9/11

11 09 2013

It was one lazy evening spent drinking with friends.  TV was just playing in the background.   All of a sudden, CNN flashed some breaking news about one airplane crashing into one of the World Trade Center towers. And then another one crashed into the other tower.  Whatever degree of drunkenness I had that evening dissipated as I sat down transfixed on the TV.

Devastated was an understatement of how I felt.

2,996 deaths.

Have we become so enamored with power that we could easily kill another just to keep it?  Can we no longer take not being agreed with? Have we become so desensitized that another person’s life to us no longer carries as much value?

It’s been 12 years today but we are in no way closer to achieving peace than we were back then.  I am not in the US but remembering the events that unfolded from that day on still breaks my heart.  I am in the Philippines where war has lost its novelty.  I hail from the south where bombs explode and it only makes the local news.  It is sad that our wars are mostly internal.  Today, people in Zamboanga City fear for tomorrow.  At any given time,  someone could die and it could them. For what? Brothers fighting brothers for reasons all feudal but dressed differently.  Does it justify anything?

No.

As nothing makes sense to me and as hope changed its name to chance, I can only whisper a prayer to my God.  Let there be peace on Earth.  And let it indeed begin with me.

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The Rainy Day

27 12 2009

THE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And for some reason, this captures my feelings today… amidst all the excitement… I am sad.

I tried cleaning up my phone’s inbox today and August 13, 2009 stared back at me—Papa’s third day in the ICU. I read every single message that followed… sent and received. It had me sending detailed updates to my sister in the US, complete with Papa’s lab results, latest vital stats and the last doctor’s orders. It also had generic messages that I sent to my other brothers and sister, and to my Papa’s siblings and relatives. It was like reliving each moment. And just like that, tears flowed like there’s no tomorrow.

Needless to say, I wasn’t able to finish what I was supposed to do, I wanted to keep them. Maybe I’m just masochistic that way but I wanted to hold on to the messages.

I think I’ll go to bed…





in retrospect…

17 12 2009

I haven’t blogged any for months. Perhaps I should have. It might’ve eased some of the stress that I have had to bear. But offline real life has gotten the better of me. So just to keep you up to date—we moved, my dad died, I fell in and out of love, we moved again. One of these days, I’ll give details. For now, this will be just another placeholder. 😉

Oh, and did I mention that I got hooked on Mafia Wars on Facebook? Seriously! Jeeez.

xoxo





Bon Voyage, Kiko Part Deux

11 03 2009

Earlier today, Francis “Kiko” Magalona’s remains were cremated.  He is getting recognition here and there—now that he’s gone.  Too late, huh?  I’ve always followed the man’s life in awe.  I’ve been reading his blog and I’ve been telling my mom about his brilliantly designed shirts and about how cute his kids are, especially Arkin who has played young Dingdong Dantes in Dyesebel and Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang, and how amazing it is that people don’t even know that their first two kids are not biologically his but Pia’s alone because Kiko never treated them differently and how nationalistic and patriotic he has been.   And now, he’s gone.  Now, people are also reading his blog.  People are now wearing his shirt.  People now know that he has eight kids. He is also getting awards for his nationalism and love of country.  Más vale tarde que nunca.

In these cold summer nights, I offer you these three songs:

Three Stars And A Sun
Three stars and a sun, in one sky, so high,
I live and die and die will I for my
Motherland this is the land of my birth,
No purse is worth the price of this earth
Can we rise, can we all, hell no!,
Or should we all just take the fall?
Bless the man if his heart and his land are one
…3 stars & a sun!
3 stars & a sun! I’m ready to defend the 3 stars & a sun!
Omission to a mission, transport for the brain,
Packed w/ stacks of tracks built for a train,
I eat lead, but I never let it be said,
“He said, she said,” it makes me see red
‘Cuz I don’t take bullshit & I’m ‘a pack it and push it,
And hit you w/ the full clip
Switch to mode lock-‘n’-load in the land of Juan
…the 3 stars & a sun!
3 stars & a sun! I’m ready to defend the 3 stars & a sun!
Bahay kubo kahit munti, may pula,
Bughaw, dilaw, atsaka puti
There is a need to sow the seed,
Toil the soil and plod until your hands bleed
‘Cuz this land is sacred,
Many a battle have been fought with hatred
Don’t tell me that you understand,
It’s been 4 hundred years of tears
For the brown man,
Still and all the fight has just begun
…3 stars & a sun!
3 stars & a sun! I’m ready to defend the 3 stars & a sun!








