To Didion and Plath, of course

The first time I read Joan Didion I was in a bus heading to Manila. It was not an easy book — I cried uncontrollably and had to hide behind the curtain as I continue devouring her passages.

Tonight, I’ve picked up Sylvia Plath. I’d go either with her unabridged journal or Bell Jar. These are not easy read, yes, but it’s comforting to know that someone else have been through whatever it is you are currently going through, and despite their clattered and lost pieces — limbs and aspirations — they’ve managed to look life in the face. And that, in itself, is already a victory. Staying alive and making meaning.

You get what I mean? The guarantee that we’re not alone — not really, not at all — is soothing. We’re the lost souls, hovering restlessly in the fog, seeking for a home to land. And our definition of home resides greatly in its temporal dimension.

Times I managed to perform on stage

Sometime within this month I had my first spoken poetry. No, I’m actually never a performer. My introversion — especially now that I’ve been having existential crisis — is a bit, well, extreme.
Aside from that one, the only time I managed to perform on stage was when I was in Kindergarten: we were having our lesson in writing when the dancers for the upcoming event were asked to go out for a practice.
Looking at the length of paragraphs I still needed to write, I raised my hand, called the attention of our teacher, and volunteered for Macarena. Ha! That was a good childhood memory.
So, yeah. Sometime during this month I managed to deliver a poem. I wrote the poem of course, and it was dedicated for the community of war torn areas, in particular in Bakwit in Maguindanao.
It also aims to shatter the petty bourgeoisie tendencies inherent in an urban environment and among the urban dwellers.
Tomorrow I’ll be doing it again — spoken poetry. I am yet to write my piece, but I can see now that in light of the recent events concerning Marcos, it will be about the pain of historical amnesia, the failure of our educational system, and the abusive remark of the bullies and trolls who hide behind their laptop screens and false social media names.
Well, at least I’m considering that. I hope my existential crisis don’t catch me tomorrow night.


I miss academe.

I miss the kind of conversation that does not have to include love life or sex life or gender preferences of anyone in order to make it satisfying.

I miss coffee and coffee shops and pasta. I miss the trading of ideas, the heated exchanges, and the capability of the actors not to take any of these personally.

I miss how we can still interact — free from subjectivisms and reservations — after we have dismembered our theoretical foundations.

I miss how, on the ruins of it, we construct a socially relevant and revolutionary one.

I miss how we can actually do all these over and over and over — without secretly despising each other.

I miss the freedom to voice out criticisms and I miss those who can take criticisms constructively.

I miss those who are humble enough to recognize their limitations, those who understand their regular need for improvement.

I miss those who have the courage to admit their mistakes and those who possess the strength to rectify their errors.

I miss the skills and the maturity to handle all these without resorting to personal and groundless attacks — the amount of money on your bank account, hasty diagnosis of your loneliness, callous conclusion about your character.

I miss the sense of accomplishment.

I miss the certainty that you can lay your weaknesses at your weakest days, when you can no longer hold your pieces together. And I miss the confidence that you can do it with an assurance that whoever sees this not-so-lovable-part-of-your-soul will never hold it against you.

I miss this niche.

I am so exhausted.
And I miss
not feeling exhausted
at all.

For my mother

It’s a surreal experience watching a dark cloud drifts over the moon until nothing is left but darkness. And then, moments after, it’ll clear up and there will be light from the edge. You’ll see the crater, the imperfect shape, the distinct hardness and isolation of that silvery gray solitude somewhere in the universe.

I’m glad I got this binocular. It’s a surreal feeling watching all these and knowing perfectly that it only deepens the excavation of my incessant yearning for all life far away. This super moon phenomenon, you understand, resurrects my longing to have you again. I would like to think you still exist somewhere else and there is hope — no matter how astronomical — for me to find you again.

Though hope is not tactical, I will still hope. And for you, no matter how bleak and next to impossible it is, I will never stop hoping. (For my mother | Nov 2016)