normal day

it was in 2009 that a usual christmas eve and christmas day happened - a day celebrating with family. in 2010 was a christmas eve dinner with a nepali guide and a christmas day trekking the hills and mountains of annapurna. in 2011 was a christmas eve dinner with a friend before taking an overnight train to north-eastern thailand and spending the christmas day traveling to vientiane and preparing for a longer journey to up-north phongsali.

last night was time alone and today was a morning work day, an early afternoon office party, a movie afternoon and a long dinner with colleagues and friends.

i still managed to find that fuzzy christmas feeling.


home and away ball game

i never considered myself a football person but i have always enjoyed watching football over basketball. it must be because of the years being in the out-group during elementary and secondary schools for the inability to competitively dribble and shoot a basketball. either i would find myself in the substitute's bench waiting for that moment, which usually never came, to have my few short minutes in the court, or be with the others in the out-group playing our own fun and non-competitive basketball game, or play something different.

as for football, i remember taking summer camp for football which i was never really able to pursue. it was far more enjoyable. the game won't be as fast and driven as full-court and half-court runs in basketball, but it presented a thrill and excitement when you see the threat of opponents driving the football to your side's goal. these memories were more from elementary years. i have vague recollections of having football as an option for physical education during secondary years. in my free time, there was badminton and volleyball.

my interest in football came back during one of my work trips in the asean region when i discovered that a suzuki cup was being played between and among football teams in asean in 2008. i was in lao pdr then when friends were discussing about the performance of the teams from thailand, indonesia and malaysia. the renewed interest extended to the european cup roughly around that time, seeing myself rooting for an underdog russian team to win the cup.

then the premiere league caught my attention, with manchester city being the team that caught my interest - not because of the history and the support the team receives from oil-rich companies, or its players, but more because of its colors which appealed to me.

this year, i was finally able to watch my first live football game - when philippines played against myanmar in hopes of defeating myanmar to qualify for the 2012 suzuki cup semi-finals, which it did 2 to 0. i found myself with one hand grabbing the edge of my seat, and the other clutching tightly at my camera, and cheering for my home team. the insults hurled by seat-mates were low and amusing in the local vernacular, but in a stadium where the supporting audience of the opposing team was more than twice the size, meant a lot as booming cheers of support. surprisingly, with a full-game only mustering a total of 2 goals from both sides versus a full basketball game that collects a total from two side more than a hundred points, it carried a longer kind of thrill and suspense.



red earth and melons

it must have been 20 or so kilometres away from the city morning market. the expectation was that the wedding was to take place only a few or so walking distance.

the distance covered a flurry of red earth and dust and also lines of watermelons. the distance back covered nothing more than a fevered night alone and a morning trip back to work.

taking nothing back but a flurry of flying red dust and longing memories of watermelons, anytime soon is a flight back home.


off he goes [v]

once again i found myself riding a long bus ride to the north eastern sections of the sub-region - not too far, a measly few hours away over almost leveled not so winding cemented highways - but nonetheless a clear diversion from the all too demanding constraints of work.

he left one friday evening, i was told. i followed suit, maybe an hour or two hours after. he was on his way, i heard, to assess the realities of maintaining the status quo. believe or not, the status was already one debris away from cascading, and not even an attempt to maintain may be able to bind what is bound to dissipate. i was for what could be best. i still went. but for something different.

they were waiting.


i almost died today

we grew up celebrating today as a day to remember the departed, taking time off from work and holiday to spend moments recalling moments with loved ones we'll never see again in our lifetime. and i could have died.

in a fit of irrational anxiety, he felt the world turn its back on him, and in return, himself in a catatonic resignation.

apparently she was still waiting. a note. a call. a message. or even just a semblance of a sign from the heavens that he still exists, that his affection still lingers, albeit in slow and erratic installments. she taught herself restraint. and patience.

i was waiting. maybe for a message. a tag. an upload. mail. or even a missed call. just any sign that she might still be there. my affectations have always been restrained. and i am always paralyzed by the indecision of roaming free and settling down. i know my quirks and my fits. still i waited, exercising the knowingly doomed outcome from being virtuously patient.

we travelled a group. when we celebrated, i found myself caged amidst a flurry of ill-translated words of a language that my anxious and tired brain could no longer intake. i lost my patience within. i allowed a dark brooding omen to take hold of my life. i almost died.

he closed his eyes - focusing that everything else should be immaterial. he opened them. they were talking and laughing. they were preoccupied with what strings they have found themselves to be related. he had no strings with them. he was fast becoming a fiction. he closed his eyes - she was looking at him, without longing nor despise, no tears, not even a smile. seemingly in a tunnel far far away inside his closed eyes, she was just looking.



i was in a wedding yesterday. a lot of people went. most i do not know. all the while i could not stop wishing you were also here - praying our well-wishes and hopes for a meaningful life together. i am referring not only to the newly-weds but also to the possibility that we do find that opportunity, in celebration, to express our humble vows. then, it must only be a slim hope to carry, with the slimness that ever goes slimmer as each day passes - unsure and unknowing whether it should really be.

there were also children. and it feels like time has left us behind. 

months have passed since i last saw you. it could be a few days to months more before you see me again. if there is at all any chance for me, i must have surrendered it the moment i allowed myself with too much preoccupations.

i do hope that in one way or another, we find ourselves again.





all he remembers is being swallowed whole and alive. now stuck inside the belly of who knows what. the imposing darkness. not even a glimpse of a shadow to wake him from this entrapment.

but where is the feeling of darkness, or the semblance of light, or the strangling hopelessness when all there is to him is nothing. nothing.


inside a hindu temple (negombo, sri lanka)

updating with words

i could not remember when it started. but it happened that i lost writing. from one word to the next my hands could not muster the effort to piece a first idea to the next. it came to me that i have finally lost it. it has slipped from me secretly and i do not know where to find it.

negombo fish market (negombo, sri lanka)