May 29, 2002

Old Friends

Jol's back from Bangkok. Astrid's up next I guess. Maybe we'll have another night together soon with Monica, Jessel, Arlyn, and Nathan. Another rainy night maybe?

I met with old friends yesterday night, my orgmates back from the Sandigan days. It was spontaneous, something afforded by the triple luxury of time, money, and circumstance that I was temporarily blessed with.

I was on the way to UP with Mae (my not-so-kid-sister) to get my endorsement. I sent messages and feelers to folks on the way there, knowing Carol was cooking something up at the UP CHE Pilot Plant. I thought I could get Bamz, Jerico, Alisher, Eugene, and other shady characters together. They were tied up in their own respective ways. But I went on to have dinner with Pauline, Irish, Blue, Ivy, and Michelle! Happy day!

There was fine selection of cuisine at the Podium. That banana leaf curry place had this interesting idea of appropriating the rural banana leaf plate into the high urban dining scene. Reminded me of the stuff we've lost and try our darnedest to regain.

Voltaire's cynic foil in Candide, Martin, said something about how having supper with fallen kings was inconsequential. It was the fare that mattered. I think meeting the luminaries of your past makes the meal—no matter how delectable—secondary.

We had coffee a few steps away at the less-fussed-about Cafe Breton. We had light-hearted conversation and good, heavy laughter. We were young people with our duties, concerns, little sorrows, our own bouts with hollowness, and anxieties. Yes, maybe, we can't change the world anymore, but it's not the time to stop trying right? We're just glad to have a break, have some eyes looking back at us and say how fatter or thinner we got. Or how the ladies are blooming with the blush of mayflowers and how the guys haven't stopped being such wiseasses.

We compared adventures and photos. And without showing-off, I think. We were all already a bit envious that everybody was spending time somewhere else, but it was refreshing to know that we're all moving forward, even with varying paces, paths, and plans. We were just a year or two out of the now seemingly sterile university. Outside those anemic walls... we have all faced the stuff we used to talk about, these pressures and conflicts that were then only stuff of speculation.

These hours we shared were just a moment in our clocks, a flash of color in the mundane, a dash of spice in the routine meals of our daily lives. There are some meals you consume in a matter of minutes, but the aftertaste will last a lifetime.

Ivy sent an SMS when everybody was home. She said these were the times when she missed Sandigan the most, that is, our org and greatest common factor. Michelle sent her own message: "saya no? i had a gud tym din. it's gud to hav anchors amidst tides."

May 23, 2002


The first time I tasted Lu Hsun's verse, prose, and scholarship, I knew I was reading a man of worth. His virtue has always been a simplicity that never sounded either simple-minded or fake. Try this one on, for size:

"Animals act according to their nature, and whether right or wrong never try to justify their actions. Maggots may not be clean, but neither do they claim to be immaculate. The way vultures and beasts prey on weaker creatures may be dubbed cruel, but they have never hoisted the banners of 'justice' and 'right' to make their victims admire and praise them right up to the time they are devoured."
Lu Hsun
Dogs, Cats, and Mice

I should keep this before me as a caveat as I become a student of culture again. I am happy although I anticipate the renewed burden of words and meanings. I think it was the author Forsythe who said that the desk is the most dangerous place to view the world from. Blood, sweat, and tears seem more liquid there. Right and wrong are decided by check marks and red side notes. Labels seem to do no harm. Ideologies seem no different from idylls.

The wounds wrought by the pen are hard to read. I am out to either emulate or dishonor the traditions I have chosen. I will be one with the people rendered faceless by the books that bury their brows . And later buried by the garbage spewed forth by diploma mills and media machines.

My path is set. For now, life will become moot and academic.

May 16, 2002


My links page is up. Please help me check if the links work. I have some mental sketches there too. But for now, my main concern is the recollection of my stomach!

"It is not unusual for kings to be dethroned; and as for our having had the honour to sup with six of them, it is a mere trifle, unworthy of note. What does it matter with whom one sups, so long as the fare is good?"
Martin from Voltaire's Candide

I have always loved Quisao, my province in Rizal, despite all the trifles and crises we have faced there. I particularly like the cuisine there. I like how even the simplest food preparations taste so good. I like how I eat heartily and unhurriedly, sometimes with bare hands. When I was young, we even sat on the bench with a knee up in the same fashion as my grandfather.

