Monday, December 31, 2012

Good vibes, just bring it on!

2013: Sagittarius Career by Yahoo!

2013 promises to bring you a slew of helpful alliances to further your career aims. This is the year when social networking pays off in spades. The more you put yourself out there and socialize, the more contacts you'll make. Never underestimate the power of who you know because you're about to find out just how powerful it is to be connected. You're also learning about the power of delegating responsibilities. You of all people have a tendency to load your plate so full that you cannot possibly keep up with your own exciting life. Getting the right people to support you is essential to keep your career flourishing. Without the proper team behind you, how can you safely continue to grow? Saturn in Scorpio is reminding you that you must have a rock-solid foundation and infrastructure to prevent your bigger-than-life plans from toppling over at a moment's notice.

Uranus continues to give you the rebellious spirit you need to maximize your creative potential for ultimate gain. The fearlessness and initiative sparked by this radical influence propels you forward with an immediacy that is palpable. You know more than ever that the time is right now. No longer will you bide your time or put important plans on the back burner. It's now or never in 2013, and you'll show others the way to jumping into the unknown with total abandon. Others look to you for wisdom, inspiration and guidance more than ever now, so be ready to heed the call.

Saturn is camping out in your sector of retreat, dreams and imagination. You're being asked to make time to give structure to your fantasy life. No longer shall reality and fantasy be compartmentalized. If you can dream it, you can manifest it in the real word. All that is required is that you write everything down and make a solid plan around the images and dreams that come to you. Don't let them pass like clouds because they may just be your meal ticket, darling. It's all about implementing and making them concrete. Taking time off proves to be highly lucrative, as you will use this time for research, inspiration and reflection. Solitude and reflection become a necessity rather than a luxury in 2013.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

On pag-iinarte, my new blog entry after 11 months

It has been so long since I last posted anything in this blog. Almost a year. Eleven long months to be exact. Where was I all these months? Did I travel to the moon and back? Did I try to conquer the world and died? Did I drown in my own incessant whining, my breath escaping me as I mumbled on and on and on about the utter pointlessness of life?

Of course none of these things happened. Inasmuch as I would like to serve a very bitter and sour buffet of my life’s events and dilemmas accumulated during the last eleven months, because well misery and emotional degradation are the main ingredients of the greatest poems and works of fiction, I must say that enlightening events had in fact transpired and they were so fast paced that I couldn’t keep up with the motions that everyday were unraveling. Thus, this neglected blog.

Here’s a good news everyone, everyone being me, I will write again. Yes, I will fill the pages of this blog with thoughts on life, with celebrations on the miracles of life, with affirmations that life indeed is beau-tee-ful. Everyday this blog will taste sunshine, and if it rains, this blog will be quenched by blessings of waters cascading from the heavens. Night and day, day and night, this blog will breathe with inspiration and shine with love.

The bad news is, I don’t usually keep my promises. And it may be another year, or two, before another post will grace the surface. And believe me when I say I whine for a living. Look at this planet we call home. Look all around you. Where is beauty, where is love, where is hope? There is only pain, strife, misery, hate. Ah, the glory of my incessant whining, the wisdom of my stained observations on life in this comatose planet.

There. I think I just produced a worthy post for my beloved blog. My blog, do trust me this time when I tell you that I want to do a better job of taking care of you from now on. My blog, you are my friend and my confidante, and countless times you had selflessly offered the soils of your own earth as solid ground for my weary feet, spines, limbs. You drank the blood of my hear reeking with disappointments and sighs. And you listened to my mind which is so full of pag-iinarte most of the time.

Hay matulog na ko.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jessie's Zip Line Adventure in Danao, Bohol

You’ve heard of the Chocolate Hills in Carmen, the river cruise and the tarsiers in Loboc, and dolphin watching in Pamilacan Island. Who hasn't? These and many other wonderful destinations define Bohol tourism.

Just like other travelers and tourists, I thought I’ve experienced Bohol. But not quite. Three weeks ago, I visited the Danao Adventure Park in Barangay Magtangang in the municipality of Danao. Managed by the local government, it is located around 70 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. As of this writing, it is the newest, if not the most exciting, destination in the province.

I’ve stepped on Boholano soil several times already, but my objective in crossing the threshold of Ocean Jet for a two-night, three-day stay in Bohol is simple: work. Together with my friend, master photographer Hockson Go, and my officemate, Jun, we rounded up the project sites of our foundation, Philippine Business for Social Progress, to take photos for a coffee table book that I am working on. Interestingly, Magtangtang is one of our stops, and well, you could now guess how the Danao Adventure Park had woven itself into my little story.

Warning though, I wouldn’t really joyously expound on all the exhilarating wonders of the park. I was there for merely 30 minutes. Inasmuch as adventures like rappelling and white water rafting are so enticing, well, I was in the area on official business and not as a domestic tourist with hard-earned pesos to burn. But that same 30 minutes truly made my day. I gracefully braved the country’s longest and highest zip line.

The objective of the zip line is simple – conquer your fear by surrendering yourself to the force of gravity, of course aided by foul proof cables and harnesses. The zip line adventure is not oh so new, but for me whose daily dose of adventures specifically fall within the categories such as never-ending work, self-inflicted life drama, or relenteless poverty, the beautiful misery offered by Danao’s zip line is a welcome change.

There are some zip line adventure preliminaries. For those who feel they are weak at heart, a crew is assigned to determine your blood pressure. For those who are meticulous in their budget, you might want to engage in some cost-benefit analysis as the two-way, collectively 80-second zip line experience will cost you P350. The crew will then put on you some sort of life vest and then masterfully attach harnesses that are mathematically proven to hold weight as much as 800 kilos. Then, when you are ready to go, they will signal their comrades at the other end of the line to get ready for your 450-meter wide descent, your glorious approach. Should there be any malfunctions along the way, it is guaranteed that you will go straight to heaven, or to hell.

