night time commute (11042011)

...on a firetruck traversing the flood in rachayothin to central latprao one evening (november 4, 2011)

...and the flood has receded

i left my apartment early in the morning and was still surrounded by ankle-deep to at most half-leg deep flood. i got back with the road almost dry. somehow, there's something about this flood that i am already starting to miss.

undoubtedly, the flood swept uncountable damage to lives, revenues and properties. when it was half-thigh deep, it seriously inconvenienced me in sudden work trips to airports, lugging around numerous luggages and heavy bags.  

the flood, however, has somehow created equals among non-equals in a normal situation. everyone suffering was in the situation together. if one had a privilege of food and water or flood-capable vehicles, this privilege was a privilege opened and shared. it created a lot of worries and unplanned expenses, but it also gave birth to a remarkable resilience and creativity.

i cannot be certain if the flood-less street of my apartment will remain the same in the days to come. i have heard of news that still a lot of flood water remains in the north. whether it will flood again or not, it also taught us a valuable lesson on adaptation. my legs and feet never did mutate under dirty flood water to have gills and fins, but we all managed. 

(now if only i can also manage to transport videos and photos)



you may feel bad about what's happening around us but this is part of life. we feel sadness and pain. we also feel happiness. this is in everything around us, with our attachments in this world. 

nothing is permanent. what is important is what we do now and understanding that it has an effect on everyone around us. each one of us should be responsible enough of our actions that we do not unduly burden the people around us with added sorrow and pain.

it is admittedly difficult. this is why we need to train our minds to focus and find calmness and inner peace.

a great flood is coming

i am now imagining a coming great flood like a horde of zombies slowly approaching the last human stronghold in bangkok.

the warnings and precautions from various social media sites, the news, and personal acquaintances every hour of each day in the last two to three weeks have desensitized me to the reality.


to receive

it feels unnatural.

the man sinks in his wallowing emotional constipations. alas it is fear to bare himself to the innocence of just feeling,



when patience takes its toll

i am not sure where i am now. where i am headed. where i should be headed.

when everyone else around you assume unabated and self-acclaimed expertise and control over your work is the time that patience should learn to succumb to a calculated rebellion. for i am a non-expert to what i do, but an expert on matters that i could not do. and everyone else an expert on everything through the art of google search. where should that lead me?

then there's joyce maynard whispering to me... overweening personal ambition is no virtue; but while i had it, i could have danced on a bed of nails. and again, i am all crooked through.



have you

i was walking into what are now familiar places, installations that have become personal acquaintances, signs that have accustomed themselves to greeting me their usual good morning and welcome and farewells. in all these, i found my loneliness. a phone message here and there, then and now, somehow filled a little of that vast emptiness inside me. the flooding emails somehow drowned the lulling feeling of all-in-whose-day's-work. women snuggling dear women, and men dating men. heterosexual couples engaged in a telepathic hypnosis. and i was walking with my shadow, talking to myself, and engaged in an automaton affair with my blackberry.

of course all i could think of was the next screening of final destination five, or whether i should take the ticket to see fright night. and of course she would linger beneath the shadows of my thoughts. in a sliver of happiness, i would find her wanting to share with it. with uneasy sadness, her face creeps in to remind me... where do i really want to go from here. it has been a run and chase seeming affair to run after and chase her back. i found myself seemingly falling back in the chase. when can i find that moment to slow time with you.

i almost had myself burst into a million shattered frozen balloon rubber shards. it has always been about i. how do i now make my life have a you.


dear madam

a certain emptiness leaks in, takes over and, somehow, in its shallow depths, drowns what was once a persistent heart.

unsureness must have fountained dear certain emptiness. absence has yearned for longing. and the anticipation of presence met by absence has surely nourished its seeping sinewy fingers.

a certain emptiness leaks in. dear forlorn heart must not give in.




to practice mindfulness requires patience of the mind and the body. 

his world

he saw pictures of thesis defenses and completion certificates
of graduating and being honored, 
of black robes and glasses of champagnes of celebrations,
of going home to start changing the world
for the better.

who would have thought. 

two school years gone
in a world that could have also been his,
in his world that never was.

he feared losing his way to the world he conceived his.



doctor says

your cholesterol level is high. your sugar level is high. your uric acid level is high. your triglyceride level is high. no pizza, also no cheese. lessen the salt which means no kfc, no mcdonalds. no baboy (pork). no liver and internal organs which i know you eat. no sugar. i will set an appointment next month to see if your levels have improved.

but doctor, i am going home to the philippines by the end of this month. i am bound to eat all of those almost everyday while there.

well we'll have to see where your priorities are.



and here he goes again finding distance when people with good intentions reach. 

the caution 
his gullibility has taught him. 

it is no wonder he finds himself always 


not of the others' doing. 

inner struggles. 

to find his peace.


along the mesilau trail

i've been rummaging through my files when a batch of photos from 2009 reminded me that 2 years had already passed since i did a mount kinabalu climb in sabah, malaysia ascending from mesilau and descending to timpohon. it had me wondering when i might be able to do another trip back to sabah again.