The barangay itself was named after food. Quisao was named after kisa, a mixture of rice and corn that served as the standard full meal in times of hardship. With some labor or barter, the sweet kisa would be flavored with some salt or dried fish harvested from Laguna de Bay. When rice was scarce, the farmers would devote the fields to corn. Corn in our parts is usually white and sweet with kernels sticky when cooked, the variety perfect for grilling and thick corn soup.

My cousin, Kuya Rolly (aka Ate Chona), does at least three things best, hair and make-up, gossip and story-telling, and cooking. Or maybe that's five? But I can never really do good math with my mouth full. Especially with what he serves.

For the dinner, he made charbroiled eggplants. The talong was skinned and ground to a sweet, tasty pulp. For added taste, we had the choice of a vinegar preparation or balawbalaw. The vinegar had quartered onions and some sugar.

The balaw-balaw is a sauce and like most condiments in our country, it is in itself, a viand fit for rice. It is made of a small species of shrimp called yapyap ground with boiled rice to make it thick. After it is salted, it is left in a special container for months. Thus it is also called buro in other parts, "buro" being our general term for "pickled." Also, in other parts, they use anchovies.

In Angono, Rizal, there is a restaurant named after it. The Balaw-balaw is a town landmark famed for its mix of strange cuisine (bayawak, snails, and the like) and Angono art. But I love my Quisao balawbalaw more than the Angono variety because it has some coconut milk. That makes it kin to another gata and small shrimp dish, the inulang. But that's sweet stuff for another full article.

The thing I love next to eating is talking about eating. So please forgive, yet again, another long entry. Now, I'm full. Have a hearty meal!

May 13, 2002

The Fire Trees of Rizal Roads

The trip to my province in Quisao was essentially a grim errand. When I got there, I was angry that the Godfather postponed the face-off. It's not fair, really, because we're losing time and money going back and forth at his leisure. A thousand forms of retribution swam yet again in the stream of consciousness. But I had better things to do. Besides, if I'll be playing on the side of the angels, I must follow their rules, however damn noble, impractical, and tasteless these usually seem.

On the way there though, I saw fire trees aflame with their red blossoms. They were emaciated along the dusty byways of Tanay and adjacent towns. Yet, even that way, they were lovely, dignified like the determination of the downtrodden. They were so beautiful that I forgot to curse my errand. My own haste began to peeve me. They were so grounded, so earthy, as loud as anything red on green. But they have their silent quality as they sway to the breeze and the rush of PUJs, tricycles, and busses. In the way that something that mourns is always both deafening and soundless.

I grew to love even the heat that oppressed me then because it was the character of the very season that brought the fire blooms forth. The fire trees here are different from those I see in UP, in that path I walk from the Faculty Center to the Post Office.

But the flowers there will have their time if my designs bear some fruit. For now, there is the postponement, work, some editorial jobs I got on the side, and some meetings I have set-up with people I sorely miss.

And the memory of the petals I espied, fortunately once more, in the morning I made my way back home.

May 8, 2002

Pamamayagpag ng mga Paruparo
Mga Kulay, Disenyo, at Pakpak

May naalala ka bang akda ngayon? Nobela kaya o maikling kwento? Tula, talambuhay, o anekdota? Isa kaya sa mga nabasa mong pagsasatitik ng buhay?

Isang libro ang sumagi sa isip ko ngayon. Dalawang taon na ang lumipas nang nabasa ko ito. Naalala ko dati, katatapos ko lang basahin ang In the Time of Butterflies ni Julia Alvarez. Malakas ang dating ng librong ito sa akin. Isa itong pagsasanobela sa buhay ng tatlong magkakapatid na babae. Sila ang mga Mirabal, Las Mariposas na humarap sa diktador ng Dominican Republic nuong kapanahunan nila. Magkakaputol sila sa pusod ng ina at magkakabuklod sa guhit ng palad.

Sa sayaw ng mga sirkumstansya sa mundo at intensyon ng tao, lumitaw silang magigiting bagama't di naman talaga sila nagsimulang mga rebelde. Sa katotohanan, nailuwal sila sa mariwasang kalagayan. At tumuloy ang kanilang buhay sa pagtapat sa diktador na si Trujillo. Kung nabasa ninyo ang deskripsyon ng mga tauhang babae sa kanya (nuong mga estudyante pa sila), maaalala ang Big Brother ni Orwell! At syempre, ang propaganda ni Marcos (ang pagpapalabas na "bukas na palad" ng kamaong bakal).