But thinking about the undeniable danger spoils the fun. As soon as the crew surrendered my fate to the rocks, boulders, trees and waters 200 meters below the zip line, after of course uttering the words “bombs away, bombs away,” I said a simple prayer, “Lord, I am all Yours,” as if I am Dimas, or was that Hestas, who sought for absolution from his sinful life in this equally sinful planet.

But all’s well that ends well. I am still alive and reliving my zip line adventure. Kudus to Hockson, the master photographer who could very well be a grand cinematographer someday soon, for taking and editing this little video. This should come in handy whenever I want to reflect on my past misdemeanors, misadventures and reckless thirst for life.

By the way, the paths to the Danao Adventure Park provide a very intimate experience with the Chocolate Hills, which sprout alongside the municipal roads. So next time you are in Bohol, the Danao Adventure Park should be a rich inclusion to your diet.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Both Sides Now - An ode to a life that now and then needs some repair

The world is celebrating Earth Hour right now. I am supposed to shut down all forms of life in our household that is powered by electricity. Of course that includes my computer.

But here I am - blogging. I could blog later, maybe, by midnight, but I am blogging now. Why not, peanut?

Well I know that I have done Mother Earth many worthwhile services, Thus Spake Zarathustra, I shouldn’t feel guilty about wasting a bit of energy on a very meaningful endeavor that is blogging.

It is because I have a sparkling reason why I must blog now and not later - I saw, via YouTube, a live Joni Mitchell performance of one of her most achingly beautiful songs, Both Sides Now.
Yes, the version featured in the film Love Actually, specifically in that really heartbreaking scene when Emma Thomson discovered her husband’s infidelity – well, I can relate to the situation, though not as the heartbroken one, but as the infidel.

And yes, that same song murdered by Sharon Cuneta. If it is ever true that her senator husband is having these flings here, there and everywhere, then she truly deserves the corresponding sense of neglect and insecurity if only because she grossly disrespected one of Joni Mitchell’s life-affirming life-mirroring masterpieces.

Now back to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.


I should have been in tears. But I was not. Not because I was not moved. I was. Completely. Insanely. It’s just that I don’t cry that easily. I mourn. I suffer. I whine. And I blog.


In the last few seconds of the performance, Joni Mitchell laid down her arresting passion on these humble lines: “I’ve looked at life from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, its life’s illusions I recall, I really don’t know life at all.”

I think only so few in this earth have humbly understood life. And for many of us, we can only stand still for just a little bit of time or take a step back and let our hearts do the thinking – our life, though it is in good disrepair, is not really that bad, it just needs some repair now and then and then and now.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Life in Musick >> 10,000 Maniacs

These are the twists.

Think. Who is your favorite music artist?

Read. Check out questions #1 to #15.

Reflect. How do you answer the questions using the songs of your artist as the answers?

Exciting huh?

1. Are you male or female:

Gold Rush Brides
Dakota on the wall is a white-robed woman, broad yet maidenly.
Such power in her hand as she hails the wagon man’s family.
I see Indians that crawl through this mural that recalls our history.
Who were the homestead wives?
Who were the gold rush brides?
Does anybody know?

2. Describe yourself:

Peace Train Now, I've been happy lately
Thinkin' about the good things to come
And I believe it could be something good has begun
I've been smilin' lately dreamin' about the world as one
And I believe it could be, some day it's going to come

3. How do you feel about yourself:

Trouble Me
Spare? Spare me? Don't spare me anything troubling.
Trouble me... disturb me with all your cares and you worries.
Speak to me... and let our words build a shelter from the storm.
Let me... And lastly, let me know what I can mend.
There's more, honestly, than my sweet friend, you can see.
Trust is what I'm offering if you trouble me

4. Describe your ex:

Gun Shy
I don't mean to argue, they've made a decent boy of you
and I don't mean to spoil your homecoming my baby brother Jude
and I don't mean to hurt you by saying this again,
they're so good at making soldiers
but they're not so good at making men.

5. Describe your current situation:

These Are Days
These are days you’ll remember.
Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky.
It’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

6. Describe your current location:

Because The Night
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us
With love we sleep
With doubt the vicious circle
Turns and burns
Without you I cannot live
Forgive, the yearning burning
I believe it’s time to heal to feel
So take me now, take me now, take me now

7. Describe where you want to be:

All in time, but the clock is another demon that devours our time in eden, in our paradise.
Will our eyes see well beneath us, flowers all divine?
Is there still time?
If we wake and discover in life a precious love, will that waking become more heavenly?

8. Your best friend is:

Like The Weather
Do I need someone here to scold me
or do I need someone who'll grab and pull me out of
four poster dull torpor pulling downward.
For it's such a long time since my better days.
I say my prayers nightly this will pass away.

9. Your favorite color is:

Grey Victory
Too few hands
Many wounds for closing
Marred by
Fear lamenting
Here we stand
At the door to gold atomic age
Don't spoil your face with worry
Trust in
Earth bound kingdom come

10. You know that:

Candy Everybody Wants
If lust and hate is the candy,
If blood and love tastes so sweet,
Then we give ’em what they want.
So their eyes are growing hazy ’cos they wanna turn it on,
So their minds are soft and lazy.
Well... who do you wanna blame?