Kaleidoscope World
So many faces, so many races
Different voices, different choices
Some are mad, while others laugh
Some live alone with no better half
Others grieve while others curse
And others mourn behind a big black hearse
Some are pure and some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most
Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world
Some are great and some are few
Others lie while some tell the truth
Some say poems and some do sing
Others sing through their guitar strings
Some know it all while some act dumb
Let the bassline strum to the bang of the drum
Some can swim while some will sink
And some will find their minds and think
Others walk while others run
You can’t talk peace and have a gun
Some are hurt and start to cry
Don’t ask me how don’t ask me why
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most
Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world


Cold Summer Nights
I keep on blaming my self
I should have eaten my pride
how can i convince you
its just a matter of time

many times i’ve hurt you
with my foolish ways oh girl
now i know i have to pay the price

is there a way for u to turn around,
turn around and come back baby
ohh baby cant u see

CHORUS:
its been cold summer nights since we drifted apart
cold summer nights since you walked out that door
cold summer nights here on my own
coz i miss you baby, i need you here

RAP:
cold summer nights girl, i really miss you
you rocked my world
i wanna touch you and kiss you
its my fault
i never called you at home
i’m on the phone, wishing you could call
i’m all alone
is there a way for you to turn around and
come back to me
i hope you understand
that i’m your man and together we can
kiss and make up
‘coz you know i cant stand

Repeat Chorus





Bon Voyage, Kiko

6 03 2009

I am still in a daze.

Francis Magalona is dead.

He succumbed to Acute Myelogenous Leukemia with Mixed Lineage at 12 noon today, as announced by Vic Sotto in Eat Bulaga.  He, together with the other hosts of the show, asked for a moment of silence to pray for the eternal repose of Kiko’s soul.

He had a close call in December when he had septic shock.  The cause of his death is still undisclosed.

Kiko/FrancisM is survived by his wife Pia Arroyo and their children—Unna, Nicolo, Francis Jr., Isabella, Maxene, Elmo, Arkin, and Clara.   I pray for the kids.  I hope Pia will remain strong.

Condolence to the Magalona family.

Bon voyage, Kiko, you will be sorely missed.





A Grateful Nation

23 01 2009

“Please accept this flag on behalf of a grateful nation.”

I love Las Vegas, the TV series.  I hope they’ll have another run.  It’s a long shot but hey, a lot of things happen in Vegas.  I believe it deserves a million seasons to cover all the colorful things that happen in that very eventful golden land.  The Bold and the Beautiful has been there since time immemorial, so why shouldn’t Las Vegas be eternally airing? Yeah, yeah, it’s a soap but ya know what I mean.

Anyway, I was watching one of the episodes of Las Vegas where Det. Luis Perez dies in Iraq and the gang attends his memorial service.  With Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door playing in the background, the scene was very heavy.  He was in Iraq for just a week and off he went knockin’ on heaven’s door! Ok, so when the camera panned to focus the men in uniform fold the flag, the whole scene got heavier.  One of them handed it to his mother and uttered those words, I shed a tear (I know it comes as no surprise, I am silly, I cry at the movies and while watching even a not-so-tearjerker, so bite me! But this one’s really worth the tearduct exercise.).

I wonder how, in real life, a grieving widow or a girlfriend or the mother and father, the friends, or the young orphans in the US who has/have lost a childhood sweetheart or son or brother or sister or friend or parent feel upon hearing that line.  I’m sure it’s just as painful no matter how big the gratitude of the nation is. Watching a memorial service is always moving, and more so if it’s for soldiers who have honorably fought for peace (ironic, I know!) and freedom, and while it is very heartwarming to hear such big words, it makes me wonder if it was all worth it.  If this war’s worth it.

But regardless of everything, wherever we are in the world, it’s sad.  It’s really sad.  Yeah, my eyes are still wet.





Sick Speak

19 06 2008

I wanted to smother him with a pillow. My fingers were itching to grab one and push him down with it until he breathes no more. His anguished and most of the time angry screams have fueled that murderous rage in me.

But I couldn’t.

