Sunday, March 30, 2008


Everyone has his or her favorite mistake; going back to a particular sin in all its apparent wrongness as if it’s a routine. If one continues to lavish on things that tend to lean on the immoral, then he or she must be a devil, a yawa. For a person who lustfully craves the ungodliness and wickedness of human life is a person of below humane character. No one likes a yawa. Then here comes a question: Why should someone, of no specific attribution to, refers this to another person—especially to a person who he or she thinks has both the advantage and disadvantage of being fragile and weak? There are a lot of remarks to choose from in this multi-lingual, multi-thinking nation: leche, peste, buang, or perhaps a somewhat queer and androgynous tralala may do. But why, of all the alternatives, choose this “Yawa ka” which is so mortifying and atrocious?

Yawa may just be a simple four-letter word but it can effortlessly pierce anyone even the toughest of all calloused. If you’ve got the drift on what yawa is, it’s basically a Visayan terminology for “devil” or “demon,” an entity said to be the tempter of mankind, a character so dark yet mundane it is usually kept off from the minds of the young, the hearts of the old. And this is what makes me totally confused: if this someone is indeed a yawa, then this yawa should fly off from this torturous and hurting field and stop thinking, caring, loving, and understanding anyone at random because these are not the proper congenital practices of a sneering, insensitive yawa.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

age and numbers

My goodness. I can’t believe I have written this particular entry last year. Since a lot of the gang, the Union, the Drama Club, or the Tralala Troupe now knew the affairs of my subsistence, there’s indeed no more point keeping things hidden in the casket.

The story is that I had a little argument with this person who, in his birthday, spilled to me that he felt so inadequate in all the things he had done. This person was absolutely worried that all throughout his existence as a student for a time span longer than the usual, he thought his efforts remain unexceptional, uninspired, and common. These, of course, I didn’t believe in. Evaluating this person’s annuity in his special field, I think he should eat his own words of negations—especially right now. I stressed this point and, eventually, he accepted defeat. I won in this unexpected debate. And that’s all.

I bring focus the gist of this old post because presently I believe I’m starting to feel the same way he felt before: I feel so unsatisfactory, laughable on all efforts I have managed to do. Call this another bullet on the long list of emo-posts I have written in cyberspace lately but, you know, one cannot really get away from frustrations. Maybe I am just one of the many victims who got violently clawed upon by aggravation’s extra-sharp talons.

All of us continue to age and there’s this weird, indefinable “something” we all wanted to achieve, to attain, and to get hold of, which explains our obsession for perfection. Because of this, contentment is pushed at the back of our minds. At twenty, I understand how that person felt on his twenty-third (and will be celebrating his twenty-fourth soon).

I have said in the old post that age is just a number. It has no significance at all. But right now, I am thinking the other way around. I feel it has.

Friday, March 28, 2008

earth hour in our house

Tomorrow is a day of eccentricity for two reasons: one is that it’s the day of the bullfrog’s birth and two it is the day wherein we celebrate Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is an international event that somewhat requires all households and businesses to turn off their lights and many electrical appliances for an hour on the 29th of March (from 8PM – 9PM). This is to promote electricity conservation and thus lower carbon emissions; the culprit of our world’s abrupt warming.

Well, it will be my birthday and what better way to celebrate it than having the silent celebration bathed in cake candle lights (if ever I would have an actual cake tomorrow). But I think I would jump onto the bandwagon with the other countries to serve as a sacrifice to the environment. I would just hope that Mother Nature will love me for this.

the following day

My words are tied tight on my tongue I can’t release from my mouth what I am trying to say. A simple “thank you,” a heartfelt “salamat,” or an amusing “tenchu” must be enough but these alone have a hard time departing from my mind; they're still enclosed within the tasking requirement on decision-making of “to say” and “not to say”. They remain as subconscious, abstract efforts of appreciation that on the outer surface, I consequently look like a passive, ungrateful ingrate.

Though I have yet to appropriately say these words of gratitude tomorrow, the uneasy feeling makes me contemplate on this matter right at this moment. I don’t know why but, maybe, it must be brought about by this fear that I may be misunderstood. This sounds selfish but considering that a being’s complexity goes beyond midlevel understanding that all—even the most brilliant of minds—tend to be shallow, my point may be justifiable (or maybe not to some). Okay, straightforwardly, it’s somewhat a special day tomorrow and the inevitable mushy greetings will flood my cellphone’s inbox and ring my ears.

