sanctum sanctorum

Chapter 1

I had no plans of going inside the cathedral’s compound but something drew me in. It was midday, and the church staff members were probably at lunch. It was very, very quiet, the place’s stillness only punctuated by the cheeps and trills of birds foraging in the trees that cast their cool green shadows over the compound. I walked around and took some pictures with my phone. The quiet was soothing. Something in me was rousing. I sat down on one of the pews. I had to write something to acknowledge that something awakening within me. In my bag, I found a piece of paper (a loan form) and a pen. I’ll share an excerpt of what I’ve written, as well as the photos I took that day.

Chapter 2




Chapter 3


Steeped in the silence of the cool sanctuary, I gradually regain some of the missing pieces of who I am. These days, it is very rare for me to have time to commune with myself. It seems that Life is throwing this bachelorette’s party every day, complete with the compulsory male stripper, the edible glow-in-the-dark undies, the phallic pastries, the booze poured in time to sultry music piped in sync to a picture slideshow of a bride-to-be’s days as a single woman. In this party, everyone laughs, eggs, and hopes (just a teensy bit) that the next day’s bride will just give in to the delicious temptation of well-toned flesh that emerges from a cardboard cake and begins baring every edible part of its anatomy. Nevermind that he probably prefers men, too.IMG_20150227_091635

It’s funny. I’m penning this inside a church. And dim though the interior may be, I can feel the blushes of the terracotta cherubim mounted on the candle brackets.

I ask for forgiveness for this lusty analogy.

I confess I rarely see these thoughts after I’ve turned 30. Today, it seems that I can’t stopper them up as quickly as I want to. Perhaps I am merely nostalgic for the days when I couldn’t care less who saw me while I was drunk and scantily clad–prancing on the beach and begging the Goddess to purify me with the liquid silver of the Moon.

Again, the cherubs blush. So I’ll let these thoughts rest — for now.

But perhaps not just yet. All I know is that whatever vows one takes before the Divine, these will always be remembered.The Gods never forget. And as I sit here, the Gods are helping me remember. The missing pieces of who I am are slowly returning.

And as I end this, a line from Hellboy sidles in.

“You should be running.”


The Ghostbusters Missed This One

I’m banishing the past by shovelling down my gulllet half a dozen Takuyaki balls one after the other and following it up with lemon-flavored ice tea to wash off bits and pieces of Takuyakis too reluctant to leave my esophagus. I do this instead of drowning myself in megaliters of booze to drive off the ghosts that haunt me.

Backtrack to a few hours ago; be warned that rants are included in the next few paragraphs.

My brain has been anesthetized by yet another technical paper that spoke of recording the direction of wind-caused erosion in the Appalachian mountains for the good of humanity and for future reference just in case a subdivision will be built there and the developers would be interested to know how much to pay for real-estate insurance. Thought provoking to some degree, I guess. But the collaboration of non-English-speaking authors who did not bother to hire even a 6th grader to edit their work for coherence and sense left me wondering if all the world’s technology are thought up by people who can’t string together a set of sentences that would be readable. I admit; I have days of nasty subject-verb disagreements, and most of my sentences are pocked marked with dangling modifiers, misspellings, syntax errors, misplaced punctuations, etc. But hey, I have not yet submitted something for publication in any scientific magazine that would be thought of as the last word in references. I’d turn green if someone else caught my error if, let’s say, on discussing the rotation of the Earth around its orbit I state that:

Earth rotation be much significance to weather climate-change. Sun be reference to patterns to harvesting, to the climes peoples chart patterns in day to-day activities and seasonal varying to making their life adapts to changes in aspects to weather changing. The authors in past works discussed climate-change to vary with. In time, peoples making all forecast in conditions with processor processing Earth distance in orbit to sun.

I would faint if this is my work. That, ladies and gentler men, ought to give you an idea of the 60-page piece of literary contribution I had to tangle with this morning. But, demmit! I love my job!

So, there I was, already close to frustration. Sometimes, when I feel frustrated, my throat would act up. This morning, it did. I felt my windpipe itch as if I swallowed some sand. I started coughing and had to go to the bathroom to cough with no holds barred. I tried drinking warm water to soothe my throat but still, the coughing persisted. No choice. I had to go out from the cubicle farm to buy mints. Hopefully, my throat wouldn’t act up afterward.

I headed to the cafeteria, trying to calm my throat with deep breaths; I needed it because I was frustrated with the Sino-Franco collaboration of my manuscript that wasn’t making any sense. Mints, mints, I chanted to keep the coughing at bay.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Fates dusted off a ghost sitting in the darkest corner of my memory and threw it right at my path.

There were people in the cafeteria at the hour — job applicants waiting for interviews or exams. I was still counting my breaths when my gaze settled on one of the loiterers in the canteen. There, on one of the plastic seats, smiling with a perfect set of teeth was the last person I wanted to see if Armageddon was nigh. I choked.

Let’s just say that I spent over half a decade of my life with this person and in the end, things didn’t work out for us. There were areas where there weren’t any closures. Oh, that’s actually the truth.

Upon seeing him, friends and neighbors, scenes from our breakup were supplied by my agitated dura mater — must’ve thought that it would distract me from the manuscript I was struggling with.

Then, and then, the man came up to where I stood paying for my mints. “Hi, how are you doing? I never thought I’d see you here,” he said, still smiling.

I resisted the urge to pick up the cover of one of the metal catering trays containing the cafeteria’s specials for the day and whack it across his smiling face. I told myself to be civil… it has been over years and years ago, when I was still barely sane and sober.

