limampung piso

limampung piso ang pagitan ko sayo.
pambili ng isang boteng alak at isang yosi pampalakas ng loob upang masabi ko ang nadarama ng puso ko.
limampung piso ang pagitan ko sayo
halaga ng chicharon at mani, pampahaba ng mga sandaling pinapanood kita mula sa di kalayuan habang kayakap mo siya
limampung piso ang pagitan ko sayo
sampung kanta sa bidyo-singko na inaalay mo sa kanya na minsan ay kinanta mo rin sa akin
limampung piso ang pagitan ko sayo
ang laman ng bulsa ko habang akay ko ang sarili ko pauwi ng bahay na minsan ay bahay mo rin
limampung piso na hindi mawari kung kelan ulit huhugot ng halagang ito para sa bagong inspirasyon at bagong pag-asa sa buhay na upos at ubos. 






image courtesy of:



 It was faint at first until it became irritating. So I opened my eyes and decided to wake up. Yet again, my failing eyesight disappointed me. (I really need to get those eyeglasses. Fast!) All I see around me is a blur of mint green and white. (Like the color of Peppermint Tea that I order from Moonleaf)

 Splitting Headache.

 As if on cue, my head started to whir and pain was hammering my brains out when I opened my eyes seconds ago. I am trying my best to remember where I have been and what have I been doing last night. But all I see are faint images of bottles of liquor and half-naked people around me. That was one hell of a party! I vowed to myself never to succumb to this drunkenness again.

 Way back home.

 I hailed a cab and rode on it. I am still half-asleep. Minutes after, I am fumbling my keys to the apartment. I can’t seem to find it so I decided to knock. But nobody is answering.

 I went to the landlord and pounded on his door. No one is there too. So I decided to sit by the stairs and wait. I didn’t notice that I dozed off really fast. It was dark when I woke up again. This time the lights inside the units of both ours and our landlord were already lit. I got pissed when nobody cared to wake me up. But I shrugged it off and dragged myself to my feet to crawl to my bed. I still feel my head splitting in half. Once again, I knocked but nobody answered.

 You see, this is what really pisses me off- when I am being ignored.

 I really have issues with people who ignore other people. I get so mad at people who ignore me. And just like that, I remember what pushed me to go to that party. Days before, my incessant texts to my ex was ignored. I got so hurt that I carelessly said yes to an invitation to a wild party. What made it worse was that this feeling is recurrent. It was a feeling of loss, and of emptiness. It was a feeling of my childhood, having been tossed around to live with relatives because of a father who chose to ignore (he only took notice of me when he gets really drunk and he needed a punching bag to release all his frustrations)

 The feeling was persistent. And it was painful. Time and again, all these emotions that have been kept all these years are here to bug me again. Sigh!

 Argh! I am getting impatient so I moved on to my landlord’s unit to borrow the key to our unit. As I was about to knock, I hear a faint murmur and as if somebody’s weeping. The girl’s voice was familiar.

 “Yes! I have yet to call his family. He was found lifeless at 3 in the morning in Cubao. His body is now in the morgue. Reports say he was robbed then was stabbed and left to die in the street.”

 I tried to get hold of the knob to barge myself in. But then I can’t see my hands. 

She’s the One

While overhearing some twenty-something and below talk about things that really matter to them and having watched this flick entitled She’s the One, I ask;

Are relationships among these young people determined by how they are linked in social networking sites?

When the character played by Enrique Gil broke up with the character of Bea Alonzo, he unfollowed her on twitter.

In the same way that this girl seated beside me ranted about how she was unfollowed, unfriended and unshared on her twitter, facebook and path respectively, 18 minutes after they decided to call it quits.

I am in awe.


Things in life I learned from my Mamang Cian

(A eulogy)

Good Morning!

There is something wonderful about mornings, especially way back when I and my cousins were still in school and we have someone who whips up a special breakfast for all of us before we crack our heads in class- reading literature or solving math problems.

It’s a distant memory now. I don’t know with my cousins but my breakfasts now consist mostly of coffee. And nothing else.

