the gapanese invasion is nigh!

"pinakamaganda ka nga sa buong kapuluan, pero latina na naman ang magwawagi ng korona at sash sa miss world! racism ba ito? lupasay!"

Friday, October 31, 2008

racists deserve a halloween pumpkin

my multi-talented student durian boy gifted me with this cartoon whose theme fits the halloween. now, if the racist overture gets you sharpening your fangs and claws, let me make this disclaimer that my students learned much from my literature class and charlot's character's revolt is an insight into the class' subverted colonialist ideology: that epidermal pigmentation is too superficial to serve as basis for one's constitution. light up your jack-o-lantern and have a spooky hallowe'en!:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

paparazzo from the rear window

Ever watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window or the recent homage to it, DJ Caruso’s Disturbia? For those of you who did, you might be reminded of either film with my recent paparazzo yield. Not that someone got killed, but someone got photographed from my stealthy if cobweb-laden vantage point, the first man I consider handsome since I moved in two weeks ago to a boarding house adjacent to a billiards hall. (A side note: a friend from UST actually found my new place just by describing “‘yun pong maraming libro” to my general neighborhood.) Now my personal plot would have bordered on pornographic plagiarism if the seeming unwitting guy decides to gaze back and, like the cockteaser that my fancy insists him as, to flash his family jewels. Harang!

Monday, October 27, 2008

going italianini

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the bisexuality of pandarus in geoffrey chaucer’s troylus and criseyde

A significant part of Geoffrey Chaucer’s literary reputation rests on his powerful portrayal of the Middle Age society to which he was exposed all his life. These depictions are evident in his masterpiece The Canterbury Tales, wherein characters like the knight, the miller, the reeve, the summoner, the pardoner, the man of law, the wife of Bath, among others, actually populated the milieu in which The Canterbury Tales was produced. Such accurate social representations are present as well in his other works like the complex poem Troylus and Criseyde, which told an ill-fated love story in the midst of Trojan War.
As in my previous paper for this course, I would like to explore the possibility of gender subversion in one of the characters in the poem. In much the same way that the Wife of Bath, among other characters in The Canterbury Tales, is a gender dissident for her embodiment of the wild woman archetype, the character of Pandarus in Troylus and Criseyde may be read as gender subversive for his attraction toward the same sex while also harboring an incestuous desire over his niece. This bisexuality in Pandarus’ part defies the machismo prevailing during wartime periods, i.e. Trojan War, wherein male armies from both the Greek and the Trojan camps show virility in many aspects, from fighting for their cause to dealing with the opposite sex.
By definition, bisexuality means “the potential for sexual attraction to both men and women.” It has existed in many cultures across history, including Chaucer’s medieval Western Europe, where all sexually mature persons were believed to be “capable of having sex with both women and men.” Chaucer’s contemporary illustration of the ancient Greek tale’s original panderer had been informed by a Middle Age matter of concern. It is also worth mentioning that the romance’s milieu is ancient Greece, where “[h]omoeroticism was major feature in…art, poetry,…and same-sex relations were an accepted part” of adult males in their social construction as compulsory heterosexuals.
True, Pandarus and Troilus’ friendship is obviously homosocial; nonetheless, it may be interpreted that Pandarus loves Troylus beyond this homosocial bond—in fact, homosexually. While this homosocial bond does not intensify to the level of homosexual consummation due to the fact that Pandarus and Troylus never have sex, a strong male affection colors the intense friendship of Pandarus with Troylus.
In the poem, Pandarus engages in rigorous physical activities as he becomes a go-between for the lovers: he leaps, sweats, goes breathless, moves back and forth between the two. What motivates Pandarus to go at physical lengths in providing romantic liaisons for Troylus and Criseyde? The text is peppered with Pandarus’ desirous actions to help Troylus in his love for Criseyde, but the motivations behind those actions are unmentioned. His erotic energy may be explained as some means through which Pandarus consummates his very desires while Troylus does his own. How so? In Book I, lines 584-587, Pandarus declares, “yf evere love or trouthe/Hath ben, or is, bytwyxen the and me,/Ne do thou nevere such a cruelte/To hide fro thi frend so gret a care:”, an insight into his love-laden relationship with Troylus, one that is shown to be emotionally deep and open.
Pandarus speaks of his affections recurrently, albeit secretive by nature. In Book I, lines 667-69, Pandarus advises Troylus in romantic affairs despite himself, but remains mum about who his beloved is: “I love oone best, and that me smerteth sore,/And yet paraunter kan I rede the,/And not myself—repreve me no more!” Pandarus is in love, but is lovesick toward the object of this passion, but he reveals nothing regarding who the object is. This intriguingly repeats in Book II, lines 57-63:
That Pandarus, for al his wyse speche,
Felt ek his part of loves shotes kene,
That koude he nevere so wel [of lovyng] preche,
It made his hewe a-day ful ofte grene;
So shop it that hym felt that day a tene
In love, for which yn wo to bedde he went,
And made er it was day ful many a went.

