Ayel's shoutout, I felt, deserved an attention that, despite the possibility of the effort to be misconstrued as plainly attempting to grab attention--which was secondary by the way--I took the plunge.

He quoted a line from the filmized Neil Gaiman book Stardust: A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really...” Do the stars gaze back?" Now that's a question.

I knew he would reply. But was afraid that he would not. And when he did, it scared me that he would stop. But nobody's stopping yet. I guess it's too early to stop as it would be too early to say that things are getting well.

Well, I'm hooked. And because I am an open book, read on...

B: The stars? I guess they gaze back. Actually more than gaze. They speak to us, tell us things that so different to what they have been telling others. And these things that they tell us always depend on how we stare at them. You see, stars know what "two-way-street" is all about...Sure, this is romanticizing. I am romanticizing.

*Nevermind tho. wink...wink...

A: Definitely, you are romanticizing...Stars don't gaze back at us...They don't even twinkle...(or so we thought) sigh

B: But what if these stars are not really as withdrawn as you think they are? What if you're just misreading them...that they actually detest being called and treated like "stars"? What if they're real?

*Just thinking. Btw, my name is Bananachoked.

A: What do u mean, they are real? Stars are undeniably real...They are in the sky...They are part of the galaxy...Why would they detest being called as stars? At least, they have a label...Do u detest being called human?

And I'm Ayel...I dont know ypu actually...But then, I have nothing to lose if I'm gonna respond to your email... :-)

B: There are reasons why they are called stars. One maybe, for the elementariness of my grasp and understanding, because they are up there--so hard to reach. Promixity made them and probably, made us too. You see, whoever coined the word starstruck was brilliant but apparently was so drowned by the starness of stars.

We can be literal and that is fine. Which brings me to my proposal that we try to lower our gaze far from the skies. Looking around, we will certainly realize that unlike the real stars, mortals' own version of stars do not brighten mortals' own version of sky.

I hope that answers the issue on whether or not stars are real.

Now, about having labels and all that--sure labels could mean a lot. But labels are like boxes. They constrict us. Sometimes, people tend to focus their attention more on the box and the wrappings rather than the content. The fancier the box, they expect more of the item inside. What i am saying is that most of the times, boxes precede the item.

Yes, Ayel, both of us do not have anything to lose on this. wink...wink...

A: I'm impressed with your letter...Tinodo mo lahat and binuhos mo lahat ng powers mo to come up with much depth and analysis...hehehehe...Well, I am actually in awe after reading your letter...I never thought you can be so analytical about the stars.....And you are indeed a writer...Good writing skill...So lets talk about the moon? Joke :-)

B: I don't actually mind talking about the moon, although I know that like the rain, the moon is also depressing. But, really, I don't mind being depressed this time.


Ayel and I agreed to meet over dinner Thursday. But because I will be out for a 3-day meeting, we agreed to instead meeting next week. Wish me luck.


Attack of the Killer D

Beyef came out with the perfectest line I have ever come across with--with regards to my being depressed and its bizarre association with the downpour--as he tried to clear out the layers of cobwebs that clogged my tubes: Why can't we all be frogs and be happy when it rains?

I had to apologize for not making sense and--a run-through the conversation later made me realize--for sounding "nyah-nyah" while Fleetwood Mac was persuading me to understand that the poetry in Landslide is not pain, no matter how bleak it may seem.

I blame it on this weird feeling that makes the body feel like an inflatable void that not even the immensity of the release can stop the air from filling in. To outpour is so tiring but keeping the air inside is impossible as it is almost endless. But I will give it to Beyef. He made a good job in the cleaning department, picking up even the spider poops with his bare hands.

It has been a long time since I had a bout with it. It felt new to me but at the same time, it felt like some old friends that I left but remained real. Contrary to what I have been thinking, perhaps it never left me at all--just there lurking, awaiting for the best timing to launch an offensive.

This one knows me more than my closest friends. This one sees my vulnerabilities. Surely, this one kills.


Lover In The City

Yes he's here. Meeting me tonight. No. I am meeting him tonight. It has been long since I last saw him. Talked to him. I am not really excited that I am meeting him tonight, although it was my idea that we meet up. There is nothing special with this meeting. But who knows.

I should have stopped addressing him Lover because he's not my lover. But he's a lover whom I always wanted to be my lover. Silent. But not really. Mysterious because he plays his part well; that someone who loves being solved. Condescending as he is intelligent. And sexy. Intelligent. Sexy. Intelligent. Sexy. Intelligent. Sexy. Intelligent. Sexy. And I am not copy-pasting "Intelligent. Sexy.", you know.

In case you don't know him, let me introduce to you Lover once again. He's the one whom I saw walking ahead of me like a god. He once was my god. And the drizzle agreed.

He was the reason why one cold night, while we were inside a decrepit but comforting hut, became too unbearably long, moving slowly to give way to light as I lay, wide awake, almost all the time, beside him, listening to him snore, wandering how his body welcomed the damp.