Sadyang kagilagilalas ang pinagdaanan ng tatlo. Tatlong daloy ang mga buhay nila, iba't-ibang landas patungo sa kadakilaan. Tila mga daloy sa isang musika, sadyang masining ang pagkakahabi ng sulatin sa mga sinulid ng totoong buhay nila. May matigas na babae, rebelde mula balat hanggang kaibuturan, may isang ipit na ipit sa mga personal na prayoridad, at may bunsong takot at balisa.

Masining talaga! Iba talaga ang paghanga ko sa Latin Amerikanong literatura. Kasapi ng kilusang pampanitikang ito si Alvarez. Isang kasanayan nila ang pagapalit-palit ng panauhan o person. Halimbawa, kay Fuentes sa kanyang The Death of Artemio Cruz, ginamit niya ang tatlo, ang ako (1st person), ikaw (2nd), at ang omniscient na kwentistang gumagamit ng siya. Nagpakitang-gilas rin si Alvarez dito sa pagdagdag ng iba't ibang pamamaraan ng pagapaparating ng kwento. May tuluyang narasyon, mga piraso ng balita, may nagpapadala ng liham, at may nagsusulat ng dyornal.

Syempre malakas ang dating niyan sa akin na kasalo rin sa mga ganyang moda ng pagsusulat, mga liham at dyornal. Ang kapansin-pansin, ayos na ayos ang pagkakahain rito, walang patid ang daloy. Ito ang tunay na baroque! Ayon kay Fuentes, sadyang ganito ang tanging tindig ng postkolonyal na Timog Amerikano. Paano pa nga ba haharap sa mundo mula sa aninong nagmula pa sa tinaguriang Age of Discovery? Hindi masisi ang pagsusulat na tila "pusang nakaranas nang mabanlian ng kumukulong tubig." Ito ang baroque! Ito ang estilong pudpod sa detalye at arte. Pinupuno ang mata. Ayon nga kay, Carpentier, ito ang sining sa ilalim ng horror vacui o takot sa mga blangkong espasyo (parang jeep at showbiz natin!). Pinupuno ang lahat ng puwang sapagkat may takot na punan ito ng mga mapaniil na elemento, mga conquistadores, mga diktador, mga kumokontrol sa media, at nagmamanipula sa kasaysayan. Isipin halimbawa kapag nangangatwiran tayo at lahat ng mga detalye e nilalabas natin, ipinapahayag. Gusto natin, kongkreto, puno. Walang puwang para sa mga kumokontra.

Sa totoo lang, bumagsak ang puso ko pagkahuman ng pagbabasa ang tomo. Mabigat, talaga, sa totoo lang bagamat di mapaparatangang walang siste o sense of humor. Iyon pa nga kadalasan ang mas nakakalungkot, ang pagpawi sa ilaw ng mga nagpatawa o nagpangiti man lang sa iyo.

Masokismo ang pagbabasa ng mga trahedya. Ngunit tama ang mga Timog Amerikano sa pagapapatuloy sa proyektong namana pa nila kay Cervantes. Mainam para sa atin ang ganitong pagbabasa sapagkat ito ang ubod ng anumang humanismo. Ito ang katotohanan ng buhay, trahedya, pangunahin sa apat na Katotohanang kinilala ni Budha at binabaka ng lahat ng relihiyon. Ito ang lagablab na nagpapakita sa atin ng ating mga kahinaan, kalakasan, mga landas tungo sa pagkurakot ng budhi, at mga pwerta tungo sa potensyal nating kadakilaan.

Ibang mata at puntodebista ang dala ng literaturang postkolonyal ng Latin Amerika. Maganda ito ang mundong ipinipinta nito - masaya, malungkot, mahalimuyak, mabaho, masansang, maingay, tahimik, kubli, at hayag! Higit sa lahat, makatotohanan ito kahit sa kabila ng pagbansag ng mga Hilagang Amerikano na ito ay masalamangka. Magical realism daw o!