He, in his condition, managed to get drunk and hurled expletives my way because I had the nerve to throw away what was left of the local rhum.  He went on to say that I studied in UP only to achieve nothing in life.  He said I do not have greatness, something that UP people are thought to achieve as they go head on with the world.  And in my sleepless state with one client backing out on me when the bills are piling up, I gripped the corners of the bed mattress opposite his angrily.  I kept telling myself that it was the alcohol and the illness talking but he got to me.  In that very instance, I wished he would die an instantaneous death.  But there were no thunderbolts and he was still morosely glaring at me albeit in silence now.  So I pictured grabbing the pillow that reeked of dried urine so I could kill him with it.

But I didn’t.  I couldn’t.

Regardless of how frustrated I was or how extremely helpless I felt, I couldn’t bear to kill him. What was there to lose? It’s not like he still earns a living. He doesn’t feed me. He is no fun anymore. He can’t even be a great soundboard. And no he no longer gives his solid opinion on things. But I can’t. Couldn’t.  Wouldn’t.

Because despite everything, he’s still my father. He may not be a perfect dad there is and his shortcomings pretty much eat up all the good things that he etched in his life’s record book, he still biologically makes up a huge part of me, and well, politically, socially, emotionally and spiritually too, I suppose.

My father suffered from a major cerebrovascular accident three years ago. We lowly lifeforms call it a stroke. It paralyzed the right side of his body and severely affected his speech. I know of a lot of people who got over something like this. There are others who even taught their functioning body parts to do most of the job. Some practically rose from the ashes to become newer and better versions of themselves.

But not my Pa, my sweetpeas. Nah-uh.

Like most men, my father took this turning point of his life lying down, literally. If three years ago he cursed at his Creator, the world, everybody else and whoever was in the room, or cried and lamented at how this new chapter of his lifebook took a turn, I would have understood. But he didn’t. He took it with an eerily complete submission that those who know him pre-stroke would swear that it is an absolute 180-degree pivot. I wasn’t surprised though.  Delayed reaction, it may seem, but I can’t help but suspect that this is just an act of a scheming con artist because a year or so ago,  the old Pa seems to have resurfaced sans the mobility and the paralysis-free physique—the result was an  irreverent sick old man whose angst came in completely asshole proportions. The old cunning bastard is back—screaming and kicking, if only humanly possible for him.  Manipulative as hell, an emotional blackmailer extraordinaire. It’s hard to explain but despite all these, there’s something about Pa’s ways that still makes him difficult to unlove, to me at least.

Years before D-Day, he became somebody different. You see, my father used to be the typical macho, brusque, rugged, sly, shrewd, man-of-the-streets kind of guy. He’s the rebel without a cause poster boy. Well, it’s never always a case of “without a cause.” He comes from rather extremely complicated family not that it’s fair to blame it all on the family all the time but for lack of something better to justify it with, let’s just take that. Also, his childhood was a textbook case for shrinks.

I’m only human and while I don’t want to use it as an excuse, there are simply things that sometimes I don’t get to take the wheel of. I get pissed off when he screams in seemingly perfectly scheduled unholy hours past midnight. I get that murderous urge when he calls on residents of hell to take him out of his misery and whatever else unthinkable. But at the end of the day, he’s still my father. He played a huge part in my childhood, some of it really bad but some were actually happy moments and quite preparatory for when I had to face the real world (like, right now?). As I always tell my nephew every time we have one of those aunt-to-nephew heart to heart talks that only those who have an awesome aunt-to-nephew closeness like we have can ever have, one can only blame his/her parents for whatever rough-ups he/she has had in his/her lifetime for so long. Despite all the Freudian analyses about how our parents are the root of all evil (and then some) in our lives, I believe we have that thinking and discerning capacity that eventually lets us decide which route to take as we get a bit older.

So my father isn’t the model dad.  I’m no model daughter either.  I do love Papa not only because there’s so much about me that I can only thank him for but because not everything about him is his undoing and if I take it all out in him, my children, if I ever get to have my own kids somehow, might do the same to me and I don’t want that Not that one or the other matters because in this life, regardless of the kind of relationship that we have, he’s another human being and no matter how awful some people might have been in their lifetime, no one deserves to be disrespected.

I guess I can only pray.  For acceptance, for strength, for faith.  For my Ma to be stronger.  For her to live longer because I sure can’t face this alone.  It’s one of those moments when being unmarried is a curse—gives me no excuse to opt out.  I don’t go to church anymore for reasons that I have yet to precisely point a stubby finger on, but I do talk to God, and bless him, I believe he knows where I’m at where he’s concerned.  I guess in times like this, it helps to have something to cling on to.  Something.  Someone.