Past 4 o'clock in the afternoon yesterday, while I was lining up to pay for the two books I bought at National Bookstore:

Hindi. Ah. Pwede...pwede...
Marami, syempre. Pandak?
Ok lang ang pandak wag lang yong sobrang pandak.
Pandak na para nang unano.
Bading? Gay? Hindi. Ah...yon! Yon!
GMA daw.
Sigurado nga!
Bading. Chubby? Ayaw ko ng chubby na sobrang chubby.
Mansanas at lechon.

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Tomboy? Walang problema ang tomboy.
Wag lang bading. Ayaw ko nang bading.
Pandak! Pandak!

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Hehehehe...wag. Wag dyan.
Kahapon pala yon? 'kala ko ngayon.
Si Darna? Hindi si Darna! Baliw! Si Ding.
Walang bato si Darna? Naubos ang bato ni Darna?
Binato ni Ding eh!
Kaya na-rehab si Ding.
Nagalit si Darna kasi nagbabato si Ding!
Ulol! Salampakin ko kaya ang mukha ni Darna!
Ito. Itim...
Plastic na itim na matigas.
Twenty five seventy five ito.
Babayaran mo ito ha? Refund syempre. Saka pamasahe ko.
Iiipin nito ang mga papel.
Itim nga!
Tawas lang yan.
Kili-kiling itim.
Black underarm.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Papel. Iiipin ang papel dito sa board na itim.
Papel de-leyja?
Fine paper.
Coarse paper!
Paper clip.
Hair clip?
Man is yuck--eeeeee...
Long e.
No eyh.
Just eeeeee. Not eh!
Wowweeeeee...sinong di mawiwili sa Eat Bulaga.
Bu! Boooooooo!!!

(He mumbles something inaudible)

(He sings) Bangkang papel...nag-disappear...Isang bangkang papel...na--na---na--na--na...

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Gary. Gary Granada. Gary Valenciano. Gary Estrada.
Joseph Estrada.
Kabit. Daming kabit.
Di ko mabilang kung ilang kabit.
Kabit-kabit na ang mga kabit.
Senador? Senayyyyy-ter!
Ulitin mo..
Malapit na ako.
Hindi maganda ang nasa counter.

Kahapon ba yon?
Oo. Tama. Mali...tama...mali.
Correct? Correct!

Kahapon dinala ni Ding kay Darna ang bato.
Oo...si Richard Gutierez.
Sina Sussie at Geno.
Si Raymond daw.
Hindi pandak si Raymond!
Tomboy...si Anabel?

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Ayaw ko ng bading.
Wala si Ruffa.
Christmas na? Merry Christmas! Happy New Year.

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Si B1..B2...B3...at B4
Diyos ko! 21 na sa Friday.
22 na sa Saturday.
23 na sa Sunday.
Holy Thursday...
Happy Holiday!

(Stops for five secs)
Hindi. Oo...pumayag si Angel.
May balakubak ba si Angel.
Sa shampoo.
Shampoo day...may libre pang toothpaste.
May libre pang toothbrush!!!
May libre pang tooooooo!!!
May libre pa.
Kumusta na Pre?
Sa Eat Bulaga?
Si Joey.
Wi Willie, hindi...wowowieeee sinong di mawiwili!
Si kasama si Edu!
Si Joey.
At Vic.
At Tito.
Pwede ring si Val.
Si Dina?
Oo...si Dina.
Sus...'wag ka nang magselos!
Si Oyo at si Angel.
Nagkiss? Hehehehhee...
Sa'yo si Oyo?
Ok. Bakla ka ba?
Ayaw ko ng bakla ha.
Tomboy ok lang...
Pwede na ring pandak.
Wag lang pandak na parang unano.
Si Ate Glow.
Bading yon eh!
Ayaw ko ng bading!

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Birthday ng aso kahapon.
Syempre sa beach.
At pa-swing-swing pa.
Holding hands while walking...
At pa-swing-swing pa.

(Stops for few secs; then laughs...stops again for three secs...looks at me)

Ay! Akala ko babae!

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Malapit na ako! Malapit na ako!
Ako na ba?
Ako ba?
Merry Christmas to yo--ho--ho--ho...

(He stops then notices my tattoo)

Ay! Masakit yan?
Hindi naman no?
Galing ka ba sa loob?
O, dito ka lang sa labas?
Sa loob nagkita kami ni Hubert!
Nagpalagay sya...
Gago talaga!

(He mumbles something inaudible)

Ay! Akala ko babae!
Bakit di ka nagtetext sa akin?
Walang load...walang load...
Ako na ba?

