Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Two Days Sober: The End of a Love Affair with a Saint

I just posted the poem, Alay sa Patrong San Miguel, at the poetry blog. It's a poem that I wrote in 1999 at a time when I was rebelling against authority. It's a very bitter piece built over a one-hour solo drinking session. Posting it made me realize how in times of depression, and frustration, I have usually turned to alcohol.

I never really thought of drinking as bad. Until now. I was initiated into it early, through a game, when I was around 9 or 10 years old. It was the town fiesta and they called in children for a drinking game. Whoever finished their bottle of pale pilsen first gets a prize. I drank it, straight up, and won. I could vividly remember the crowd cheering, and a couple of the older men saying, "Manang-mana sa tatay niyang manginginom ah."

Maybe I do take take after my father who drinks. From my earliest days I could remember him coming home from work drunk. I could remember him and my mother fighting over it, and as a a result of it. Before long, I was the one getting drunk all the time.

In high school, my friends would usually stay over at my house for an all-night drinking session after a party. This went on for me and my high school friends even until college.

At university, I joined a fraternity, where I learned to really drink, if not for anything but fellowship. It was not unusual for me then to come home plastered.

Then I started working, and earning my own (beer) money. Over the years, I consumed hundreds, maybe even thousands of gallons of alcoholic drinks, and my body learned to adjust to the extreme alcohol levels I subjected it to.

Last week, I was out every night for a full week (maybe more). Three times I went home with the sun up. I was unproductive and missed some very important tasks. I was thinking I was on break and was making the most of my "vacation" time, but the last few days were just too much.

So for now, I'm swearing alcohol off. I do not know how long this resolve will last, but in a way I have said my so longs and thank yous to my patron saint and lover of 20 plus years, San Miguel.

Hindi na. Okay na. As far as I'm concerned
tapos na. Tapos na ang gabing ito. Paggising ko
bukas siguro masakit ang ulo ko. 'Di bale.
At least 'yon ang naiisip ko. Hindi ang mga
problema ko. Tapos na rin ang samba.
Nag-uuwian na ang mga customer ng Cafea.
Kasama ko na lang 'tong huling bote ko
ng cerveza, nakapatong sa mesa, naghihintay
na ubusin ko, inumin, lagukin, kahit mapait
kahit mainit.

Until our next rendezvous.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Your Bubbly Face

The setting was not so romantic. Yet somehow, when the music and the lyrics of this song filled the room, everything suddenly turned rosy.

Here is the song that forever marks this day as special in the life of this lowly, earth-bound traveler.

Colbie Caillat

I've been awake for a while now
You got me feeling like a child now
'Cause every time I see your bubbly face
I get the tingles in a silly place

It starts in my toes and I crinkle my nose
Wherever it goes I'll always know
That you make me smile please stay for a while now
Just take your time wherever you go

The rain is falling on my window pane
But we are hiding in a safer place
Under covers staying safe and warm
You give me feelings that I adore

They start in my toes make me crinkle my nose
Wherever it goes I'll always know
That you make me smile please stay for a while now
Just take your time wherever you go

What am I gonna say
When you make me feel this way
I just... mmm...

It starts in my toes makes me crinkle my nose
Wherever it goes I'll always know
That you make me smile please stay for a while now
Just take your time wherever you go

I've been asleep for a while now
You tucked me in just like a child now
'Cause every time you hold me in your arms
I'm comfortable enough to feel your warmth

It starts in my soul and I lose all control
When you kiss my nose the feeling shows
'Cause you make me smile, baby, just take your time now
Holding me tight

Wherever, wherever, wherever you go
Wherever, wherever, wherever you go
Wherever you go, I'll always know
'Cause you make me smile here, just for a while

Thursday, November 22, 2007


[Updated November 23]

Two days ago, I met a very talented singer at the bar in Timog that I frequent. He shared with me a recording that he did as a member of the all-male singing group, the Philippine San Beda Singers.

Now, I'm sharing with you their rendition of the much-loved traditional Visayan love song, Usahay, arranged by their conductor, Robert Delgado. My new friend, JM Lim, sings lead.