Oftentimes, I do not respond to these messages thinking it would just be a waste of my thumbs’ and my voice box’s effort. And this is my problem: because I am not a fully-developed responsive person, in the viewpoint of other people, I become a snob. Fine, I can get through with that but the issue here is that someone’s assessment of me shifts to exaggeration and may affect other people’s judgment; especially people who are dear important to me. That’s why I have this teensy-weensy fear.

On the following day when time just normally passes by as the young wrinkles on my face start to branch out like feisty children running around the playground, I am indeed thankful to all those who sincerely worry, who greets me, and who tries very hard to discern my convoluted character despite my being overly insipid. Maybe tomorrow I will still stay unresponsive to your sentiments, but I tell you, silence may be a sign of foreboding but, really, it’s the thought and the untold appreciation that count. Thanks for everything.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

online break

I totally forgot something that I have been planning to post in this blog for a long time when three people (a brother-in-law, an officemate, and a close acquaintance) made me remember just a while ago. It is about my very weird break as an online poser of an institution of higher education. A large image of me is on the official website of Silliman University no less. Days after the revelation of this, a lot of people questioned how did get there.

Well, I was on my way to our office when the director of the Office of Information and Publications, Mr. Mark Raygan Garcia, pulled me from my routine stroll and told me to pose. Shucks. Though this entry relatively comes out in the open, my picture is not something to really brag about. In my opinion, I looked like an emaciated, cheap, carton cut-out that is a total reject of some commercial noodle product.

To get a fuller picture of what I am talking about, click

the legalization of the pact

The Union is a drinking and anesthetized discussion group based in Dumaguete. Founded by publication staffers of the Weekly Sillimanian in the school year 2006-2007—which was originally composed of news writers, feature writers, and one member of the editorial board—members in this group are supposed to meet every Wednesday at the nearest drinking tavern by 9:30 p.m. Due to inconsistent and harried planning, assembly varies every other week.

The logo of the group represents the epitome of absolute bliss.

Marianne Catherine F. Tapales

Rodrigo E. Bolivar II
Janseven Rodolfo B. Quijote
Jeruel Ian V. Mondarte

Donna Ametyst R. Bernardo
Claro T. Cagulada
Paul Vincent S. Gatdula
John Boaz T. Lee
Claudine M. Lim

Fred Jordan Mikhail T. Carnice

Sunday, March 23, 2008

conversations with the moon (2)

[second of two parts]

QUESTION #3: Alright, since changing yourself into a full moon is inevitable, let me ask you this: Is changing hard and difficult?

MOON: Yes, it is. Just imagine yourself shifting into various forms in a month—it’s really awful! A lot of your kind says that my change is just an illusion, a trick of the light. Actually, I do change. And there’s one thing that I couldn’t shake off after the transformation: it’s the pain. There is too much pain in the process. First, there’s this agonizing burning sensation from within. Next, I have to bear with this unusual expansion that feels like I would totally split in half. Then, it would conclude with an unexplainable feeling of self construction. It is weird. I just find it so ironic that poets from across the world see beauty in my misery.

QUESTION #4: Why me?

MOON: I am often misunderstood—especially you. Of all people, I continually bloom at night for you to let loose and let go of certain problems, so that you could have the clearest of all conscience, and most of all, a peaceful mind and heart. Forgive me for this sentimentalism that often radiates from me but, I tell you, it is really you who views me as what I am. You see what you wanted to see. Not me. If you have a problem, please don’t gaze at me like I’m an omen because I am here to serve as your light at night when the sun is not enough enlightenment for you in the morning. Okay, goodbye now. It is nice talking to you.

Note: This write-up is caused by the abrupt departure of life’s normalcy. The author tried to talk with someone important but unfortunately this person was not in the right state of mind and body, so he went out to talk with the Moon. The author thought it would make him contemplate on positive things. Well, it didn’t work. Instead of trying to think of happy thoughts, what came out from an enforced amusement is this delusion of incompetent spill of words.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

conversations with the moon (1)

[first of two parts]

If I could have the opportunity to talk with someone who I think all people need to finally know about, I would not seek for any President of a certain country, or the astronaut who successfully touched the alien grounds of Mars, or the man who discovered that there’s indeed no supreme being. Instead, I would talk to the Full Moon. This may not count as “someone” yet I am pretty sure a lot would like to know what it is up to and how it is feeling up there.

