Tuesday, October 25, 2005


The fish jumped out of his bowl to try swimming in the ocean. He’ll be back soon.

I hope you could wait.

Monday, October 17, 2005

the fish bowl will be broken someday

Tagged by Randell.

Here are the rules of this tag.

1. Delve into your blog archive.

2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).

3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).

4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas.

5. Tag five people to do the same.

Here's the fifth line of my 23rd post:

"The water was pristine; the falls was splendid"

Water. My favorite element. My world. My life. Even the name of this blog involves a great deal of water. Fish in a Bowl. Water delicately framed by glass to form an artificial world where a fish can be viewed as it swims stupidly around. Although bound and restrained by glass walls, that water is nevertheless pristine. It smells of grass blades that daintily hold dew drops on its edges, swaying with the wind but never letting go of their crystal wards. Diamonds on green knives. It speaks of fruity metaphors trapped in velvet-lined boxes, ready to be opened for adoration. It calls to mind the sanctity of holy water held by stone angels in front of cathedrals, seducing the pious to dip his filthy fingers into it to signal the start of repetitive prayers and agonized wailings as gods in their garish satin and gold vestments idly watch. Absolution or damnation. It mimics the sensuous trickling of sweat beads that navigate the contours of breasts swollen with desire. Lust and love. It is the spit that a child leaves on grandma’s cheek after a long, wet, goodbye kiss. Possibly the last kiss grandma would ever get before she dies. Sweetness and death.

Imagine the water suddenly bursting free from the confines of the bowl and cascading out to freedom. Imagine a thousand fish bowls suddenly giving in to the pressure of the little bodies of water they held prisoners for years. Imagine them all pouring wildly out. Gushing. Roaring. Ravishing anything that blocks their way. An army of fish-bowl waters charging in full speed toward unseen enemies. Powerful. Strong. Torrential. That is my falls. A falls is nothing but an outpouring of a desire to be free. It draws its power from years of shackles and prison bars, of suppressed anger and stunted dreams, of yearnings razed even before it started to blossom. When pristine water finally finds the guts to break its fish bowl, only then can it become a falls, potent and splendid. And it will no longer smell of dew on grass blades or sweat on fiery skin. It will smell of rivers gone berserk and oceans devouring the hapless.

If you found any sense in this shit, consider yourself tagged.


Thursday, October 13, 2005


When so many thoughts are tussling in my head and I can’t even begin to decipher what each of them really means, I sit and pause and reflect like a monk with a shaved head. It might be futile to find meaning in the universe and ponder on some feel-good Coelhoen conspiracy shit that only Oprah would excitedly jump up and down for. Neither do I feel like waxing philosophical about my existence. I’ve long abandoned ontological and metaphysical inquiries on sober days. I reserve them for drinking sprees, when the mind is made more brilliant by alcohol and the tongue finds eloquence in sisig. Hell, everybody thinks he’s Nietzsche when drunk. I sit and reflect just to make sense of what my neurons are trying to say, lulling my body to catatonia in between defragmenting my brain cells and discarding unused memories that are caked with three feet of dust and grime in one of the dank crevices of my brain. I have no need of memories and thoughts that resurrect rancid blood and stale semen. I need some change, dynamic change.

Having been reminded of mortality, I snatched a floating thought about epitaphs, specifically my epitaph. How do I want people to remember me when I’m gone? For someone who lives his life regardless of what others may say, I find such a thought irrelevant. So, yeah, I guess I will just discard that one. Mad thought. Who the hell cares about what they’d write on my tombstone? They can engrave moron or butthead there for all I care. I will have had more important things to attend to by that time, like thinking about what species of worms I will allow into my body to hasten my decomposition. I should just think of happy corpse thoughts. Cadaver business. Putrefaction catalysts.

I might not even be buried at all. I’m seriously toying with the idea of donating my body to science. I mean, what’s the point of having a grand send-off complete with elegant hearse and shit when you’ll just end up a pile of stinking, decaying biological waste? I might as well find good use for my body when I’m dead. Just imagine how titillating it is to be stripped naked, ogled at, and tinkered with by medical students in some sterilized laboratory. Oh, yes, that’s good, slice me with a scalpel, yeah, spank me with surgical stainless steel tools, fuck my left ventricle with a spatula, vacuum my blood and cut up my liver, oh, watch my blood squirt, yeah. It’s like a cadaver’s total sexual fantasy. Even in death, it’s nice to be the center of some mad, bloody orgy. Now that’s a happy corpse thought. I’d adopt that. Proceed to next thought.

During my initiation rites into some Society years ago, I was given a brooch engraved with the group’s insignia and three Greek letters representing the Society’s name. I was also made to recite our motto in Greek and then in English—“Let the love of learning rule humanity.” After my stint in the real world—which sucks big time, by the way—I feel I’ve betrayed that motto.

Coming in and out of graduate school, changing courses but never finishing any, and getting Incompletes in major MA subjects don’t exactly embody some noble motto on learning. After imploring my college dean to take me back in after a year of Absence Without Leave (AWOL), I stayed for one dull semester and then went AWOL again. I don’t know how else I would beg for them to readmit me. I’ve run out of sappy stories and pathetic histrionics.