I added my English translation of the Visayan lyrics below.


Usahay magadamgo ako

nga ikaw ug ako nagkahigugmaay.
Nganong damguhon ko ikaw
damguhon sa kanunay
sa akong kamingaw?

Usahay magamahay ako

nganong nabuhi pa ning kalibutan.
Nganong gitiaw-tiawan
ang gugma ko kanimo, kanimo da?

Sometimes I dream
of you and me in love.
Why do I dream of you,
always dream of you
in my loneliness?

Sometimes I regret
being born into this world.
Why do you/they mock
the love I have for you
for you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Time Flies

And so will I.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

It was at the height of popularity of the movie, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, when my mom brought home the cutest puppy with the saddest little eyes.

So I thought it would be cute to call the newest member of the family, Maxi.

And here is chronicled the blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (the mutt).

Don't you just love the look on his face? Makes you want to snuggle and cuddle him.

With my brothers, Andrew and Ian.

With my sister, Mikee.


Growing bigger. And growing spots!

There was a time when I allowed him to sleep on the bed with me. But then he grew bigger and bigger and started shedding his hair so now I send him out to sleep on the veranda.

Here is Maxi now, all grown up. It took me close to 50 shots to get him to pose. He has turned into the most hyperactive dog so I couldn't get him to stop and "pose" for the camera.

This was a "stolen" shot. I kinda sneaked up on him so I could take this.

Eventually, he grew tired of dodging the camera and posed long enough for this shot.

Okay, enough said. Time for your bath, Maxi!

Tempus Fugit Part 2

Here are more pictures from the AYS Farewell Party. Thanks, Rico, for sending them in.

Foreground, seated from L to R: Jacel, Iza, Abi, Cris, Mike, and Abby
At the back, from L to R: Ernest, Macky, Japs, Jeannie, Lawrence, Rico, me, Jason, and Ali

Iza, Abi, me (plus Rico, Ali, and Cris)

Ultra foreground: Cris
Midground: Iza, Abi, me
At the back: Rico, Jason, Ali, Mike, and Abby

From L to R: Jeannie, me, Japs, Lawrence, Rico, Jason, Iza, Mike, and Abby

From L to R: Jeannie, me, Abi, Lawrence, Rico, Jason, Iza, Mike, and Abby

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tempus Fugit

It's not that big a deal, really, but I realize I am now writing the 50th entry on my blog.

It isn't much, I know, but it's something, especially since none of this was ever really planned. Started with just a couple of friends prodding me to start a blog, next thing I know I'm on my 50th post already. Tempus fugit!

Speaking of how fast time flies, I am becoming a bit nostalgic about some of the people I "left behind" in GMA. I miss them, especially my staff.

The program I handled the longest in GMA/Q was At Your Service, Star Power! Its last episode aired close to a month ago, but the real farewell to the show happened just this Friday at Cris' diner along Roces Avenue.

Most everyone was there, including our host, Iza, who is seen here with a chunk of ube halaya on her teeth. Nice, Iza! Beside her, of course, is the show's Executive Producer, Jacel, who is one of two (maybe three) people in AYS who have been there since it launched as a weekend morning show in GMA.

Segment Producer, Abi, who cried the most that night. Look at how much she has grown! She was only this small when she started. Hahaha!

AYS boys Macky, Lawrence, and Cris belting a classic in the karaoke. Oh Lawrence, look at how much you have GROWN, too! Hehe.

Iza's turn to sing: Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz. Coolness!

Iza and Abi sharing the microphone.

The team with a genuine heart for service. Group shot right before the...

...blowing of the candles.

Congratulations to the team that put up the most awarded show on Q! You guys brought home a New York Festivals award, 3 awards from the US International Film and Video Awards, and an Anak TV Seal. I'm proud of you!

And never forget how you've changed many lives and helped many people in the show. You're all blessings to the world.

Ceremonial cutting of the cake? Why not?!

The ladies of AYS.

The REAL ladies of AYS.

The boys of AYS? Hahaha.

I will so miss working with you guys. More than co-workers, I consider you friends and family. Until the next time!

More pictures coming soon. Rico and Addy promised to send me the ones they took.

