na lang sa yo?
Mas sira sira kaya ang buhay mo kesa sa kin hehehehe
Charing kanding nga nag tambling!
Etchos lucos nalumos sa ginamos!
I love you... Puta ka! Magsawa ka sa iba!
Monday, December 27, 2010
The second ex to be notified is actually more complex and touchy. If it could have been avoided all together, I would. I left a message in his Facebook account. I left my number and asked him to call me or text me so I could call him. I did not want to just drop the bomb like that on facebook messaging. Things like these need a voice. He replied belatedly with a message confirming if it was indeed me writing him a message. I understand. He's an 'otaku' or a tech geek. He is very wary of spams and scams on line. Besides, after the devastating break up, I imposed a total block and freeze over. No contacts. No news. No whatsoever. I refrained from making online trails that he may be able to follow for at least 18 months to get off his radar. No nothing. Only a few months ago was I surprised to find a friend request on facebook from him.
See, JM was his 'kuma-chan,' remember? Yes, he was THAT ex. Well, then we exchanged a few SMS' and I kept it within JM's parameters. No 'how are you's,' no how's life treating you's, just JM this and that. En route JM's burial he called me. He said he just got off the office and was asking where I was. I told him I was with the funeral caravan. He was asking directions and wanted to go but it was too far for him. See, I never asked him to meet up or whatever. I said what I had to say. That JM was gone, where he lies in state, when the funeral would be, and it would be up to him if he wants to make time and pay his final respects. I have done my job. Whatever he does next is none of my concerns and needs not my involvement in any way.
I was surprised to receive a call from him two days after JM's funeral. What now? He said he wanted to see me. He said it was his last work day for the week. He wanted to have coffee. I hesitated. This has nothing to do with JM. Then again, if it's true that I am over him really, then why fear a meet up. Fine!
And so, Starbuck's 6750 it was. I came before him because, though he works in Makati, he does not know his way around. I am now more geographically and navigationally adept than him in the metro. He said he was coming with a workmate friend. Tsch! Buffer! What a scaredy cat! Afraid to face the batchoy all by himself. Well...
I saw him and friend approach from the other side of the road. He looked a bit unkempt than he used too. Heavier, gruffier, and well... pardon me... dirtier. Tsk! The lover, if he has any, has poor 'hubby keeping skills.'
He approached my table. I stood up. Saw him open his arms wide and I just let myself be swept into his embrace. The world did not really stop like a sappy romantic flick. It was warm, it was nice and tight, and his hands and arms still knew the nooks and crannies of my body for maximum contact. No. No death defying nuclear meltdown. Not until he casually leaned his head sideways and comfortably found the perfect spot on my shoulder, nuzzling my neck with his stubble, just like he used to. Then boom!
And so, we talked. Why this was so, why such was such. He vehemently denied that the reason for the break up was a third party. They never became them. He said the real reason was that because he chickened out. He got so overwhelmed by our plans. We were literally on the edge and he got afraid to take the plunge. The leap of faith! He chickened out on us.
He went on to tell me how he felt that his life after me was one big melodramatic karma. Misfortunes, one after the other. The only thing that softened the blows was that he felt he deserved everything, for breaking my heart into fragments and smithereens. I felt my cheeks dampen. Too bad, but...
SO I agreed to come home with him. He is living in their family's ancestral house now, good stable job, nice hobbies and more or less more matured and driven life. But! The Luis Karma.
He was on the tail end of a degrading and disintegrating 3-year relationship. Dependency, bad sex and abuse of favors and kindness. The whole clan of the BF was practically living in their house. Bottomline... Bad sex.
When the doors closed we were all over each other. God! He still knows my body. Where to touch me, how to touch me, when to and when not to. Oh yes, there was sex. Mind blowing sex!
Death defying, soul severing, cosmic explosive sex! From the back of the door to the stairs, to the couch, to the showers, to the tub, to bed and beyond. All with the boyfriend and the family in the house and some visiting friends.
He said that his boyfriend's idea to save the bad sex was third wheeling. At first he liked the sexual release but later found it so dirty and started hating himself for it. I would have none of his drama. His situation, his luck, his call. I'm here to just get what I can take. After rounds of sex, while on cool down, he handed me a keychain. In his purry sex-logged voice he asked me to move my things and stay with him here for as long as I need until I get back to my trips for my Dad. How can I say no? Amazing sex? Oh and yes, the boyfriend 'pawed' me too. I consented to it so that if and when we get caught, I'd have a ready slap back. Hello, so you have now become the queen and role model of sexual purity and fidelity? And yes, we did get caught.
Days later, he finally broke up with the boyfriend. He insists that it was a long overdue thing and I had nothing to do with it. Whatever. The set up was perfect. Intimacy, warmth and a blazing Christmas, the I go back to my travels, and then some when I get back. Not until we talked...
Then I realized, I love him. Not with the remnant love or the dying embers rekindled, but with a brand new love for the him that he is right now. You know how love tends to muck up things, right? If this thing was able to survive the cold blast of silence and indifference and the soul sapping drought of no news and no nothing, then this must be something else. This hardy thing must be it!Now I don't want to take what I can get. I want all of it.
But he was not ready for me. He said it was so unfair for me to just drop in and breeze through his life the way I also did six years ago. That he had plans... that he needs time to heal... time to mourn... time to... whatever.
It was not easy. I told him that some people whine, gripe, pray and even coerce for a shot at something. We were so lucky to have been given two shots at it.
Then again... maybe this is really the message of the universe. He has to take his own flights. I have to take mine. Love just muddles it all up.
And one more thing does.
The promise we made that no matter what, he and I will always be there. No getting lost. No news block out. This. For now...
Looks like I made myself another one of those that defies labels or classifications.
So what are we? I asked. FuBu? Friends with benefits?
He said, "why the need to label."