11. What’s the weather like:

What’s The Matter Here?
I'm tired of the excuses
Everybody uses

12. If your life was a television show it would be called:

Noah’s Dove
In your reckless mind,
You act as if you’ve got more lives.
In your reckless eyes, it’s never too late
For a chance to seize some
Final breath of freedom

13. What is life to you:

If You Intend
If you intend to live again,
Then take the outstreched hand of the one that needs you.
It’s been so long, we’ve missed you.
Why do you intend to speed your end?
Lie in the dark and let your limbs grow weaker, sinking low then deeper.
How can you be so near and not see everything?

14. What is the best advice you have to give:

Few And Far Between
’till you make your peace with yesterday, you’ll never build a future.
I swear by what I say.
Whatever penance you do, decide what it’s worth to you and then respect it.
However long it will take to weather your mistakes, why not accept it?

15. If you could change your name, you would change it to:

I’m not saying I’m replacing love for some other word to describe the sacred tie that bound me to you.
I’m not saying love’s a plaything.
No, it’s a powerful word, inspired by strong desire to bind myself to you.
How I wish that we never had tried to be man and his wife, to weave our lives into a blindfold over both our eyes.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The power of certainty

It has been said, time and again, that we can only appreciate, and selflessly value, the beauty of our life’s blessings once those blessings are gone.

They are gone maybe because we have taken them for granted.

They are no longer within our grasp maybe because those blessings were never ours to begin with – they just exist to humble us, inspire us to keep on dreaming, remind us of our humanity, and tell us that our own time in Eden will unfold in its own fine hour.

Or maybe they are gone - for us to reclaim.

The truest moment of realization – that the one thing we hold sacred, divine, is gone – happens when one hits rock bottom. We have to hit rock bottom. We have to hit rock bottom not for the selfish goal of throwing ourselves into our foolish desires, but so we may be pushed to spiral our way up to the undefeatable heavens.

But hitting rock bottom is not a way of life – it is not a road that must be taken. When we hit the floor of the black hole, we have none but ourselves to point fingers at.

But during the moment of simple, uncomplicated, virgin realization, one thing will always remain - the certainty.

The certainty to be honest with oneself and follow one’s heart.

The certainty to cross boundaries, to territories never before touched, only imagined.

The certainty to shed layers of pride and come out with nothing but passion, devotion, kindness, humility, and fierce, unconditional love.

The certainty to win. The certainty to someday not regret.

There will be no more apologies. The future won't even give its promise.

And you only have this simple, honest, uncompromising, powerful, humbling certainty to get you through the years and its seasons.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The greatest hits of my life Part 1

Music. Music makes the people come together. Music makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel.

Of course that was just the lyrics of Madonna’s party song. I gave a short homage to it, actually just pasted it, for the lack of better introduction to this post. Not that there are no better intros, it’s just that my mind is not exactly sane right now - because my life has recently been bamboozled by many dramas and I only slept for just five hours or less last night.

So you might ask, why are you blogging now if your mind is not up to it? The blogosphere is much too polluted with citizens who don’t really have anything redeeming to say, and here you are, Jessie, with your uninspired spark of wisdom?

It is because my mind is full to the brim with complications brought by acts committed that were tantamount to reckless imprudence and I need to compose my thoughts, organize them in a nice clean line, like, say, an elementary school’s flag ceremony or more ambitiously, a West Point military academy graduation.

But then again, my thoughts - the emotional faculties of my mind - have never ever been in order. I can make some semblance of organization in my work but never in my personal life, there are always bits and pieces here, there and everywhere, making each day of the year, oops, now I am doing a reckless improvisation of the Beatles classic.

But the point is I am trying to organize my thoughts and yeah, its emotions. Never mind that I haven’t been successful at it. The point is I am trying. So don’t just pester me now with your boring principles on modern day blogging, as if there was such a thing as Medieval Age blogging. I am just organizing my thoughts, and again, yeah, its emotions.

Now, back to the original purpose of this post – music. You see, I tend to wander in the caverns, in the canyon and I excavate for a mine, before I proceed to my original intentions, in this case, music. I am just being me, and by the way, this charming insanity of mine have earned some rave reviews and cult followings, even love affairs that disintegrate instantly once my groupie has realized that he has mistakenly fallen for a bag lady disguised as Marilyn Monroe.

Now, music. Music has been and always will be my willing companion. I remember in high school and college that I always exhaust the tape head of the cassette deck and my walkman because of my non-stop playbacks. There will always be a song, a voice or a record relevant to almost all moments or circumstances of my life. Well, almost only, because once in a while we need to switch off the worldly sounds to listen to the voices in our head. You know - those voices that sometimes push people to hang themselves. Hahahaha.

But I don’t just dwell on songs, or the hits, instead I always have this attachment to the entire record album, the whole package including the inlay and the jewel case. Even to this day when I download MP3’s, I am still obsessive about arranging tracks #1 to #infinity as originally intended by the artist, and oh well, the profit-driven producers. The songs in an album, if it is a good one, are like brothers and sisters, and, if it is a bad one, casual partners in a sophisticated orgy. Bottom line, record albums must be appreciated for the intimate relationships of its songs, and each song’s brilliant thread in the album’s magical or depressing tapestry. Thus Spake Zarathustra, I sum up my day’s whining with this 15-disc soundtrack - the greatest hits of my life:

1. This Fire. Paula Cole.
Me>> And it's me who's too weak, it's me who's too shy to ask for the thing that I love. But I love.

2. Fumbling Toward Ecstasy. Sarah McLachlan.
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy>> And if I shed a tear I won't cage it. I won't fear love. And if I feel a rage I won't deny it. I won't fear love.

3. New Beginning. Tracy Chapman.
The Promise>> If you wait for me then Ill come for you. Although Ive traveled far, I always hold a place for you in my heart. If you think of me, if you miss me once in awhile, Then Ill return to you. Ill return and fill that space in your heart.

4. Tapestry. Carole King.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow>> Tonight with words unspoken, you'll say that I'm the only one. But will my heart be broken when the night meets the morning sun?

