Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Perfumer and the Beloved of Provence

Below Heaven, on top of the World, on top of the Ivory Tower, the Little Boy gazed at the wideness of the Earth and the capacity of it's inhabitants to do strange things. After all the time that he was incarcerated, a millennium or two, the Little Boy saw that humans, little ants in his field of vision, have the ability to cloud their judgment with an emotion called love. He has seen so many stories about love and how it blinds men and women of everything save what they want to see. He can recount to us all that it's a pattern, an affliction, a genetic flaw that our species has endured for over 20, 000 years.

Usually, he would only look at a love story and then, turn the other way, for he has memorized the many themes that it could take, especially that of blind love. However, one day, he found an interesting, almost unbelievable tale of blind love that did not involve vision. He found a story about love and how it can also cloud an automatic sense -- smell.

As he was gazing at the lavender fields of France, the Little Boy spied on a perfumer. As the wind named Arsine blew from Hautes Alpes, to Provence, and to the Ivory Tower, the Boy smelled the sweet, thin fragrance of lavender being distilled by this man, this perfumer that we'll learn to call Jean. Jean, named after the great yet deranged Jean Baptiste Grenouille, didn't dream of making the World's best perfume; instead, he was set on smelling the scent of love that only the woman of his dreams can emit. We would call him obsessed because he had the best nose to rival any perfumer of his time, but he insists on making only the scent that his love wore on her neck, wrist, and bosom.

This woman, whose sensuous, silky skin smelled of lavender, is named Aimee. She was the beloved in the land of Provence. As a testament of this description, every bird of the woods sang songs that spoke her name. Each blade of grass bowed as she strode through the fields. The maid's cauldron only bubbled and boiled with bravado when the meal is for Aimee. The fishes leaped into nets as fishermen shouted, "What shall we serve for our beloved, Aimee?" All of Provence toasted because they had Aimee in their midst.

Jean, the Perfumer, knew he stood little chance of getting Aimee's hand in marriage. He was poor for his refusal to concoct colognes and perfumes that smelled of other things other than lavender. However, he felt hope because Aimee, at the mature age of 24, was still unmarried. She refused to marry for some unknown, untold reason that puzzled her many suitors. As Luck would have it, she was held by an obsession for the smell of lavender because she felt an affinity to the most beautiful and bounteous flower on Provence. She vowed that she'll only marry the man that can bring her the best perfume with a lavender overtone. This secret was only known to the lavender fields, her usual haunting place whenever her suitors stressed and strained her to succumb.

Thus, Jean continued plucking lavender flowers to satisfy his obsession for Aimee. Aimee continued to lament to the lavenders for the lack of a man that brought the sign that will tell her who to marry. In the middle, the lavender field continued to grow purpler and purpler with anger to the endless massacre and melancholic moping that they endured. Finally, one lavender stalk was struck with stunning idea. "Why don't we tell Jean that Aimee needs only a vial of the best lavender perfume? That will get both of them off our fields!" A hush, and a wave of excitement swept over the field. "Yes! Yes, we will do that! At first light, at first light, when the Perfumer plucks his pick of flowers, we will tell him this secret of secrets!"

With the decision decided, Jean learnt the secret. Aimee received Jean as her husband, and they lived happily, or so it seems. After a year, the vial of Jean's perfect perfume was empty, and he needed to make more for his Beloved. To make the situation more stressful, the lavenders also sensed that they are, yet again, at the face of a massacre as they smelt Aimee walking down the path not smelling anything at all near the scent of their purple flowers.

With this new nuisance, they had to produce a plan to stop Jean from plucking them. The same lavender stalk, now more devious than before, devised a plan involving devilry and death. "We have to kill Aimee so that Jean would stop scything and plucking from our field. If we are fortunate, we could also kill him with grief." The other lavender stalks swayed to and fro with indecision, but the temptation of survival won over saintly sense. "Yes, we shall kill her! Roll her to a ditch and let her be taken away by the stray beasts that blunder in the bushes." The plan went on flawlessly. As lavenders, they knew how to exude a better aroma than Jean's distillations. They gave off a scent so irresistible that Aimee, in the middle of the night, slipped silently into the fields, mesmerized by the smell of lavender. Into a ditch she fell without a murmur. She fell, died, and was dragged off by bumbling bear into a winter hole used for hibernation, hidden by shadows and stones.

Morning came, and Jean woke up to an empty bedroom save himself and the furniture. Thinking that Aimee was cooking omelets, he went into the kitchen. Hypothesizing that she went to the hens for eggs, he went into the chicken coop. Thinking that she went into the market for some milk, he marched to the market place, but alas, Provence' Beloved is missing! Days went on, but there was no sign of Aimee until one day. Jean, exhausted with searching for his wife, sat down, wept, and breathed deeply. As he was inhaling, he was able to smell Aimee from the distance. He smelled the lavender perfume he has concocted even when the source is miles away from him. Now, filled with hope and the thrill of the Hunt, he closed his eyes and raised his nose to the air. He sniffed and snuffed while running and stumbling through fields, forests, and fens. He never opened his eyes for fear that he might loose the scent, the only link that he had to finding his wife.

Ultimately, his superb sense of smell led him to Aimee. He knew because there was no other place that smelled so strongly of his lavender perfume. He smiled, opened his arms, expecting an embrace from his wife. After a minute that felt like a millennium, he wondered why she has not wrapped her arms around him, so he opened his eyes. When Jean saw Aimee, his heart thumped its last beat, broke, and fell silent. He was killed by the sight of his decomposing wife, wreathed with writhing worms, maggots, and murmuring flies. With his blind love for her, he failed to smell the death and decay that surrounded him. He only saw or, in this case, smelled the lavender on her dead body. With all his talent in the art of aroma, he clouded his perception, ignored the suffocating stench, and succeeded in finding his death and his dead wife. As such, Jean fell to the ground as well, and the wind, Arsine, changed the scent it carried.