Since it is impossible to have an answer from the Moon, I will both play the interviewer and the interviewee. I think I am versatile enough so I will try my best to act up as the perfect human questionnaire and the cratered celestial body. And knowing that the Moon’s time is limited, ranging only for 7-11 hours in full form tonight, I shall restrain the number of questions to four. That will be enough.

QUESTION #1: How does it feel being up there?

MOON: It is such a headache, all those floating boulders hitting you once in a while. But through time—and I tell you it is such a long, long time—I get used to it. Glorious? Maybe at some point I had that feeling but, mostly, I feel lonely. I feel so distant. And the other planets are not helping because they aren’t friendly; they are just trying to flaunt each other with their rings, their newfound satellites, or their largeness. My goodness, to black hole with them!

QUESTION #2: Why go full circle every month? I know you have inklings that your sight memorializes a sane human in the verge of obscure psychosis, or signals the local manananggal to come out and feed on the unborn child, or a poor young lad to shift into a werewolf, but why continue showing up? You can go out as a crescent, or a half, or if you insist to come out as a full, you can be invisible, like a New Moon.

MOON: Wow. That’s one garrulous question. I have a cycle—you know that! Or don’t you? Anyway, I can’t decide what I would look like whenever I came up from the horizon. But, yes, it is sad knowing that my complete formation does a lot of changes to many. Let’s just say some beings are just too sensitive for my presence. Why go full circle? I can’t do anything about it. I just have to.

[end of part 1]

Friday, March 21, 2008

out in ten parts

I. The Commemoration
It is not easy to witness the closing of one’s eyes
when clicks of the cameras come and you not being there.

II. The Walk of Nothing
It is not easy to leisurely walk in the afternoon
for it is a shame to part you as quick as the speed of light.

III. The Sands of Time
It is not easy feeling each grain upon my palms
while you’re wondering what would happen the day after that.

IV. The Union’s Final
It is not easy not knowing what to do
when meeting someone deprives the likelihood of meeting you.

V. The House of the President
It is not easy to be in a place where I breathe desires,
forever wanting the familiar touch of your skin.

VI. The Drunkard’s Shack
It is not easy when keeping things casual tonight
since it is only you who bears the belief I must know.

VII. The Land of Overflowing Wine
It is not easy taking all these spirits into my body
because no one except you could exorcise me.

VIII. The Testimony of a Fall
It is not easy laughing and crying with you and not falling
into the illustriousness of insanity I am so tempted to seek.

IX. The Outburst
It is not easy understanding the fractured thoughts
coming from your mind, coming from my mouth.

X. The Dawn of Knowing
And now, it is easy: easy as it is, easy as it was.
Easy as the first day when our glances bloomed the first set of sorrow.

(for those who bear with my misery)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

on being defeated

I am not very sure how and why most bad things tend to coagulate before me, thick like a glob of black tar, but there’s this one thing that I am really certain: I have been running in a race I constantly loses.

Due to the dreariness that emanates from me for the past months, which unknowingly affects some people around me, I crudely devise a few ways to solve this out: I disappear from everyone’s radar, or deliberately push my mute button, or just continue playing with what others are playing. I even thought that
sleeping the problem away is the easiest solution to wipe all issues. At some point, I thought these were successful but then I was wrong. For some indefinite reasons, matters that cause inner turmoil just keep on coming. Unfortunately, I am very fragile and weak (as what this someone have said) to counter them so I let them be. And there’s even one matter that I couldn’t escape because, idiotically, I wouldn’t let it go away. This matter deals with the mushiness of that organ covered within layers of skin, muscle, other tissues, and bones. Maybe I am now experiencing what my poetry teacher have experienced: "The terror of being unloved." This does not mean I have been enjoying this wrongness I am forever yearning; it’s just that I’m really not that wise and well-learned of the craft that I usually get myself tangled in the loophole of things. Perhaps, “imbecile” is my middle name.

But I have idealisms of my own, though: I love everything perfect although flawlessness is impossibility. I adore cycles of which I do not want to get into the bottom of the wheel. I relish the cold bite of a frozen yogurt. Yet, no matter how idealistic I am, my pessimistic being outweighs the last positive thing that I could muster. Therefore, I gain the title of being a pessimist idealist hiding under the euphemism “bullfrog.”