When Troylus asks Pandarus of the latter’s sexual past in Book IV, lines 484-90, the sexuality of Pandarus remains obscure since Troylus returns to his own romantic woes and the question is left hanging. While Troylus must be thinking that Pandarus’ love is a woman, there is no informational guarantee that he is correct. The text then is open for the interpretation that Pandarus desires a person other than the conventional object: the opposite sex.
When Pandarus badgers Troylus into revealing the latter’s love, the former gives him an assurance that the Pandarus will not steal her away from the knight. In Book I, lines 715-21, Pandarus swears not to do so:
If God wole, thou art not agast of me,
Lest I wold of thi lady the bygyle;
Thow wost thiself whom that I love, parde,
As I best kan, gon sithen longe while;
And sithe thow woost I do it for no wyle,
And sithen I am he thou tristest most,
Tel me sumwhat, syn al my wo thow wost.

Pandarus reverberates that love whom Troylus supposedly knows, but keeps the person’s identity anyway. Furthermore, his promise not to usurp Troylus’ beloved may be interpreted that Pandarus’ interest does not lie on women.
Since meaning may likewise be created through gaps and silences, this then calls for interpretation of the identity of Pandarus’ object of desire. His speeches provide a hint, although the answers are not divulged by virtue of his overriding silences. However, by focusing his energies on Troylus’ romantic needs, Pandarus is not just diverting his attention from his own romantic predicaments but is actually realizing the most that his unspoken (therefore, unrequited) love can reach: loving the beloved sans the condition of asking to be loved in return. Troylus gets sexual gratification through Pandarus, who is rendered indispensible in the knight’s affection. The romance between Troylus and Criseyde is Pandarus’ substitute for the the love between Troylus and himself.
Apart from the speech and silences, Pandarus’ gaze manifests a desire for Troylus. This may be proven in the scenes wherein Pandarus tells how, when, and where Troylus must gaze. In Book II, lines 1014-17, Pandarus directs Troylus to attend to him more than to Criseyde when the knight passes by the widow’s window:
And thow shalt fynde us, yf I may, sittynge
At som wyndowe ynto the strete lokynge.
And yf the lyke, than maystow us saluwe,
And upon me make thi contenaunce;