Before I continue and on behalf of our family, I wish to extend gratitude and appreciation for being with us for the past few days and waking up early today to bid farewell to our Mamang Cian. It means a lot to us that you are with us in prayer and in tears for the loss that we bear.

I feel privileged to speak on behalf of the family especially for my siblings and cousins whose lives have been touched as much as it touched mine by our dear Mamang Cian.

I say she is a woman to reckon with. And its quite difficult for me to try to capture her entirety as a person and share it with all of you this morning. Because in one way or the other she has touched your lives as well. 89 years is too much of a time here on earth and is a blessing for us to have been with her for that long a time.

Our Mamang Cian was a teacher and maybe it is through her that I got the inspiration to go into teaching as well. You see, being a teacher requires us to love learning and impart this learning. She is all that, and I think because of her, I do as well. And so, I honor her with a list that I call “Things in life that I have learned from Mamang Cian”

1. There is supposed to be a place for everything and everything should be in place.

I remember her telling all of us, day in and day out to fix our things, put things in their proper places and that everything should be spic and span. She keeps her place neat, tidy and fresh. On Saturday morning, right about this time, chores were assigned to everyone and so everyone was busy. We start our day with a simple but sumptous breakfast.

Our breakfasts usually consist of fried fish, ensaladang talong or colio camote and fried rice that is never to be missed. I have yet to perfect my own fried rice just like hers. We down it with Milo or milk or on lean days, only water. But never without a cup of coffee by her side. Maybe it was her who influenced me to love coffee- wakes me up and warms my stomach.

And so the chores begin. We scrub the floor, somebody else sweeps and so on and so forth. She was constanly in the kitchen, making sure that pots and pans are squeaky clean and the plates and other utensils are well cleaned, ready for the next meal.

She was like that, very organized and orderly. Again, I have learned to appreciate all of these things when I started to live on my own in Manila. I tried my very best to keep the apartment clean.

2. When cooking dinengdeng or pakbet, never add water right away. Let it produce its own flavor.

Hers was a roster of cooking tips which I have treasured and put to heart. She has a skill in cooking being a home economics teacher for a long time. And it is evident in the food she cooks. Name it and she knows how to cook it. We were all well fed! But I feel so lucky that young as I was, I asked her so many questions and she gave me skills that I learn to keep.

I think my siblings can attest to that as they love my cooking as well.

Mamang Cian is our top chef.

Like the vegetables in dinengdeng, she told us that each of us has a talent and skill of our own. We are blessed with it and it will come out, maybe in the most trying times, to flavor our life or the world.

3. Eat a balanced diet. Go, Grow and Glow

Mamang Cian loves to eat. She eats plenty and she eats well. She told us that with rice comes fruits and vegetables and a portion of meat. That for sure is a balanced diet- go, grow and glow food in one.

She masticates food well, she takes time in chewing them. She doesn’t rush her food, she takes time to eat and enjoy her food. The best part of it is, she tells stories while we eat. Stories that were not in the books. Usually she end up telling us how they make azucar de trapichi. I will never forget that. It stirs memories of living with her for a long time.

Azucar de trapichi comes rare these times. Much like her stories.

4. Tend a garden, it will save your life.

I have a fond memory of Mamang Cian laughing so hard at me when one sunday afternoon she asked me to transfer the pig somewhere far from her garden. It was an easy task which I don’t mind doing. I untied the pig’s rope from the peg without knowing that it ran around me and coiled the rope around my legs. Frail and nimble as I was, when it ran all over the place, it dragged me and I shouted “Mamang, mamang, muri ya yo!”

She came to my rescue laughing so hard…

I will miss her laughter. She loves to laugh as much as she loved to eat. I will also miss her garden where she got most of the vegetable she puts on the table. The bananas and papayas she personally grew will be missed. Those were the best fruits I have tasted so far. Maybe, because it were tended to my her loving hands.

5. Study hard. Education is the only thing that can bring you far.

Yes Mamang Cian, I agree. When I got my college degree, she was so happy. She was happy because she knew that after all the hurdles and the drama, I got my degree. She was happy because it was our dream that before she passes away, she will have to see me graduate. And she did. All the efforts that we both put to it, paid off and she was there with me through all of it. She was proud, she was beaming proud and she hugged me. Silently, without words, we knew that we both succeeded that day.