The Little Boy saw and smelled each scene in this sad story of blind love. As Arsine continued to blow into the windows of the Tower, the Little Boy shook his head, walked away from the topmost window of the Ivory Tower atop the tallest mountain on the top of the World just beneath Heaven.

What would I do without Deviant Art? Thank you to kirilart (Sea of Lavender, top left), RohanElf (Farewell Draco Veritas, middle right), wicked-rick (Lavender, middle left), and iloz (Lavender Mist, bottom right.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nakabibiglang Pangyayari

Kanina, sa isang malayong lupalop na tinatawag kong office, may nakagugulantang na pangyayari.

Inosente akong nagta-type sa aking PC nang lapitan ako ng aming HR officer, si Roger.

"Chad, may ginagawa ka? Usap tayo?" ang sabi ni Roger.

"Tatapusin ko lang ito. Isang section na lang naman eh," ang sagot ko habang kinakabahang tumitipa ng tiklado ng keyboard. Parang alam ko na kasi ang magiging paksa ng pag-uusapan namin.

Nang matapos ako sa ginagawa ko, tumayo ako sa aking upuan at binalot ako ng kakaibang kaba na nag-papanggap na ginaw kaya nag-jacket ako. Lumakad ako papunta sa cubicle ni Roger at hinanap ko siya. Wala siya sa cubicle, pero paglingon ko sa makipot na daanan, nakita ko siyang papalapit sa akin.

This is it is it, pansit! 

Tama nga ang hinala ko. May nag-submit nga ng pangalan ko para maging sub-team leader. In other words, may nagkamaling gustuhin akong maging "boss" kahit mini-boss lang.

Nang pormal nang sabihin ni Roger na, "You have been nominated for the sub-team leader position. Would you be willing to take it if you get chosen?" ang sabi ko bigla, "At sino naman ang nag-submit ng pangalan ko? Hmmm!?! Sino? Makakastigo ko ang mga iyon maya-maya." Pabiro kong sinabi at nagtawanan naman kami ni Roger pero ang tanong, gusto ko nga bang magkaroon ng dagdag na responsibilidad? Kung blog nga, hindi ko pa masyadong maasikaso, tao pa kaya? Hay, buhay!

Matagal kong inisip-isip ang isasagot ko. Tinanong ko si Pareng Bruce Lee na nagmamartial arts sa utak ko at ang sinabi niya sa akin ay ang pagkalabu-labong quote na ito: 
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. 

Dahil malabo ang sagot ng mokong, naisip ko, tanungin na lang si Roger tungkol sa job description at mga pagbabagong kaakibat ng posisyon. Pagkatapos kong baliktarin ang lamesa at interviewhin ang aking interviewer, sinabi ko, "Sige, sige, sige na nga!" na parang ako pa ang galit. Natatakot lang ako sa mga karimarimarim na bagay na maaaring mangyari. Nandiyan ang pressure ng pagmamando sa mga magiging mga anak-anakan ko. Paano yun? Pasaway ako at natatakot akong magpasaway din sila. Baka may makagalit pa ko kapag maghalo ang pasawayness namin. Baka maghalo ang balat sa tinalupan. Baka magkatotoo ang sinabi ng nanay ko: 
Pag ikaw nagka-anak, mararanasan mo din ang mga pahirap na nararamdaman ko!

Hoh mayh Gahd! Nandiyan na rin ang pag-aalala na baka mawalan ako ng oras para sa sarili ko. Paano na ang mga kwento tuwing Linggo? Paano na ang DoTA? Paano na ang Restaurant City? Kung hindi ko lang inisip na may dagdag na sweldo, baka umayaw ako. Kaya lang, yun na nga. Mukhang pera din ako kaya ayun. In the end, official na akong kino-consider para sa posisyon na iyon.

Hindi ko alam kung natatatakot ako o natutuwa. Abangan na lang ang susunod na kabanata.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Legend of the Ivory Tower

 Naku, hectic ang weekend schedule ko. Hindi ko natapos ang kwentong pambata ko ngayong week. Lagot! Ngayon, nag-iiisip ako ng paraan para may story pa rin ngayong Linggo at bigla akong kinilabutan. I think, minumulto ako ng kamamatay ko pa lang na blog.

Noon kasing June, 2009, nagsimula ako ng story blog in English. Kaya lang, namatay nga siya. Siguro, mahal ako nung blog na iyon kaya minulto niya ako at inoofer niyang i-canibalize na lang ng The Coffeeholic ang  contents ng The Ivory Tower, ang nagmumultong blog. Repost ito at ito ang una kong story dun sa blog na iyon.

I think, iba ito sa nakasanayan niyo nang mga kwento ko. Hopefully, sa isang linggo, Tagalog na ulit ang kwento. Sana, mag-enjoy pa rin kayo dito sa kwentong ito.

The Legend of the Ivory Tower

On top of the tallest mountain, on the top of the World, almost reaching the roof of the Earth and the floor of Heaven stands the Ivory Tower. There, it welcomes the four Winds that brings news about the smallest event that happens on Earth, Sea, and Sky. There, it receives epiphanies revealed by the Sun and the Moon, and on occasion, even revelations from Heaven.

Within that tower, there lives a boy who gazes at the topmost window of the tower in all four Directions. The boy lives alone, for he is disconnected from the World and the rest of its inhabitants. This boy is different; this boy is burdened with a huge punishment.

When he was just a child, his mother and father loved him. They loved him so much that they bought him whatever he needed. He said that he needed to learn. They adored him so that they sent him to the best school that their wealth could afford. They treasured him so much that they taught him anything that he ever wanted to learn. If they did not possess the knowledge on a given lesson, they always gave him the best tutor that they could find.

With the boy's thirst for knowledge, he learned all there is to know about everything. He learned from Pappas that bees know of the hexagon and it's superiority over the triangle and the square; the bees share this knowledge with him as evidenced by the hexagon honeycombs they make. He also learned, by virtue of Biology, that horseshoe crabs are of noble birth; they had bluer blood than any member of any royal family can ever bleed. He learned that the Sun is a mere ball of hot gas suspended in space, ever burning and ever so common as there are a billion other stars just like it. He learned that the Moon only borrowed her light from the Sun by harnessing the magical art of reflection.