In all honesty, the capstone of being a confidante of all losers is that you get to know how things work without receiving any bit of reward or whatsoever from what you have been doing, or what you are trying to be doing. This is the ultimate visceral emotion I usually find my self having. This is the turning point of all turning points. This, I tell you, does not feel good—it does no one any good.

To end this, I better stick my thumb out with my index finger pointing the skies while the rest of my fingers touch my palm, put this unique symbol formulated by mankind on my forehead, and absorb all the shame of the world in all its pathetic and apathetic glory. I am a flop, a defeated lump of excess fat, a loser.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


These are the people who bring you the paper. From sports wannabees to frustrated circus performers, your student publication - the Weekly Sillimanian - never runs out of larger than life characters. Okay, we love narcissism so we’re grabbing this chance to be in the limelight!

Odie: The Workaholic Insomniac
Being the most patient and kindest Editor-in-Chief in the history of the Weekly Sillimanian, he still couldn’t get away from numerous criticisms for being a frequent boarder of the office. His only problems: he never gets mad and he always has something to do.

Dirg: The Bespectacled Hobbit
This guy is a master of booze and animated chatter. A kid at heart, he loves to play computer games in the office and has a fear of starfish. This Associate Editor sounds dead serious in his columns but actually he is one quirky guy who keeps renting movies, using other accounts at VideoCity and never returns them.

John Boaz: The Skimboarding Intsik
News articles will never appear in this paper if not for this guy. A skimboarding aficionado with some hidden interests on literary masterpieces, this News Editor deceives many as someone who’s mysteriously silent but in truth has opinions many wouldn’t dare listen to.

Jordan: The Literary Virtuoso
Considered a pillar of the local food industry, our Features Editor who forever loves Bullfrogs has an affinity for quick snacks to serve his beloved pet, Ben, living in his stomach. A colorblind artist who has lots of ideas to back up our absentee writers, he saves the day when the official cartoonist disappears from our radar.
Jin: The Bihon ManHe is in charge for filling up our wallets with the monthly cash we need to subsequently fill our voracious appetites. Having the reputation for routinely serving our weekly meetings with a noodle dish, he must probably live longer than the rest of us.

Kim: The Intrepid Journalist
Forever bursting with eccentricity, one may wonder what an overgrown toddler is doing in a publication office. Donned in flared pants, jumpers, and large earrings, this lady remains bold and animatedly confident even when interviewing campus big names.

Micah: The Lost Sheep
Before the end of this semester, he suddenly disappears from our midst after a short stint as a theater actor. Primed for afterlife with all the “holy” water in huge gallons he has provided for us, we still think he must be as abstract as the philosophy he had studied before he shifted to Political Science.
Rochelle: The Super NurseAside from her passion to get into various involvements juggling debate, nursing stuff, and news interviews, this haggard lady has the flair to collect unusual things from cutters, ball point pens in assorted colors, to shiny little stars made out of paper. She is one weird wonder woman.

Ian: The Pretty Boy
It seems that this guy’s ambition in life is to become a campus figure, hence, his involvements in politics, beauty pageants, debating, controversial orgs, campus tours and the school paper. Despite his attempts to be humorous using his “inner charm,” it is strange that nobody finds him funny at all.

Donna: The Naughty Cutsiepie
Cute, cool, and pretty in her day-to-day outfits, this office fashionista-dictator is just too energetic and feisty for her petite size. Also, she couldn’t let go of the fact that she is stuck in the realm of news writing that’s why she can’t finish writing her feature articles.

Aiken: The Drag Performer
Just before he left us to face the demands of being a student (finally), he makes for an instant stand-up comedian and a singer with a voice stuck between the falsetto and the baritone.

Nikko: The Wonder Queer
This is another person who left us midway through February to pursue a showbiz career with the SU Kahayag Dance Troupe. We certainly missed his golden voice which he flaunted sporadically in the office when Aiken is not around.

Clyde: The Ghost Writer
He must have taken for lunch the latest edition of a thesaurus for being so verbose, effusive, garrulous, and loquacious in both written and spoken language. One thing’s for sure though: we will never forget the night that made all pee-stained public walls remind us of him.

June: The Strong-willed Debutante
Never be fooled by her seemingly endless smiles and jokes for this dancer sure knows how to kick everyone’s butts. Her impatience borders on insanity and we all tremble when we get to see some signs of exasperation from this lady.
Eunice: The Silent SweetheartThe school paper is surely to benefit from her until she finally comes to realize the real pressures of being a student Nurse. Extremely courteous and apologetic, we are wondering what surprises she still has in store in this or a parallel universe.