Just recently, at the office, I signified interest in this eLearning scholarship on trade matters and international economy. Just a few hours of online discussions and research per week for one whole year and I’d get a handsome certificate of completion. I don’t know if I could sustain interest in a topic as remote to me as the South Pole. But that’s better than pickling my brain. Or is it? Hell, I don’t know. But what the heck, I’d still go through it if only to know how much self-inflicted torture I am capable of enduring.

I’m still studying German and French but find them utterly useless in my life right now. Unless I decide to move to Europe in the near future, which seems like a swell thought. Unrealistic, but swell. I got rejected in the MA scholarship I applied for in the Netherlands because my office favored an older, more qualified employee. There goes my ‘learning rules humanity’ motto. But, come to think of it, isn’t what I’ve been doing—reading books on my own, living life with a keen eye, drawing wisdom from the people I meet—aren’t they all part of learning? Is it obligatory that I go back to school and slave away under the rigors of academic convention? Can I not learn boxed-in archaic knowledge on my own and engage in intellectual masturbation with the Internet? Or is it just the voice of a failure that is me sour-graping because I wasn’t able to achieve what society thinks I should’ve achieved at this point? Maybe. Maybe not. Bad thought. Discard.

What’s a school junkie to do now but wait for god’s spare weed to fall off like manna from heaven? Which brings me back to my good old college days. I should’ve tried smoking weed back in college, when my friends rolled out woven mats on a grassy patch of land beside the Faculty Center and started puffing their way to nirvana in broad daylight. But I guess that’s just not my thing. I can get a natural high on other less destructive vices and become a demigod in my own delusions. A demigod that tries so hard to inch back to Olympus after having been evicted unceremoniously.

What if gods and deities did not drown with the sinking of Atlantis? What if they survived Vesuvius’ eruption in ancient Pompeii? What if they still thrive in some virtual Olympus, still fighting and hurling lightnings and lusting and feasting with grand passions of Herculean proportions? What if they still hold sway over everything we do and we just don’t know it? What if I am indeed a demigod and I am unconsciously controlling the destiny of lesser beings? What if we are all lesser creatures being manipulated by a god or gods? Some crappy version of the Matrix? What if gods exist and are actually walking among us, silently taking down notes like Quality Control Engineers intending to improve on their next batch of creations? Mad thought. But plausible.

One can’t discount the possibility of the impossible. If the President can conjure votes out of thin air and still sincerely believe that she has the mandate of the people, then why can’t we believe that there may be things we haven’t grasped yet? Or at least, give it a thought. Things that reason frowns upon but intuition favors. Things that are not part of our realm of experience but are nevertheless extant. I’m not about to propose that we wholeheartedly embrace theism like a bunch of idiotic fundamentalist maniacs. Far from it. I’m driving at something deeper, something more profound than the existence of supernatural beings. Something like the concept of parallel universes, of bent time, of warped realities, of a whole new system of physics and metaphysics. Jostein Gardner’s insinuation that this whole universe and everything that happens in it are just in somebody else’s brain may not be too far-fetched. We have, after all, invented religions and other myths positing similar concepts. Or, are these concepts just offshoots of our failure to comprehend what we perceive? Attempts to make sense of the baffling mysteries this world is so pregnant with? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I’m drunk. These thoughts are labeled ‘for drinking sprees’ only. Defragment. Hell, maybe I am really drunk. I am Nietzsche. I am Foucault. I am Kant. Or Cunt. Whatever. Please pass the sisig.

Defragmentation done. Would you like to clean up your Temporary Internet Folder now?

Yeah, fuck off, Einstein. Or come and drink with me. Or, yeah, whatever.



Tuesday, October 11, 2005

marshmallow nuns, choirs, stolen babies, and cocks

Driving with friends from Pasig to Makati on a Sunday afternoon, the sky overcast and wrung dry of emotions. My bladder shrieking in agony. Sitting over coffee mixes invented by an increasingly commercialist society while listening to an old friend tell the story of his gastro-intestinal disturbance that has reached up to his respiratory tracts. Might be asthma, the doctor said. My doctor-friend, sipping her black coffee beside me, rambles on about some medical shit that I couldn’t make heads or tails of. Realizing I’m the only one in the table who hasn’t seen The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway yet (the stage musical, not the melodramatic movie version). Nope, seeing the Paris Opera House doesn’t count. The old friend with gastro-intestinal shit has seen Aida too.

Relief after peeing. Driving back to Pasig to pick up another old friend. Chitchat on jobs and job hunting. Life and fucking. Babies and husbands and wives. “My baby is so cute,” she blurts out. “You should seriously check if it were really yours. There must’ve been a mix-up at the delivery room,” I reply. An old hag suddenly materializing out of nowhere, demanding that we back off the car so as not to block her sidewalk kiosk of crude oil. Crude behavior. Polite response. Do the elderly have the right to become bitches? It comes with age, perhaps?

