Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nasaan Ka Elisa?

Kung Against-The-Grain plots lang ang labanan, the "Grain" being the likes of Mara Clara, Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo, and those other teleseryes which got us all hooked by having strong, formulaic, tearjerker storylines, I'd have to put Nasaan Ka Elisa at the top of the pile.

So yes, I'm a teleserye addict :) That's why I know "Elisa" is something very unique. Everyone can be a suspect. Everyone could have done something wrong. Even the adored protagonist. But lest I digress from what the whole point of this post is, I'd have to say (singit to be more accurate :P) that the search for Elisa resembles each individual's search for something that's precious to them, something that will make their lives complete. Elusive, full of villains, one of which can be yourself as well - the search will indeed be difficult, even the goal can be questioned at the end if really worth it. But life always brings us cumulative discontentment every step of the way. If one does not start the search early on, Elisa can be all the more hard to find, even to the point of being impossible. 

But does that stop us from questioning: Nasaan Ka Elisa? No.

To stress, questioning and doing the actual search are 2 very different things. Not questioning at all is, can we say, faux and forced contentment... "Masaya na ko eh." "Wala na kong ibang gusto." "Sobrang kontento na ko sa buhay ko." These statements all scream of Weh? Di Nga? like tattered, fake Louis Vuitton bags. We all yearn for something more, and it's just natural, because we're all human.

I've actually been doing well in my current job. In just more than a year, I've been promoted to supervisor. In just a year after that, I'm already looking to apply for internal openings for a Manager position. Yet do I say with all my might, "Masaya na ko"? In certain contexts, yes, but there's always a hole in my life bigger than whatever accomplishments I may achieve can plug, something that always leads me to ask, Nasaan ka na ba talaga?

Elisa is just somewhere, waiting to be found. All I know is because life, as it has always proven itself to be, will not make the journey easy, Elisa will not come looking for me. She remains to be a damsel, locked up in a tower, guarded by a dragon, waiting for her sword-wielding prince to let her free, and whom she can set free also.

Or not. Who knows, Elisa can be a bitch with the alias: Smasher of Dreams.

Monday, September 26, 2011


It has indeed been a very long time since I last updated this blog... Almost forgot about it, to be honest. But there are just some things that you go back to, especially in times of solitude, that are not dependent on willful decisions prior to revisiting, and doing again.


Yeah, I know. Many people have already romanticized its cathartic effect on those who write, so much so that it has already become a cliche. But the mere fact that it has become cliche makes it all the more true - Words put out there, in the silence of cyberspace, with no promise of readership, still hold a value so dear to the author that each letter becomes a fragment of memory. Like sequential puzzle pieces that bring you back not only to that moment in front of your laptop, clicking on the buttons to compose something which you hope might make sense, but to the actual emotion conveyed by those words, back to the hard cement floor of the high school gymnasium, back to that nerdy, pockmarked face of that manager you hate, and back to that overwhelming feeling of revenge (which you're happy did not materialize into another SM mall shooting), that now induces overwhelming fits of laughter.

And going back feels like home, cuddling up to your favorite pillow, smiling.

With this, I write anew :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Blossoming of The Bullied


I remember telling a friend before: "I'm the most insecure person you will ever see in your life."

Which is true.

Red Alert. Kamatis. Rudolph. Halimaw. I've heard it all. High School was a traumatic experience, as I was the unfortunate victim of genes which seem very very fertile ground to acne. That, coupled with pubescent hormones which seem to pump out oil from my face rivaling the OPEC, plus a generally slim physique led to a daily string of insults which I had to endure day by dragging day.

I didn't try to compensate for it with a likeable personality either. I mean, if you're receiving shit like that it's hard to be a saint. It's just now I realize that I've learned to respond by putting up a wall of meanness and faux-superiority. Before they can get to me enough to make me vulnerable, I would've already pushed them away so far that a 2-meter distance between classroom desks would seem like the distance between Makati and Japan.

But the wall I built so high and thick was a sharp contrast to how I really was: emotionally sprawled on the floor, with fragments of self esteem scattered to to a million, unrecognizable pieces. True friends and family kept me sane, and I was showered with love and comforting words - but everytime I enter the school gates I would brace myself for another day of battering. I would curve my spine, bow my head so as not to stand out, and reduce my eyes to slits.

If I could go back in time and see myself entering the school like a villain entering a perceived warzone, I would've been reduced to tears...

Yet I will approach, stop him in his tracks, and look at him. Eye to Eye. I'll peel off his mean mask gently, bring him up to his full, 5'8" posture, and say with a smiling face:

"Things will get better. Because things already are better. For Me. For Us."


As I look in the mirror now where the reflection still leaves a lot to be desired, I am still able to honestly say without delusions:

"Shet. Ang Ganda Ko."

Friday, October 22, 2010

When What You Require Is Not What You Need

I was headsplittingly angry, so much so that hours after the incident, as I'm writing this, a dull throb can still be felt and I can't help running scenarios of revenge over and over and over...

Yeah... Nice segue into the second post of my unattended blog haha :) But I still can't get over it - for the simple fact that I know I'm right.

Alala ko sabi samin ng marketing teacher namin, which became clearly etched in my memory, that products should be customer-centric, not product-centric.

Say you're making a new concept for a ballpen. You can stuff it chock full of unheard features - 10 colors, ultra-grip rubber handle, ink from the most exotic specie of octopus, etc - yet it won't sell. Why? Because people don't buy ballpens for all those. They just need something to write with. Plain, simple, period.