He started professing his knowledge to the world, and he debased each noble or learned man that came before him. He brought the Pharaoh of Egypt to his knees, so obsessed with his Pyramids, by realizing that he wasted his wealth on a great monument, a symbol of magnanimity and immortality, by engineering it in the wrong shape. He debased the Queen of England for claiming that her royal family had blue blood when they can all bleed to death with nothing but a red stain on their halls. Most of all, he shamed the Sun and the Moon by telling everybody that one was only a ball of hot gas and the other was a shameless borrower who reveled in her vaingloriousness.

The boy was proud of himself, and he was proud of being proud. Unfortunately, he became famous in the four corners of the Earth. Orators spoke highly of him to social climbing women, who gossiped with shady ladies of the streets. The shady ladies, on their love beds, charmed their sailor men-friends with tales of pretentious wisdom about the boy. The sailors, while drunk, blasphemed and swore that this boy was indeed knowledgeable! With this talk buzzing on Earth and Sea, the Winds caught careless chatter and loud testimonies about the boy to their master, the Sun.

Angered at this smear on his reputation, dignity, and pride, the Sun conspired with the Moon to punish the boy. With the Winds at his bidding, the Sun commanded that they blow hard and strong to cause the continents to move and form the tallest mountain. With the tides at her bidding, the Moon drove waves up to create a snow-laden cap on the mountain. In Africa, the Sun blazed so hot that half of the elephant population died. He withered the carcasses into bare bones. The twin Winds of Africa, Samiel and Simoom, carried only the tusks to make the foundations of an Ivory Tower. As the Sun saw that the task is not complete and elephants began to shy from his great eye, he asked the Moon to furnish more ivory. The Moon, Lady of the Tides, gleamed with mischief. She made the tides churn in Greenland to kill off the walruses to finish the construction of the Ivory Tower.

Meanwhile, the peoples of the Earth felt this great upheaval. They sought the shades and the shadows of their dwellings because they knew that the forces of Heaven are not happy. The fishermen said, "T'is the Lady's doin', this highest of tides, 'cause she's in a fittin' rage over the boy." The merchants of China, Africa, and Greece all chant, "The Lord of the Skies, with his great eye, is scorching and scorning the Earth because of this blaspheming boy." Even so, with this new gossip, the boy didn't take notice. For all his knowledge, he did not heed the buzzing of the masses, the cautious warning of seers, and the advice of priests. He trampled and trod on the street without heeding anything from those he secretly called ignorant.

Because of this hubris, this self-made pedestal, and criticism of Daedalus for gluing feather with wax instead of rubber, he was picked off from the street by a raging cyclone and was flown over the Sea, above the mountains, through sky and cloud. Huffing and coughing, he found himself inside a tower, an Ivory Tower.

He was amused, bemused, and bewildered all at the same time. He looked around and saw no one. He called out loud but nobody would answer. Desperately, he went towards a window to gather any bit of information that can save him from this solitary situation. At the window, he saw the Moon, powdering herself with crushed meteorite. He asked for help, but she only put half of her eye on him and even then, her interest waned and waned until one night that she only had a crescent of care for the boy.

"Little, blasphemous, proud, obnoxious boy, suffer your punishment -- the punishment for shaming me and my husband, King and Queen of the Sky," she said. "You shall be locked inside that Ivory Tower, your prison, the product of your trespass against our Royal Family."

"This shall be your prison. With this Ivory Tower, you shall learn everything there is to learn about Heaven, Sky, Earth, and Sea. You shall possess all knowledge but have none to share in glorious revelation of the secrets that we shall reveal to you," beamed the Moon. "You shall burst with crackling and potent knowledge, but the world will not know about you nor your greatness. You shall suffer solitude for trading ignorance and bliss for knowledge and pride." With that said, the Moon closed her silver eyes.

Because of this reprobate, the boy remains learned yet alone and secluded. Because of this, he became master of all the knowledge of the four Dominions. Because of this, he feels great comfort in welcoming the four Winds with waving hair, a small gesture of gratitude for the slightest hint of company that they reluctantly afforded him. He receives epiphanies and revelations from the Sun, the Moon, and Heaven only to suffer in solitude, contemplate, and repent for his blasphemy and pride. While the tower's master, he suffers in solitude for all eternity within the Ivory tower that stands beneath Heaven's floor, near the roof of the Earth, on top of the world, on top of the highest mountain.

Original posting date: July 15, 2009 2:51 AM

I would like to expressly credit the wonderful artists on Deviant Art, especially Toradh (The Sun,middle right, and The Moon, bottom left) and AIREEShadow (Ivory Tower, top) for the ability to capture color on canvas.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ang Work, ang American Idol, Glee, at ang Comatose

"Mamamatay blog ka!" ang narinig kong sigaw mula sa direksiyon ng aking PC.

Hay, oo nga naman. May tatlong araw na naman akong di nag-post dito sa blog ko kaya heto, dala ng tawag ng pangangailangan, nag-popost ako. Kaya lang, ano bang magandang i-post. Hay, siyempre, magta-top 3 na lang ako. Ok, eto ang TOP 3 Reasons Why I Forgot to Post.

Number 3:
Isang napaka-evil na salita. 

Full swing na naman ang trabaho this week. Isa akong writing consultant para sa mga studyante. Nag-babasa ako ng mga essay, research paper, at kung anu-ano pang mga kalokohang kayang isulat ng mga studyante sa tulong na rin ng mga magagaling nilang mga propesor. Nung mga unang linggo ng buwan na to, parang wala pang klase ang mga makukulit naming mga colleges kaya post lang ako ng post. Ngayong week, medyo marami-rami nang nakapilang mga dapat basahin, komentuhan, at iayos na mga papel kaya hayan, hindi ako makapagpost. Humanda na lang ang blog ko next week dahil siguradong babaha na ang trabaho. Hay! Sana may time pa kong magsulat ng istorya para sa Linggo. Hindi ko pa na-dadraft yung storya at kung wala yun, naku, e di wala ding illustrations. Hay hanap-buhay!

