Tuesday, August 11, 2009

silent screams

I can never understand how one homo sapien can kill its own kind. I dare not call a murderer as a human being.

Today i found out that a dear friend of mine was murdered. Cause of death: multiple stab wounds to the neck and head. Not only does the perpetrator have no respect for the human condition, this entity even had the balls to wrap my friend's face in plastic and stuff him in the trunk of his own car.

When this information was relayed to me, only one thought had gone through my mind... I hope Teej didnt feel anything beyond that first slash of the knife to the neck.

Tiny shudders of pain were racing up and down my body as i fought to keep my emotions buried. I still had a class to facilitate and breaking down was unacceptable. My body was going through the motions of teaching but my heart was screaming at me. I guess no words can define how painful my heart was constricting. I can only imagine the fear that Teej might have gone through during that time. I can only assume that this travesty occurred while i was soundly and dreamlessly sleeping safely in my bed.

I have yet to understand the depth of the loss my "cousin" Teej has brought to my life. All i know right now is that I wont see his smiling face in the office anymore. His amazing singing will now be silenced forever. His absolutely corny jokes that made you laugh because they were so corny will now be relegated to phone memories as text messages, never to be delivered in his oddly funny speaking voice.

Right now, i mourn the loss of my cousin Teej. I am angered at the being that committed this brutal act upon this trusting, happy and content soul. I will not throw any ill will your way because i know that one day, you will get what you deserve.

All i ask now is a favor from all my friends... Please help me pray for Teej's soul. for peace and acceptance for the friends and family who had been left to celebrate his life. For the police to be wise and swift in finding the heinous being that have committed this act. For the ju
stice system to mete out the appropriate punishment. Last but not the least, strength for all friends and family to overcome this obstacle.

I will miss you so much Cousin. Sobra. *sob*

Monday, July 06, 2009

the dark man cometh

On a dark cherry wood desk lay an ashtray with a smoldering cigarette. The fragrant tobacco smoke was tinged with a slight bitterness. He was immersed deep in his thoughts, his eyes cast unseeing towards the twinkling city lights beneath him. A tiny spark of light lit his eyes has his ears heard the whisper soft strains of Yiruma's song Love Me wafted through the air; the spark died as quickly as it came.

His thoughts turned back to her. They havent talked nor seen each other for 8 months now. He stood from his desk and walked to the floor to ceiling window that graced his office. He lay his hand against the glass pane that separated him from a 50 storey plunge. The cool glass reminded him that he still had warmth in him.; that he was still remotely human. Minutes passed unknowingly, as he stood there gazing down at the city that was filled with a vast sea of faces that made him feel his loneliness further.

As he walked back to his desk he saw something glitter in the dark corner underneath his desk. He stooped down to pick it up and saw that it was the letter opener that she gave to him from their last trip to Singapore. The blade on the letter opener was sharp enough to leave a shallow slice on his forefinger when he ran his finger lightly on its cutting edge. His right hand gripped the handle as he turned his left arm over...


She was sitting on the shore, watching the sunset on another day. Her bright brown eyes drank in the slow transition from a Rembrandt sky to the bold colors of sunset. The cool ocean breeze made a rat's nest of her long hair; but she didnt mind. She rarely had the pleasure of taking in peace for herself. In her life, it was always about work, her family, and as of late, her friends. She was their towerblock. It wasnt that she minded being someone people leaned on, but lately, it had been more of a task borne out of obligation, instead of pleasure brought by love.

The sand between her toes reminded her of him.

Of the odd conversations that they had which made sense only to them.

"If you were a super hero, and you had to choose between the ability to fly but can only be two feet off the ground OR the ability to become invisible, but when youre invisible youre going to be blind as a bat, what would you choose?"

"If Hitler didnt have his moustache, would he be less popular?"

"If you only had three pieces of hair on your head, would they be clumped together? or in three separate places?"

"Who do you think is more of a sidekick amterial, Aquaman or Robin?"

The snippets of these past conversations ran through her mind, briging a ghost of a smile to her eyes.

Then her mobile phone rang.