May mahika ito, totoo. Pero kung tutuusin, mas niyayakap nito ang suhetibong aspeto ng ating pagkatao. Kaya, sa isang banda at piling pananaw, mas makatotohanan pa ito kaysa sa sining at pag-aaral ng mga kanluraning panitikero at historyador.

Kasalo natin ang mga taga Latin Amerikano sa maraming bagay, mga pista, santo, apelyido, at higit sa lahat, sa makasaysayang karanasan. Sa mga masyadong tumitingala sa Kanluran, mababasa sa Latin Amerikanong panitikan ang yaman ng puntodebista ng talunan, ng gapi, ng mga kaisipang nasakop ngunit umaalma. May angking kagandahan ito na kaiba sa minsa'y sobinistang likha ng mga nakapwesto sa gahum o kapangyarihan.

Biyaya ng Dominican Republic ang mga manlilikha tulad ni Alvarez. Sa pamamagitan ng sining niya, naitanghal ang buhay at kamatayan ng mga mariposa at naisakonteksto ito sa kalakhang kasaysayan, sining, at kaisipan ng bansa. Nakilala ng mga babae ang pag-ibig, karahasan, matatayog na pangarap, munting problema, ligaya, at pighati, dugo ng sugat, regla, wasak na hymen, panganganak, at ng mga huling sakripisyo. Ano ba talaga ang kahulugan ng lahat ng ito sa hedonismo ng ating kasalukuyan?

Makahulugan ang kontribusyon niya, sadyang masining ito kaya't wala kang problema sa entertainment. Lagpas pa rito, may saysay ito hindi lamang sa mga oras na pinalilipas ngunit pati sa kabuuang sining ng ating mga buhay.

Ikaw naman, may naalala ka bang akda ngayon? Anong unang pumasok sa utak mo? Isa kaya sa mga nabasa mong pagsasatitik ng buhay?

May 7, 2002

Mainit-init pa, lumabas na po ang Tinig v.14! Maraming tula, artikulo, at balitaktakan. Ayoko kayong pangunahan kaya't kung ok sa inyo, daan kayo ha? Pinopromowt ko rin ang proyekto ng Binibini laluna ang artkulong "Hindi Biro". Iyan kasi ang pampasinayang artikulo ng Musmos e. Ewan ko ba pero malapit sa puso ko ang blog na iyan (na mas napalapit pa dahil kapitkwarto ko na rin ito Dekarabaw!).

Antabayanan ang susunod na tekstong bopis. Dahil matagal na akong hindi nagrerebyu (sa totoo lang, nagrereact) sa mga akdang pampanitikan, maghahain ako ng isang artikulo tungkol sa isang librong matimbang para sa akin. Latin Amerikanong panitikan naman. Tulad ng karaniwan, madaldal ako ruon. Sana magustuhan ninyo. Sa ngayon, maligayang pagbabasa!

May 6, 2002

Mga Babae ni F. Sionil Jose

Anong palagay mo sa mga babae?

Pambungad at Pasasalamat

Sadyang imposible talaga ang mga babae. Sa kabila ng anumang pag-aaral, palaisipan pa rin. Pumasok ako sa Peyups dahil hindi ko sila maintindihan at hindi ko maintindihan ang sarili ko sa paligid nila. Bawat isa buong kwento, kalipunan ng mga paghahangad, pangarap, at mga nakaraan. Bawat isa kumpleto rekados, walang kulang na talulot bagamat napakaraming napagdaanan ng mga bulaklak! Gayumpaman, hanggang ngayon, gumradweyt na ako't lahat, hindi ko pa rin sila mawarian.

Buti pa itong si F. Sionil Jose, swabeng-swabe at may sariling pagkagagap sa babae at pagkababae. Hiniram ko kay Jol ang kanyang kopya ng Three Filipino Women bagamat hostage ko pa rin ang kanyang Ben Singkol (O ayan Jol ha! Sinulat ko na rito para hindi ko malimutan! Gagawin ko ang lahat, huwag mo lang saktan ang aking Candide!).

Tatlong novellas ni Jose ang narito. Sa tulong ng mga superpower speedreading skills na ipinasa sa akin ni Alex, nabasa ko ito sa loob ng mga anim na oras! (Akala nyo siguro pagsusulat lang ang may acknowledgements ano! Sa pagbabasa rin!)