Number 2:
American Idol Season 9 at Glee
Dalawang palabas na parang shabu.

Wala na si Paula Abdul pero nakaka-aliw namang may mga proxy para sa kanya. Nung Miyerkules, si Shania Twain ang nangulit kasama si Kara. Kahapon, si Kristin Chenewith, na isang magandang segway para sa Glee. Nag-guest kasi siya dun sa Glee sa role na April Rhodes. Kung hindi niyo rin siya kilala, siya din si Olive Snook dun sa Pushing Daisies. Ayan, kahit napanood ko na yung Glee, inuulit ko na naman sa Star World. Minsan na nga lang ako manood ng TV, re-run pa yung pinapanood ko. Whatta life. Sana, Whatta Tempura na lang (at oo, gutom na ko).

Number 1:
Isang bonggang-bonggang kaganapan para sa mga taong insomniac.

Ayan, dalawang araw ba naman akong hindi matulog, Lunes at Martes, kaya ayan, nacomatose ako nung Miyerkules. Gumising ako ng 10:25 AM nung Lunes at hindi ako nakatulog nung Martes. Miyerkules na ng alas-quatro ako nakatulog. Aba! E parang mga alas-quatro na rin ako gumising, hapon nga lang. Akala ng iba, maigsi yung isang dosenang oras na pag-tulog, pero para sa akin, hay, swerte na ngang makatulog ng lagpas 3 hours. Hay, erase-erase... Take two. Akala ng iba, maigsi yung isang dosenang oras na pag-tulog, pero para sa akin, hay, swerte na ngang antukin ako. Ayun. Kaya lang, ang problema, hindi lang pag-boblog ang naaantala ng problema ko sa pag-tulog. Pati trabaho, naapekutahan din. Nung Miyerkules tuloy, absent ako.

Hay, alas 3:10 na. Kailangan na namang mag-try matulog. Hahaha! Pagdasal niyo na lang na magising pa ko. Mommy, kung nababasa mo to, mag-pasamyo ka lang ng kape sa ilong ko maya-maya, gigising ako ng mabilis.
Bago matulog, magpapasalamat muna ako sa mga websites na pinagkunan ko ng mga pics:
Thanks to The T-Chest para sa picture tungkol sa work. Salamat sa Ringtonia para sa logo ng American Idol at sa Regular Rumination para sa logo ng glee. Para sa picture ni Rip Van Winkle, salamat sa ScrapeTV.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Isa Pang Recipe for Happiness

Hindi lumiligaya ang taong humahadlang sa ligaya ng iba.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ang mga Tuko

Napakaraming taong mainggitin. Nagkataon, naiinis ako sa kanila at pinagdarasal ko nga na magbago na ang mga mokong na iyon. Dahil sa inis at galit, naalala ko ang kwentong kahayupan na ito. Sa di malayong kawayanan, may nakatirang magkapatid na tuko na nagngangalang Alejandro at Rodante.

Si Alejandro ang nakatatandang tuko. Sa mata ng mga tao, marahil, magkamukha lamang lahat ng mga tuko pero si Alejandro ay kakaiba. Mas malaking di hamak ang kanyang mga mata, tenga, at bibig kumpara sa ibang mga tuko.

Si Rodante naman ang nakababatang tuko. Ordinaryo lamang ang itsura niya, at kung itatabi sa ibang mga tuko, wala siyang magiging pagkakaiba sa kanilang lahat.

Dahil magkatabi ang mga bahay nina Alejandro at Rodante sa kawayanang malapit sa isang bangin, masayang namumuhay ang magkapatid na tuko pero kasinungalingan ang huling pangungusap na ito.

Sa katotohanan, hindi maganda ang sitwasyon ng magkapatid dahil mainggitin si Alejandro. Isang araw, nakita ng malalaking mata ni Alejandro na nagpapagawa ng second floor si Rodante para sa kanyang bahay na kawayan. Dahil sa inggit, namula ang mata ni Alejandro at bigla siyang tumawag sa mga construction workers para magpagawa din second floor. Nagpadagdag pa siya ng terraces para daw mas bongga ang bahay niya kumpara kay Rodante.

Pagkatapos magawa ang second floor ng bahay ni Alejandro, naglakad siya sa buong kawayanan at ipinagyabang na mas maganda ang bahay niya. Sa kanyang paglalakad, narinig ng malalaking tenga niya na may pinagtsitsismisan ang isang tagak at isang palaka.

"Huy, kumareng Palaka, habang nakapatong ako sa aking kalabaw, nakita ko na may mga bagong appliances si Rodante Tuko," ang sabi ng tagak.

"Wowowee! Sosy naman yang si Rodante. May second floor na, may mga bago pang appliances," ang manghang-manghang naibulalas ng daldalerang palaka.

"Hindi pwede ito. Malalamangan na naman ako ni Rodante," ang sabi ni Alejandro sa sarili niya kaya't naisipan niyang dumiretso sa pinakamalapit na BDO branch upang mag-withdraw ng perang ipambibili niya ng mga appliances.

Dahil nalamangan na ni Alejandro ang kanyang nakababatang kapatid, naging masaya siya.Isang gabi, pagkatapos manood ng TV, napagpasyahan ni Alejandrong matutulog na siya. Sobra ang ligayang naramdaman niya dahil panalo na naman siya, at siya ay tumuko sa labas ng bintana upang ipagyabang ang kanyang pagkapanalo sa kapatid at kapitbahay niyang si Rodante. Papasok na sana siya sa kuwarto nang may narinig siyang hindi niya nagustuhan.

"Tuko! Tuko! Tuko!" ang sabi ng boses.

Aba!" ang sabi ni Alejandro, "si Rodante iyon ah. Parang hinahamon niya ko sa palakasan ng pagtuko." Dahil sa inggit at kagustuhang lumamang, tumuko din ng malakas si Alejandro gamit ang kanyang malaking bibig. "TUKO! TUKO! TUKO!"