She reached out to the pouch beside her and answered the call. Seconds after she aswered her mobile phone, all the color from her face was drained; her hand shook as she ended the call, she stood up from the blanket and ran to her car.

'-=. . .=-'

He's dead.

Those two words kept echoing in her head as she hurtled down the highway, uncaring if the speed limit was 60. She drove as if Hell's very own hounds were chasing her. She needed to see for herself that he was really gone.

When she reached the hospital parking lot, she parked haphazardly near the ER entrance and ran to the nearest nursing station. As she ran through the cool halls of the hospital, the antiseptic smell reminded her that this is where people lived and died. She reached the waiting room and saw all their friends; their faces reflecting varying states of shock and grief. She felt as if time suddenly became as molasses being sucked up a soda straw. Each step that she took felt like eternity.

She sat beside one of their friends and buried her face in her hands. How many minutes passed, she didnt know, but when she felt a warm weight settle gently on her shoulder, she raised her head and saw him. Her knees trembled like the last leaves on an autumn tree, as she stood up.


He saw various emotions flash through her eyes when she saw him. The same emotions that ran through her when they last spoke. A fine trembling was running through his body as they stood there and hugged each other.

"I can believe Charles is gone" she whispered.

"His mom says he died in his sleep. Days after we last spoke, his mom called me up and told me that the hospital was sending him home because his cancer was already terminal and they couldnt do anything about it anymore." he said as he laid his forehead gently on her forehead.

"Why didnt you tell me?" she asked.

"Im sorry, but it wasnt for me to say. His mom didnt want anyone to know, but she told me because i was his bestfriend. I also didnt think that you would talk to me after what happened to us 8 months ago." He then sat down on one of the couches in the waiting room. His arms around her, her arms around his; sharing the burden of grief that have been given to them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Val's Birthday

As the cool night wind blew softly, he stood on his hotel room terrace, his eyes unseeing as they were cast towards the city lights that winked liked stars below him. It had been months since he last saw her. Its funny that he remembered her on a Friday the 13th. A day that superstitious lots feared and anticipated yet ironically a day before the world fell under the commercialism of love.

A ghost of a smile touched his lips as he thought of her. He could see the sneer on her face the last time that they spent February 14 together. He gave her flowers and she gave him that look that made a lesser man cringe but amused him.

"What am i supposed to do with this monstrosity?" she asks as he gives her a pailful of yellow roses.

"I think you're supposed to smush your face in the bouquet and then give me the dewy eyed look that girls usually do when they receive flowers." he answers while he opens the door to the front passenger of her car.

"And when i smush my face in the bouquet, am i supposed to eat the flowers?" she asks a little scathingly.

"We'll you eat the weirdest things, so i dont suppose eating flowers would be any different" he says as he slowly exited the parking lot.

In answer to his statement, she snorted inelegantly at him.

He couldnt help but laugh. "Why cant you just say thank you?" he laughingly asks.

"Why should i? I didnt ask you to buy me flowers. You do this every year and it just always ends up in Val's house." she answered.

"Well, its like hitting two birds with one stone. I irritate you and since you dump those flowers annually to Val, then it also acts as a birthday gift for Val. Its one of the few things i live for. hahahahaha"

His reverie was broken when he heard his mobile phone ringing. He headed back to his room to get his phone.


She opened her eyes after wishing on the first night's star. Her whiskey colored eyes held a tinge of sadness. She lit a cigarette to give her hands something to do as she dispelled the thoughts in her head.

It had been months since she last saw him. Until now, she could feel that jab to the solar plexus, just thinking about him; about him telling her that he loved her more than she could give. A part of her died when he told her that he wanted them to be together. She knew that she loved him, but not in the way that he wanted it to be. She knew that she wasnt the best person to be his life partner. She took a drag from her cigarette as she remembered one of her conversations with Amie.

" Just like what i read in a book...'First guy to walk out of my life, definetly not the last. Funny things, you and me. You always stayin' away from love, me always chasin' after it.' Same deal with us girl-o. You're just a plain coward. You say you're smart, but i say youre not. Letting go of a guy who would go over the moon for you. I call it as i see it. You're a freaking coward..."