I replied, "Fine, not FuBu not friends with benefits."
He asked, "what then."
Friends with Privileges.
Yes. Thats new!
He says he's Nelly Fortado's "I'm like a bird."
I said no... you're not a bird. Though you have a very nice one, hehehe. You are a butterfly.
Soar high my butterfly!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Let's start off with a classic Christmas Carol
And now we have something from our very own Islands of the Pinas!
To cap off the cantata, Here is the King himself singing what the Batchoy Boi feels like this Christmas time!
Merry Christmas Batchoyan Denizens. Consider this my humble Christmas present to all of you. May you all be blessed and truly feel the true Christmas Spirit. I love you all!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
With JM's death, I realized a lot of things. Some of them that I already know and am aware of, have been strengthened and renewed. Some of them I have been considering for quite some time and now gracefully accept and adopt while some of them completely unacceptable before, I reconsider and soften up to. Maybe, when people close to us dies, we get to reassess our own lives and we renew the commitments to ourselves to live our lives more, bigger, better, wiser and bolder.In the end, it is not what we have reached but how we reached for them that people would remember most.
I consider myself as someone who hold grudges for a very long time. Forgiving is easy but forgetting is another thing. I realized that in the end, these things really don't matter. What matters is the moments of joy you shared with people.Those who genuinely felt your love and was blessed and touched by your life would remember you with how you changed their lives or made an impact on them. I still have some of my grudges, but most of them that I can not even remember, I have let go. Travel light. Less baggage less worries.
I also realized that no matter how crazy, mad, or unrequited it may seem, people remember you for the love you have shown. I realized that in the end, those who concealed, kept and became scared to show that they care are the saddest people in the world. The love and care that could have been shown will never see the light of day when we are gone. So go! Fall in love in the craziest, maddest and deepest way possible. Follow your heart. It may not always lead you to the right path or not even bring you happiness but it will always lead you back to yourself.
My belief that there is such a thing called too late has also been bolstered - the concept of too late in opposition to the concept of too fast. While we should exercise care and caution, we must not take too long. There is never a more appropriate or perfect time than today. Right here, right now! Later may be too late.
I also confirmed that 'too busy' is such a lame excuse. Too busy to say hi, too busy to call, too busy to reply, too busy to sit down and have coffee, too busy to just let the moment pass us by, too busy... Maybe next time. Such is the paradox of life. While we are too busy for other things, the more important moments just passes us by and we can never have that moment ever again because we were too busy with something else, which, in retrospect, wasn't that important after all.
The most important realization I had was the fact that the fire in me is almost dying and it was a good thing I stopped and noticed it sputter. See, I used to believe that for a shot at happiness everything is worth it. However, past hurts, pains and brushes with the madness that is life has made me more careful, more cautious, thus, making me miss out and not taking those shots. I should have taken the shot with JM. Now he's gone and I will never have that ever again. It doesn't matter that he would have died anyway. Some may argue that it saved me from ton loads of heart aches and pain. Then again, pain is a constant fact. We seem to live life with the purpose of avoiding pain. Sometimes, pain is good for us. Pain makes our poetry beautiful says my mother John Iremil. I realized that I am not what I used to be. I get scared easily. I have more walls - more shields ergo, more issues, more hung-up. There and then I decided to bring out the brave and bold me, proudly declaring that indeed, for a shot at happiness everything is worth it. If I miss, then I will console myself with the fact that at least I took the shot. It could have been 'it.'
Finally, I have renewed my commitment to do whatever it takes, because I realized that people could die lonely, and people could die alone. I don't want that. I will take my chances, and I will not be afraid. Carpe Diem... Seize the day! What's a little hurt and a little pain for that chance at forever?
Now, coincidentally, during one Friday night Bible Study and Support Group of my church MCCQC, we talked about death. The round table discussion question was :"How would you like people to remember you by best when you die." It got me thinking. Honestly, the question sounds simple ala Miss Universe but come to think of it... How indeed?
I was thinking I would like to be remembered by as a good friend, a good person, someone who made me smile/laugh/happy etc etc etc. Then again, wouldn't we all want to be that? I was thinking, I want people to remember me as someone who wrote poems, stories and blogs that made an impact on them. Too lofty perhaps? How about someone who loved with everything he had. Sounds good. Thing is, like it or not, the people who matter to us most would not remember us by the greatness we have achieved. These things are reserved for grandstanders during eulogies. What people remember us by really are those little moments etched in their hearts forever. The small things... So, I ask you batchoy denizens... How would you like to be remembered by best?
Call it vanity, call it egotism or call it a 'I don't feel so great please give me a little pat on the back or a nice warm hug to make me feel better' thing. Let me ask you. How would you best remember me by?
Talk to me!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I am not in the country, and I may not even have a Christmas in the country where I am now.
Therefore I doubt it that I would get any Christmas presents this year. Well not until I get back to the Philippines at least.
However, I got my very first Christmas Gift. The best, perhaps, tonight.
I rode a taxi (taksi) from my hotel in Jakarta to the nearest Starbucks Branch. I brought along my dilapidated laptop.
(The letter A key is non existent, and it is battered here and there) to update my emails and everything online. I know Starbucks here offer absolutely free Wi-Fi access.
Since my laptop is battered, the battery life is less than an hour. I plugged in an outlet but to my dismay, the converter plug I brought along wouldn't fit. Those that they have here are the round plugs. I have a converter but thing is, the plugs are recessed and circular. My converter was square and would not fit into the outlet.
There were two guys beside me who were starting to fix up their stuff. Obviously, they're done with web browsing and ready to call it a day. They saw me, and one of the guys had me borrow his converter. I declined because I saw that they were leaving. I thought I'd just get into an electronics shop (wherever that is, and good luck to the shop attendant's English speaking skills!) the next day to buy me one of those. Facebook could wait.