Hitting shuttlecocks which my doctor-friend simply calls ‘cocks.’ “Now where the hell did our good cocks go?” Struggling to re-learn a game I haven’t played for centuries. Trying to cheat in vain. Trying hard to find the right moves to execute that damn smash. Still couldn’t do it. Maybe I should stick to swimming. Or eating. Losing. Winning. Losing again. And again. The talent to cheat needs to be sharpened regularly like a pencil. Thinking of joining Dionne and the rest of the gang next Saturday. 'Should play and practice without my bitchy friends yelling “Idiot!” or “Stupid!” or other Tagalog unprintable expletives every time I miss the freaking cock. Missed again. Damn cock. Next time, I’d just play with my own cock. Sweat. Drenched shirt clinging on my slender body. Reddened torso. My allergy to temperature change kicks in again.

Receiving a post card from Paris from a French friend who's finishing her memoire (that's thesis to us, Americanized neo-colonials). Rooftops and chimneys of immeubles résidentiel, très français. Suddenly missing al fresco cafés with blazing heaters under large beach umbrellas. Narrow, cobbled streets. Warm winter gloves and Russian seatmate with bad breath. Ésperant que je peux y rentrer.

Choral recital in a Conservatory headed by a nun who, according to a student, looks more like a blob of marshmallow that grew arms and fingers. Just arms and fingers. Wobbling marshmallow nun that smiles a lot. And plays the piano too. Talented marshmallow. Swelling chorus that hinted at something grander. Unsure altos and brassy tenors. Good singers, nevertheless. Or good choirmaster? Bad French accent. Chuck the French song if you couldn’t pronounce it right, for Buddha’s sake. Renaissance polyphony, acceptable. Sacred music, passable. Negro spirituals, needs more soul, more body, more Negro-ness (with apologies to African Americans for such a politically incorrect term). Enjoyed it immensely, though. Congratulating my friend, the choir master, for a job well done. No, don’t give me your huge, yellow balloon. It’s their gift to you. Marshmallow thinks she's the pope and starts smiling to everyone.

Listening to Jekyll and Hyde CD, which the old friend with gastro-intestinal shit has burned for me. Realizing that its attempt at epical melodic progressions is too tacky. An attempt, that’s what it is. Formulaic and bland. Good songs, individually, but lacks cohesion as a whole. No recurrent themes. Cheap swells. Horribly pop treatment. Pastiche of musical influences from various periods. Lack of identity? It can be improved. There is promise. Great promise. I’d still want to see it staged here. Picking on it but still playing it. Singing This is the Moment with Dr. Jekyll. A song popularly bastardized by a local singer who won in a local singing competition on local TV.

Arm muscles ache terribly. Too much badminton. Too much pretense on the court, smashing that freaking cock. Damn. 'Can’t play with my own cock now.

Updating one's blog is a bitch. Realizing it’s far too taxing to dwell on details. Typing continuously without much thought. Forgetting self-censorship or self-editing. Ending this lousy post with a period.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

open up my brain and lick my dendrites

When blogging is already as ancient as Glenn Close and nobody writes anymore because everyone has found nobler things to do like staying up late at night to watch re-runs of Britney Spears’ concerts; when people already think that nothing’s wrong with canonizing George W. Bush; when all teachers are catatonic and all students shove cocaine suppositories up their asses for breakfast; when mothers contemplate on drowning their infants for having a mole on the left cheek instead of on the right; when the neighborhood cat fornicates with a paralyzed armadillo; when all computer systems in the world crash and everyone thinks it’s god punishing the perverts; when Bill Gates becomes a beggar; when Michael Jackson turns black again and starts jacking off over Captain Hook instead of Peter Pan; when the Philippines is already a superpower and makes the entire planet its empire and imposes Corruption as a universal diplomatic policy; when I write stupid, senseless sentences such as these (and nauseating alliterative phrases like that), you would know that I’m bored.

I need some serious brain surgery.


Monday, October 03, 2005

what we know

I painted this back in 2001. It hangs inside my office cubicle but nobody takes notice of it. I entitled it What We Know, to symbolize the little piece of knowledge humans have against the vastness of uncharted and possibly unknowable information, realities, and truths in the universe. It’s my stand against absolutism, my critique against those who have a predilection to generalize, to peddle absolute truths without knowing that what they actually see is just a fraction of an infinite sky; their knowledge as tiny as a quark against a heaving, evolving mammoth organism. We merely see things through this tiny window, and perhaps it is not humanly possible to see more than that, not in one lifetime, not even in one millennium.

When I showed this to my French teacher during our bring-a-picture-and-describe-it day in French class way, way back, he asked in French why I chose to paint a gothic window like those found in churches. I said I had no particular reason for choosing it. He then posited another explanation. The window, he said, can represent the Church or organized religion that blocks reality/truth and allows only a portion of it to be seen by the people. I never thought of it that way before. I must say his interpretation holds water.

What do you see?


forgotten skill

Forgotten skills. Ink on paper. Pens and ruled pad. The uncertain scratching of the pen’s tip on white paper produces sensuous friction. It soothes the nerves. It brings liberation like a day-old itch that has just been scratched. I haven’t written in the old-fashioned way for quite some time. And I miss it. I saw it done here once and I thought I would give it a try to see if I could still write with a pen. I yearn for forgotten habits and lost skills.