She walked away from Amie even before she had the time to finish her statement. Each word that came out of Amie's mouth was like a dart.

This was going to be the first time in 12 years that she would be going to Val's birthday without him. She took another deep drag from her cigarette and then walked determinedly to Val's house to face his family and their friends for the first time without Japeth by her side.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

the aftermath

It was shaping up to be a really bad day for her. As she was walking back to her office after a horrendous meeting, she heard a song playing in the operations area...

"I'll be there for you when the sky falls down
I'll be there for you when no one's around
I'll be there for you when there's no way out and you're down
and you frown

I know life won't go your way
and you never know what to say
when you have nothing left
I'll still love you more

I'll be there for you through your deepest fears
I'll be there for you 'till the smoke clears
I'll be there for you when you see no end and your friends
are all gone

I know life won't go your way
and you never know what to say
when you have nothing left
I'll still love you more

You could turn your back or run a thousand miles away
I'll be waiting for you with nothing left to say but

I'll be there for you when nothing can go wrong
I'll be there for you when you sing a joyful song
I'll be there for you when your smile lights the room
and your gloom is all gone

I know life won't go your way
and you never know what to say
when you have nothing left
I'll still love you more "

Then it her like a fist, they weren't friends anymore. Her ears started heating up and she knew that she was about to cry. She always presented a strong front but whenever emotions like these hit her at unexpected times she had to cry it out to cope. The washroom seemed like a football field away so she hid in the next best thing: the storage closet.

As soon as the door closed, she slumped to the floor and started to gasp and sob. Tears streamed down her cheeks like a warm cleansing shower. Halfway through her crying jag she heard the storeroom door open...

" Okay lang po kayo ma'am?"

She looks up and sees Arnold, the Janitor. Still hiccuping and sobbing she stammered: "Okay lang po ako kuya..."

"Ma'am wag po kayo mag alala... Maaayos din po yan. Lahat naman po ng problema me solusyon. Kung hindi nyo naman po kaya na, hindi naman po mahirap humingi ng tulong sa iba para damayan nila kayo. Sige po una na ako. Tahan na po kayo"
with that Arnold grabbed several packs of paper towels and stepped out of the storeroom.

She sat there and thought things over and cried a little more. She leaned her forehead to her knees and waited for the hiccups to subside. In the quiet storeroom, she heard the song playing in operations..

"...But love it washes over

Love it pulls me closer
Love it changes everything

Everything is beautiful
Even when the tears are falling
I don't need a miracle to believe
Even in the crashing down
I can hear redemption calling
And everything is beautiful to me

Sweetly, You release me
From the weight of what I've done
The trigger trips the hammer
But the bullets never come..."

A tiny smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, it was as if someone was playing the OST of Smallville. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the wall, taking small pleasure in the relative peace and quiet in the room. Bracing herself for another day to live through with that gaping hole in her chest. A hole that threatened to suck her into an emotional abyss. An abyss of pain and nothingness.

Friday, October 03, 2008

rehashing meandering thoughts...

The more we grow older, the lesser we care about what people think because we have developed our wings. We are no longer caterpillars confined to the ground. We have undergone the excruciating process of metamorphosis. With our new wings, they will enable us to fly and soar to the great unkown– to breakaway from the chains that used to bind us.

Forget growing pains.

There is still today and tomorrow and many more days after that to do what we want to do.

The most important thing to remember during our future flights is to stay grounded just in case we fly too high.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

a Conversation with The Dreamer

He was in a 24 hour coffee shop in Makati waiting for her to get out of the office. As he waits for her, he lights up a cigarette, takes a deep drag and let the nicotine flow through his system to calm him down. He exhales deeply and grabs his mobile phone to text her.

Two hours passed and he was still alone in the coffee shop. Anger simmering beneath his calm exterior. He was controlling his anger because he knew that once she sinks her teeth into a project, she never lets go until its finished. He grabs his bag from the chair beside him and paws through the bag looking for his PSP. He takes it out and plugs the headset, passing the time through music.