Whereas Pandarus is only creating a scene wherein Troylus will gaze upon Criseyde, his direction of Troylus’ look implies that he attempts to make the knight yield to the power of Pandarus’ gaze. Pandarus provides for himself an opportunity to be the object of Troylus’ gaze in order to construct him as Troylus’ object of desire. When the scene is orchestrated, Troylus gazes not at Criseyde, but only at Pandarus, as proven in Book II, lines 1259-60: “And up his look debonairly he caste,/And bekked on Pandare, and forth [he] paste,” to which gaze Pandarus “felt iren hot,” Book II, line 1276. This reaction implies that his desire for Troylus has found an outlet through the construction of Troylus’ look, in the process supplementing him a degree of sexual satisfaction.
The aforementioned reveals that Pandarus’ dealing with Troylus is motivated by queer desire, but the uncle’s incestuous involvement with the widow Criseyde shifts Pandarus’ homosexual to bisexual desire. The “sorwful instrument” (Book I, line 10) that is Pandarus harbors a hidden desire for Criseyde, something “woful” (Book I, line 7) which he projects by helping out Troylus in his affair with Criseyde. What suppressed interest Pandarus has for Criseyde may be taken in the context of incestuous love, something that finds vicarious fulfillment when Pandarus resorts to voyeurism every time Troylus and Criseyde have sexual encounters.
The incest between Pandarus and his niece Criseyde recurs in the text albeit implicitly. In Book III, lines 1555-82, for instance, it is suggested that the two are sleeping together:
Pandare, amorwe which that comen was
Unto his niece and gan hire fayre grete,
Seyde, ‘Al this nyght so reynede it, allas,
That al my drede is that ye, nece swete,
Han litel layser had to s[l]epe and mete;
Al nyght,’ quod he, ‘hath reyn so do we wake
That som of us, I trowe, here hedes ake.’
And ner he come and seyde, ‘How stont it now,
This murye morwe?—nece, how kan ye fare?’
Criseyde answered, ‘Nevere the bet [for] yow,
Fox that ye ben, God yeve youre words whyte,
[O!] whoso seth yow, knoweth yow ful lite!’
With that she gan here face forto wrye
With the shete, and wax for shame al red;
And Pandarus gan under forto prye,
And seyde, ‘Nece, yf that I shal ben ded,
Have here a swerd a smyte of myn hed!’
With that his arm al sodeynly he thirste
Under here nekke, and at the laste here k[i]ste.
I passe al that which chargeth nought to seye.
What! Gof foryaf his deth, an[d] she also
Foryaf, and with here uncle gan to pleye,
For other cause was ther noon than so.
But of this thing right to the effect to go,
Whan tyme was, hom til here hous she wente,
And Pandarus hath fully his entente.

This passage may be read that Pandarus participates in an incestuous relationship with Criseyde. On the other hand, it may be that Pandarus seduces or rapes his niece. In either reading, Pandarus’ incestuous desire for Criseyde is made evident, and the consummation of such a desire goes beyond the vicarious sexual gratification he gets from contributing to the romantic liaisons between Troylus and Criseyde.
The openness of Troylus and Criseyde has made possible a gendered reading of the bisexual character that Pandarus is. His character may be interpreted as having a desire for both male and female, as represented by the knight Troylus and by his niece Criseyde. His doting actions toward his friend suggest that the homosocial bond he feels for Troylus may have crossed the line in such a way that these physical actions may be read as his vicarious erotic satisfaction for his desire over the knight. Likewise, what Pandarus speaks of and what he does not make for an insight into his personal desires. Since textual silences paradoxically speak, Pandarus’ silence in certain highlights invites the reading audience to construct his beloved’s and, eventually, his own identity. Also, his queer gaze satisfies his sexual longing for Troylus by way of orchestrating a scene fashioned for his own pleasurable sake. Meanwhile, this queerness becomes more pronounced as bisexual by category as his dealing with his niece opens for an incestuous interpretation of the text, ultimately bringing to fore that Pandarus is attracted to the same and the opposite sex.
The bisexuality of Pandarus dismantles gender conventions as they are constructed in the modern context. It may actually be interpreted as a subversion of both the ancient martial virility and of medieval heterosexual conventions.

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Coghill, Nevill, tr. Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin, 1952.
__________. Troylus and Criseyde. Mills, Maldwyn, ed. London: J.M. Dent, 2000.
Hogan, Steve and Lee Hudson. Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia. New York: Henry Holt, 1999.
Minor, Cesario, Jr. “Gender Relations in Canterbury Tales,” 2008.