Nakinig nang mabuti si Alejandro kung tutumbasan o hihigitan ni Rodante ang pagtuko niya. "Tuko! Tuko! Tuko!" Lalong lumakas ang pagtuko ni Rodante.

"Naku, talaga namang hinahamon ako nitong si Rodante ah! Mas lalakasan ko pa ang pagtuko ko," at siya ay lumanghap ng maraming hangin upang mas malakas ang susunod niyang pagtuko at ibinuka niya ang kanyang malalaking bibig na kasing laki na ng isang plato. "TUKO! TUKO! TUKO!"

Nakinig muli si Alejandro gamit ang kanyang mala-elepanteng tenga. "Tuko! Tuko! Tuko!" ang muling narinig niya mula sa direksiyon ng bahay ni Rodante.

Talagang ayaw magpalamang ni Alejandro kaya ginamit na niya ang kanyang airpump para mas maraming hanging mailagay sa kanyang baga at bigla siyang sumigaw gamit ang kanyang bungangang ngayo'y sinlaki na ng mga gulong ng pison. "TUKO! TUKO! TUKO!"

Hindi tumigil si Alejandro sa pagsigaw.


Nang biglang may malakas na narinig ang lahat ng hayop sa gubat at kaparangan.


Biglang pumutok ang baga ni Alejandro sa pag-pupumilit na maging mas malakas ang pagtuko kaysa kay Rodante. Ni hindi man lang siya makahingi ng tulong dahil hindi na niya magamit ang boses niya. Malapit nang magdilim ang paningin ni Alejandro nang biglang may maramdaman siyang tumatakbong papalapit sa kanya.

"Call 911!!! Call 911!!!" ang sigaw ni Rodante sa asawa ni Alejandro. "Kuya, anong nangyari? Natutulog ako nang may bigla akong narinig na malakas na putok," ang alalang-alalang sabi ni Rodante. Nagtaka si Alejandro. Sa isip isip niya, sino kaya ang nakikipag-kumpitensiya sa kanya sa pagtuko kung tulog naman ang kapatid niya?

Nang inilalabas na siya ng mga taong galing sa ospital para isakay sa ambulansiya, biglang naalala ni Alejandro na ang kawayanan pala nila ay malapit sa bangin. Dahil sa kanyang pagtuko pagkatapos niyang patayin ng LED TV niya, umalingawngaw at narinig pala niya ang kanyang sarili. Dahil sa alingawngaw at sarili niyang boses ang nilalabanan niya, hindi nga siya mananalo sa sarili niya. Sising-sisi si Alejandro dahil sa kanyang kayabangan, pero huli na ang lahat. Gumaling siya mula sa kanyang injury pero hindi na siya kailanman nakatukong muli. Simula noon, natutunan na niya ang kanyang lesson at hindi na siya muling nainggit pa sa kanyang kapatid o sa ibang tao kahit kailan.

The End.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coffee Stories

It's another restless night. Because I am frightened that I might kill this blog, too, I looked through the net, trying to find something worthwhile to post, and lo and behold, my cup of coffee pointed out the way to something that, to me, is truly amazing!

Initially, I thought of posting a story about coffee, so I googled "coffee stories." The first two matches that came up didn't quite fit my idea of coffee stories. I guess three's a charm because when I clicked on the third link, I saw this:

my dear friend, mr. coffee-head.

he is the one, that never says
no to another cup of coffee.

even, if it was 10th cup.

but results may be hideous.

as you see.

Immediately, I fell in love with this picture. What would you expect from the Coffeeholic? It's art made out of coffee and ink. I also liked the subtitle on this piece because Mr. Coffee-head could be a good coffee buddy. He never says no to a cup of coffee, and can sip up 10 cups! I would like to meet this fine, fictitious fellow.

Upon further research, I learned that the coffee art is the creation of Bastian Salmela. It is a part of a collection of artworks that can be found in Coffee Stories.

The whole concept is brilliant, really, even if there's really no story within the website. It says, "true stories on false locations, with several fake personalities." When I looked and rummaged through the site, there weren't any stories at all; the website was entirely made up of paintings and caricatures done in coffee. However, I don't think that the artist literally mean that he writes stories. Despite the lack of prose in the site, I think that the artist is drawing up on a widely-held belief: a picture paints a thousand words. The cliche doesn't say what those words are for, but to me, those words can form a story or even several ones. What's the point in having a thousand words if it's all gibberish, right? To me, it makes total sense that each picture is a story in and of itself.

Because I found Mr. Salmela and Mr. Coffee-head, I think that this blog will be alright. I realized that there's so much to post. I just have to sit down, relax, and let coffee lead the way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yosi o Cellphone?

Naku, akala ko, nakita ko na ang highlight for the week ko. Aba naman, hindi pala. Kaninang umaga, bumisita sa office namin si Esce at si Jang. Habang nag-yoyosi kami ni Jang, bigla niyang nilabas ang bagay na ito:

Alright. Hulaan niyo kung ano yung nasa picture. Bibigyan ko kayo ng five seconds.






Ops! Time's up! Sirit na? Sirit na? Ano yung bagay na yon? Marlboro Reds ba yan? Kung akala niyo, yosi yan, nagkakamali kayo. Irotate natin:

Oo, cell phone yan! Gusto niyo, buksan pa natin yung likod eh. Eto o:

Ayan o! Dual SIM pa nga eh. Ops! Punas muna ng laway. Baka tumulo sa keyboard. Ako rin nga, halos lumuwa ang mata ko nung narealize kong totoong cell phone nga yun. By the way, yun ang siko ni Jang. Hehehe! Ang sabi niya, sa Greenhills daw niya yun nabili. Six thou daw. Kung saan eksakto, hindi ko alam. May Bluetooth, expandable memory, camera, at radio daw yan. Astig no? Kaya ayun. Akala ko, Avatar na ang highlight of the week ko. Hindi pa pala. Ito ang tunay na highlight of the week ko!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ang Bluetooth Dongle, Ang Phantom Sisig, at ang Avatar