Tatlong Filipina

Tatlong kwento ito. Una ang Cadena de Amor, ikalawa ang Obsession, at huli ang Platinum. Panay babae ang bida rito at mula sa puntodebista ng mga lalaking mangingibig. Laging dakila ang babae kumpara sa lalaki (o ito ang pinalalabas nila bilang mga kwentista) ngunit lagi silang nagkukulang kumpara sa saloobin ng tagahanga nila.

Sa kabila ng mga pinagkakasaluhang daloy na ito, sadyang magkakaiba ang kwento. Mga paralel, kumbaga na nananalaytay sa iisang mundo, iisa ang tema ngunit ibang-iba ang mga tauhan, mga motibasyon, sitwasyong panlipunan, at kahihinatnan.

Maihahambing, halimbawa, kay Cezanne na pinaghusay ang pagpinta ng iisang bundok sa napakaraming paraan, kulay, anggulo, at panahon. Hindi ang bundok o ang tema ang nagbabago, di ba? Ang mga elemento!

Pinakamahaba ang Cadena de Amor. Maningning ang bidang si Narita, maganda, matalino, at tanyag. Kababata siya ng kanyang tagahanga at nagmula sa parehong antas ng rural na lipunan, sa ibaba. Sadyang mabilis ang pag-angat ng babae laluna sa konteksto ng kanyang panahon. Sa kanyang paghahagilap sa kapangyarihan, pinasok niya ang pulitika at naging matagumpay rito. May parikala (o irony) sa katapusan ng kwento na sadyang si Sionil Jose lamang talaga ang makahahabi.

Ikalawa ang Obsession na hinango mula sa nobelang Ermita. Tulad sa una, iskolar ang tagahangang kwentista kaya't may elemento ng ideyalismong nasasagasaan ng dalisay na pagkapraktikal ng kanilang hinahangaan. Isang puta si Ermi, ang obsesyon ni Roly. Ngunit may sariling obsesyon si Ermi, may sariling paraan, direksyon, at hiwalay na landas.

Ikatlo ang Platinum, na tila kontrabalanse sa naunang dalawa. Dito naman, nakalugar si Malu sa altasosyedad. Sumailalim siya sa ploretarisasyon at matibay sa kanyang prinsipyo. Kahati lamang ang kwentista sa kanyang pag-ibig sa Inang Bayan. Kawangis niya ang platinum, isang mamahaling bakal na payak at walang yabang at sobrang kinang.

Rekomendasyon at Kongklusyon

Rekomendado ko ito sa lahat na mahilig sa panitikang Pilipino sa Ingles. Sakaling wala kayong hilig, magkahilig kayo para magustuhan ninyo ito! Hindi kayo magsasayang ng oras. Lalo na kung magpatulong kayo kay Alex!

Gayumpaman, kasalanan din ni Sionil Jose dahil magaan ang kanyang prosa at wika. Masarap tuluy-tuluyin ang pagbabasa. Matulain siya sa kanyang sariling paraan at maiintindihan ko kung maparatangang melodramatiko. Ngunit nasa isang antas lamang ng pagbabasa epektibo ang ganyang husga. Kung makikita ang tatlong novellas bilang isang kabuuan kung saan hindi lamang magkakatabi ang mga kwento ngunit magkakaugnay, makikitang niligid niya ang buong ispektrum ng lipunan at naghandog ng mga kubling komentaryo sa mga nagsasagupaang-boses. Sa mga tagisang-isip at tagpuang-puso ng mga mangingibig, mailulugar ng mambabasa ang kanyang sarili at ang hangganan ng kanyang damdamin at paniniwala.

Napayaman ang aking pagkabatid sa mga babae sa sining niya. Nagamit at natalakay niya ng matagumpay ang mga papel ng kababaihan sa Pilipinas. Gayumpaman, hindi ito lumalabas na lektyur. At mas marami pa akong napulot rito kaysa sa karamihan ng mahahabang babasahin. At kaya nga yata ako napadpad sa Peyups sa aking paggalugad sa palaisipan ng babae e para makilala si Jol at mahiram kanyang kopya ng Three Filipino Women!

Anong palagay mo sa mga babae?

