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Showing posts from September, 2013

i didn't mean to hurt you

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(for the first part of this tale, please click here.)


there was a sudden change in his mood. i didn't know what triggered it.
"are you alright?", i asked, suddenly alarmed. we were talking jovially on the way to my apartment after shopping some groceries, about his day at the restaurant, about my day at work. about an interview i had that morning with a fund manager who warned about the collapse of the chinese economy in three to four years. he responded with a laugh and told me to stop talking in french.
"you know that i don't understand anything about business. i don't even read the business page," he said, teasing me. i laughed too. his laughter, full of the energy of youth, so honest, so ethereal, was contagious. if it were a disease, i would gladly invent a virus so i could spread it all over the world.
but a few meters away from the apartment door, he suddenly became quiet. his face darkened. when i asked why, he pointed, using his lips, at the ma…

rainy day musings

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it's been raining for days in metro manille. since i am too lazy to venture out of the house, i end up eating left over foods from a few days ago. good thing i have some spare biscuits, breads, adobo and other still edible stuff in the pantry. even if they dampen the mood, i still love the rainy days; even if i fail to save those left over dreams (cue: nat king cole singing "here's that rainy day." 

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most people i know hate it when it rains. i totally understand because it means flood, traffic, getting wet while wearing a luvly outfit and feeling sleepy, not good when you have tons of things to do. because i was born and raised in the province, miles away from the city and where traffic and even flood (of course it's a different story if there is a strong typhoon) were unheard of, i never associate a rainy day with these ugly consequences. for me, a rainy day spells romance…

memoirs of a martial law baby

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my birth and that of my younger sister, the youngest in the family, coincided with key dates in the conjugal dictatorship that was ferdinand and imelda marcos. you could even say that while my parents, a lowly military man and a simple housewife living inside a military camp, were making love, the fabled two were screwing the country and its impoverished people; the difference of course is that while the former produced two of the most lovable kids in the family, the latter created a living hell for most filipinos who are still reeling until now from the ill-effects of that shameful era in our history.

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i was born in nineteen sixty-nine the year marcos won a much-disputed second term in office as president of the republic. my birthday was also exactly eight days after the communist party of the philippines, which became a thorn in the life and ambitions of the dictator, was born.

actually, the year nineteen sixy-nine was a historic one. aside from the political turmoil at h…

a waltz at the historic fort

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this afternoon, while the rain was threatening to spoil an otherwise perfect day, i had a very strong craving for newly-cooked, steaming banana cue and camote cue, with the sticky caramelized brown sugar still clinging to them like a scorned lover. the craving was too powerful that without batting an eyelash, i hailed a cab and went straight to manila cathedral where there were vendors selling the favourite merienda fare among filipinos at the plaza across the church years ago when i was still covering the government's weekly bond auctions.



sadly, the vendors were no longer there. instead of the old woman who used to peel and cook those bananas in boiling oil and sugar, all i saw were old men wearing green checkered shirts asking me if i wanted to tour intramuros by riding their horse-drawn carriages.
when i asked them where were the vendors selling banana and camote cues, they pointed me to a narrow street a few meters away from the plaza. i followed their direction and ended up…

the season of mood swings

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what is it about the rains and everything else? their mood swings are scary, their unpredictability is making everyone else dreary. 
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friday was woozy. as if the gods in heaven had a drink all night, slept the whole day and forgot to set the stars right. until later. i woke up early. around eight in the morning. i was excited. i had a great day ahead of me. i thought it would be a bright day. it was sunny when i rose from bed. i wanted to wear white jeans that i have not worn for several months now because of the rains. a long-sleeve paul smith shirt in baby pink would be perfect with them jeans.

after i laid down the jeans and shirt on the bed, it rained. there was even a thunder. as if a storm was coming. frustrated,  i returned the pants inside the cabinet.

instead, i decided to wear an old pair of dark jeans, the ones i have been wearing for the last few weeks. unwashed. smelly. i would still wear the pink shirt. who cares? then i put on an old pair of blue paul smith sn…

all about my nanay

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(this month, two of the dearest people in my life -- my nanay and my youngest sister bambeth -- will be celebrating their birthdays. they are the kindest people i know, maybe because they share the birthday month of mama mary. i plan to write some stories about them, starting off with my nanay juaning.)


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when i think about love, i think about my nanay. juaning maybe old (around eighty), but her heart remains young, stays huge enough to accommodate all the people around her, and so strong that no matter how many times she has been hurt, she remains hopeful.  i am not saying this because she is my mother, but because i have seen her live it -- the life of love.
truth is, she is one of my inspirations to be a good person, to always fill my life with love even if sometimes, i end up getting hurt, being left alone, empty.
every time i am down, about to give-up, i would just close my eyes, remember her calm, serene face, beautifully marked by wrinkles and framed by grey hair, an…