Monday, October 20, 2008

cute cute sa loob ng jeepney

pangga has seen the posted paparazzo shots of random boys here and far from cultivating jaundiced eyes and hacking me away ala-"wrong turn," he actually contributed the foregoing photos of a cute guy he happened to ride the jeep with. not bad looking.:)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

why not scuba with him?

the euphoria for batangueno boys seems far from waning as another batangueno figures in this post. my anak-anakan christian, whose roots may be traced in lean town, forwarded the photo of this hottie whom he saw scuba diving in one of the popular resorts in matabungkay. i wish i knew how to snorkel...haha.:)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

god’s gift (for the hunk called raymond)

Eyes dilate in wild abandon
(But no more than two, only mine)
When you sashay down this condemned portion.
We are the same: face, skin, body
But you are queer, exotic
Enough to inflame my carnal cravings.
This revelation must keep your hair aglow all the way.
In the dark where your lust will find you a lay,
I will find you,
Stealing thunder up where you aspired to have
Slid the rainbow,
Whispering “Dream on!” while mimicking
Your ear’s invisible cattleya, smiling with arms akimbo.
May the room full of murmurs
Echo for the gods’ gift a piece of my sanity—
“You wish: fancies are free.”

Friday, October 17, 2008

sleeping beauty in a netcafe

do you know what to give to a sleeping beauty? there's the allusion to the timeless fairy tale, so please do not contaminate this homepage with obscene comments like (scandalous word censored) or (even more wicked word omitted). this counter cutie may be found working on a night shift in a 24/7 internet cafe not far from up nating mahal.:)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

you be the lantern king

barok informed me that he has seen the post in which i mentioned his name as one of the batangueño boys i'm fond of. then, he told me he had just uploaded a recent picture, which i'm sharing here. first chance i saw this smoldering photo, a poem by sappho scorched my mind:

he is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes--

then again, barok is a friend and pangga is way, way more desirable than anybody else in the galaxy, so let's sublimate the covetous passion by posting this ancient essay i wrote for barok.
Yes, indeed, it pays to be a titleholder. And the big winner, I must single out. Imagine if you romped away with, say, the Lantern King title, you become an instant celebrity in the campus. You get to receive from the girls the loveliest message ever conveyed in the universe, enjoy the extra special attention given to you by your schoolmates, and pride about your looks being better enhanced than your runner-up’s parents have augmented their sons’.
On the far edge it makes you wish you were never discovered at all during the Lantern Night. Your privacy and nonexistence before have eventually melted away. You can’t help but shake your head off upon learning that girls match your name with theirs in the F.L.A.M.E.S. play, follow your way as you pass by the College lobby or, worst, proclaim themselves your personal Lantern Queen. The problem with the first is that you might be pinpointed by Eco-Police as culprit in the mountains of scratch papers polluting the College vicinity, your name being boldly written in there while your partner’s, erased. With the next you absurdly suspect being paparazzi-ed. With the last you get to laugh helplessly (and be ridiculed for being such a jerk) at grandly made up females with elaborate costumes enough for you to brand them as human Lanterns (ladies, it’s already past mid-January).
Anyway, you are what you have become. You are adjudged the Lantern King, so be you. Of course, you can barely hunt all the jurors and blame them unendingly for your newfound throng of admirers. The most you can you do is badger them why they have to make you win at the expense of your silent identity exposed. But at the moment you remember that during the Lantern Parade and Program you have willingly agreed to represent the college you belong to, gamely riding your official float and the flaunting your manliness in that royal apparel and, fortunately or unfortunately for you, have easily clinched your throne.
If I were in your shoes I would just wait till Lantern Night approaches anew and die chuckling at the impending catastrophe the next Lantern King is bound to experiencing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