5. Little Earthquakes. Tori Amos.
Tear In Your Hand >> All the world is. All I am. The black of the the blackest ocean. And that tear in your hand. All the world is danglin danglin danglin for me darlin. You dont know the power that you have with that Tear in your hand.

6. From The Choirgirl Hotel. Tori Amos.
Spark>> You say you dont want it again. And again but you dont dont really mean it. You say you dont want it. This circus were in. But you dont you dont really mean it you dont really mean it.

7. Our Time In Eden. 10,000 Maniacs.
Eden>> If we wake and discover in life a precious love, will that waking become more heavenly?

8. O. Damien Rice.
Blowers Daughter>> And so it is. Just like you said it would be. Life goes easy on me. Most of the time.

9. Blue. Joni Mitchell.
A Case Of You>> I remember that time that you told me, you said, Love is touching souls. Surely you touched mine. Cause part of you pours out of me. In these lines from time to time.

10. Madonna. Something To Remember.
This Used To Be My Playground>> Live and learn. Well the years they flew. And we never knew. We were foolish then. We would never tire. And that little fire. Is still alive in me. It will never go away. Cant say goodbye to yesterday.

11. Baduizm. Erykah Badu.
Otherside Of The Game>> Summer came around and the flowers bloomed. He became the sun. I became the moon. Precious gifts that we both received. Or could this be make believe?

12. Butterfly. Mariah Carey.
The Roof>> Every time I feel the need. I envision you caressing me. And go back in time. To relieve the splendor of you and I. On the rooftop that rainy night

13. Dummy. Portishead.
Glory Box>> From this time, unchained. Were all looking at a different picture. Thru this new frame of mind. A thousand flowers could bloom. Move over, and give us some room. Give me a reason to love you.

14. The Globe Sessions. Sheryl Crow.
My Favorite Mistake>> Did you know when you go its the perfect ending. To the bad day I was just beginning. When you go all I know is you're my favorite mistake.

15. Spirit. Jewel.
Absence Of Fear>> Inside my skin. There is this space. It twists and turns. It bleeds and aches.
Inside my heart. Theres an empty room. Its waiting for lightning. Its waiting for you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love in the time of amoeba

10.58 p.m. I just got home from Chong Hua hospital. Bibi and I visited Doidoi, a pajero-driving blogger and entrepreneur. Of course, our high school friend.

Bibi and I were actually so bored to the point of insanity. We thought that by modifying our evening’s routine – by going to a hospital instead of the usual coffee shop, mall or karaoke bar – our current condition, boredom, would become less humungous.

We were right. We had a great laugh over usually unfunny stuffs. Doidoi’s condition is not really serious. So it is alright to be silly.

Doidoi is merely hosting a party, or convention, of amoebas representing various food delegations.

But amoebas can be very unruly sometimes. This is because amoebas are citizens of third-world food groups e.g. street foods, carenderia foods. They are not cultured. You don’t get amoeba when you dine in places like, say, Shangri-la or The Terraces. You only get layers of credit card bills – which are, by the way, sophisticated kinds of bacteria.

But unlike credit card bills, amoebas are a more troublesome lot when they get drunk. They urinate a lot. And this is especially disgusting for the host, in this situation, Doidoi.

The host is unwittingly given the hellish task of disposing the urines of the amoebas – through its bottom. In point of fact, the nurse asked Doidoi if she moved her bottom within the last few hours and Doidoi agonizingly responded that she did. The nurse asked, “Where is it?” and Doidoi replied, “I flushed it.” The nurse gasped, “Whaaaat?” The nursed walked out and slammed the door behind her. She was Alfred-Hitchcock’s-Psycho scared. Doidoi was flabbergasted, she became less esteemed.

I am just being silly, actually. The truth of the matter is that Doidoi was supposed to go home today but postponing it tomorrow instead for further tests. And this is not an unusual situation. Amoeba conventions, or parties, last for days.

But only very few in the human race have fathomed and really understood the staggering effects of amoebas in our body. Amoebas alter the host’s sexuality. Amoebas open the mind of the host to an array of kinky alternatives.

In one of the enlightened chapters of our evening, Bibi shared her suspenseful but almost romantic Parisian episode. She struck a conversation with a Parisian woman who seems to offer a fulfilling, guiltless and Hollywood-esque one night stand. She was wrong. The Parisian had a gang of bold and brazen men. Bibi was almost pimped.

Doidoi, who until then seemed to be the most generous host to her party of amoebas, lost her sense of finesse. In response to Bibi’s Parisian experience, she simply said, “it’s okay to be gang-raped.” Gasp. We love amoebas. Doidoi, welcome to the human race.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Slices of Life - 01

It’s the wee small hours of Sunday morning. James Taylor is strumming his guitar and pleasantly crooning his folksy tunes through the sound blasters. On week days, around this time, I usually urge myself to already go to sleep so I may be able to make it to the office before 9.15 a.m.

But I just urge myself to sleep – I don’t necessarily go to sleep. You see, I love the hours between midnight and 4 or 5 a.m., those minutes and hours before the sun rises to illuminate the world. It is within these hours that the most brilliant or painful or revelatory thoughts visit me and really have coffee with me. These thoughts are like good friends – they hear me out but they don’t pass judgments or turn their backs because of utter disgust. They sit through my entire monologue, and when the bedroom lights have to be turned off, they graciously bid farewell, giving an assurance that they will be back for the next psychotic performance.

But today is Saturday, or Sunday. I could have mugs and mugs of steaming brewed coffee with my thoughts till the morning sun shines on me. And I could make love with the computer keyboard until the monitor becomes so engorged with words, with thoughts, with slices of my life.