He said it was okay and he handed me the converter.
After fifteen minutes, I promptly returned the converter. I did not want to abuse the kindness and keep them waiting. They looked tired. Well, cutely tired. Yes, batchoy denizen, the converter plug guy IS chubby!
He said it was okay. They were starting to fix up and ready to leave. I promptly unplugged my laptop charger to return the plug but he smiled at me and said: "It's okay, you can have that. Merry Christmas!"
Imagine my happiness! Not that the converter plug was pricey or anything, but I was touched by the gesture, and from a stranger in a non-Christian country at that! It warmed my heart and I thanked him profusely! I will treasure this first Christmas Gift from an Indonesian Santa Claus. It just goes to show that kindness, love and good cheer knows no religion, nationality or borders.
Terimah Kasi to you Sir. I didn't evem get your name, and Merry Christmas Indeed!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
JM's death brought more than just one ghost to the forefront.
To say that his passing away caused some kind of avalanche in my otherwise placid and boring life is an understatement. Some ghosts of the past came to haunt me as well. With the news and its confirmation, what comes next naturally is telling people that I know of, who might also know him that he is gone so that they too may be able to pay their final respects.
At first I was hesitant. The only two other person I know of and have contacts with in a way are all... well... exes. Before even braving to break the silence, I counseled with my trusted friends if I should do it. They echoed my sentiments that it has to be done, no matter what the frictions in the past I have with the living. After all, it was the Christian thing to do. Let the dead bury the dead so to speak. So I braved the rift.
Let's start with Ex #1. Well, technically, we weren't really exes so to speak. It was, at most, a passionate affair, but see, what makes it awkward is the fact that he was THE BIG CRASH. Doc Oinkie! Remember? The Manic Monday that never came to be? Oh yes! I still have his number. I tried to call. It rang forever. He was not picking up. So I texted.
Batchoy: Hi, Doc. I didn't want to bother you. I did not want to tell you through text, but you are not picking up. I just want you to know that JM passed away. His body lies in state at such and such Memorial Chapels. You might want to pay your final respects.
In a matter of minutes, my phone rang. It was doc. I can hear his soothing voice and my heart, as usual, leaped up to my throat. He has such an effect on me that yes, I must admit, I even had a hard on. Bad Batchoy! The eventual 'interview' ensued. Are you sure, what is the cause of death blah blah blah. And then...
Doc: And how are you?
Luis: (Shit!) I'm fine. No. I'm great! ( And still not able to get past that Monday that never came, you stinkin' lyin' b@st@rd you!) Never better.
Doc: Are you going to the chapel?
Luis: Ahmm, I have been there earlier, that's why I was able to confirm.
Doc: I might go. I want to go. Maybe tonight.
Luis: Please do, Doc.
Doc: Where will you be? Will you be free tonight?
Luis: Ahmmm ( Of course, I will be free if you ask me to be! Stupid!) Let me see.
Doc: I was hoping you'd go when I do. I wanted to see you too!
Luis: (Arggghh!) Sure, let's see what we can arrange. What time will you be going.
And so... I agreed to meet up with him. In the chapels.
Doc: You know I'm attached, right?
Luis: Yes. What has that got to do with JM?
Doc: Nothing. Just saying.
Luis: Don't sweat it, doc oinkee. I'll see you there.
I made sure he got there ahead of me. I don't wanna be kept waiting. Not this time.
I entered the chapel and saw him instantly. On the front rows near the casket. He was beside an oldish guy. He was chatting with JM's mom. I eyed him cautiously. God, he still looks as good as I remember him to be. And the guy beside him? Well, vanity and pride, my dear.
He saw me. He motioned me to come sit beside him. I did a quick feel of my pulse. Surprisingly, no palpitations there. So I sat. Not much of catching up it was. He was very cautious around the boyfriend. Well, what did I expect? The exchange was clipped and careful. He asked me what my liaisons with JM was. If we dated, slept together, and all that jazz. I said yes. He sighed and I caught him whisper. 'Lucky guy!' I countered. 'Dead guy now!' He smiled. 'Still sharp and funny.' I did not want to look into his eyes. I did not want to interpret what I saw as a longing.
I kept checking my pulse. What is wrong with me? I can't seem to feel anything. What? No skip? No jitter? No big brass band? Well....
I left the room to have a ciggie. He followed suit. The boyfriend followed suit. Discomfort followed suit.
The night had to end. They had to get home because they have jobs the next day. I had to get home too. I walked him to the parking lot. Final goodbyes have to be said. I started extending my hand to shake his hands. He took my hand and pulled me to a tight hug. I heard him whisper. I missed you. Take care of yourself.
I thought, yeah, I have to take care of myself. No one does it for me.
I saw them get in to the car and drive away. I replayed the hug. Rechecked my pulse.
No response. NR.
Just like the result of the Elisa Test they did on JM, given his sexual preference and activities, they had to admit and be honest with their selves that such a possibility exists.
No reaction. Negative.
The way I tested these last few times. I do my Elisa's at least twice a year.
I slowly walked out of the funeral home.
Another ghost exorcised. Another loss. Another grief.
The big crash crashed down!
No more kahuna.
The wave broke and the shore placid in the moonlight.
Goodbye Doc Oinkie.
Photo Credits: http://boingboing.net/2009/10/06/exorcisms-vs-schizop.html
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Masaya ang batchoy boi at magandang balita ang natanggap.
One of his poems got featured in a respected literary site and he is just bubbling over with pride and joy.
Thank you so much Asia Writes for the honor. I am humbled guys.
Here is the link to the website.
Kung tamad ka ma click, here's the poem.
By Luis Batchoy
"The key to unlocking this puzzle
is within you"
- Doriel, mentor of Mistral Isle
Magic the Gathering card 'Divination' flavor text
You told me that the runes were vague
And even the lines in the palm of my hands
Were not enough to ascertain
My destiny, so we moved on
To more arcane tools and methods.
