This has been running in my mind for quite sometime now.

Trying to keep my feet firmly on the ground, my mind is running amok with thoughts of  keeping my current employment and passion more  competitive, living alone in the city, with occasional welcome intrusions from a brother whose pursuits has turned to networking and his  DeMolay standing, a very beautiful niece whom I fondly see a bright future despite her stopping school for the moment, and maintaining our small farm in Bicol, where my family has been living for 10 years now, give or take a few.

Thinking deep, I do not really want to end up whining about upper class problems, just living within my means is enough. Given the experiences of being up there with the in crowd, I know I will always be an outsider, Heavy Metal in a world of Pop, in a society where being IN is so much the requisite for every Social Climber bent on having his 15 minutes of  infamy, and a lot of social media overreaction.

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Not Looking Back

I had nothing to do but listen to the rain making noise outside, while the barge plying the river to and fro makes its final trip for the day. Just got back from Bicol and my fever came back with me, so I winged it and stayed in my rented room, where I came to occupy after my previous landlord decided I had to leave. The room is good enough for me. The only worry is in order to get to my room, you have to to negotiate a particularly steep plight of wooden stairs set on welded steel frame built by my new landlord himself. No, the stairs is the least of my problem. The stove is at the top landing, next to a good pahingahan hanging on a cute little veranda where the gas tank is also located. Sometimes I wonder if the landing should suddenly give out, the tank would surely make a loud boom. Heck, I survive a Don Mariano bus trip every night, a treacherous 100-km speed ride everytime, I should be able to deal with this.

So, with my coffee almost gone, and cigarette butts need to be discarded to make room for new ones, I sit in front of my borrowed computer ( running on XP Ultimate, with a 1.5Gb RAM and a whole lot of history. Yup, this particular pc  came from the wake of TS Undoy) I try to keep from screaming inanities at the dark. Somehow, I’m still full of fire despite the fact that I am 42.

Just like Johnny Storm, I rage. I rage for the loss of a good friend. I snap, crackle and pop at the lost work I have been doing on my laptop, now probably gone to some seedy pawnshop by whoever killed Mamu for some easy buck. Gone with that portable pc are the writings and scenarios for my graphic novel. These losses aggravated the fact that even with a good employment, I still have to find freelance work to make it even in this day of  instant noodles and cult of personalities. I burn at the way my government is a pushover at dealing with my country’s lack of progress. My heart steams from the seemingly unrelenting pop-trash culture being peddled in almost anything.  My psychotherapy of novels and books and music and good movies are all that keeps me from throwing it all away and heading back to the mountains.

Several storms have been making the rounds around here. But the real storms are within. Good thing I still have real friends, old and new ones. I may be distant and preoccupied now but I will be a better friend for them, those that when I cried out screamed back ” Shut up!”, those who when I asked for some help with money problems, offered and delivered, or at least replied to my text messages and emails saying “Sorry, Bro, wala din e.” For someone whose life is a lightbulb readying itself for imminent demise, these guys, the Indios came through for me. And  that someone very special who, in the midst of it all, always seem to make things right, whom I love dearly, I thank you. I thank all of my friends.

Times like these, I feel like what those nasty jokes my uncles and aunts taunt me with, just might be true, that I was adopted or “Napulot ka la-ang sa tae ng kalabaw!”

Recently I picked a nasty time to make my thoughts known to my brothers. All because I was really pissed off at the way our youngest botched another money problem, something that involves my oldest brother kept in a private homecare for the mentally ill, my second brother who pays the bills, and the youngest, whom I have to pick up the slack by fixing up all the glitches with two consecutive homecare bill problems and transfers. They don’t know what I had to go through to make that transfer. Nah. I told them my previous unemployment was the eventual result of these problems. Second Oldest didn’t believe. Told them I dropped out of college because Ina cannot support me and my little bro at the same time, him with a pregnant girlfriend then, but no they only believe I was a quitter.

So there, even with the rains still banging the tin roofs and winds making some wild attempts at the record, I rage. My work with Tv5 Creative Services – News seem to be a sobering  therapy for me. Another privilege at working with a talented Boss and crew (not condescending here, just stating facts) makes me feel wanted and needed.

So I won’t be looking back. I’m burning bridges in the dark because it’s the only way I’m going to see where I’m going. And I’m moving on. Got my girls to think of, a graphic novel to rewrite and some more adventures in this stage.

Bring it on. I’m getting the hang of  climbing icebergs.

Good Friday

CIMG0801-copy, originally uploaded by scrEaMing mANgo.

It’s 2:13pm, we just got up from spending the early hours of the afternoon sprawled in front of the tv, trying to understand the seven last words while the girls are fighting for Liezel’s attention, while we old people are struggling to stay awake. Switched to Studio23 and got instead the ever reliable Camdens of Seventh Heaven marathon, which is kind of what I look forward every Holy Week. Not that it affects me spiritually, but the fact that theirs is not so much different from the rest of us deviant, dysfunctional families that I could identify with their plight.

Sort of.

Anyway, as Kuya Kim said, it will be somewhat disconcerting to suffer in this heat, while up there looms some rainclouds. No big deal, living here at the farm has taught me to adapt to the weather. We ganged up on a big papaya we picked from our favorite tree and splurged in all our gluttony on its succulence. On the stove are Saba bananas cooking in boiling water for later. I peeked at the metal basin cover to look at the Ginataang Talbos ng Kamoteng Kahoy we had for lunch and was temporarily tempted to get some rice and have some more. But, I turned to the girls and almost lost my portion of the papaya. It was BIG, but no telling what my wife, two girls and my mother in law will do to the hapless papaya if I hadn’t intervened.

At 3:00pm all electric gadgets are turned off and Liezel settled to pick small stones and husks from our rice and the girls are playing ” tinda-tinadahan ” out in the yard while I tend to the fire that’s cooking up yet another feast, boiled bananas. A maya bird decided to investigate our kitchen, but since we are misers with our food, left disappointed. The place seems one noisy occupant less since we sold our goat. And the chickens are having a great time exploring the yard, all two and a half hectares of happiness and tranquility. Of course there’s Polo, our good looking dog that doesn’t agree with anything that involves washing up.Incidentally, it was supposed to be Piolo, as in the actor, but Iya cannot pronounce Piolo straight so we settled for Polo, which consequently became Polo Pasyal, just because the darn puppy loves to wander about, and then became Polo Wento, because at his young age, he was not much of a guard dog, but now it’s Polo Porma, because the puppy is growing up up to be one handsome dog. Of course, taking a bath is still his bane but nonetheless, the dog has character. Out there, yellow kingfishers with black wings seem to be having fun in pairs. Saya-saya birds are frolicking among the bushes, those beautiful reddish brown birds with long black tails, ever majestic and camera shy. Have to shoot them one day. Photos, I mean. Why’d you think I abhor the use of guns? I’d rather use a knife. Not that it’s of use to my photographic delusions, but I guess you get the picture.

At about this time Jesus Christ died on the cross.Still in his early thirties and already dead. I’m 40 and still surprised at being a live. So, the bananas are almost done. The girls have grown tired outside and finally went inside to play. People are walking, riding habal-habal or hitching a ride to town, probably to watch or join the procession. Elsewhere, the beaches would be full of bitching vacationers and bored children. Somewhere too, would be people trying to re-assert their failure as a human by turning spiritual all of a sudden. Going to visita iglesias and pilgrimages.

Want to be closer to Heaven?

Want to be closer to GOD? We all are.

You just don’t get it.

Look around.

If you can’t see the beauty of the world, then you are in trouble my friend.

Have a boiled banana. . . . .