>>>Iris, Liberty Heights and my own Gorordo Avenue

I killed two movies today – Iris, which is about respected English novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch, and Liberty Heights, a touching coming of age drama set during 1950’s racial America. Like many good movies, Iris and Liberty Heights have touched me in ways that make me appreciate life more, make me more tolerant of each person’s foibles and misdemeanors, and make me more conscious of the need to transform my thoughts into words, phrases, paragraphs.

Iris and Liberty Heights have struck some very important chords in my life, and the tingling sensations, the sounds of the chords date back to my innocent life as a high school and college student at the University of the Philippines in Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City. It has been eight years since I graduated, and yet I still have this fondness for the bygone years, especially when I pass by my school for some meetings or to visit a very good friend who lives near the campus.

In the opening scenes of Iris, Iris Murdoch herself addressed her friends and her literary “groupies” with these lines:

“Education doesn’t make you happy, and nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we are free, if we are, or because we have been educated, if we have. But because education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. It opens our eyes, our ears, tells us where delights are lurking, convinces us that there is only one freedom of any importance whatsoever – that of the mind – and gives us the assurance, the confidence to walk the path our mind, our educated mind, offers.”

In the Liberty Heights’ VCD, these words are etched above the green Cadillac imprinted in the cover, “You’re only young once, but you remember forever.”

I used to complain about paying so much in taxes yet I haven’t really “experienced” the quality service from the government that is due to me. But these incessant complaints all came to an end when my very good friend Leah offered her keen perspective on taxation vis-à-vis our high school, and college, education. It is all about the pay-it-forward principle. Our government gave me good education, and now, it is payback time. And inasmuch as I still hate seeing my pay slip with those enormous tax figures, I just have to acknowledge that, yeah, this is payback time.

It was in UP that I was tasked to write a reaction on almost anything – from the movies that I watched, the boring symposia that I attended, the thick books that are considered “required readings.” It was in UP that I learned to appreciate literature, and learned to separate top of the line literature from sort-of-literary-materials that are actually just dirty pleasures or mere eyes candies. It was in UP that I was regularly bombarded with concepts such as “social responsibility,” “giving back to the community,” and “love of country.” Corny as they are, but really, these concepts make sense and to this day I still experience some guilty reflexes every time I engage in pursuits that are anything but patriotic.

But it was also in UP that I also ran against the law – or campus laws to be precise. The offenses are just way too many to enumerate. And should I enumerate, you, the goody-goody reader might easily cringe at our injustices and launch a crusade against the youth. Or, if you, reader, are by profession, a modern day criminal, you might not feel as esteemed because your animal instincts weren’t half as profound as ours, at such tender age.

But really, I am exaggerating. We were not really that bad. What I am trying to say, though, is that my life as a high school and college student was exhilaratingly interesting because of the less conventional paths we dared to venture, or the conventional ways that we transformed into adventures.

The education, I still have it, its ever growing and I am mighty sure that I won’t lose it, unless I develop Alzheimer’s, God forbid. Meanwhile, the mischief, the injustice, the cruelties, inhumane ruthlessness, I guess these are something that are good for the keeping – as funny memories and not as daily survival acts. Although one instinctively knows that certain situations require certain degrees of blatant, mischievous or ruthless actions. But in the interest of world peace, well…

To this day, I still have questions, doubts, confusions, and reasonable regrets. Am I happy? Am I content? Am I in the right path? Are there ways to undo the horrible things that I did? God bless the day when there would be no more of these mind boggling hullabaloos. But in the pursuit of an interesting life, I think we need to have questions, doubts, confusions, and of course reasonable regrets. Hence, I digress. I am unsinkable and my mind is free. These are the two things that really matter for now.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Why Slumdog Millionaire must win the Oscar Best Picture!?

1. It is uplifiting. It is what a movie must be all about. It inspires. It entertains. It makes you feel good about living despite the stink and the eyesores. It affirms that life will always be good - at least for those who care to appreciate it.

2. It depicts poverty at its finest. Or at its best form. Terrible, scary, smelly, and ultimately unfair.

3. It breaks your heart without being overly sentimental. You cry not because you feel the pain. You cry because you celebrate Jamal and Latika's triumph.

4. The young Jamal, Salim and Latika are reincarnations of the characters of Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali. It is as if they are not acting. They are just doing what they do best - being children.

5. The screenplay is flawless. It is very original. It makes me wonder why I cannot pen something as wondrous. Perhaps, I am just reading too many books or watching too many movies that any twist and turn produced by my brain is anything but original.

6. The ensemble is terrific. Of course, you don't have to wonder why Frieda Pinto is not running against Kate Winslet or Dev Patel breaking the waves of Sean Penn or Madhur Mittal making himself a worthy opponent to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Because they are relatively new - which it makes them more wonderful - because they manage to still be terrific despite their new-ness.

7. It is both modern and classic. Modern because of the visuals and the graphics. But at heart, it remains a classic. There is adversity. There is triumph. There is searching. There is finding. There is an underdog. The underdog fights back. The underdog wins. It is a fairy tale minus the castles and the armours.

8. The cinematography and the editing are just amazing. Whoever is behind the camera and whoever you are in the cutting room, God bless you guys.

9. It never sodomizes age-old crimes and misdemeanors - prostitution, child labor, religious wars, organized crimes. It never wallows in the evils of society. Slumdog is all about survival. It submerges itself in the excrements not because the excrements provide more drama, but because it is only through the excrements that it could free itself from its own mess.

10. Its dance ensemble during the credits reminds me of 80's Pinoy movies wherein characters suddenly break into a song and dance repertoire. But it is not baduy at all. The filmakers know that Slumdog viewers will be in high spirits after watching their movie. They extended themselves by giving us a soundtrack of their resounding success!