You chuckled when I asked
About crystal balls and visceral castings.
While you lighted your sacred
The Feng Shui of your room
Demands we heed the flow of Chi
On your inviting bed.
You must slowly map the moles
In my body with a far more
Efficient hands, than eyes
That won't do well in darkness.
It was not kissing.
It was labiomancy.
As the heat surges
It was obvious we
needed to go Kirilian.
Now we alternate to Reiki
With your gifted palms.
Clamancy in our choral moans and groans
Or were we speaking in tongues?
Tongues, yes, of course
Tongues and dowsing rods.
Bumpology for the bumps on my bodies
Or plainly bumping, humping pumping?
At this point I forget whether we're moving into
Kabbalah, or are we approximating the Kama Sutra?
It doesn't matter as long as
I'm moving into you.
Thus we invented
Now we debate if I explode within you
Or if we need the fluids for drimimancy.
Later as we sip coffee and smoke.
We realized that we could have had
Tea instead, for teacup scrying.
Then again, we can always
Go back to your room
And survey the sheets.
There must be omens there.
Or if we feel Karmically bound
To repeat history
Again and again.
We both took out
Monday, December 6, 2010
I visited the wake three days in a row. I met the family. The family met me. They were warm, nice and very accommodating. We talked. About him, about me, about him and me. He lead a secret life away from home. He never brought anyone over to the house. Not even workmates, or friends. They know his sexual preference but no more than that. They wished someone would come out and introduce himself to them. I was the only one. The mom was especially warm, more so when she discovered that I was Ilonggo too. He never mentioned that to me. Now I know why he kept on making lambing for me to speak Hiligaynon. I don't know why he never told me his family were Ilonggo's. Both his mom and dad. One was from Bacolod one was from Iloilo.
The last night of the wake, I met a very outspoken and very beautiful aunt of his.
Aunt: Hi, so you are Luis?
Me: Yes, tita.
Aunt: I have heard so much about you. Thanks for coming hijo.
Me: You are welcome tita.
Aunt: Too bad, we met just now and under such sad circumstances. Well at least, now we're acquainted.
Me: Thank you tita and condolence po.
Aunt: Condolence too hijo. You have lost someone too. Welcome to the family. Don't worry. You do not need to be ashamed. We love those whom our nephew loved. We don't care which gender he chose to love. It doesn't matter. As long as he loved.
Me: Thank you tita.
Aunt: We hope to see more of you ok?
Me: Yes po, tita.
Aunt: Tomorrow at the funeral, of course?
Me: Yes tita.
At the funeral, I came a bit early. Two of the closest cousins were there and they were very warm. The black mourning pins came. It was distributed among the family members. I was surprised when his mom called me and gave me a pin. I didn't want to be presumptuous so I kept it in my pockets.
The tita saw me. She asked me to help her pin hers on her dress. Then she noticed I was not wearing one. She asked why I wasn't given one yet. The mom came over and asked where was the pin she gave me. I took it out of my pocket and she got it from me and pinned it on the left side of my shirt.
Everyone was kind to me. They kept patting me, asking if I was okay. I waited until the chapel staff brought out the casket. Everyone started getting into cars and transportation. I went with a sister and his closest cousin. At the funeral, I tried my best not to cry. I did not want to make a scene or draw attention to myself. I wasn't able to help it. I hope I did not bawl out too loudly. Then came the final viewing. The family went first. I did not want to view him one last time. I want to remember him the way I do. He looks so emaciated in his casket I did not want that to be my last image of him. Somebody took my hand and led me to the casket. It was another sister. Then white roses were handed out. I was given one. We were supposed to throw it down the hole when the casket has been lowered. I felt my heart break. I didn't know that it would feel this sad and this heavy.
Then I was handed white balloons. They told me I should have the honor and privilege of letting them go to drift in the afternoon skies. Symbolic of us letting him go and committing him to the heavens up above. I quickly wiped the tears that were trickling down my face. I never dared to take off the dark glasses hiding my eyes. Good bye kumag chan! The family insisted that I ride back to their house with them. I told them before that this was one of the things we fought about. He was adamant in not bringing me home or introducing me to any one of them. I was not able to find a way to decline. When I was at their house, I realized I miss him all the more now that I have seen where he lived. His mom made me promise to keep in touch and visit anytime I wanted. I promised.
Nine days later, I got a text from his mom. She was inviting me for dinner with the family to commemorate the 9th day of this death, and for a despedida party for the sister who was going back to the states. I tried to decline saying I lived a bit far from where the dinner was to be held but she countered by saying they're picking me up. So I went. My heart melted when I arrived and kissed his dad. He had the sweetest smile for me. In his limited range of motion, he tried patting my back. He is a stroke survivor.
Dinner was good. It was nice to see everyone recovering nicely and it was good to see them meet again under lighter circumstances. I smile deep inside when I realized that I'm the odd one out. I know that remembrances are important, but sighed too because I know I'm living on a borrowed time. Sooner or later, we would have to part ways and move on with our own lives. We will run out of remembrances and reasons to meet and get together in memory of him. I was wrong, or so it seems.
After dinner, the younger guys wanted to go videoke. Naturally, I got grabbed along. He was musically gifted and it was inevitable for them to comment that although they never saw us together, we must have made a good pair. We both sing well. I tried brushing it off. Just remembrances. When the gang was slightly liquored up, the close cousin asked me if I knew how to play the piano. I said I do not know how to play any musical instrument. She laughed and said she'd enroll me for lessons. To complete everything. I laughed it off. Not until someone interjected and said, "Oo nga kuya, para kumpleto." Then the cousin said. "It's like this. We lost him, but we gained you. You actually look a bit like him, especially when you laugh and your eyes disappear. Same body type, same sexual preference, same gait, same body structure, same musical gifts, same poetic gifts, same sweetness, same manner of speaking, same manner of dressing, same movements, only more masculine, same wit, same humor. Almost a lot like him." I smiled. Of course, they got my number, my facebook account. I shivered. "Yeah, so much alike. Feels like kuya arranged a replacement for us when he is gone. Basta, from now on, kuya ka na rin namin. Replacement ka na."