a squashed frog-shaped stain in the Universe

squashed things by the road reminded me of a.roy's the god of small things. everytime i see one, it becomes an image of another stain in the Universe. this is a first photo of a frog-shaped stain.


train ride

around six in a saturday morning, i arrived in bang sue station to hopefully catch the excursion train to nam tok, somewhere in the province of kanchanaburi. at 6.51, i was already mindfully seated in one of the train cars, like a kid on his first train ride to anywhere.

in fact, it is. my first out of a city train ride off to somewhere, and it jumpstarted a self that had long slept itself in safe comfort zones.

now i find myself moving again and reaching. like a kid in search of the next clue to a hidden treasure.



the only future that all of us can be certain of having is the fact of dying and death, and
i seem to have trapped myself in a spiraling affair with dying.

i must stop the smoking. it has increased the chances of me dying within the week. my lips have shriveled and dried up, it has accumulated the itchy shivers i only get to have with piles of crab allergens. my throat feels dry and itchy too. and coughing the dryness and itchiness has become a pain with the agonizing stiff neck and frozen shoulder. this agony has further prevented me from doing my daily minimum movements against obesity.

i am dying.


buwan buwan

"last saturday, everyone wanted to see the super moon. a good friend from the philippines even sent me a message, i recall three or four days before the rise of super moon. and that saturday night, walking home, i saw the moon up in the dark flat sky. the same moon, a zenith moon, not larger or smaller, as the moon i have always taken time to see every month since. it was not as large as the large horizon moon i remember seeing once out the window in my childhood. an image that has forever sealed my fascination and godly respect for the moon. i must be lupin.

"the super moon became everyone's subject... to come out that saturday night, with all camera implements to catch the largeness of super moon, dreaming of camera implements to capture the immensity of super moon. the thrill of the moment.

"i did look for the moon that night, it was not large nor small high up in the sky. it may or may not have been a super moon, for all i care. high up in the sky, largeness was irrelevant.

"and the thrill dissipated with the passing of the night and the morning rise.

"this morning, i woke up to the call of the morning darkness, and there by my window was next day moon, the same moon who listened and understood me, my dreams and my intimacies. ~j"



i especially wanted a drink tonight. red label dispersed in soda water perhaps. bacardi mojitos. a shot or two of any kind of vodka. or just a bottle of beer. a drink with. a drink for myself. and with a stick or two of surya.

i was told to expect a mega moon tonight, or was it tomorrow. like the mega star back in the philippines. mega moon reminded me of quentin tarantino's face spread out across a flat dark sky.

while playing with the ice in my glass of whiskey, a lady or two would notice the loser boy with a tarantino chin seemingly drowning himself in a glass of already diluted whiskey. i would notice a lady or two surreptitiously stealing condescending glances at me. and i would not care, for my intricate world could care nothing to do with condescending glances and secret thieves. and there she still was in that intricate world, a phantom-like feeling that she'd hold on to despite the obvious signs that she had flown, or might have already flown. a lady or two stealing condescending glances would not understand the apparent foolishness i had clung to. but of course, there was no drink and there could not have been a lady or two.

i particularly enjoyed the slow long walk home with the somewhat cool breeze of the night. a car with a familiar lady face stopped to offer a ride, an initial offer of friendship. i refused for the walk and the night and the breeze subdued me.


if you ask me

if you ask me about love, mine is first a tragedy - my husband's death ten years ago, and the way i am made now to fill in the shoes of both father and mother, and the breadwinner of a daughter and a son.

then again, love becomes unconditional sacrifice and joy - to see my children grow up proper and hardworking. and love becomes my pledge to keep on living and working - for us to have our fill, for my daughter to finish college, and for my son to push on in high school.

i am proud. proud that at early hours in the morning i drive a taxi and in the afternoon work as a cleaning staff in a hotel. for ten years i have managed well and hard. and you?

you ask me about love. mine is a tragic unrequited loving from a distance. you need not ask more for mine is a love that can never be.



"it's not that i have gained mass. and size. or that i started smoking again. almost 3 times a day, and a bit more. or that for the longest time i have allowed myself the distance from anything capable of intimacy. i have been feeling rebellious. the way they make me feel that i should be beholden.

"they say they want your independence. your sustainability. they find ways to trap you to dependence. they impose the need to transfer all tasks, and they dump everything without the minimum base to manage all beautifully. but because you are so good, you manage to overcome them and they find ways to trap you and make you once more beholden."

of course they hold the funds to pay you. that way, they exert a brooding shadow. of course they hold the funds to fund whatever needs to be funded. that way, they exert a steering control. and with all that. with all that. of course one becomes the brooding shadow.

that is the story of the persistent ant versus the zombie fungus.



nikon fm2, 50mm f/1.8, fujifilm reala 100

a new year

today was nothing especially special. he somehow achieved his goal to make the day as invisible as a normal day should be. in fact, it was more invisible than any other day could be. that was, however, special in its own way. it was so invisible that he even forgot that the day was not yet over, and there was still time to end the day simply.

people managed to pierce away his shielding cloth. a greeting here. a post there. they never went beyond the number of fingers and toes together. and each one he received mattered even more. it was true how the simplest yet truest solitude can remind one of the sincerity of lasting relationships, personal, online, or otherwise. in that he was deeply thankful. it was unfair, he thought. for others who remembered and never managed. and for others who have simply relied on automated notices.

tonight, he ends with padthai and a simple cake, perhaps as a memento for a simple sweet but spice-filled long life. and to another who also celebrates the day, he toasts the same.



today should not be about crankiness. i did my best. though crankiness too had his few moments.