Friday, February 06, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

One of my dearest friends in PBSP, Maita, tagged me in her Facebook entry on the 25-Random-Facts-About-Me chain. I know this is not the perfect time for this stuff because I am supposed to squeeze my surviving brain cells for very urgent work matters.

But what the heck. It's a Friday. Let me exercise my mind for some relaxing yet nevertheless brain-ful pursuits - like reflecting on the 25 random things about myself.

1. I am the brainchild of Tori Amos.

2. I love ice cream. Double dutch. Cookies and cream. Hazelnut. Very rocky road.

3. I love cakes. Blueberry cheesecake. Black forest. Rhum cake.

4. I am queer.

5. I love watching The Lord of the Rings. All three movies. Over and over and over again.

6. My specialty is Century Tuna chunks Spanish Style cooked with scrambled eggs.

7. I love decorating our low-budget home - country style.

8. I love exploring the baskets-handicrafts section of Carbon public market.

9. I love killing hours and hours in bargain books blackholes. Well yes, I looove Fully Booked, but it kills my budget.

10. I am romantic. But I am also a heartbreaker. I've committed emotional and psychological murder. I am a sinner.

11. I keep on postponing my appointment with the gym trainer. I know I need to lose weight. I wanna look beautiful inside and out. But it has been two years since I made an appointment with the gym guy.

12. I love to sing ABBA songs and Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" on karaoke.

13. I used to have this great crush on our high school songbird. I am not exactly sure what happened to me at that stage in my life - it seems surreal thinking about it now. But back then, it was tender.

14. I miss the wonderful people that I grew up with.

15. I was once a stalker.

16. I used to be the regular first customer of this nice, clean, well lighted beer place that is unfortunately no longer in existence. Those were the lonely days. And drunk yet witty conversations over smoke and cold Colt 45's were the best things that life could offer.

17. I would like Cate Blanchett to play me in a movie. She did Bob Dylan, Elizabeth and Galadriel. She could effortlessly do me.

18. I wanna be a frontman in a grunge or alternative rock band.

19. I love dissecting my life, and whining about life, over brewed coffee or frappucino.

20. I wanna travel the world.

21. I don't like promotions. Work responsibilities are scary. But the pay settles the bills and the luxuries. I am in the brink of selling my golden soul to the devil.

22. I have once inspired a beautiful soul to write a beautiful poem about me. Its on page 111 - the title of the book is Brim.

23. I am currently putting together a coffee table book. It is a great task. To this day I am not really sure if I can do it, but I AM doing it. I know it will be beautiful.

24. I carry a wooden brown rosary and Benedictine Crucifix wherever I go. These are my lucky charms.

25. I love porn. Queer porn.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Monkey and the Ox

No offense to the 11 other animals, but I intensely and consistently believe that the Monkey is the best sign in the Chinese Astrology. This is because I was born in the year 1980, the year of the Metal Monkey, and my life has been really good despite the queer events, trials and tribulations that have hounded me in the last 28 years.

Meanwhile, I am especially friendly to the Rat, the first sign, because it is my secret animal, having been introduced to this wonderful universe at 30 minutes past midnight. And to the Pig, because it rules December, the most cheerful month of the year, the month that became more blessed because of my birth. Again, no offense to the remaining eight animals.

Monkeys are inquisitive, objective, quick-witted fellows. We are inventors, motivators, improvisers and problem solvers. We are also flexible, innovative,self-assured, sociable, polite, dignified, competitive, factual, and intellectual. Never mind that we are unfortunately egotistical, vain, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious. Nobody's perfect anyway. We are capable of either great good or great evil - bottomline, the capacity for greatness streams in our glorious veins.

Since we are currently celebrating the Chinese New Year, let me give a tribute to myself and to the beautiful Monkeys of the world (Ms. Celine Dion, my friend, this is for us, dearie) by illustrating our fortunes this 2009.

Monkey Overview
This year offers the Monkey some opportunities to go far with your talents. The Monkey's generous nature may leave you stretched in several different directions, so it is important to stay focused in order to achieve the goals you have set for yourself this year. You will be given the opportunity to impress the right people both in business, as well as in your personal life. Don't hold back this year, for this could be one that will leave an impression over the course of the next few years.

Monkey Rating
49% (4 favorable and 5 neutral and 3 unfavorable months)

Monkey Career
Great strides can be made in your career this year. Timing is everything and in your case, time is on your side. You will be in the right place at the right time to impress the decision makers in your career. The steady Ox rewards those with strong work ethics and the Monkey will surely reap the benefits of your labor. Don't hesitate to do anything that will aid your skills and benefit your position.

Monkey Relationships
This could be a busy year for you domestically. Look to your family for the encouragement and support you need. On the same token, it is important for you to listen and heed the advice of those who care. Your social life is active filled with plenty of opportunities to make new friends. Don't forget the ones that have been with you through the rough times, as it is just as important to offer your time with your existing relations.

Monkey Health
Take note that there are several high points to your year. With such a busy social year, you may stretch yourself thin with your health. Be aware of your energy levels throughout the year, as you may need some added rest to counter your affairs. It would be wise to take an active part in your health, taking up a new form of exercise that follows your interests: martial arts or dancing are two good possibilities.

Monkey Wealth
This could be a great year for the Monkey financially. You will possibly make great gains in this area throughout the year. Due to your generous nature, you may have a difficult time refraining from giving to others. Be mindful of this and make sure you give to yourself every once in a while because you deserve it.

Break a leg this 2009, Jessie!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jessie’s Wish List

Its Christmastime once again and here are are my wishes, dear old Santa.