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
For John Mark Anthony Lutao
I will miss you forever 'kumag-chan'
Skies are majestic, no matter what time of day.
On dawns, they are resplendent with the first touches of light
They are blue and eternal on fine mornings
And turn fiery red on sunsets
On evenings, they become bedecked by stars
And even its inky blankness invite awe.
Fires can transform no matter how small.
A tiny spark changes you
Slow burning fire gives constant warmth
A steady blaze enervates
And a huge conflagration razes the mightiest of cities.
It's warmth is that which is never forgotten.
Once, you and I were sky.
A vast endless expanse we looked up to.
Stars, yes, we gazed upon.
Sunsets, dawn breaks and all that's in between
But the skies can never be owned.
No matter how we try, we can never hug the expanse.
Once, you and I were fires
From tiny sparks to great smoldering blazes
But what sparks and consumes us
Must turn to ashes, just like our bodies.
Now, please be the vast expanse above me
And the fire will burn forever in my heart.
We loved, and that's what matters most.
I will try not to be emotional. I will try my very best. Let me say what you have wanted me to say. What you have waited to hear me say. I love you. Yes, I do. Let me tell you why it took me so long to get around to it. You see, ours was not an easy thing. I think, even before friendster came up with that label, we were labeled as such... It's complicated. I meet you in Mirc. It's a chat program online. You were a refreshing chat. None of the usual questions about asl, stat, pic blah blah. You were funny, you were witty, you were a great chat. Except for one thing. When you did trade pictures with me, I recognized you instantly, and I think my rage boiled to ten thousand degrees. You! You @#%Y^U%*&^(*!!! Of course I know who you are! So! That's why you seem to know what tickles my fancy. Because I assume you know me very well. Then again, I thought that if I played my cards right I will get the better of this still, and maybe, just maybe, get that rare revenge moment. Oh yes! Revenge! After all, you happen to be that third party of that ex who really broke my heart into smithereens! How am I so sure? Well, that's how I discovered his infidelity. I saw your pictures saved in his 'hidden files' in his PC, together with your chat logs. Tsk tsk tsk! Now, now! So I kept chatting with you, I kept flirting and I kept playing coy to see at which point I could have my revenge. But you trumped me by admitting you knew me, and saying that for the past few years, you were actually hoping you'd meet me online, or something like that, on an off chance, because you said you wanted to apologize for what happened. Now that was something! I played along. I still wanted my revenge. So we texted. I used to laugh at your silly lines, limp poetic verses which were very cliches. So pathetic I thought. You were consistent, and persistent.
Then I agreed to meet you for coffee the next chance I had to be in Manila. I was still hooked on my moment of revenge. When I was with you, I started feeling myself softening. You were so tender and gentle. You were sweet, and funny, and caring, and kind, and nice, and cute and... well... hot! Exactly my type! My chubby chinito. You were intelligent. You tickled my brains. You made me laugh. You spoke my language. I can't help it. I was beginning to like you. GADAMMIT! Then you hugged me. OH Fuck! I liked the warmth. So when you asked me if I wanted to spend the night together, I could find no objections. Of course I convinced myself that this is part of my revenge. You were great! No, you were amazing! Yes, this is part of my revenge. So we became friends. Okay fine, friends with benefits. Meet ups over coffee, good talk, good times. Now, I was dumbstruck when you said you wanted to take it to the next level. Ahmmmm...
You said you'd court me properly. Complete with roses, chocolates and poetry. I thought, here it is! My moment of revenge! My turn to crush your heart the way that ex crushed mine. Well, you had it coming didn't you? You were party to this crime of heart breaking weren't you? They weren't exactly what I planned to do, but it was playing out nicely. I will say yes to you, then make you fall ever so deep, and then drop you like a hot potato. Just like that! Simple, and evil! Revenge is a dish best served cold, right?
But I couldn't do it. You were so sincere and wonderful and warm and very nice! I long for the walks we had in Malate. The sit downs on the sidewalk in front of Remedios Church. Endless starbucks coffee. That surprise treat for my birthday at Don Henrico's. God! How did you find out I love DH? How do you know exactly when I want a hot or a cold drink in Starbucks? How do you read my mind and moods for such? You were wonderful.
I had to struggle with my own issues. I could not get past the fact that once upon a time, you were an accomplice to the crime of heart breaking! I even told you derisively that from now on, I will be calling you 'kumag-chan.' Knowing from your chat logs with that ex of mine, that he calls you 'kuma-chan', which means bear in Japanese. You did not miss that, and though you laughed at the suggestion, I saw the sadness in your eyes. And so, you became 'kumag-chan.'
But that did not stop the prosaic-poetry-cliche texts, the roses, chocolates and poetry, so to speak.
But I could not get past. You told me you understand. You still wanted us to be friends. The roses, chocolates and poetry did not stop. Then we began drifting. Mostly because we became busy with work. Then I heard you were dating some one, two or three. I respected that. But...
I missed you. I did!
Then, last night... I was checking my long unattended Friendster account. I saw your update. There was a comment there saying you're gone and that your remains lie in state at so and so Memorial Chapel. I could not believe what I was reading! It can't be true! I know you were sickly but, no, this must be a cruel joke!
This morning, I stared at your emaciated body peacefully asleep in that coffin. I had to go to that Memorial Chapel to find out if it's true. I couldn’t stop myself from crying 'kumag-chan!'