(Photos here courtesy of Abi.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ready 2GO

It was 2 and a half hours past the deadline, and I've bitched on the phone several times already at the customer service representative. But when the parcel from 2GO finally arrived, all the anxieties, indignation, and the restlessness faded into oblivion.

My passport has finally arrived.

I am now officially a citizen of the world.

Now all I gotta do is pack my bags and make sure that I have Leaving on a Jet Plane ready to play on my iPod.

A Thousand Words and More

A good photographer does not need words for his photos. His pictures speak for themselves. Sometimes, if you look more closely, you will even find that the pictures he takes say more than his subjects care to convey.

This is my tribute to one of the most sensitive photographers I have ever known - Carlos Mori Rodriguez.

Thank you for taking great pictures, Mori. I still owe you the short stories that are supposed to go with your pictures, which I promised to write. Watch out for them at the poetry site.

All pictures courtesy of Carlos Mori Rodriguez. For a wealth of other great pictures by Mori, please visit Confessions of a Leap Year Baby II.

Brokeback Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. It's amazing how time flies. Around Christmastime last year I was at the peak of my 3-year career in GMA. I was going to get promoted again at that time.

For Christmas 2006, we decided to do a theme party. We required everyone to come in a movie costume. I obviously chose to do Brokeback Mountain. Yeehaw! (Thanks for the picture, Dada.)

Sidelight: I didn't know it yet at the time this picture was taken, but that night was to mark the beginning of the end of my almost-four-year relationship with an ex. We've been strangers since the breakup. It's been close to a year. Sigh. One day we will be friends again.

Memories of Bohol

It's been more than a year, and I am more than excited to go back to Bohol - Piper's most favorite place in the whole world. We were there in May 2006 for a project we did together.

We had fun, but because we had limited time, we were not able to see much of the place.

With the whole crew: Stickies in Bohol!

Before that, in January 2005, I went to the northern part of Bohol to do a story on seahorses, but I didn't get to go around either.

In October of this year, Piper was there with Prue for the kick-off charity of The Happy Sun campaign.

I would have gone if my schedule had permitted it. She and Prue got to spend some leisure time around the island and I am just green with envy.

They even got to reconnect with the Charmed Ones' long lost sister, Phoebe.

This month, I finally get to go back to Bohol (November 29 to December 2). I'm going with Single Fish, who is just as excited to explore (ravage?) Bohol. I hope to finally see and experience its more popular offers - the hills, the fauna, the river cruise, the people, Brownbuds, and Phoebe. This time I am not leaving anything out. Of course, first on the agenda is to get in the water with the fishies and the dolphins.

Bohol, you better be ready, because you and I have a date!

(Photos from Piper and Prue's Bohol trip courtesy of Piper and Prue.)

Postscript: If you've noticed, I've been backtracking a bit lately. Recently, I've been able to get my hands on a lot of old pictures so indulge me a bit as I look back into my wonderful past. Later, will post pictures from my Pangasinan vacation with my brother and sister. Plus, Single Fish is sending me more pictures of the Boracay wedding we attended.

Badminton Action (Backtrack)

Well, what do you know. I found some more action pictures of me. This time, from the 2006 GMA badminton tournament.

Played in the men's doubles match.

With my teammate and good friend, Addy.

We didn't win, but we had a grand time playing. Of course, since my volleyball injury I have not been able to play as much badminton as I want.

Soon. Soon.
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The Chronicler's Creed

Where there's water and sun, where there are friends to see or new people to meet, where there's something new to learn, experience, or do, where there's life, there I will be.


Y fue a esa edad... Llegó la poesía
a buscarme. No sé, no sé de dónde
salió, de invierno o río.
No sé cómo ni cuándo,
no, no eran voces, no eran
palabras, ni silencio,
pero desde una calle me llamaba,
desde las ramas de la noche,
de pronto entre los otros,
entre fuegos violentos
o regresando solo,
allí estaba sin rostro
y me tocaba.

And it was at that age... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I do not know, I do not know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I do not know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

- An excerpt from LA POESÍA (Poetry) by Pablo Neruda