And yes, he, too, was the object of that fleeting sensation down my crotch that same night. It was so quick. Quicker than what that brief and spontaneous orgasmic bliss. Lying flat on my back, he took the pain down his crack, slowly as beads of his sweat landed on my chest. Too bad it was just a dream.

Now, how can I be blamed?


Kung Di Kayo Maiyak, Ewan Ko Na Lang


Quiapo vendors
By Consuelo Maria G. Lucero
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:19:00 07/03/2008

The day after "Ka Bel" died, my father sent me an email urging me to go to the wake for the party-list representative. He said Crispin Beltran was once his boss and one whom he deeply respected, and he felt it was his filial obligation to offer flowers and prayers at his wake. But since he was away in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on a scholarship, he asked me to go his place.

I'm no leftist; I'm not even politically inclined, as some of my schoolmates have probably noted. So when I put on my denim pants and rubber shoes to go to Manila's Quiapo district to buy some flowers, I thought that I was merely doing what my father had asked me to do: to offer flowers and prayers for a dead man.

When I got to Quiapo, I searched the flower vendors at the side of the church, trying to imagine what colors my father would have wanted. I stopped at a nondescript stall with green, maroon and pink flowers, not just the usual yellow and white. The vendor told the white or yellow mums would cost P100, but if I picked assorted colors it would cost me P150.

I tried to bargain, and she brought down the price of the latter to P140.
I asked if the funeral wreath came with ribbons. "Extra P20 kung may ribbon," she said.
I did not bother to haggle anymore. Then I handed her a piece of paper on which I had copied the epitaph my father wrote: "Pagpugay sa dakilang anak ng uring manggagawa, Ka Bel; Ang buhay at alaala mo'y titis ng pag-asa sa pakikibaka ng uri. — Kas. George."

The vendor was shocked by the long message. I figured that she was used to writing only "Condolence and sympathy" on the ribbon. But she talked so loud that the other vendors came over.

"Santissima! Kay Ka Bel mo ba ibibigay?" a vendor of Lego-like toys asked.
I nodded and smiled.

"Diyos ko, Mare, huwag mo na singilin!" she told the flower vendor. "Kay Ka Bel naman pala eh. Kapatid natin iyon sa pakikibaka."

They called their friends, who were selling trinkets worth P10 or less. One of them offered to do the writing, declaring his handwriting was the best. Others shared their opinions about Ka Bel. Some told the flower vendor to add more flowers on the wreath.

"Nakakasama kasi namin sa rally si Ka Bel," the friendly toy vendor explained.
"Oo, at wala siyang paki kahit mga mahihirap kami," the man with the nice handwriting chimed in.

Some asked me if I was going alone, or if I was with a leftist group. I politely told them that I was going on behalf of my school organization.

When they asked me what school I attended, someone said, "Mabuting may mga matatalino pa ring sumusuporta sa mga mahihirap." I did have the courage to tell them I was no leftist.

Finally they finished the wreath, beautifully done. The flower vendor told me that with all the additions, the wreath was now worth more than P200, but she was giving it to me for free as her own offering for Ka Bel. A vendor of plastic bags gave me a big red-and-white plastic free of charge. And while I was preparing to leave, a cigarette vendor came with a small bouquet of white mums and asked me to bring them to their champion. Then they all bade me a cheery goodbye, while asking me to extend their condolences to Ka Bel's family. I rode the jeepney to Taft Avenue with a heart that was never more deeply touched.

Had my father been here, he would have gone every day to the wake. He would have go to Ka Bel's funeral, marching with his buddies in the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno, sharing pictures and stories of Ka Bel and the KMU. He probably would not have thought of asking me to go with him, knowing that I am not interested in rallies and leftist organizations.

But maybe it was a good thing that he was away and had to ask me to do this. I never would have come so close to the poor and neither would have known how deeply they felt about Ka Bel, their "brother in the struggle" against poverty.

Consuelo Maria G. Lucero, 17, is a third-year Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature student at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.


Requiem for Hair

For more than two years I allowed the hair to literally go down without me giving it much attention that I would go out--even covering a presidential visit--with mass of it gathered by a overly-tired panali at the back my head, and loose portions hanging, caressing both of my cheeks.

It was just like that. Hair was far from being beautiful but the comfort it gave me was unquestionable. It allowed me to achieve that lukaret look. That easy look. That tambay look. Cool. Very kanto.

For two years I so loved hair that not even one of my greatest depressions succeeded in pushing me to grab a pair of scissors and cut it, nevermind if they had their share of depression that they pull themselves off and fall like messy threads littering the bed, the floor.

Hair was just there. A silent witness to my bliss, a loyal companion when I was in pain.

Until recently.

(Cousin Daniel, Bananachoked, Pipo Matalam aka Veve Ghel, and housemate Jimaima)

And these are some of the looks that I want to achieve in the next months. CLICK...CLICK...CLICK


The scariest of all the scary movies I have ever seen...