Andaya daya mo naman! Nangiiwan ka! Then your sister asked me.
"Kaibigan mo ba si kuya?"
Her eyes begged the real question.
There and 'kumag-chan' the truth dawned upon me. So I answered truthfully.
"Ahmmm, ano po (whispers to sister) ex ko po sya."
She smiled at me. Squeezed my hand.
Brain Viral Encephalitis
Andaya daya mo naman kumag chan.
I love you, kumag-chan. We, loved, that's what matters most. Farewell...
Monday, October 11, 2010
Fine! I slacked! No amount of apologies or explanations can change that fact so, no, I'm not offering any. I will just shrug my shoulders and pretend that yesterday I had a blogpost... Hehehe
Now where was I?
Oh, yeah, I was telling you, how, I got to this land of Garuda, Banyan trees, and Gudang Garam, right?
Ok, fine, a little back-tracking won't hurt. Well, as you might already know, the Brunei thinggie with our family friend seemed to have flopped. Thing is, I seriously think that she's wasn't all that up front with everything. Harsh and generalizing as it may seem, I think all she wanted was for Mom to cough up more money for her supposed 'business in the land of Bolkiah'. I was just a casualty, but not necessarily road kill. After all, I really did want to leave Manila for a while and get back to Iloilo for a brief period then get back into the groove in the metro
Le Baby Sis
What I did not count on was the amazing connection that I had with my baby sister in the process. Our relationship took to new heights, way far beyond the milky way. For that, I wouldn't change a thing really. She said, I should consider just getting a job in Iloilo.She said, though I will get much less salary in Iloilo, I would rack up much much less expenses, too, thereby, being the more financially sound thing to do! Talk about getting financial advice from my baby sister of only 22. Proud of her! She knows me all too well. She said I was not really saving up or anything to really need a big paying job. She knows I just want my coffee and my poetry. The thing that got me was when she said... and if you leave and work again far from here, you will get burned out again. If you just work in Iloilo, I get to see you everyday! I won't get stuck with the feeling of missing you that much!
One thing led to another and the sabbatical slowly turned into a reintegration. I was bored shitless! I did try to get back into the groove and reconsider a lot o things. One of which is going back to Law School and finally getting my ATTY before my name. I just did not want to decide things out of sheer testicle drying boredom.
I did try to find a job or something to that effect. I checked out Boracay's possibilities but then nothing seemed to come up well on that end. I told myself, I'm giving this a window period. Soonest would be by the start of the new year in January, and latest would be after my birthday in March. It then slowly turned into some sort of reintegration with the city I love best. Iloilo. I was just lazing around being the starving (parent-fed, caffeine fortified, nicotine vitaminized) bum poet again. Then it hit me blindside.
The trip with an S
One fine night when I was in and not out there somberly caffeinating myself to poetic greatness, my dad casually dropped the immense possibilities of a business trip he was sorta-kinda financing in a very limited capacity. It was more of a favor for a good friend than an investment. That's why, in a weird sort of way, I love this about my dad. Beneath the tough exterior is an even tougher and fiercely loving heart! The Business Graduate in me heard all sorts of warning bells going off, but I am not to be Wall Street that night. I was just listening son. He said that the lucrative enterprise require he travel along with the main movers all over Asia and with a sigh he said he was not really up to tiring trips all over the Pacific Region. He said he was not what he used to be and he was already tired. Then he casually suggested that it was MY thing, the traveling around, the risque, the business acumen, the quick thinking, the thrill and the big dough pay-off.
He further explained that this is kinda quick deals and all and since I was still a work in progress with my life and what to do with it, it won't hurt to give it a go-see. I gave a non-committal 'uhuh' and the next thing I knew, he was asking for my passport and was to leave two days after. Talk about being SWEPT!
Now, when I met the partners, I was informed albeit sketchily that this would entail trips to Hong Kong, Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Thailand, etc etc etc. It was a buy and sell thing, dealing as quick middle man between suppliers all over. Sounded like the biggies to me. Anyhoot, without the benefit of a retraction the deal was sealed and I was supposed to accompany them and learn the ropes along the way and be of whatever help and assistance I could be. So there.
Now, after two days in Hong Kong and a touch down in Jakarta, I am now in Surabaya, wasting precious time meant to be monetized, sitting in the cafe of Widodaren Hotel, sipping Java, while allowing the big beautiful but grisly Garuda Statue to stare at me while I waste my time on line.
I wrote in my facebook status message that in a land of deep mysticism, Banyan trees and Fuchsia Plumeria's (kalachuchi folks!) floating lazily on the gurgling fountain, writing should have been a given, but I think my muse is not keen on the scent of Gudang Garam, hence, poetry is light years away!
In the short span of time I have been on trip, I realized that this really could be it! It spells really big dough. I may need to stop being a Jenglot (that's a vampire creature in Indonesian Folklore) sleep a bit late, wake up early, learn Bahasa, a bit of functional Cantonese, conversational Maranao, go business all the way, and stop thinking about sight seeing, culture and poetry; and I might just be driving my new car when I get back to Iloilo, chuck this functional laptop junk for a Macbook Air, upgrade my phone to a Vertu, and all that jazz.
Me thinks, exciting, indeed! So exciting that I just have to take advantage of the free WiFi in this hotel while my two business partner went out there to monetize their time leaving me to my own devices. Now, now... this is so exciting that I am just dying for a lyric poem about me making a choice among the four Garuda Kings, better yet, Vishnu-me , riding my fiery rainbow plumed Garuda, lapping off the waters of the seas to expose the hidden dragons of commercialization and materialized wealth dreams to score victory in the worldly stage. Well there is a Garuda King named 'Garuda King Free-Of-Will,' maybe I can be that.