Sesinando: The Virtual Guy
One of the enigmas in the office is to know the whereabouts of this guy. Being a website manager means enduring the countless condemnation posted in the official website of the paper so it would be a real scare if this person would suddenly shut down.
Claudine: The Ultimate DisinfectantIf our quarters need some cleansing, this obcompfreak is always ready with decontaminating materials we could never imagine she has. Let us simply say that all hell breaks loose when she sees a tiny candy wrapper on the floor.

Noel: The Chosen One
Known as a soldier ready to save people from the fires of hell, this girl/not-so-girl magnet is responsible for ordering people around come circulation day. And when he’s not doing that, you’ll find him all-over the campus saving lives, giving shout-outs in Killerbee or emceeing every show known to mankind.

Gian: The Good Son
He is so humble and diligent we eternally wonder what’s behind that pleasant aura of his. We have never even heard this guy protest! But what we really know is that he is abused by our EIC in more ways than one. The day of Reckoning is coming!

Lovely: The Epitome of Seldom Seen
Don’t let her size deceive you. As one of our volunteers, her eagerness to learn and willingness to fill in for our photographer has bailed us out a number of times. And she’s always at large; we rarely see her in the office these days.

Primy: The Lady Geek
Her being extremely opinionated and candid could take one either on the hottest of hot seat or immediately on the verge of madness. Yet, we love her especially her singing talent and amazing photographs sans the changes of the editors.

Eugene: The Wandering Soul
Honestly an “underground” recruit from another campus publication, this silent guy stands out from the rest of us who have motor-mouths of mass destruction. But no matter how shy he is, he cannot deny that he once presented himself for a picture that was published in a gay article last year.

Camille: The Cosmopolitan Brat
Just a few months fresh from being a post-exchange student in Japan, we finally decide that this student nurse is clearly sunshine and confidence personified—she once changed outfits three times in one day. Well, we really need more of her in the office actually.

Dennis: The Indifferent Artist
One of the many characters who constantly appear-disappear in the office, we still glorify this guy for being an efficient cartoonist with a not-so efficient deadline protocol. A medical student firsthand, we understand and forgive his being late.

Sir Van Peel: The Biker Boy
Literally a person who’s always on the run, we are in awe that our second semester adviser is able to head English classes, do some tweaking on our paper, and runs from our weekly meeting to catch the latest American Idol episode. If these are not enough, one would be really amazed how he can out-Bean Mr. Bean.

Maam Gina: The Guidance Counselor
Ever-careful and ever-patient, our first semester adviser’s teachings are still indelible, and we will never forget how she was awfully concerned when our feet once (or twice, or thrice, or…) crossed the borderlines of journalism.

Friday, March 07, 2008


The online scene's portal to Philippine literature has just got a fresh new look.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

2008 dbss literary competition winners

Finally, the results are in. And good news: I won first place in the Poetry category! Yipee!
Sponsored by the Weekly Sillimanian and Kadugong Bol-anon, the winning works will be included in our literary folio, Dark Blue Southern Seas (DBSS), to be published by next school year. I am keeping my fingers crossed this time. Well, most of the staffers of this folio are graduating so it would be me alone who’s got to face the intrigues and other concerns that would be sprouting from somewhere next year.

Short Fiction
1st place - Alfred Casipong (MA in Creative Writing) “Inday”
2nd place - Carlos Garcia (BS Computer Science – I) “The Mr. Sunshine”
3rd place - Jan Paulo Bastareche (Mass Communication – III) “Camus Dreaming: An Existentialist Story”

1st place - Fred Jordan Mikhail T. Carnice (AB Creative Writing – III)
“The Other End”
2nd place - Sonia SyGaco (MA in Creative Writing) “The Spark”
3rd place - Jan Paulo Bastareche (Mass Communication – III) “Necrolatry”

1st place - Celeste June Rivera (Mass Communication – III) “Pulutan”
2nd place - Celeste June Rivera (Mass Communication – III) “Bulsa”
3rd place - none

JUDGES: Mr. Ian Rosales Casocot, Ms. Lakambini Sitoy, Mr. Cesar Ruiz Aquino, Atty. Ernesto Superal Yee, and Mr. Bobby Flores Villasis