I graduated on her birthday.

She was not fond of saying I love you. As I think I am. But she knows how to express it in her actions. Her I love yous came in the form of the efforts she puts in to all of us. Her i love yous were silent but her actions were loud. She loves her children so much that it pains her when she saw them having misunderstandings. She tells me stories of how my mom were as a child, she tells us stories of her children and how she was proud of them individually.

She resents that some thought of her as someone having favorites. She told me she does not, there are just some of her children she said, that needs more love and care than others. And she felt it was just for to do that.

Then she told me, always be gentle to people. “Conversa con pausa”

Words, however untangible, can pierce the heart with so much pain.

Conversa con pausa, she said.

She is gone now. When I heard the news, I was distraught but at the same time relieved. Distraught because I was too far away to come and be at her side and maybe hold her hand and hug her like we usually do. I was relieved because I felt that the time has arrived for her to get her much needed rest. She braved a life of too many hardships, she weathered so many storms. She fought battles, most of which were not her own.

She was there. A mother to all of us. Our much needed solace in times of difficulties.

With much respect and honor, I have woven all these words for her. That all of her teachings have not been naught.

I love you Mamang Cian and you will be painfully missed. But as they say, there are no goodbyes. Only see you later.

Rest well.

Thank you and Good Morning.


TAE! (Bakit ba?)

Bakit ba ako magsusulat tungkol sa Haring +Ubu-L?

Dahil ba ang gagwapo at nakakalibog tingnan ang mga karakter? Si Papa Ubu na may mahaba at malaking titi na green o si Mama Ubu na may malaking suso at namumulang pekpek? Si Kapitan Tutan na may nakakawindang na abs at punit na pundilyo? O si Prinsipetsa Bukake na natanggalan ng Pekpek?

Isusulat ko ba ang set ni Leeroy New? Ang direksyon ni JK Anicoche? O ang mga kabaliwan ng Sipat Lawin Ensemble?

Kung tutuusin eh puro tae, tamod at putang ina lang naman ang dula na yun eh!


Isusulat ko kaya ang tungkol sa pagiging bulgar at nakaka-offend (lakas maka-Arrneow) na tema ng palabas na iyon!


Nakaka-offend (lakas maka-Arrneow ulet!) at bulgar nga naman ang walang humpay na kantutan ni Papa Ubu at Mama Ubu (isali mo pa ang romansa ni Papa Ubu at Kapitan Tutan)! Ang mga winawagayway na titi, pekpek at vibrator ang makikita mo sa buong palabas. Maririnig mo ang “Putang Ina” sa halos lahat ng diyalogo. Ang kasakiman nina Papa Ubu at Mama Ubu para mailuklok sa pwesto. Ang mga kasinungalingan, kaapihan at ka-TAEhan na kinalat sa palabas. NAPAKABULGAR! NAKAKA-OFFEND! (Eeeeeewwww…) Bakit ba may mga palabas na ganito?! NAKAKASUKAAAAAAHHH!!! *gwaaarrkkkkk*


Nakakasuka nga ba? Eh kung ganun, dapat segu-segundo akong nasusuka sa nagkalat na pornograpiya sa paligid. Kantutan ba ‘kamo? Eh manood ka lang ng TV ng ilang oras, o di kaya mag-internet eh laganap na ang kalaswaan! Hello! Tanungin mo kaya ang mga anim na taong gulang na bata at alam na nila ang tungkol sa Kantot, Titi, Pekpek at kung ano –ano pa!

Putang Ina ba? Eh hindi mo nga yan maalis sa bibig mo tuwing natitisod, natatawa, nalulungkot, nagagalit at NATATAE ka! Parte na ‘yan ng bokabularyo nating lahat!