I checked my roaming enabled phone while contemplating my options and read again my mother's SMS. "Good luck anak, basi dira ang swerte mo. I love you more and miss you. Halong" (Good luck son, maybe that's where your luck lies. I love you more and miss you. Take Care."
Very very nice sweetened blackmail. Then again, for now, coffee, cigarettes, exchange rates, onward flight bookings, and well, this blog essay. Maybe I need a new Prada Shoes, after all. Meanwhile, google translate is slowly becoming chummy with me.
And the world turns!
Oh the surprise ending??? Well what do you know!!!
We're celebrating two years of Extra Super Special Batchoy With Egg!!!
24 effing months!!! YAIY!!!
Happy 2nd Anniversary Batchoy Denizens!!!
Or should it be...
Bahagia 2nd Anniversary. Selamat untuk kita semua!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I came across this plea for help in my face book account from my childhood church mates and I am doing what best I can to help them out. If you have anything at all to help them, kindly read through. God Bless all of you!
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to explain our unfortunate set of circumstances that have caused us to become delinquent on our hospital and medical bills. We have done everything in our power to make ends meet but unfortunately we have fallen short and would like you to consider seeking some financial assistance in your charitable institution. Our number one goal is to save our newborn triplets from a life-threatening health condition which is currently confined in an intensive care unit in one of the hospitals in Iloilo City . These babies are the greatest blessing that we have received from the almighty God above. We understand that we were given a premature bunch of angels since God knows that we are capable of nurturing them to have the life they deserve.
The main reason that caused us to seek some financial assistance is that our doctors recommended our triplets to stay in the hospital for several more months since they were born premature. They may have health problems because their organs did not have enough time to develop. They need special medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit and they will stay there until their organ systems can work on their own.
Soon after having insufficient funds and our income not being nearly enough, we had fallen further and further to our hospital and medical bills. Now, it’s to the point where we cannot afford to pay what is owed to the medical procedures, doctors, and anything that involves procedures at the hospital that is very expensive-especially that we don't have the proper health insurance. At this time we have exhausted all of our income and resources so we are turning to you for help.
Our situation has got better because we have learned about your charitable works and we feel that this action would benefit us both. We would appreciate if you can help us regarding our financial issues so we can keep our babies healthy and to make them experience to live in a wonderful life that was shared by God.
We truly hope that you will consider assisting us and we are very thankful learning that there are still good people who understand the real meaning of life.
This is the telephone number of Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital 337-7702, 337-8648, 337-8649. If you have any inquiries or confirmation about our triplets, you’re free to call the said hospital.
Attached herewith are the pictures a few days after they were born and the latest just a week ago. Two of them are already taken out from the incubators and only one of them is still on critical condition. Thank you for reading this letter.
God Bless You!
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Froilan and Sionnie
for more inquiries please contact:
Froilan (ninoy) : +639192738669
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Since I am in a place where electricity is not a luxury and internet connections are erratic at its best, I deemed it faster and more timely to write a fresh entry instead of browsing through and going back to entries that may date at least two years back.
Two years ago, I owned and operated an Arts Cafe, 'Kafe Binalaybay'. I envisioned it to be a venue for the arts, independent exhibitions and performances - a sort of hub for the arts in Iloilo City. One of the many friends who were supportive of such an endeavor was Miss Rhea Penaflor, who was a colleague during my college press days, and a staunch advocate and supporter of the arts and local Iloilo talents and culture as well. She mentioned at that time that she is supportive of the Iloilo Youth Orchestra, which she featured and wrote about in one of the local papers in the city, and she mentioned that I might want to invite them to perform in Kafe Binalaybay. She also invited me to come watch them in a benefit dinner concert sometime February. I was enthusiastic for both because I was aware that the IYO was a cause oriented group.
Tonight, she texted me that a certain entry in this blog needs to be rectified as it appears that she 'promised' me a performance of IYO in my cafe. She points out that she does not have any hand or any say at all to IYO's schedules and commitments. At best, what I remember was some sort of teaser that I might be inviting IYO to perform in my cafe, I was thinking that this would serve as an advertising for the group as well. My blog is personal and has no commercial value, and I usually feature groups, persons and organizations which I believe in at no cost in this blog. I too believe in local talents, and those with a cause at that. I tried to search for that entry but since the internet service here is very erratic, it would be a Herculean task as of the moment. Hence this entry.
Foremost, I apologize to whomsoever might have been hurt, offended or undermined by the entry. Rhea's 'promise' was no more than a referral of sorts if and when I should decide to contact IYO and invite them for a performance in my cafe, no more, no less. Though the feature in the blog might be premature, there was no solid promise at all from Miss Rhea for a performance. She, in no way, misrepresented herself as a direct representative of IYO, and nothing definitive came out of that conversation. Perhaps, in my excitement to promote the group as well, I might have overlooked some details as to the management and protocol for contracting the group and again I sincerely apologize if I may have also placed Rhea's number as a contact person in that blog entry. I will also look for that entry and rectify whatever misinformation I might have written in that entry at the soonest time possible, under more privileged circumstances. It never was my intention to undermine any procedure or management protocol this group has, nor was it made to appear that Miss Rhea Penaflor had any say whatsoever with this group's schedules and engagements.
The 'promised' performance never came to pass, as the cafe was inundated by flood waters during typhoon Frank, and inevitably closed down due to the lamentable effects of the typhoon. I reminisce with sadness how my dreams for the cafe have been washed away by the flood waters. If ever this did not happen, for sure, I would have loved to have invited for IYO for a performance in my cafe. I too am a supporter of IYO's cause, and for sure, Miss Rhea would have directed me through the proper channels if this had materialized.
Again, I apologize for any slight, hurt, damage or confusion that that entry might have caused, and I am still hoping that in the near future, I would be able to open and operate another cafe such as Kafe Binalaybay, which the city needs, and should that happen, I would be more than happy to invite and engage IYO for a performance under the proper circumstances. Again, my apologies and Mabuhay to all of us!