May 4, 2002

Past Layne

"Like the coldest winter will
Heaven beside you... Hell within
And you wish you had it still, heaven inside you"

Alice in Chains, Heaven Beside You

"Let the sun never blind your eyes
Let me sleep so my teeth don't grind
Hear a sound from a voice inside"

Alice in Chains, Grind

Two US-based musicians just died. Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes of TLC and Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, RIP.

TLC was really fun and I enjoyed their music. I don't know if they will regroup after Left-Eye's passing. They have changed the group's composition before, in the early days.

"When the teacher put the ruler down on my hand
I laugh!"

Mad Season, I Don't Know Anything

Staley's music was, for all intents and purposes, the droning background during my last days in high school. When I heard of his death, I naturally recalled those days. I remember the old bleachers and how my coleman always fell from it. I recall too, the predominantly brown football field, the smell of the swimming pool. Yes, OK, the classrooms too.

"Am I the only one who remembers that summer?
Oh, I remember
Everyday each time the place was saved
The music that we made
The wind has carried all of that away"

Mad Season, Long Gone Day

I recall the thin white wafers we took from the sacristy before these were consecrated. It didn't taste much, but it had the delicious feel of adolescent impunity.

I recall the CAT. I remember how we oiled our boots to cheat the inspectors (works everytime!). I remember the bivuoac and the embarrassing stuff we just laugh about now. We didn't laugh at all then.

I recall the smell of grease and oil in the automotive shop. I remember the way we all seemed like sure, definite individuals even in our uniform black shirts. I remember the spark plugs, the camshafts, the endless measuring of torque, the names we called each other, our smiles.

I recall the last days. I remember how we tried to take a souvenir from everywhere, a book from the library, valves and bolts from the shop, the pockets we stripped off each others' white polo jackets. And we left with each other more than we thought.

More than we care to acknowledge.

"I don't know anything
I don't know anything
I don't know anything
I don't know who to be"

Mad Season, I Don't Know Anything

Unlike most of the others, I heard Staley apart from his band Alice in Chains. I heard his tunes in Mad Season, a band he set up on the side with Pearl Jam's Mike McCready. Only through Mad Season would I grow to like Alice in Chains.

That, and Kahlil Gibran.

"My pain is self-chosen
At least so the prophet says"

Mad Season, River of Deceit

Layne Staley is dead and to date rumors that he died of drug overdose has not yet been confirmed. Our memories have always been bound with songs. Some we sing ourselves, most other people play for us.

We know loss even when we do not really know the lost artist because we have played their tunes to the rhythm of our lives.

"Long gone day
Mmmmm, Who ever said
We wash away with the rain?"

Mad Season, Long Gone Day

May 2, 2002

The Godfather

I have never liked this particular godfather. This ninong was Dad's kuya because he somehow got the upperhand and married my Tita. But then again, he got the upperhand most of the time and was once our district's vicemayor in Rizal.

I was a kid then, one of those brooding incognitos. His cockiness never got to me. Even then, I was not awed. Nor proud. He always seemed like a no-good con man.

But as of late, his party threw him out. Only, he's so caught in the thrall of the mayor that he never realized that he was made to run for Board Member exactly so that they could get rid of him and he would still remain indebted.

Years later, he would remain that condescending drifter. I never considered him family because he always made me feel like he was too good for the rest of us.

Dad grew identified with the opposing party as years passed. The clan was in tumult. We smelled it miles away from here in Makati and it was no feat to say that something ugly was cooking. And the matriarch lay in the sick bed.

A Christmas before, I was in Batangas, and I looked upon Lola's face. She was growing senile. Maybe the years has given her the grace not to recognize us, not to know where the rest of her brood will find themselves after she was gone. We grew nameless for her. That was her comfort.

But we remained Aguinaldos, Vidanezes, Torreses, Yanezas. And the frutrated one, my godfather, would not fall with grace. No noblesse oblige, no high-nosed tranquility. Only a brutal belief in himself, in his power.

Where he gets off believing that, I do not know. The probably was fed that by his party. And we had our serving right after grandmother died in February.

Now, Dad's partymates lost in the numbers and I was sad for him because (although we differed politically) I hated Ninong and his mayor more. Ninong's mayor won. It was not election time and the kindly old mayor-that-was-not visited dad in lola's funeral. He came with a small party of friends, nothing fancy or pretentious as that was his style (and probably his undoing too, as voters have gone to expect grandiose shows from leaders-to-be).