OK, sige na. Nakatira na ako sa ilalim ng bato dahil andami kong hindi na alam tungkol sa Pilipinas kahit na hindi naman ako nag-overseas trip. Kahapon kasi, napakarami kong nadiskubreng kakaiba at nakaaaliw na mga bagay pero eto ang top 3 choices ko:

Number 3: 
Ang Bluetooth Dongle at ang Maling Akala

Bago ako umalis ng bahay namin, inutusan ako ng tito ko bumili ng bluetooth dongle dahil sa kakulitan niya. Gusto niya kasing mag-lipat ng music files sa cell niya at wala akong USB cable para sa N6300 kaya niya ako pinapabili ng bluetooth dongle. Magkano daw kaya yon? Nagmagaling naman ako at sinabi kong baka wala pang P150 yon sa CD-R K!ng (minali ko talaga ang spelling dahil hindi bayad kung i-eendorse ko sila, hehehe). Nagbigay naman siya agad dahil nga gusto niya na maglipat agad ng music files. Aba, e kung Europa ba naman ni Carlos Santana ang music na gusto niyong ilipat, sino ba naman ang hindi magmamadali, di ba?

Aba naman! Pagdating ko doon, P180 ang pinakamura. Nung tinanong pa ako ng sales person kung ano daw ang OS ng PC ko, lalong nagmahal! Dahil naka Vista ako, aba naman, yung P220 na brand ang binigay niya sa akin. P220-P150 = P70. Tama ba math ko? OK, na-calculator ko na. Tama nga. E di nagpaluwal pa ko kaya ayun, butang-buta ang bulsa ko. Hay, pati ata lint ng bulsa ko, naubos. Dahil sa pagtira ko sa ilalim ng bato, hindi ko na tuloy alam kung magkano at kinulang tuloy ang budget ko.

Number 2: 
Ang Mahiwagang Sisig a.k.a Phantom Sisig

Nagpasama sa akin ang kaibigan ko, si Donna, sa SM Bacoor dahil maggo-grocery daw siya doon. May pagkakaladkarin (madaling makaladkad sa kung saan-saan) ako kaya, siyempre, sumama naman ako sa kanya, at papakainin naman niya ako. Bago mag-grocery, kumain muna kami at dito ko na nadiskubre ang isang kamangha-manghang bagay.

Pinapili ako ni Donna kung saan ako kakain. Nung una, ang sabi ko sa Pao Ts!n na lang para mura lang at masarap pero nagbago ang isip ko. Ang sabi ko dun na lang sa sisig stall (na hindi ko matandaan ang pangalan).  Payag naman siya. Nag-order na ko at nung na-serve na yung sisig, namangha ako dahil lasang sisig at mukhang sisig nga siya pero parang walang sisig! Sa isip-isip ko, "OMG! Ang galing nito ah! Ambilis ma-prepare at masarap ang sisig na 'to pero walang sisig." Grabe! Ang galing, 'di ba? Sa kakatawa namin at pagkukulitan, nabansagan namin ang sisig na ito na Phantom Sisig, pero kahit na nakamamanghang parang walang sisig dun, sobrang sarap naman kaya binigyan ko ng 3.5 stars ang food stall na iyon out of 5. Try nyo din para mamangha kayo. 


Number 1: 
Ang Pinakamakulay na Sine sa Buong Mundo

Bago ako magpunta ng SM Bacoor, niyaya naman akong manood ng sine ng isa ko pang kaibigan, si Kate. Nung Lunes kasi, nabanggit ko na hindi ko pa napapanood yung Avatar (oo na, nakatira nga ako sa ilalim ng bato dahil nung December pa ito unang lumabas). Dahil gusto daw niya ulitin, nag-sched kami na panoorin siya kahapon sa Alabang Town Center. Take note. Avatar 3D ang pinanood namin at halagang ginto ang presyo. Kuripot na kung kuripot pero namamahalan ako sa P300.

Kahit na P300 yung sine, I think, sulit naman yung bayad dahil ito na ata ang pinakamakulay na sineng napanood ko! Halos lahat, parang glow in the dark ang kulay at talaga namang nakakaaliw. Puro "ooohhh" at "wooowwww" nga lang ang lumabas sa bibig ko eh. Eto ang maigsing listahan ng mga napansin ko sa sineng iyon:
  1. Ang kawayan pala ay intergalactic na halaman dahil meron nito sa planetang Pandora. 
  2. Ang pinya ay isang intergalactic ding halaman. Kaya lang, sobrang higanteng pinya naman ang nasa Pandora. Parang ambastos pa nga ng pagkakasambit ko ng mga salitang, "Huwahw! Ang laki ng pinya!"
  3. Kamukha ni Puck the Faerie Dragon (yung isang hero sa DoTA) ang mga ikran (yung mga maliliit na flying creatures na kulay blue or green na sinasakyan ng mga taga-Pandora). 
  4. Parang pinaghalo-halong mga sine ang Avatar. Yung setting, parang Neverland dahil sa mga lumulutang na bato. Yung mga robot, parang galing sa Matrix. Yung mga hovercraft, parang galing sa Starship Troopers. Yung mga hugis ng katawan ng mga taga-Pandora, parang hugis ni Tarzan (yung Disney version). 
  5. Ito yung medyo bigatin. Naalala ko ang quote na to dahil sa Avatar: "Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." Quote yan galing kay Chuang Chou (alias Zhuangzi), ang original na taong nag-conceptualize ng Avatar. Pinalitan lang ni James Cameron yung "butterfly" ng "Na'vi," yung race ng mga taga-Pandora.  
Sobrang naaliw talaga ako kaya ito na ata ang highlight ng week ko. Gusto ko sanang ulitin sa IMAX kaya lang P400 ata doon. Wala namang manlilibre. Sino kaya ang mabait na manlilibre sa akin manood noon ulit? Hmmm... Apply na! Please? Para naman lumabas na ko mula sa ilalim ng bato kasi andito nanaman ako.  Kung wala, ok lang. Ihatid niyo na lang ako sa Pandora.