Eh ano naman ngayon kung sakim o gahaman sina Papa Ubu, Mama Ubu o Kapitan Tutan? Knock, knock Parekoy at Marekoy! Buksan mo lang ang bintana mo at masisilayan mo na ang mga epal na opisyal ng gobyerno na nagpaskil na ng mga mukha nila sa halos lahat ng sulokng Pilipinas! Ang mga mag-anak na minomonopoliya ang mga posisyon sa gobyerno! Eh kahit nga si PNOY eh isang produkto ng political dynasty! At kung tatanungin mo sila eh wala naman daw masama sa ginagawa nila at serbisyo lang naman daw talaga ang inaasam-asam nila.


Oooops! Isali mo na din diyan si Enrile na halos 80% ng buhay niya ay nakaluklok sa pwesto. Hangal sa posisyon!


Aynakow! Hindi na ako magtataka at sadyang ina-AFFIRM (Arrneooowww) ko na tawagin tayong TAENG BAYAN! Eh hinahayaan lang natin ang lahat ng ito. Nagpapakabobo, nagpapakatanga at minsan pa ay may mga prinsipyo tayong “If you can’t beat them, might as well join them!”

At eto pa! Sa mga pag-aaral ng Transparency International (Sosyal at nakakahiya) eh ang taas ng rating natin bilang mga korap na tao! Talagang ang KORAPSYON ay bahagi na ng kulturang Pilipino.

Aangal ka pa ba?

‘Wag na tayong MAGMALINIS! Yan ang tunay na NAKAKASUKA! Pasasaan ba at sa darating na Mayo ay makikita na naman ang pagiging TAENG BAYAN nating lahat!!!


TAE! *bow* 

(ang poster na ito ay NINAKAW ko sa facebook page ng Sipat Lawin Ensemble. Oo. Magananakaw ako. Idol ko kasi ang isa sa mga Senador. Hindi lang yun, free rider din ako tuald ng karamihan sa atin. Nakapasok ako sa palabas ng LIBRE! Kaya parang ninakawan ko na rin ang mga artista dito ng pagkakataon na kumita. Ganyan talaga dapat, gulangan! Ang saya, diba? SAGOT!)      


Wake Up!


Everytime I wake up in the morning, I make an outline of plans I have for that day. Today, I woke up with nothing on my mind. I slept late downloading reading materials for my comprehensive exams. I have no plans of reading them today since I am not done with the Percy Jackson book. I lay, staring up at the ceiling. Blank. Then I remember last night I had overwhelming emotions. I was sad, happy, angry, nervous and excited all at the same time. I even had a couple of beers just to drown me to sleep at 3am. Maybe these are the times when I had to check on myself and see if I am still doing well.

And I think I still do. Much have had happened since I was a carefree little boy dreaming of becoming a priest someday. It’s a lot different now since I broke up with my first girlfriend and the girlfriends after that. There are big changes in my lifestyle (not to mention wardrobe) since the time I was hauling around my 85kg self. And I have grown so much (I really did!) since I broke up with my partner a few years back. It is still me though, but I took in a lot of perspectives in life. A plethora of experiences, both good and bad in my 31 years of existence have brought me here- lying down and staring up at the ceiling.

It is not a bad thing lying down here. I take it as an opportunity for retrospect. Right now, it helps me remember every lesson I have learned from the past, kind people who matter a lot to me, people who made an impact to my life and every tear and smile that I shared to the world. I am grateful.

In a not so distant past, I was exuding vigor because of my youth. And with that comes the license to make stupid mistakes. But now I feel I don’t have that license anymore. What I need to exude is wisdom because I need to be mature already. But guess what, I still am that carefree little boy! I still have my youth and vigor to be crazy!

I guess, as much as we want to concede to what society expects us to be, we can never deny the fact that at the end of the day, its happiness that we want. However we want to achieve it should not be dictated by roles being placed on us.

As I look back, I never regret the things that have happened. Each of those experiences has taught me life lessons which are not found in any undergrad or grad curricula. I will carry those memories, experiences and lessons with me because those were a part of who I am. And as I look ahead to the future, I will be pretty much still the person who I want to be.

As I get up from my bed today, I will say a prayer of thanksgiving for an imperfectly beautiful life while looking forward to an exciting life ahead…