It actually worked. My breathing returned to normal. I managed a smile and even offered him mints when I initially considered committing homicide with the metal tray cover. Without prompting, he informed me that he has applied, and was accepted, as an elf in The Shoe Factory. And he informed me that he was in Manila when I was also there months ago but too bad that I didn’t go to see him where he was (why would I care?). I bade him goodbye, telling him that I had work to do. On my way back to the cube farm, I cursed the high attrition rate in the company that cause the Unimaginative Shoemakers to continually hire new people. I cursed HR for making it easy for him to pass the exams (come to think of it, he’s brilliant in the brains department). I cursed the island for being so small that it was inevitable that I’d bump into someone I know or knew every after three passersby.

Hyacinth was in the bathroom and I had to share the news. She listened to me rave at the Fates, afraid that I was close to having a nervous breakdown.

After a few moments, I managed shut up but I was still roiling inside. I never realized that I had never let the anger dissipate over those years. It took an article from hell and a sore throat to uncork all those bottled anger over something that happened when I was feckless and reckless that resulted in so much guilt feelings for me. I attempted to work again but the words just float before me in a messier stew of incoherence to the ninth power.

The hours to off time seemed to take longer to be over. I was assaulted again by memories. I cringed at some of them. Tracer, sitting next to me, must have sensed my unease. “Difficult shoe?” he asked. I just nodded. He left it at that.

Off hour saw me dashing off to take shelter in the boarding house, to sleep off the nightmare.

Maybe, just maybe, the Fates knew I needed this challenge. To finally face my past and cull the truth from all the rancid lies. Then maybe, just maybe, I will be free to face tomorrow with the knowledge that another mask has been shed.

addled soup

20 January 2007

The drizzles have already quit their tiptap outside the window. It had rained a little bit before dusk. I looked out and was overjoyed to see a water-color sunset. Rich tones of magenta and purple and pink and blue and cream splashed across the piece of sky I could see out of my glass enclosure.

Glad Tsar’s back although she still looked quite run over after staying up several nights in a row looking over her son who’s in the hospital because of some stomach bug. Poor kid. And Tsar is near frustration as the doctors can’t seem to correctly identify what my friend’s son’s got in his tummy. Despite her worries, Tsar has to come to work lest she loses her job. (a bit of gripe: There isn’t someone who’s good in this country anymore. All fine minds have flown overseas and we are left with rotten ones to take charge of our health. I don’t trust doctors that much anymore.)

Have finished an e-book sent over by Lurchie, who received it from Olive who received it from ???. (friend of a friend of a friend…) It’s “The Undomestic Goddess”. Chic lit, yeah. But it’s more fun than all the surfactant-genomes-international policies on trout fishing-rat DNA-neuropsychology porridge I subsist on at least eight hours a day (if I am not tardy) six days of the week (if i do not do OT on sundays).

Back to the e-book. I did like the story. Yet, this Sophie woman made a small sting on my Filipino pride, though. It’s probably unconscious on her part when she had chosen Trish and Eddie’s former househelp to be from the Philippines. But, ah well, can’t really complain and pretend to be from a nation of noble blood and royalty.

But I did smile as I read through the entire thing because like me, Samantha (main character) ended up with “the gardener”. The ending really bouyed me. Aieeee. Am still floating slightly. Starry eyed and happy with the world (others may have wondered where my angst went — it’s just in the backburner, being kept warm).

An aside, Tata is nearly finished with our driveway landscaping. Has installed another pond just right by the gate’s entrance. We might have the house blessing in the summer. Hyacinth’s posed a challenge for him to have made a sweeping walkway towards the “pagoda” the next time she comes for a visit. You might just get your
wish, Hyacinth!

The sky’s just turned dark purple. My break’s over. Am off slogging again.

Stuff I owe Lurchie…

5 things a lot of people might not know about me

1.I cry over stories of self-discovery

2.I had myringotomy and tonsilectomy when i was little

3.I observe other passengers when I commute and think up stories about their backgrounds, depending on their appearance

4.Before college, I once wrote to enrol in an overseas journalism school but that plan didn’t push thru. yet until now am still receiving enrolment application forms for every semester of their school year

5.I don’t like brand-name dropping when it comes to clothes. Bags, yes, it’s ok, but
not clothes.

10 things I would never do

oh my, i’m not really good at speaking with finality. so maybe, i could just twist the criteria a bit for the first five entries…

10 things I would never do…again strip poker in a friend’s house. i did this once and i don’t want to relive the experience of fielding uncomfortable questions from a friend’s parents again.

2.prolong my anger. i did this and regretted everything after because the one i was angry with was very dear to me and i carried this grouchy vibe for some time until it was too late to make ammends because the person had died.

3.kiss a random guy. err? i guess i didn’t know how to spell ‘trouble’ then.

4.make insinuations about some dead president’s body as just some wax sculpture. i did this in vigan and nearly got myself lynched.

5.splurge on nonsensical stuff i still can’t explain the multitudes of measuring cups scattered all over the house. i don’t even know how to bake

Okay, so, here are some stuff I think would never do in this lifetime

6.give up my writing and sketching. would this qualify as two things? i can go without sleep but not without writing or drawing something.

7.use my powers for evil. harharhar

8.abuse my friend’s trust there’s a few of them and i don’t wanna lose any

9.stop learning something new how staid is that?!

10.ignore the feelings of my family in making big decisions my family comes first.

(I’ll tag some people later)