Sa Linggo, may bagong kwento nanaman ako kaya stay tuned mga kablogs!
Ang picture ng bluetooth dongle ay galing sa website ng pinagbilhan ko.  Ang picture ng sisig ay galing sa The Backpacker. Ang picture naman ng Avatar poster ay galing sa Film Maker Magazine. Salamat!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Si Aurora at ang Mahiwagang Kaheta

Sa totoong buhay, mahilig talaga ako gumawa ng mga istorya - hindi yung mga storyang kasinungalingan ha. Mga fairy tales o kaya naman ay mga kwentong may hiwaga ang lagi kong ginagawa para ikuwento sa pinsan kong bata, si Jason. Isang araw, sa aking bloghopping, nakita ko ang blog ni Jasonhamster, ang bagong Rizal, at naaliw ako sa story na isinulat niya. Tungkol ito kay Kalabasa at Talong, isang kalabasang mainggitin at isang talong na binu-bully ni Kalabasa, at naaliw ako ng sobra. Bukod pa doon, nag-illustrate din si Jasonhamster para sa storya niya kaya naisipan ko ding i-blog na ang mga kwento ko kay Jason.

Without further adieu, eto na ang aking kahindik-hindik na storya tungkol kay Aurora at ang Mahiwagang Kaheta.

Si Aurora at ang Mahiwagang Kaheta

Sa bayan ng Imus, sa lalawigan ng Cavite, may isang biyudang nagngangalang Aurora. Nang mamatay ang asawa niya, wala itong naiwan sa kanya ni isang singkong duling. Sa katunayan, nag-iwan pa ito ng maraming utang.

Dahil matanda na si Aurora at siya ay may rayuma, hindi siya makapagtrabaho sa call center para magkaroon ng maraming pera. Nanggagaling na lamang ang pera niya sa pagbibingo tuwing hapon.

Isang araw, kinailangang mamalengke ni Aurora sa talipapa. Kaya lang, P50 lang ang pera niya kaya nakabili lamang siya ng isang piling na saging, 1/4 kilo ng dilis, at tatlong tokwa. Tatlong piso na lang ang natira sa pera niya.

Nang siya ay papauwi na, napadaan siya sa isang tulay na may puno.

"Psst! Akin na lang yang saging mo!"

Nagulat si Aurora. "Sino ba iyon?" ang tanong niya.

"Dito sa taas ng puno. Ako si Takeshi, ang unggoy ng punong ito, at ako ay nagugutom."

"O sige na nga. Iyo na ang saging ko. Catch!" Iniitsa ni Aurora kay Takeshi ang saging at siya ay nagpatuloy na sa paglalakad.

Nang siya ay napadpad sa kanto, may nakita siyang pusa.

"Miyaw! Miyaw! Oh where, oh where can I find some dilis? It is so dilis-cious pero pusa lamang ako, at wala akong perang pambili."

Narinig ni Aurora ang pusa. Dahil likas na mabait ang biyuda, naawa siya sa pusa. "Gusto mo, iyo na lang ang ang mga dilis ko?"

"Oh wow, oh wow! Miyaw! Miyaw! You're so mabait naman, lola!" ang sabi ng pusa habang iniaabot ni Aurora sa pusa ang 1/4 kilong dilis.

Nagpatuloy sa paglalakad si Aurora. Pagtapat niya sa tindahan ni Elenita, may nakita siyang isang Haponesang lampayatot. Mukhang gutom na gutom na ang Haponesa, at mukhang lalalapit ito kay Aurora upang manghingi ng pagkain.

"Ano, moshi moshi! Sumimasen. Konichiwa. Pwede ko bang mahingi ang mga tokwa mo, lola? Gutom na gutom na ako at napakalayo pa ng Japan. Baka mamatay ako sa gutom bago ako makauwi sa bahay namin."

Napabuntong-hininga na lamang si Aurora. Gutom na rin siya pero parang mamamatay na nga ang Haponesa kaya ibinigay na din niya ang natitira niyang pinamili. "Heto, hija. Kunin mo na itong tatlong tokwa. Mukhang mas kailangan mo ito kaysa sa akin."

Nang iabot ni Aurora ang tokwa sa Haponesa, biglang kumulog at kumidlat! Nabalot ang paligid ng napakaliwanag na ilaw. Walang makita si Aurora pero may narinig siyang boses na tila umaawit.

"Dahil sa mabuti mong kalooban,
ikaw ay aking gagantimpalaan.

Di tulad ng lalaki sa commercial ng Fita,
binigay mong lahat ng iyong makakaya
sa pagtulong sa kapwa kahit di mo sila kakilala.

Ikaw ay aking bibigyan hindi ng isang kahilingan
kundi isang mahiwagang sisidlan.

Gamitin mo ang mahiwagang kaheta at lagyan mo ng barya.
Kahit kailan ay hindi ka na mawawalan ng pera."

Nang muling magkamalay si Aurora, wala na siyang bitbit na plastic bag ngunit nasa kamay niya ang isang pulang kaheta. "Aba, ano itong bagay na ito? Isang kahetang lalagyan ng barya? Pero walang laman," kaya nilagay ni Aurora ang tatlong pisong sukli niya sa loob ng kaheta.

Naupo muna si Aurora sa tapat ng tindahan ni Elenita para mag-isip ng gagawin. "Hmmm, ano kayang mabibili ko sa tatlong piso? Ah, alam ko na! Bibili na lang ako ng tatlong iCool. At least, may ngunguyain ako kahit hindi nakakabusog."

Kinuha ni Aurora ang tatlong piso at ipinambili ng iCool. Pagkatapos maisara ang kaheta, nalaglag ito sa semento, at narinig ni Aurora ang pagkalansing ng mga barya. "Aba! Nakapagtataka. Ubos na ang laman ng kaheta kanina, ah."