It was pleasant because dad admired the man and the old man considered him a friend even after the campaign period. It grew less pleasant because the townsfolk flocked the funeral after the news filtered to the periphery.

Ex-vice-mayor came crashing down on the funeral, arms akimbo, pointing fingers, glaring eyes, raised voice, and accused the opposition of making a mockery of the funeral. Truth be told, it was his show of rage that did a disgrace to the services. We could welcome the visitors. We could even tolerate the usiseros though we knew they did not care for my grandmother. But he was family and here he was, feigning respect and love for lola. Pretending to be angry on her behalf.

He was angry on behalf of his mayor. His party. Himself. Being politically crude, he may have thought the boss would favor him again after his damned show.

Dad cleared the scene and showed the mayor off trusting he would understand. He discerned possible targets and asked them to leave to, just so the scene would stop. With much more difficulty, he persuaded the onlookers to leave, so that there won't be a crowd to play to.

But it didn't stop. The women tried their best. My aunts tried to calm him. Even his wife came to stop him. Nothing availed. When his bunso tried to escort him out of centerstage, he dashed her to the ground.

Aftermath. His wife left him and stayed where lola stayed. The youngest of his brood accompanied her. They are there, in the compound, under Dad's vigilance. Dad stays there in Rizal because he works closer to the province.

He came home during labor day and told us the news. My godfather was suing three people. One was Dad's partymate. The second was my tito in my mother's side who was also a firm partymate.

The last was my elder sister.

Now, my account was an unabashed one-sided picture that I put together from the stories. I was not there in that day of the funeral. I came in from work at the evening. I refused to write about it then because I couldn't erase some expletives and retain self-respect. I also couldn't edit whole scenes of mangling, godson's knee-to-the-privates, and some wholesome eye-poking in my "recommendation for future action."

As I said, this was a one-sided picture. The other side of the tableau is lodged somewhere in that mad brain harboring residual delusions of grandeur, maybe even harboring thoughts of rising again.

Well, we are not his ticket, and he sure is lucky it was my calm and composed sister who faced him then. Let him rot in hell for claiming that she cursed him. And if through some miracle he gets through Dad's wrath, he'll find his accused not wanting in guts and resources.

He's lucky it was Ate. Otherwise, he would be suing somebody for assault. That is, if he could make a move with dislocated sockets, broken shins, busted nose, and regular shots of morphine.

Well I can dream can't I?

May 1, 2002

Mayo Uno

A pre-heated WELCOME! to everybody who followed the smell of bopis along the tracks of dekarabaw. Well-met yet again on the high roads of this matrix. Now, if you will excuse me, I will go back and enjoy the rest of my hiatus. Or not.

Meanwhile, workers, nay, co-workers in the great human project, have a meaningful Labor Day! As I post, the hosts of our labor are divided. Yet, they are more agitated now than before, and that is better than indifference. Today, I wish all the co-laborers the fruitful holiday they deserve, be it spent in action or rest. And tonight, I pray for all the movers the deep sleep of the just.

Regular consumer, passer-by, stand-by, beloved friend, and stranger, how are you doing?

Tapos na ako sa

Pero masaya akong maghiatus mula sa aking paghaha-hiatus upang ipangalandakan ang aking pagsakay sa maskuladong Dekarabaw. Narito na ang Bopis! Nasa malaking bandehado at hinihila papunta sa makamundo, maluwag, at malasapot na world-wide web.

Mula ngayon, lilipat na ang mga tekstong bopis. Hindi na ito lalabas bilang (mamimiss ko yung URL na yun...) at susulpot naman bilang Marami pang mga bubusisiin kaya pagpasensyahan na kung wala pang gaanong nakahain.

Patuloy rin akong nagpapasalamat sa mga pihikan at masisibang mangangain at humihingi ako ng dispensa sa abala ng pagpalit ng URL. Sa mga nagbigay ng lagusan papunta sa hapag-kainan natin sa pamamagitan ng link, maraming salamat! Parang gusto kong puntahan ang mga templeyt nyo para hindi ko na kayo maabala sa pagpalit ng mga "a href" ninyo. Pero mapanghimasok naman masyado di ba? Kung nais nyong mag-update, aba, Daghang Salamat!

At kung nais ninyo akong sundan sa aking bagong tahanan... kita-kita sa patuloy na pista!