(The lady gives me my change and the packer hands me the books. I spew out a sigh of relief)




Mindanao bloggers unite for peace

By Jeffrey M. Tupas
Last updated 06:07am (Mla time) 12/09/2007

DAVAO CITY, Philippines -- While most gatherings of bloggers are nailed on how to possibly earn huge money from this cyber exchange, which is almost as mundane as updating one’s web log, the first Mindanao Bloggers’ Summit talked about how to strive for peace.

Attended by almost a hundred bloggers from various parts of the island on Oct. 28 at the NCCC mall in Davao City, the summit aimed to promote the diverse cultures and identities of Mindanao in the hope of narrowing gaps that provoke conflict and misunderstanding.

A number of those who came were journalists, writers, artists and students, who even passed a resolution encouraging other bloggers to write about Mindanao as a “contribution to fostering understanding and peace.”

One of the summit’s major supporters, the United Nations Act for Peace Programme, and the Inquirer Mindanao Bureau drafted the resolution.

All shapes and sizes

The summit seeks “to bring together bloggers of all shapes and sizes, of varied beliefs and convictions, to a common venue, and hopefully together come up with answers to this question: What can we accomplish as bloggers to contribute to peace and understanding?” Oliver Robillo, the organizers’ team leader, said.

Robillo said the bloggers must open the windows to what is Mindanao for the world to see and appreciate, contrary to what is often highlighted in local and foreign media.

“Even our fellow Filipinos in Luzon and the Visayas are blind to the reality of our island,” he said.

“Through our collective voices, we will be able to effect certain improvements. By letting our blogs’ readers see our everyday lives, our work, our involvement, our passions --which we write about -- they will be given a glimpse of the true images of Mindanao,” Robillo said.

“By our blogging, the negative publicity surrounding the Philippine South might soon be overcome.”

According to the resolution, the bloggers would exploit the new medium of expression and information exchange to write stories about the “beauty of Mindanao’s people, culture, places, creativity as their contribution to foster understanding and peace on the island.”

Peace agents

“The participants have held Mindanao close to their hearts and are aware of its diverse people, rich cultures and amazing places,” it said. They “recognize the need to continually communicate with one another to know and understand Mindanao and its people through the available technology.”

Now posted at the www.mindanaobloggers.com, more bloggers said they were willing to become peace agents by supporting the resolution.

Fr. Albert Alejo, a peace advocate and one of the speakers, said peace building and promotion could be done in many ways, like writing stories about the goodness of people, especially those who are in the margins of society.

“We have to touch the heart where the violence starts … we have to create more images that touch the heart,” Alejo said.

The stories must tell about how government policies and officials further push the poor aside.

“Let us write about corruption because corruption is violence. Let us talk about Malacañang because Malacañang is violence,” Alejo said.

“We have to start writing about the billions of dollars coming in if the final peace agreement is signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front … we have to write about this before the money gets squandered by corrupt government officials.”

Copyright 2007 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


First, I would like to make it clear that after this entry, I will no longer be writing anything about what I just went through--or going through--in relation to the depressing end of my more than a year relationship with Athan. This, as I resist the call not to bounce immediately because I want to bounce now, despite not really having been able to completely pick-up the self from where it went to because of what happened.

AR, a colleague from Manila, discouraged me from bouncing. For someone who went through a marital ordeal that ended in separation, I guess no one could beat her in the How-To Department of a broken relationship.

I met her Monday afternoon, few hours after I once again had a bout with another short-span depression, a series of episodic drama that I was consistently warned about my a number of reachable friends despite my claim of being ok. The day Athan announced he was bolting out, I told myself to take a rest for awhile. And by rest, I mean "rest."

Last night, while oblivious of the already bleeding knees after more than an hour of Inner Dancing, I (re)discovered my capacity to scribble using my left hand. (Ambidexterity is something that I did not desire to learn and whatever was that that was ignited it in me, thank you) First words were a repetition of my name, written, albeit invisibly as I was using a stick I found somewhere, on the red cold floor of Don Bosco's Trinitas Hall. The next batch of words were Athan's full name, streaming fluidly---literally encircling my sweat-drenched body.

I wanted to stop. But how can you stop your Higher Self? I even resisted, but failed, that force who told me to stand up and move to one corner of the room where I later continued writing ambidextrously a three-word unsigned letter addressed to Athan---the size of it could pass as the shortest letter I have ever written in my whole, whole life.

It says: Dear Athan, Why?

Few hours before that, I was in a trance while exchaning text messages with Jaydey. He knows that I like him but I don't want to read what is not yet apparent in the exchange of messages happening between us since the overcast blinded my sky. In one of the text messages, he asked me: "What do you want me to do (just) to make you happy?"

It was one question that was never asked me before.