Friday, September 19, 2008

Stay. Still. Stay.

We moved.
You moved me;
You moved in me.

We moved.
But once stilled
We saw we have moved apart.

And move again, we try
to bridge the distance
we have forged between us.

Do you move me now to stay away?
Stay still.
Still, stay.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ode to the Corporati

To all the Mahs, goils, ates, atengs, dudettes...

Today she's been working, she's been talking,
she's been smoking, but it'll be alright,
Cos tonight we'll go dancing, we'll go laughing,
we'll get car sick, and it'll be okay like everyone says,
it'll be alright and ever so nice,
We're going out tonight, out and about tonight.

Oh, whatever makes her happy on a Saturday night,
Oh whatever makes her happy, whatever makes it alright.

Today she's been sat there, sat there in a black chair,
office furniture, but it'll be alright,
Cos tonight we'll go drinking we'll do silly things,
and never let the winter in,
And it'll be okay like everyone says, it'll be alright and ever so nice,
We're going out tonight, out and about tonight.

Oh, whatever makes her happy on a Saturday night,
Oh, whatever makes her happy, whatever makes it alright.

we'll go to peepshows and freak shows,
we'll go to discos, casinos,
we'll go where people go and let go

oh whatever makes her happy on a Saturday night...


Here's to the Saturday nights we shared, we missed, we look forward to!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just Another (Bum) Day

In the last month, I have traded in the nomadic lifestyle for one that is more settled -- but a bum life nonetheless.

I have been living with my cousin and her two kids in a big-ish house along the side of the road in a not-so-obsure city in the south. And in the one month i was here, I have established a routine, which still allows for on-the-spot trips to the beach and random activities in between.

After 5 years of working nights, I wake up at 5 in the morning now -- just before the rooster crows, mind you -- and I sleep all night. I get up with my pungkins to cook their baon for school. We eat breakfast together while we talk about what they're going to do in school for the day. At 6:15, I drive them to school and then I head off to either the school oval or to the city wharf for my morning walk-jog.

I don't think I have lost a lot of weight yet, but doing something physical on a regular basis has re-energized me. The short-term benefits aren't so bad anyway. I force myself to go for an hour (at least), or until the sun gets too hot, whichever comes first. And in that hour I enjoy the fresh air, the scenery, and the company of strangers.

Then... I am free again. To go where I want, to do what I want. Sometimes on my way back home, I make a beeline for the beach and stay until I cannot bear the heat of the midday sun anymore. Other times, I take the truck back home, then hop onto a bike. I then ride until I get lost or until my legs are stiff. It's fun, it's scary, it's so liberating.

Or when I get too lazy to do any of the above, I just spend the whole day at an internet cafe to write about those days. Like today.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Straight Out of A Suitcase

In the last 2 years I have packed up my life and moved at least 5 times.

First, I moved out of my Ma's house into a one-room rental that used to be the maid's quarters at my ex-boyfriend's aunt's house. It was convenient -- for us. but was really not practical, even with the low rent. It was farther from the office than Ma's, and it was way too small.

So I moved into a 1-bedroom condo unit which was 10 minutes away from the office. I loved it! The only problem was the lack of parking spaces for guests, which I didn't mind at all. It's not like I get a lot of visitors, anyway.

Finally, I felt I had my own space -- private, sacred. I was so excited to fill it up with furniture. I got as far as getting a dining table-cum-space divider, 2 bar stools, a DVD/book rack and a divine couch before I had to give up my small heaven to move to Bacolod. I had the condo for a grand total of 3 months.

So off to Bacolod, where I stayed in 3 different places -- an apartment, a 2-room house, and a studio. All in all, a total of 16 months. Next stop, Cebu -- where I opted for a fully-furnished flat so I didn't have to go through the hassle (and expense) of buying new stuff again only to dispose of them after a year... or so.

Everytime I move I find that I have to leave some things behind. It's inevitable. There's just no room in the suitcase, not enough balikbayan boxes. There were too much stuff, stuff I can live without, stuff that are unimportant, or stuff that I would rather sell or give away.

At the time, I didn't mind getting rid of them. But then I would get to my new place, and would suddenly need to re-read that book I left with a friend; or find that I had left behind my flat iron (which ironically enough, does not come with my newly-"furnished" pad); or finally find that perfect dress to match my white go-go boots that I threw out.

It's the same every time. I can't fit all of my life in my suitcases, and I have to pick which memories, which dreams, which life lessons I take with me. Pick which ones to leave behind, to give away, or to toss out.

I wonder if, with every move, I shed a layer of me with the rest of my stuff -- all the emotions and memories that come with it. I wonder if, in my attempt to avoid "excess baggage", I am ridding myself of things that I might eventually miss, and will be unable to recover or replace. I wonder what, at the end of my journey, will be left of me then.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Slow Burn

Drawn to you
I come closer and closer;
Your warmth is inviting.

By my nearness
You grow brighter and brighter;
Your light is beckoning.

Out of control
I fall deeper and deeper;
Your fire is consuming.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Here-a-bum, There-a-bum...

So I am starting a new blog... to commemorate my new (economic/employment/social) status -- a bum.

"Bum" has such a negative connotation. The word itself sounds senseless. Curt, terse, hollow, empty. Much like an afterthought.

The word apparently first appeared in a German-American context, from the word bummler, which means "to go slowly" or "to waste time".

How very apt. For in that case, I am proud to carry the title of a "bum" for the last 3 months -- a beach-bum for some of the time. I believe I have lived out the definition very well. For that is what I have been doing (or is it "not doing"?) all this time. I have learned to slow me down. I have wasted a lot of time, albeit my own.

There is no regret here for during those times that I went slow, it was to wait for the sun to rise from beyond the sea. It was to wait for the fishing boats to come to shore so we can get the freshest catch of the day for lunch. It was in excahnge of long walks or bike rides to the beach, and not hurry back home even with the evening catching up on me. I spent hours, and sometimes whole days, picking weeds in the garden or re-arranging the furniture. I would do nothing else for the rest of the day. And that's okay.

There is a certain dignity to being a bum, to not being constrained by time, to throwing out plans and not controlling things. Some people might see that statement as an excuse for living a life without obligations, without responsibilities. But to leave a person with his own thoughts is a dangerous thing.
Being a bum invites more oppportunity to question one's life. Being a bum forces one to face the most diffcult judgment from her/himself. In the space of forever and timelessness, one's failures are magnified and successes are diminished. Isolation can be so easily mistaken for loneliness, and silence for emptiness.

In my next entries, I will share more of what I did (not), felt, thought, imagined, dreamed, dreaded, anticipated, and actually experienced. Some will be long and boring, others very dramatic; there may be a sprinkling of poetry or idle prose. Maybe, just maybe, some wisdom thrown in. But mostly just random notes...