From the Land of Safe Harbors
San Vicente, Port Barton, Palawan
P.S: I have located the entry "It's A Date" posted February 14, 2009, and have made corresponding notes to the entry as well.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
God Loves Bakla
A Book Review/ Reaction/Reflection
By Luis Batchoy MCCQC
Warning: Spoilers ahead
" I am a 43-year-old Filipino gay man currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In July 2008 I completed a book about my life in the closet, which I hope will help people better understand homosexuality and homosexuals. Raised as a Catholic, I believe that God created me bakla and loves me as bakla. Since coming out of the closet in 2001, I have never been happier or more fulfilled as a person and as a Christian. I have come to realize that the Catholic Church is wrong to condemn homosexuality, which is actually a special grace from God."
- Raymond Alikpala
God Loves Bakla is a memoir written by Raymond Paolo A. Alikpala. At the outset, let me say that I always take memoirs with a grain of salt. I am not so sure how far one can truly look back, remember, be objective and not romanticize or embellish a recollection. This is just however a personal bias I have with memoirs and ‘diary’ type books. For the purposes of being unbiased, let us just take then the author’s word at face value. After all it is his story. This piece is more of a personal reflection or reaction paper rather than a book review. Again, this is just me and my personal biases.
God Loves Bakla is the life story (so far) of the author. How he grew up in a very Catholic Family, was educated in a Catholic School, later on becoming a Lawyer, then a worker in Cambodia, and his struggle with living in the closet, his spirituality (or religiosity for that matter) acceptance of the self and later on, embracing and celebrating his homosexuality, and that proverbial quest for the Holy Grail: finding that one true love. Though the book is centered on the author’s religious and spiritual temperament and how he dealt with his homosexuality, it also touched on issues of national and even international importance. He recalls his own experience of the People Power Revolution and the ouster of the dictator, his struggles academically, his life in the novitiate of the Jesuit order, his expulsion from the novitiate, his work with the refugees in Cambodia, living the gay life in Cambodia and Thailand, his brushes with that love that dares not speak its name, and the eventual ‘happily-ever-after’ moment with his life partner.
Generally, the book is easy to read, and light. The events are chronological in order and the ending satisfying. I must admit though that his story telling could have been more streamlined, and at times the author would go to great lengths in repeatedly saying the same thing over and over again: inconsistency of his sexuality with his faith, his aversion and internalized homophobia, his spiritual/religious gripes - that sometimes borders on diatribe. I understand though that these points are important to him and for him to tell his story and bare his soul to the reader, and eventually make his point. Though I expected a more ‘epiphanic’ revelation from him or to have given or written more on how it was to have finally broken free and come out of the closet, I understand that it could have been a very confusing yet at the same time liberating experience for one who has been cooped up and closeted all his life. The happiness and wonder could have caused him to be less introspective thus glossing over that very particular stage in his life. Then again, this is his life, and this is his story.
I can relate to the author as I was brought up a catholic and educated in a catholic school – to be exact- a Jesuit school myself. My elementary years were in Santa Maria Catholic School (now Ateneo de Iloilo) and I too subscribe to the Jesuit worldview of being ‘men and women for others’ and the motto of ‘Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam’. There were times though that I did not agree to or approve of his decisions, such as him telling of his ‘sin’ to his Novice Master leading to him jeopardizing his Novitiate. He knows for a fact, having been subject to stringent homophobic doctrines that this would possibly spell the end of his ‘religious calling,’ then again, this is his story and his life.
The book is wonderful, and his story, amazing and inspirational. If his being a virgin until the age of 32 is not something to marvel about then I do not know what else could. I even jokingly told Rev. Ceejay that the book is a little less interesting because sex comes at a very late part. Where’s the rough, body convulsing, death defying, world shattering, soul severing sex? But of course that’s just a joke. I may not be in agreement with the author with a few things, but that’s the charm of his story. I do not have to necessarily agree with him, yet the story remains fascinating.
His story is insightful and captivating. It discusses faith, politics, homoeroticism, breaking free and celebrating one’s sexuality. It offers by example, practical advices on coming out, dating and looking for love, the kind of love that dares not speak its name. The book made me think, rationalize, ratiocinate, be depressed, cry, laugh at the absurdity of life and other people, socialize, criticize, sympathize, empathize, celebrate his freedom, romanticized and be thrilled about the prospects of finding my own happily ever after. Again, I can relate with the author as I am a law student too, a developmental worker and a human rights advocate as well. The other thing that fascinates me is how he is able to write in an ‘unlawyerly; fashion. Simply put, he just bares his heart and soul for the world and sundry, complete with pride, ego, fears, joys, aspirations, hopes and dreams.
I hope seeing myself buying truckloads of copies so I can send them to my priest friends who are still hiding behind the cloth, to my lawyer friends who suffer from internalized homophobia, to my openly gay friends, to friends who have dilemmas coming out, and to a whole lot of people whom I believed will be touched and inspired by this book. I congratulate the bravery of the author in coming out with this book. I celebrate with him his acceptance of his sexuality. I romanticize with him his searching and finding his one true love. Incidentally, that specific quote stuck to my mind. He was telling of how he got angry at his partner for making him wait and missing their bus. He said he had been waiting for a whole day, and his partner answered him “I have been waiting for you all my life!” Saccharine!
With a sigh of relief, I told myself... Too bad there wasn't MCCQC yet for him when he was lost. Good thing there is MCCQC now for the rest of us, and him too, should he feel like coming over.
Indeed! GOD LOVES BAKLA!
Come to MCCQC you guys!
Grab a copy. It’s a wonderful read!
For Copies, you may contact MCCQC
Mobile No. 0915.1814963 globe
Hotline: (02) 508.35.23