1. I wish for a perfect body – that perfect body which makes boys - and well, girls too, give them some chance – drool. They say that when you wish, you might as well wish for the stars because wishing is absolutely free. Another thinker also said that “beauty corrupts, absolute beauty corrupts absolutely.” Or was it power? Whatever. Beauty and power are synonymous anyway, depending on how a person maximizes the quantity of beauty or power he possesses. Definitely I am going back to my old gym. You wait and see.

2. I wish to be a bestselling author, or editor, or ghost writer – whichever is more applicable. Two years ago I ambitiously fought for the publication of a cover story that chronicled the best things that happened to our foundation during the last 18 years. Apparently, everyone was happy with the outcome such that 20th Century Fox expressed ruthless interest to acquire the film rights of my cover story! Actually, the cover story became the inspiration of a monumental coffee table book project that will and should sum up the best of social development. And starting today, I only have two months to put it together. I don’t know what physical laws I am going to defy this time to finish the book on time and to actually produce a Pulitzer-worthy material. I had actually fallen prey to my own uncalculated ambitions. And yet, the challenge is fiercely interesting!

3. I wish for charity and cooperation. This wish is tantamount to asking for world peace, I know. Still, charity and cooperation remain paramount for our nation’s sustainable growth especially now that our nation and the rest of the world are going to face a very tough year ahead. How do we express charity? How do we collectively practice cooperation? I think there are so many ways but just don’t ask me which is the most effective. You could give pencils and textbooks and food to poor children. You could buy proudly Pinoy products. You could vote responsibly. Anything good that is done collectively would eventually bring us somewhere – to a better place, not necessarily perfect, but definitely better than where we are right now.

4. I wish for more time to savor and devour life’s simple yet great pleasures. In my case, and in no particular order, these are my life’s simple yet great pleasures: good literature, good movies, good music, home improvement and home decorating which are also occasions for bonding with my mama and papa, bonding with the people that I grew up most especially my high school friends who are very dear to me, hunting for books and vintage stuff in those second hand shops and bargain black holes, and intimacy and really quality time with my life’s sweet love. The last one - intimacy and really quality time with my life’s sweet love – are what savoring and devouring are all about!

5. I wish for constant physical energy, tolerant mind and unsinkable spirit. There is no written guarantee that life will turn out the way we want it to be. No matter how we prepare our day, something or someone will catch us off guard, most of the time attacking us when we are most defenseless. Energy must be constant so we could rise, shine and get through each brand new or jaded day. The mind must remain tolerant because each one of us is engineered to be unique and some people are just so damned ugly and foul, they are constant pains in our bottoms. And our spirit must be unsinkable, intact at all times. So you are tired and frustrated and you cry. So you are demoralized and angry and you curse the constellations in the heavens for failing to fulfill the good fortunes supposedly due to you today. So your jeepney seatmate is not adorable and not fragrant either and the rest of your day might as well be doomed. So many things could pull you down and before you know it, it’s already rock bottom. Rock bottom must be such a boring place. So you start going up, up and away. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And hotter.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

In the pursuit of yellow

According to feng shui, yellow represents spiritual and intellectual activity while harnessing understanding.

In the book Colour for Life by Charles Philips, yellow is also associated with mental activity, with analytical thought and activities of the ego.

In the song song Yellow by Coldplay, Chris Martin crooned these lines to his beloved: Look at the stars / Look how they shine for you / And everything you do / Yeah, they were all yellow.

And of course let us not forget the Fabulous Four’s Yellow Submarine: So we sailed up to the sun / Till we found the sea of green / And we lived beneath the waves / In our yellow submarine.

So what are all these fuss about yellow?

Sometime last October, I embarked on this very short-term project that will ultimately be for the welfare of my own spirit. These past few months, I’ve felt that I easily get stressed - physically, mentally, emotionally. Work is usually the most convenient culprit, although other life complications have contributed to my escalating mental degradation. I’ve started to procrastinate heavily without any semblance of guilt or worry about the long list of harmful events and phenomena that will unfold as a consequence of my procrastination spree.

To make my whining short, I embarked on a creative activity that fueled my mind with passion and rabid enthusiasm – I decided to paint my room. The decision was not a difficult one. For me to really put my life back into good order, I must have a very warm space that would greet me at the very start of each brand new day.

But the enlightened idea of covering my drab, gray walls and ceiling was also peppered with conflicting opinions, most of which came from the interior decorating books that I’ve consulted and eventually befriended. Blue was my first choice because it’s my favorite, but then blue to me is just so… familiar. I thought of green for its calming and relaxing qualities, but I was scared that too much green might promote indolence and I cannot just wake up at 9 a.m. and report to work at past 10 a.m. (although I must admit that this has lately been my fashion statement).

And then I asked myself – how about yellow? I like the Beatles and Coldplay and they both have yellow songs, which were big hits, by the way. Of course, I engage in gazillion mentally stimulating activities inside my room like bring-home work, books, movies and online pornography (oops!) and yellow is said to have the capacity to fire up thoughts, banish drowsiness and foster attentiveness.

Thus Spake Zarathustra, yellow it is! Welcome to my nook.

Thank you so much to my beloved father who did all the painting by himself. Love you, Pop!

The ladies in the framed photo are my three best friends: Jean, my classmate since first year high school, a lawyer, married to her beautiful Ilana; Odyssa, my coffee buddy, a certified public accountant, eternal lover of anything feminine from flowered sandals to butterfly-emblazoned body-hugging blouses, a connosuier of more-than-friends-less-than-lovers life dramas; and Bibi - France and Germany are her playgrounds and she enjoys the best of both worlds (figure it out!).

The homoerotic image is a drawn by a very special friend, Jeffrey; the lampara is a gift from an officemate, my Manito; and the abstract piece is one of those beautiful rare bargains I got from a pre-Sinulog bazaar.