india's children

Indian writers amaze me. Not only are they prolific by way of population, but also are they prolific in writing. And their literature, bless the Indian talent, is in no way below ordinary, gleaning from the ancient epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana to contemporary masterpieces like Midnight’s Children, The God of Small Things and Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. Yet again, another Indian takes the literary universe by storm by winning the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2008. 33-year-old Aravind Adiga’s debut novel The White Tiger, about an impoverished rickshaw puller’s son consumed by his ambition to rise socially, was favored over his compatriot Amitav Ghosh’ Sea of Poppies, Irish Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture, British Linda Grant’s The Clothes on Their Backs and Philip Hensher’s The Northern Clemency, and Australian Steve Toltz’ A Fraction of the Whole. The second younger Booker winner after Nigerian Ben Okri and the third debut novelist to win the prize after fellow Indian Arundhati Roy and Australian(-Mexican) DBC Pierre, Adiga joins the ranks of Rabindranath Tagore, R.K. Narayan, Salman Rushdie, Khuswant Singh, Kamala Markandaya, Anita and Kiran Desai, Bharati Mukherjee and other world-class Indian literary heavyweights. Namaste!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

a hunky bookworm comes to town

it's not always that i get to witness an apparition inside booksale stores so i did not let pass the chance to take snapshots of this hunky bookworm, in between conducting a bookay-bookay of non-mainstream titles and reading back cover blurbs. miss ghana's speculative instinct was itching yet again and revealed to me that the bibliophile's gay, apart from the giveaway tight-fitting maong and white embroidered (!) polo. i pursued, "paano mo nalaman?" and miss ghana replied, "the way he moves!" the guy wasn't flamboyant or something, but the fact that my friend confirmed so in straight english and not in the usual mishmash of tagalog-ilocano, i knew that queerness reeks in the air.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

ala, ey, gumala na naman ang paparazzo a

i have always been fond of batangueño boys, whom i consider collectively as also-ran to, first, ilonggo boys and, second, to pampango boys. lemery native dennis alcedo and san juan-homing karlo loyola, good-looking both, may attest to this fascination. my former colleague's invitation for me to join the bridal entourage en route to malvar, batangas had the paparazzo in me taking snapshots of the only gorgeous guy in the wedding ceremony: the bridal chauffeur. yes, charice pempengco, i love the bucolic scenery, the idiosyncrasy of the small town, the ingenuous boys.:)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

the force

I believe in God because it could not have been that I just came about on earth just like that. There must be some higher force that prevailed for me to emerge into this world. Most importantly, in doing so, that force has a purpose. I believe in God because I can explain the things beyond my control as those that only a Supreme Being could have maneuvered.
I am not hindered from believing in God because why would I, when the things that go against my will could not have done so without the intervention of that higher force I believe to exist? I will only oppose myself if I stubbornly believe that things happen by accident. My mind and heart point to some purposeful God in looking for explanations to things happening around me. And because God’s power is beyond my imagination, I want Him to have a special place in me not so much as to have His special power but to feel secure as I fulfill whatever mission He incorporates in my life. Yes, there is much space in my life which God can occupy and I always try to open this up for His revelation.
There are many instances in which God reveals His presence. There are the times that I am so delighted that things have prevailed to my side. I know in my heart that I did so not solely because of my own intellect or pure strength but because God assisted me. Why should I when I cannot rely on my own wisdom? God helped me fulfill things because He knows these are special to me, and He gives them to me as blessings. But these good times are not the only ones in which I feel God’s presence because I feel Him most in times of tribulation. Whenever I am tested for my patience, faith or some other virtue, I feel that God does not abandon me because He knows me, He knows my weaknesses and He will not forsake me in times that I feel tempted to give up. God does not leave my side during trying experiences because I cannot trust my own strength in battling out evil that attempts to sway my belief away from God.
However I put my full trust in God, I am in a continuous process of perfecting so. Hence, it is not always that I do it 100%. As a result, I sometimes feel doubt, which is that foremost hindrance that I want to remove from myself. I want to take doubt away from me because it is just futile to maintain this. I should not disillusion myself that I can trust alone my strength or intellect. I will only fall victim to the temptation of evil. What I should do instead is to ask God for forgiveness for not relying on Him on these doubtful times. Also, I should humbly accept the flawlessness of my humanity so God will come to me and help me draw enough strength to resist and overcome the problems I experience for the time being. Finally, I should sustain my faith in God because by giving God a special place in me, I entrust Him my whole being, I become one with Him in performing a sacrifice and I put action to my responsibility of believing the only Force that can transform my life into something with fullness and desirability. I sincerely hope that the Force be with me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

afam (for the foreign bodies and the hyphenated)