Now I say that because this office thing is quite technical. To put it figuratively, another team needed a ballpen. I gave a pencil, because getting a ballpen will take my people hours to produce, which they would have rendered overtime for. They declined, because SOP states that a ballpen is what they require. I ask what for? They said they needed to write. Will it make any difference if they use the pencil instead? No. Same time put to writing, same everything. But what they require IS. A. BALLPEN.


I was talking to a manager for crying out loud. A manager! Who is 35+ years old! They should have hired a High School grad instead. I'm sure mas makakaintindi pa yun dahil napakasimple ng buhay. This manager should have been an MMDA traffic enforcer. She'll stick to the rules with no considerations, go to death with it, than let pass something that would fall outside the f@$* SOP.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Francis Opened the Closet

Okay... So this is my first post in my new blog. Not sure how to really go about it, not sure why I even made it in the first place. All I know is that I was a bit inspired by all the posts in theorg-y's collective blogging event, with the theme of Coming Out.

So there you go. Yes, I'm gay. And to start things off, here is my Coming Out story.

It all started when I was in Grade 4 at this Exclusive-for-boys school in Makati. I live in Muntinlupa, and classes start promptly at 7 AM, so there's around a 30-minute to 1-hour commute from my house to school. The bus service picks me up from my house at around 5 in the morning, to provide buffer for any unanticipated traffic. My busmates and I are usually the first ones in the Grade 4 Hallway.

That is... my busmates and I, plus this guy from Section 4. I'm from Section 3, and the first thing I usually do is to park my bag in front of our room, then play early morning games with my busmates. Alam naman natin lahat na kapag bata, may konting time lang na mahihiya ka pa pag may di kakilala, pero wala pang ilang pagkikita eh parang friends na kayo for a very long time.

And yes, the first thing I noticed about him was... he's very cute. Haha :D At age 10, I already knew that boys were suppposed to like girls, and vice versa. But I wasn't the least bit bothered by how attractive I find him. I wouldn't be able to really mouth it then, but the attraction is something so natural for me, something so instinctive, that without a conscious decision, I screwed all the what-were-supposed-to-be's, and said hello to increased heartbeats, stolen glances, slightly burning cheeks, and moments when I could brush my skin against his during play.

From then on, I looked forward to every morning. There was never any formal introduction, but I found out his name... Francis. Kiko for short. Haaaaangggkyuuuuut!!!! Hahahaha :D But then again, at that time, I already knew that making any advances would trigger the most hated word in the whole campus. So needless to say, I grew quite contented with my few moments with him, moments which, at that time, I wish could be lengthened to forever...

Fast Forward to First Year High School. I found myself rushing to the section boards hoping to see that Francis and I could finally be in the same class. I looked through sections 1 to 7, but I couldn't find him anywhere... My heart dropped. I felt like gravity suddenly grew stronger, and I was unable to keep up with its weight... I did not physically fall, but it sure felt like I did, because I swear I could've heard a strong, painful thud... A thud that reverberated across my whole body... Back then, there were no such things as cellphones, friendster, or facebook. I got resigned to the fact that I possibly won't be able to see him again...

Do I consider this my first heartbreak? Hmm... maybe? All I knew was that I quickly got over it. Damn, it was first year high school, and hormones were all a-raging. And I soon found out that MY hormones weren't alone in their rally for recognition...

It was at a symposium regarding abortion / unwanted pregnancies I think. It's only now that I realize that it might have been one of those foiled attempts at sex ed. During one of those gruesome slideshows of aborted fetuses (fetii??), I was feeling something else slide down the back of my pants...

We were sitting on the floor, indian style, in straight rows facing the screen. It was in that setting that I felt my classmate behind me sliding his hand down my back... At first I was shocked! I swatted his hand and placed my water jug (ugh!) behind me to kinda prevent him from doing it again. And I say "kinda" cause I know it's gonna be one of those pakipot attempts to say "Stop It! But I actually wouldn't mind..." Hahaha :D And lo and behold, he did it again. This time, though I was trying to swat his hands again, he began to swat my hands in return, seemingly saying "Sandali, pinapahirapan mo ko!"

After a while, I felt him stop. I breathed in relief, because we might already be seen by some people, but my relief came to a halt when I felt his hands trying to go "somewhere" else... I felt his hands slide down my side, up my right, folded thigh, and finally, he slowly took hold of my crotch, the hardness of which confirmed that I'm actually liking the whole touching-in-public thing... Surprisingly after, he stood up, sat in front of me, took my hand, and placed it on his crotch as well. Many people were able to see this, and they were laughing and pointing at us. But no one took it seriously. I retracted my hand, and after people's attention drifted back to the monotonous discussion on Sex Ed, I slyly whispered in my aggressive classmate's ear... "Mamaya"

He was my first forage into the gay world. I finally told everyone that I had this crush on Francis previously (Kilala niyo ba siya? Ah oo siya yun... Ang cute cute niya diba?), and people just smiled knowingly. I started hanging out with the openly gay crowd, and guys either stayed away, or got a bit closer with certain things in mind... High School hormones are a phenomenon unto itself, and Francis played a huge part in awakening that part of me looked upon as taboo by society. So to Francis, Raging Hormones, and to Mr. Classmate - Thank You, not for the heatbreak, the pimples, or the sex, but for helping me come to terms with who I am.

Coming out of the closet is not just a simple open the door, come out, close the door, and bask in sunlight scenario. It's a violent shaking of the crippling walls, a pounding away at the hard shadows, and finally, a complete shattering of those binding doors, where outside we're welcomed with rainbows, regine velasquez songs, bouncing volleyballs... and judgemental stares, sharp, flying (s)words, and broken chains desperately trying to strangle closet-shattering freaks.