"i saw norwegian wood by the way."

they ran out of neopan and realas.


after a day

i had mugs of chang in draft. it was opportune. to possibly leave me with a restful sleep yet i stay awake contemplating. that i probably had too many mugs of draft. there was a special surprise bag containing what can be associated with some memories. a champa whiskey bottle to remind me to have even just a glass to celebrate a thirty-first. a pack of joma's to remind me of numerous days in quiet vientiane or quiet luang prabang. a pack of dao coffee. all from laos. and a keychain of a small wooden sinister-looking mask. from bhutan.

i finished the last remaining slides of my last film roll.

and i arrived restless. four hours is all i need.


to sleep is to be free

it must be humiliating, or, possibly, humbling, the way he seemed to be sidelined. most of the time. by the powers that be that seemed to know not the lessons of capacitating the young with the experience and expertise of the old. he has had brushes with dispensability but in no way it came close to a feeling of irrelevance and being underutilized. most is about the way the end can justify the means, or more of misplaced means to reach the same end.

at the very least he is still fortunate to have a sort of mentor. against all powers that be and all odds. he can find more ways to soar without the limelight.

oh to capture that restful sleep.


any day

it could not have been that what they often call the usual fluttery sort- of butterfly feeling that warmly settles on the heart. today should be fleeting. when the day ends, so goes everything that it brought and developed to set with it. not settle. to set out. to fly away. many miles away. many light years away.

this year seems no different. i cannot remember what last year's offered. for sure, it had the same commercialized redness. the same cramped establishments. the same day-induced magnetism that compelled skin to touch skin, lips to seal lips, and eyes to drown eyes.

today, you thought of dying, the manner of dying, the last moments before the consciousness slips into what you may never know. you were distracted by the hovering of a small mosquito and you thought of mosquito-consciousness, its hovering-consciousness, and the last moments before it slips into its death form. you thought of the noisy birds outside your office windows, how they teasingly frolic and play, in a threesome exchange. you thought of your noodle soup, the bundled-up noodles in a sense of frantic shyness, swimming, more like dancing in a steamy flavorful bowlful womb. you thought of the eerie late afternoon orange darkness of your building floor, the emptiness haunts, the silence wants, and you thought about the ending day. it must not have been that what they often call the usual fluttery sort of butterfly feeling that warmly settles on the heart when we exchanged words, brotherly and sisterly as they were, in as most caring as a day like any other can offer. this year seems no different. like any other day, there is longing.


the lack of sleep is taking its toll. while he leaves bandar seri begawan this afternoon, there is still the long lay-over in kuala lumpur and the almost midnight arrival in bangkok.



i remember being told how much people despair or relish the occasions of the past, worry and expect on the offers of the future. a soul, if it exists, would most likely just pass on, perhaps ever evading the only known fact of life that the body dies, and a soul, if it exists, would just move on. from one life to another. or one dream to another.

dreams are supposed to be the place where the soul wanders when you are sleeping. the soul sometimes relives what the body experienced and sensed, what the brain perceived and interpreted. at times, the soul merely fathoms the bits and pieces of what your life is made of - memories, wishes, thoughts, feelings. at waking, we forget. there are times when we remember.

mine was a dream sequence of a bohemian soul. in four disjointed parts, separated by moments of apparent wakefulness.

the first, surrounded by a throng - cubs, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends -
of tigers. the second, the soul seeing its life connections - mother, father, sisters, brothers, relatives, a soon-to-be family - vanishing their grip from the dream reality. the third, playing four main casts of four broadway musicals singing the four main songs, wearing the four different costumes, and acting the four main roles, at the same time.

the fourth. a soul which looked similar to me was alone inside a dense dream forest.


when you start to walk away

this time of the year, i noticed, must be when flowers are eager to bloom. i also recently noticed how i subconsciously conditioned myself to anticipate the scent of sampaguita lining the narrow alleyway to home. you, i know, of all people, can appreciate this more.

you asked me a few times before if you can call me dear, love, or darling. i simply brushed aside the idea, as if i never heard or it should not matter. but it did and it still does. especially now that we have not heard from each other for a month or so and just recently, not seemingly out of hindsight or a lapse of intent, you referred to me as brother. i never heard, i never read, it should not matter, i thought, but somewhere deep inside stung. that i might have just taken that alleyway of forever losing the expectation and anticipation of perhaps a more committed walk with you. just like any flower to lose the fragrance and be forgotten. a solitary shadow dying by the onset of forever light.


the walk home

i walked home today. sort of out of myself, de-spirited in a way by perhaps the too many lager bottles over an extended lunch and intensive exchanges. i had to walk home. two kilometers, more or less, it seems. to breathe out. sweat out. the grogginess of my movement. the fogginess of my head.