Taste this French
Caramelizing in the mouth like honey
Hypnotizing horny
Break apart this lust-driven lips;
Get drawn into the ritual of
Mutual groping of bodies
Pulsating with warm fluids
Rippled by desire.
But even as ecstasy runs afire,
There grows a longing for the same
That’s more than meets the eye.
What Vienna sausage, Spanish bread,
Hungarian footlong or American pie?
Lovely others, I cannot lose
On a tropical kiss, Pinoy style.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

no fun under the sun

Left, right, left. There you master your movements, although your repetitive execution of stamping one foot after the other makes a sure dumb out of you. You pass by the bleachers, halt past the grandstand, and then wander again in the football field stamping roundabout like remote-controlled robots. You go shift here and on to the extreme side of the Oval without catching the core of the officer’s motives of forwarding and U-turning yet on fiery weekend mornings (you will have spent time more gainfully by joining a special offer team, brandishing CFC-containing aerosols and poisonous antiseptics in your neighborhood).
Yeah, you need this detestable Military Science course, you inevitably do, but do you suppose to deteriorate untimely simply by basking uninvited under the sun during Saturdays or, unluckily for you, even Sundays? Much as you want to return weekly to Malolos to reunite with the Loyolas and hear mass in Barasoain (in case you’re a Catholic), you are compelled to simulate warfare soldiers all day, wearing Type-A uniform and taking up wooden rifles which you can easily pass for paperweights or fuels. End of this, you exhaust your whole energy striding tediously in the fields for al eternity, afterwards your tongue sticks out up to your chin and your body perspires heavily.
As if masochists, you and your troop mates are made to suffer even greater: all of you get scolded for spitefully rendering your platoon leader’s favorite song “ Basang-basa sa Ulan”, thereafter you find yourselves pushing your palms recurrently against the ground. You hear an angered, deafening voice like an alligator’s from as far as 90 feet, stating, “Carry out this order: pagtatabasin ang buhok ng mga iyan!” Moments later, you become annoyed as the commanding officer begins examining your hair and poises to tatter it.
“Why cut my hair?” you deliberately question the officer, resisting the threat to your hairstyle. “It is just two inches above my ears,” you insist. “In ROTC, it is ought to be three,” he slings back, proceeding to his evil intent of carving a road map in your scalp to damage slightly your comely appearance. Soon enough, you see your raven strands floating like feathers in space and plummeting into the grass together with other cadets’ hair.
Sometimes, it is hard to say you deserve a place in the sun, isn’t it?

Monday, October 06, 2008

two for the road

the paparazzo in me is on the loose: the guy in red was dining with his girlfriend whose off-shoulder miraculously adjusts on the left side one time, and then on the right the next. the guy in grey suit was on a motorcycle break. imagine him taking the helmet off his pretty head...up there, okay?:)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

transit (for my ilonggo lover)

Yesterday’s view of planet Venus passing across the sun’s disk was obscured by the raging rainclouds of typhoon Frank.