He didnt notice how much time had passed; then he saw a shadow fall across his table.He looks up and sees her huge dimpled grin. As she was about to sit he stands up abruptly from his chair, grabs his bag and walks to his car.

He heard he run after him and when they both reached his car, he gently places his bag on the hood and looks at her.

"What is wrong with you?!" she whispers furiously at him.
Her faced reflecting amazement and anger. He knew she hated public confrontations, thus the whispered statement.

He just looks at her and again lights a cigarette. He felt her eyes throwing icy daggers at him and he knew that if looks could kill he would have been dead on the spot, but he was amazed when she spoke again, it was in an even tone.

"I dont know whats going on with you. Im tired and if youre going to sulk, I'll just take a cab home." Then she started to walk away.

He took two quick steps and firmly grabbed her forearm and told her to get in the car. Again, he was surprised when she acquiesced. She must be really tired, he thought.

When they were both in the car, he just sat there and gripped the steering wheel hard enough to make his knuckles stand out white. He looked over at her and saw that her eyes were already closed.

"How many hours have you been at the office?" he asks her.

Her eyes open and blearily focused on him.

"Been there for like 15 hrs" she says sleepily.

"Why do you do that," he asks.

"Stay at the office ng matagal?"


"Coz I have a lot of other things to do. Saka naghahanap ako ng cute." she answers fliply, then yawns again; hugely.

He then pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.

"You really dont get it" he says softly. He looks over and saw that her eyes were closed and was breathing deeply. He leans over and touches his head to the steering wheel, closes his eyes and whispers.

"I have loved you since we were kids. I started loving you when you outscreamed that bully Michelle." he laughs softly at this thought.

"I wait patiently everyday for you to realize that, but you only see what you want to see and maybe I am tired of waiting. For someone so smart you can really be dumb sometimes. Why do I wait for you at the oddest hours of the day to pick you up from the office? Doesnt it ever cross your mind why I do a lot of things for you? Dont you ever wonder why our families always ask why arent we together as a couple even if we tell them that we're just the best of friends? Maybe its because they see it in my eyes. I guess you think I have loved other women. I guess I did too... but no one ever really sufficed. Its just you. I love you everyday, I ---"

The silence in the car made him sit up and look at her. Her brown eyes huge with shock. Tinges of anger and pain chased one after the other on her pale face. He winced at that look.

"Please take me home..." she says softly then hugged her bag closer to herself.

He tried to say something but his mind went blank, so he just started the car and drove her home. An awkward air filled the silence on the drive back to her place. They were only a block away from her place when he heard her say "Im sorry I hurt you, but I cant love you back the way you expect me to."

He didnt respond to that whispered statement. As he drove he felt like it was the longest block that he had to drive. They then arrived at her place. He parked the car and then turned off the engine.

"So you cant love me, but you loved that freakin gay guy and even ---" he shouted at her but stopped when he saw the color draining from her face. Her normally pale face turned white as a sheet. "Thanks for bringing me home." she says and then steps out of the car.

The soft thud of the door against the frame felt like a punch to the solar plexus. He couldnt breathe. He didnt know how long he stayed like that, until he felt his mobile phone vibrate. He took it out of his pocket and saw that she sent him a message.

"Im sorry, but I dont think we can be friends anymore."

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Scenes from a Memory

The humid night air brushed her cheeks while she was slowly walking back to her office. Her slow steps barely made a sound on the concrete pathway. She was lost in thought. As she looked up, the lights from the buildings brought back a fond memory from her Singapore vacation.


‘That was a good book,’ she thought as she closed the book that she just finished reading; it was “Immortality” by Milan Kundera. As usual, after reading a Kundera masterpiece, it made her think about how and where her life was headed. About why is there a difference between the individual self and an individual’s public image; why is there a conflict between reality and appearance and why is there an all too human longing for immortality? As she pondered about this, she took a sip from her now cold hazelnut latte and gazed out onto the Marina Bay skyline.