These are prints of Frida Kahlo (my third favorite artist right after Van Gogh and Joni Mitchell) self-portraits (also with her beloved Diego Rivera). The hideous aparador is actually an antique that my mother purchased from a dear neighbor who unfortunately went bankrupt (wihihihi!)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The strongest, the sexiest and the hottest

Shrek , Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez were all having lunch together.

Shrek said, 'I have always thought that I'm the strongest man in the world, but how can I be sure?

Jennifer Lopez said, 'I'm told I'm the sexiest of them all, but sometimes I wonder.'

Brad Pitt agreed, 'I'm pretty sure I'm the hottest man alive but I've never had it confirmed.'

They all decided that the best way to find out if their beliefs were true was to approach the wicked Queen's mirror to confirm for them whether Shrek was the strongest, Jennifer Lopez was the sexiest, and Brad Pitt was the hottest. They agreed to meet again the next day for lunch to discuss their findings.

The next day Shrek walked up with a smile. 'Well, it 's true. The mirror told me that I am the strongest man in the world.'

Jennifer Lopez followed and boasted, 'It is true, it has been confirmed that I am the sexiest woman alive!'

Brad Pitt walked in, head bent, tears in his eyes, and asked,"Who in the world is Jessie Cubijano?!?"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Toilet bowl enlightenment 1

Real men wear pink. But when they wear pink, they might not be real men.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

On loving and letting go

Leaving a love you've suddenly outgrown can be heartbreaking, but it also shows you're strong enough to walk away from a relationship that no longer makes you happy. Moving out of your comfort zone can be downright scary, but it also shows how brave you are to take on the unknown - stronger, braver, wiser. You always do a little growing up everytime you do a little letting go.

- Oprah

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An ex is an ex is an ex. Period.

Billion dollar industries exist to this day because the human race was conjured to believe that one of the real tests of love is when a lover who leaves because of some indigestible reason returns to the one he left behind after some hectic twists and turns in his pathetic suddenly single existence.

Of course I love Mariah Carey’s falsetto “If you should return to me / Then we truly were meant to be” in the song Butterfly from her career’s best album - Butterfly. But an ex is an ex is an ex is an ex. Period. That person should have never turned his un-fabulous back on you.

But I don’t want to have a jaded perspective on this popularly normal, albeit insane, human condition. We forgive and forget because the prodigal lover had to have some “space” - of course the magnitude of the space that he asked for when he uttered his look-I-am-sorry-but-I-really-need-some-space piece was really indefinite, almost infinite. But we are madly in love. We want to be loved and we don’t want to be alone. Emotional molestation is perfectly alright. Be my guest.

But let us just say that our coconut is properly working. The ex attempts to win us back but we have already moved on and we will only run back to his supposedly loving arms if and only if he transforms himself into the youth of Robert Redford circa Barefoot In The Park, The Sting, The Great Gatsby and The Way We Were. Thus Spake Zarathustra, here are some sunshine answers when our ex says…

1. Why did you let me go?

Because our relationship no longer fulfills me.

2. I still love you.

Too bad... for you.

3. When did we last talk?

When I was still insane.

4. Will you go out with me?

If you have some donations for my charity, why not?

5. Hey, can i give you a ride?

In your Lamborghini? Of course assuming that you own one...

6. I cannot keep my promise to you.

You don't have to, it's really unnecessary.

7. My friends say we don't look good together.

You don't look good on me either.

8. You have changed.

Yes. I'm better now.

9. Can we get back together?

May I take that as a compliment?

10. Oh, I know what this is all about. You found someone else.

Yeah. Oh. Don’t tell me you haven’t?

11. Don't you realize? You are the one who hurt me!

Because I thought you were indestructible.

12. How can you forget our memories??

Of course I won't forget those memories. But that's it.

13. I will always love you.

Do yourself a favor. Don't.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Both Sides Now

My clock here says that it’s already 11:45 p.m. I should already be asleep by now. But here I am, navigating the anatomy of my computer keyboard, trying to lament through words, sentences and paragraphs out of the innocent black and white keyboard keys. My life is not really good. It has been bamboozled by too much movies, books, suicidal songs, porn videos and caffeine.

Maybe I should blame it on the brewed coffee that I had with my great friend Odyssa a few hours earlier. Or perhaps the mixture of coffee, ice tea, rice, pizza, pork sisig and chicken inasal induces nihilistic perspectives on life.


Speaking of coffee, one of the random things that Odyssa and I talked about was Joni Mitchell’s classic “Both Sides Now.” The song serenaded Emma Thompson during her heartbreaking moment in the film Love Actually. We both love the song, intensely (in the same way that we both have intense murderous instincts against Sharon Cuneta for her heinous interpretation of the song).

Maturity or growing up or growing older or whatever the human race calls this procedure of life is not necessarily progressive. Conventional wisdom states that experiences and subsequent failures make us better and stronger persons. But more often, the more experience we get, the more failures we unwittingly achieve, the more we get schizophrenic about life. Ms. Mitchell really got it right: I really don’t know life at all.

So here’s my ode to a life that needs a bit of repair.

Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons evrywhere
Ive looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on evryone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

Ive looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
Its cloud illusions I recall
I really dont know clouds at all

Moons and junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As evry fairy tale comes real
Ive looked at love that way

But now its just another show
You leave em laughing when you go
And if you care, dont let them know
Dont give yourself away

Ive looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
Its loves illusions I recall
I really dont know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say I love you right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
Ive looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say Ive changed
Well somethings lost, but somethings gained
In living evry day

Ive looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
Its lifes illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all
Ive looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
Its lifes illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all