Shame on you, Venus
For frustrating desperados
Of that awaited kiss
On the face of the sun.
These fools claim, lovers they become
Only when it’s written in the stars
But look, Venus,
Here we are, my beloved and I,
Doing the very spectacle you denied.
And we need not appease the gods
Nor observe eclipses or exorcise storms
Off these islands too unkeen to help fate along.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

englishan ang labanan

my chaucer class decides to meet at manna specialty bakery near katipunan, for a change. it happens that it's the last meeting for the semester before dr. rivera flies to london for a global conference on english literature. o, i'll surely miss this class where, like the canterbury pilgrims, we journeyed through geoffrey chaucer's medieval english world peopled by such unforgettable characters like the wife of bath, the pardoner, constance, chantecleer, a mother who allowed her children to be murdered, a choir boy who still sings long after his throat got slit, and so much more. i will miss the times when the lone straight guy becomes the patriarchal scapegoat of the feminists in the class. i will miss the lively discussions with snacks of crackers and chocolates in tow. well, see you next sem, tarie, lito, joanna, cynth, april and ma'am!
sidenote: pangga won't allow himself to be dragged into sitting in any of my classes in UP, citing epistaxis scare.

Friday, October 03, 2008

time-warped barok

All set for history zap. Epoch opted: Paleolithic Era. Survival equipment complete. Refrain from being inquisitive; sit immobile. Onward to your destination, six seconds left, five, four, three, and two, off you go…
Alight from the time machine and then stare around you. The ancient environment looks wholly different from the computer age you come from. The trees waxing in the wilderness are greener and bigger in number than those you delightedly lay eyes on in your origin. Animals of strange forms, which you meet only in menageries in prehistoric books, startle your sight. And yes, Barok, the Philippine version of the “Flintstones” fame, dawns in your field of vision to serve as an associate in your regression tasks.
As the modern-day incarnation of Barok comes face with that of the primeval, the two of you can be passable twin brothers. You mutually know that you two are one, from the captivating physical aspects down to your innermost assets, never mind the vast difference in your speech, clothing or manners. Yours may be musical, arbitrary sort of systemized nouns, verbs, adjectives, meticulously intertwined by appropriate articles and conjunctions while Barok’s, the precise contrast. Your dress and attitude are prim and refined, whereas his, dauntless to say, are kind of barbarous. At any rate, both of you understand clearly the importance of carrying out your principal objective that is to annihilate the hideous monster Teriyaki.
Armed with roughly fashioned flints, you attentively vigil the fortress of Baroklandia in the right tempo for the expected onslaught of Teriyaki. That pest surely will hover over the golden meadows to preempt again Barok’s people’s harvest period, or it shall reap and eat their very bodies. Your preparation pays off as across the glade flies the ferocious species, ready for an attack. Before the giant bird can incinerate both you and Barok alive, you are able to pummel without pause its dingy beak and head, whereupon you instantly kill the beast that has plagued the land for years.
The entire village breaks into a victorious revelry after the demise of the feared monster. Barok and his people can enjoy their produce quite for themselves. Henceforth, Barok and his queen, Gundina, can run Baroklandia happily, tranquilly, and you have made all possible through time warp.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

cinderella (for my bacolod boy)

By the stroke of midnight,
I slip into my sneakers
And ply the dead paths of delight,
Always mysterious but ending up
Heaped with “Terrific!”
You see, all goodbyes murmured are final.
Nothing can render my shoelace untied
Before I flee the darkness
Because every journey home
Is a return to you—
The light whose mellow touch
Gives silence a fuller meaning,
Whose kiss transfigures a sneaker-wearing frog
Into some crystal-stillettoed prince charming.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