A huge skeleton wheel was being constructed across the bay and according to her expat friends, that wheel was soon to become the Singapore Flyer; a giant ferris wheel, or to be technologically correct; a giant observation wheel, something like the London Eye. To the left; was the Esplanade Mall (which reminded her of a giant durian) the unique structure was strategically lit to showcase its one-of-a-kind architecture and to the leftmost part of her eye scope was the Merlion Park. For reasons unknown to her, the sound of the water gushing out of the merlion and the Mediterranean blue “water” under the statue soothed her.

Deep in thought, she didn’t notice that her mobile phone was vibrating; it was only when she put down her mug that she noticed that someone tried to reach her. She checked her mobile and saw that it was Chris; a classmate from highschool who presently worked in Singapore as an in-house events coordinator for Credit Suisse. She sent him a text message saying that she currently was in the Starbucks in front of the Fullerton Hotel.

After 10 minutes she saw Chris walking towards her. She had to stifle a giggle because every time she would see him, she would be reminded of this Asian actor – Edison Chen. Chris and the actor looked alike, just like the way Brad Pitt looks like a young Robert Redford. The difference between Edison Chen and Chris was that Chris was deeply tanned. Chris was in his usual business casual attire, but on him, it really didn’t seem casual. Draped on his tall, tanned and almost lanky frame was a black long sleeved polo shirt (which he accessorized with a piano key designed skinny tie) a handsome black belt with a gorgeous silver buckle, black slacks and white suede Gucci loafers.

They had dinner at Saint Julien; a French restaurant whose mission was to recreate the ‘bourgeois’ cuisine reminiscent of Paris several decades ago. They reminisced about how horrible their highschool life was and laughed at the times where they were sent to the principal’s office for their shenanigans. In the middle of dinner her phone started vibrating and she saw that it was her friend Huck. When she answered, he was asking where she was and if she was interested to have dinner with him since he just got out of the office. She told him that she was at home and already ate dinner, but maybe they could have dinner over the weekend or have coffee.

When dinner was over, she and Chris walked off the sumptuous dinner that they had. They walked hand in hand while talking. He was laughing at her because she nearly tripped a couple of times because she was staring at the buildings instead of looking at where she was walking. The tall buildings, bright lights and the people bustling about even late at night reminded her of home. In their mindless wandering, they ended up on Orchard Road and suddenly she found herself looking at Huck who was reading in one of the coffee shops that dotted the street. She rolled her eyes consternation; thought ‘jeez this country is really small,’ then sent a quick prayer to God asking for him not to notice her and Chris. Happily someone up there did listen and they got past without him noticing.

As they walked home, the smell of rain permeated the air and thunder started to rumble from above, it was a good thing that they were only a few blocks away from her condo. They were already at the park near her condo complex when the rain started to pour. They couldn’t run for it because Chris didn’t want to get his laptop wet; which incidentally was in a Hermes piano man bag, so they decided to wait it out. It was a good thing that the park had a covered walkway with benches so they had a place to park their butts.

An hour had passed and the rain still hadn’t let up. She got bored and fished around her bag to grab a cigarette. She stood from the bench and walked a few steps downwind from Chris; he hated the smell of cigarettes. After she lit up Chris said loudly: “Why don’t you quit smoking? Don’t make me go there and put that out.” She arched an eyebrow at him and took a long drag. As she exhaled, he stood up from the bench and started to approach her. She took a one step back for every step that he took towards her, next thing she knows they were running around the park laughing their hearts out. When they got back to the bench where they left their things, she saw that she was still holding a soggy cigarette butt in her right hand; which started another round of laughter.

A cold breeze started to blow which made them shudder in their wet clothes. She told him that she can run up to her condo and grab some umbrellas so that their things wouldn’t get wet. He agreed to this while grimacing and looking at his soggy socks. Of course he was in socks; you wouldn’t want to ruin a pair of Gucci shoes… not even for a childhood friend. Hahahahaha~

They got back to the condo without any other crazy incidents, dried themselves and plopped down on the couch to channel surf.


She entered the building where her office was located, a smile lurking at the corners of her lips as she reminisced about the rest of that memory.

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