Month: April 2009

Counting Days

I wish I have a calendar nearby.

Has it been more than a week already since I got back here, in this place where the ashes and bones of my ancestors lie?

Must be a week.

I carved a hole in my heart and placed memories there, then I covered the hole and tamped down the dirt around it. Later, when the time is right, I shall come back and dig the memories out and mourn all that I’d left behind.

But not yet.

I can’t afford anything that I want, anything that I see from shop windows and roadside stalls. I can’t afford life.

For now.

My diaspora has begun again. Dutifully going through the motions of self-exile. I still miss people, but I am better now at hiding how I truly feel.

It’s time to put on the warpaint.

In Cubao

In Cubao, people sell bananas by the kilo.

In Cubao, people ask for spare change after fanning your sweating face with cardboard torn out from milkboxes.

In Cubao, people bark and dogs play strip poker.

In Cubao, blind people lead people who can see while crossing the street.

In Cubao, eating places are meeting places and meeting places are missing from street corners and center islands.

In Cubao, pink and blue are the national colors — just don’t cross the line if you don’t want to spend the night in a slammer.

In Cubao, taxis burst to flames right before your disbelieving eyes.

In Cubao, a smile could be a threat and a frown is a show of approval.

In Cubao, like all the places I’ve been, Continue reading

Ride on in Peace, Philip Molina

In life, we all take risks.

That part-time sage Tata told me once when I expressed worries about his penchant for downhill and motocross and anything else that has two wheels and could go really, really fast.

Nobody should live in a bubble, I guess. And merely living on Earth, a small sphere floating in space, where meteorites and asteroids and space junk float on collision course at warp speeds, is itself a risk. We could perish anytime. It is a fact that we should all be ready to accept.

Still, underneath the stratosphere, in terra firma, I worry each time Ta runs — at speeds that could top 80 kilometers per hour — down a dirt track with 30-meter drops and berms that could potentially end with the untrained or unlucky hugging a tree or crashing against boulders the size of houses.

The reality that downhill mountain biking could be fatal was brought on home again last night. I watched the news Continue reading