a letter to a bacolodnon lover

i gathered from the news that the masskara festival in bacolod city is being inaugurated, so as the revelry goes full swing, let me share to you a letter i wrote once upon a time for a negrense lover.
October 13, 2003
12:15 a.m.
Hinigugma ko,
Reading gives me enjoyment, but more than that, I love reading because after doing it, I get to decide whether or not I like what I read. My present dilemma is a different thing altogether: besides that fact that it naturally doesn’t give me enjoyment, I cannot decide whether or not to like it, either.
The day you reached the point of putting an end to our relationship, I tried and still try hard to win you back because I love you (and loving you is all I’ve learned to know and do since I met you), and I see that only by loving you will I feel that I’m alive and fulfilled. Still reeling a week into our breakup, I figure out that my purpose for attempting to be your lover again cannot be taken in a good light. Honeybunny, I’m being selfish, less because I want you back without having you castigate me for my discomfiture, but more because I want you back if only to make me whole again. You see, while you don’t believe me anymore, I truly, madly, deeply love you, and I need your love back because it inflames me to return to the mainstream. I realize how self-serving it is that I beg you love me again despite the terrible hurt I caused you, and that this begging feeds the greater love for self than that for you.
In my loving you, I offer a big deal of myself, less because you are my very first and only boyfriend, but more because on the balmy evening of May 15, 2003, in between sobs and tears that copiously cascaded from my eyes, I gambled on my destiny by giving true love a chance. My decision paid off: your love invariably humanized me in many-splendored ways I could not enumerate. What matters to me is that the second time I love (you don’t have to zero in on the first time, because it was unrequited anyway), the whole world is upon my feet. Your starry-eyed visage, your gentle voice, your kisses, your songs, your loving, your caring, your sincerity—how can I lose? Today. I can only wax nostalgic, because these wistful memories cannot deny the reality that I lost my beloved and our dreams and our love, quite due to my own doing.
There you must be, fists clenched, teeth gnashing in seething rage as you crystallize venom-filled words with which to slay me far more virulent and fatal that the suicides I contemplate of committing, i.e. hurling myself onto the biggest vehicle to screech along and performing death jump from my stargazer-friendly apartment rooftop. I don’t resort to any, since just imagining how puny and loathsome I’ve become before your eyes renders me dead beyond ways bearable. You, the love of my life, the song I celebrate—how can I take this yoke that is upon me? But then, I come to think, how can you take the yoke that is upon you?
This is why I’m gravely confused whether or not I should ask you yet again to take me back. To beg for forgiveness is out of the question: I’m largely at fault, and severely culpable that I can endlessly shear my hair and throw ashes in the air in my plea to be pardoned by you. To ask to be your lover again is an entirely delicate matter, and I get embedded in grief deeper then ever. For the life of me, I know I love you and I love you more today while this crisis wreaks havoc and, in the frightfully unpredictable days that drag on, I love you is that sole condition I’m absolutely certain of. Nonetheless, I’m uncertain if you can still wear the faith you have as my beloved, even as my love grows for you one wonderful day after another. I’m a pain in the neck out to cause you constant heartbreaks, as someone successfully fished in trouble waters when he helped you decide I’m a flirt and cannot be trusted with.
To ask to be your lover again and fail at length may prove dreadful for me, but in hindsight, you may be better off me. I envision happiness that’s always farther away with me around you, and the many good things to last you a lifetime if I wave goodbye. Now it seems to me that the greatness of my love for you swells into the proportions of letting you go, if by that I give you the best opportunities to reap what you deserve. I’m always thankful for your coming to touch my life, and for letting me love you, in which case I am made to feel that I’m deserving of you and your love.
Lately, I’m reading (hence, this letter’s prelude) as a therapy for the sadness that our breakup wrought in my system. While I’m at it, I remember Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince and associate my beloved to the prince’s rose; the loveliest roses this part of the earth, yet their beauty is a shame because no one can die for them. My beloved is a rose unlike any other rose, because it’s he I love, it’s he I care for, it’s he I’ll die for. I wish your treat this analogy as an honest feeling that can be reasoned with.
Even now that I’m hopelessly like a liar to you, to lie is the last thing I like you to think of me, so I admit I’m optimistic that things will be rosier for our relationship the moment we patch up. I long to wake up from this Kafkaesque nightmare, because I miss the very person who gives fuller meaning (and the only one to do so) to my life: I don’t want us to suffer or wallow on loneliness forever, to wear Bacolod masks of sugar-sweet smiles just to feign that everything is better. I hope to be your lover again, and chase your heart to the edge of the universe, and court you till the last strand of my dying breath.
Ang naga-palangga,