Nang binuksan ni Aurora ang kaheta, may tatlong piso ulit itong laman. Kinuha niya ang pera at isinara ulit pero kumalansing muli ang kaheta. Nang buksan niya ulit ito, may tatlong piso na namang laman ang kaheta! Pinaulit-ulit ni Aurora ang pagbukas-sara ng kaheta at manghang-mangha siya. Hindi nauubusan ng laman ang kaheta. Lagi itong may tatlong pisong barya. Dahil dito, nakabili siya ng Pop at isang balot ng Pan de Coco sa tindahan at siya ay hindi na nagutom kahit kailan.

The end.

Disclaimer (lalo na sa mga kamag-anak ko). Ang mga pangalang nabanggit ay hango sa mga tunay na tao at hayop na alaga namin dito sa bahay pero ang mga pangyayari at kaganapan sa storyang ito ay pawang kathang-isip lamang. Bwahahaha!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Words I Said

Kate sent me a text message yesterday that made me smile.
You told me this once: It ins not that you are left behind or that you leave them behind because you always have yourself.

I forgot that I said those words, but I'm glad that she remembered it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Starbucks' Song

Last night, I was with some friends at Starbucks, Festival Mall. We were happily telling stories, and doing some commiseration with another friend that has a problem while sipping on frappes.

Sitting there, I remembered my blog, and I was thinking of a new post about coffee when I remembered an old poem that I wrote with the word "Starbucks" in it.

Today, I rummaged through my old notebooks and blogs so that I can repost the poem here. From what I've found out, I wrote it back in October of 2005.

Even then, all I can think of is coffee. However, I think that this poem is really a love poem. Here it is: 

Starbucks' Song

Tea steams in a paper cup.

The siren's song is defied by ears,
leaves, and lips that refrain from coffee.

Cigarette smoke swirls.

Sipping from my cup, showing no fear of heat,
should encourage you to hold my hands.

Breath is blown out.

My eyes encouraged your fingers.
Tea leaves on cup-bottom already foretells good fortune.

Tea steams in a paper cup. Cigarette smoke swirls.
Breath held back, waiting for silence to break,
and Starbucks resumes her song.

From what I can recall, though embarrassing, I think that I was at Starbucks' on a date, and I slid my hand close to the hands of the that person, but she didn't hold my hands. What did you expect happened? Ahahaha! The Coffeeholic became even more bitter about love. Ahahaha! I'm sorry, but it's true. This poem brings out the heartaches. Nevertheless, I'm not putting up my white flag yet. I haven't given up on love even if I've put my heart on cryofreeze. Who might that lucky person be that could thaw out my heart? Ahahaha!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Pressing Question about Mammals

This is my insomnia typing. I've always wondered about this question:

picture of a manatee from 

If all mammals have hair, and a whale is a mammal, 
do manatees get bitten by mosquitoes? 

This is really bothering me. It kept me awake all night. Now, I'm curious to see what you think about it, so I might not be able to sleep until I get an answer. By the way, to those reading this on Facebook, please visit this blog, The Coffeeholic, to answer. Ahahaha! Cheers!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It's official! I've logged back into my old blog accounts, and I am on my 18th blog already. Some might call me fickle, but to me, blogging is symbolic. Each of my blogs stands for my personality.

However, things change, and I change with the times, too. Whenever I grow or change personalities, each of my previous blogs just seem to die off along with the personalities that created them. This reminds me of "Identity," a film starring John Cusack, but I won't spoil the thrill for you folks, so you won't get the slightest hint of a synopsis here. Anyway, I think that I need to stop the trail of dead blogs, and keep this current one alive, so resist as I may, I will write just one New Year's resolution:

I will blog about a happy, sad, notable, or learning experience at least once a week, preferably posted on either a Friday, Saturday, or a Sunday on or before midnight.

I think that this is a smart strategy to keep this blog alive, and by that, I mean it literally. Why? It is because SMART is also a mnemonic device that I've learned in my Motivations class, which was started by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham back in 1981. Basically, SMART goal-setting means that each goal must satisfy these 5 key words:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Time-bound

What could be more specific about writing once a week just before midnight? What could be more attainable than doing something once a week? Even doing nothing all the time is quite impossible, so I think that writing once a week is fairly attainable. Definitely, I will have a gauge to look at to make it measurable; I just need to look at my archives and ensure that there are at least four posts per month. How relevant is this goal? Well, let's just say that the life of this blog depends on it, so it is fairly relevant. Although I am not a fan of deadlines, I will also stick to my weekend, 12 midnight deadline, so that I can also learn discipline. In fact, I'll keep an alarm on my cellular phone to ensure that I get to write one blog post, and hopefully, it sticks.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Recipe for Happiness for 2010

Last year was tough on me. My job does not give me financial stability, but it entails writing, which is one major reason why I stayed in it. I do not have an existing love life, but I am enjoying singlehood, too. I haven't written any new poems, but I have learned to be better at writing essays. That is the summary of 2009 for me.

So, with a cup of hot coffee in hand, I pondered to myself, "What can I do to make 2010 better?" I know that writing resolutions is over-rated. I also know that I can't stick to them, so why would I even bother? I was trying to cook up a fool-proof recipe for happiness for 2010.

Then, I remembered an advice that I gave to a friend. A few years back, a friend came to me and asked, "What can I do to be happy?" I've always believed in starting with the little things, so I said to her:
Look for the little things that makes you happy. For example, a Benson's Eclair or Butterball candy. It's easier to be happy that way. Compared to a big, happy event, smaller pieces of happiness, most of the time, come effortlessly. In time, you'll accumulate those small pieces. If you make a habit of being happy, you'll never run out of things to smile about.
Since I need to walk the talk, I thought that I'll try my own advice this year. Instead of doing resolutions, I've drawn up a list of things that made me happy last year that I will carry over to 2010. Because I already know that they make me happy, how can I not be, right? I think that it'll work, so here's the list of things that got me through 2009:
I know that the list is not that long, but it's a good start. Those things really made me smile, so if I carry them over to 2010, I think I'll have enough of a head start to be happy all year long. If I'm lucky and keep my eyes, ears, and other senses open to other good things, maybe this year, my list of happy things will become longer.
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