Linggo, Nobyembre 10, 2013


       Going bald isn't something I ever dreamed of... but alas, one day while seating in a barber shop, I had just decided to go bald. It was quite a sudden decision that I myself was flustered for a while. They frequently say that you can always grow it back. In my circumstance, it was a case of a 'no turning back' thing. So as the razor progressed and my hair cut shorter and shorter. I saw myself in the mirror taking on a very drastic change. It's my first time to do it so it's a bit unnerving. Not that I'm on the offense with baldness or maybe I am. It's my future. If you've guessed that I'm at the early stage of baldness then you've guessed right. I've inherited it from my father. The dreaded genes that nobody wants. I would rather fancy genes that are responsible for good skin or even dimples. But lo and behold, I was blessed with that of the baldy one. Growing up I had already been introduced to the idea that someday I myself would get bald and I can't do anything about it. I've seen it from my father and majority of his relatives during a well attended reunion. So through the years I have tried to condition myself for my impending doom. Not that hair is that important to me. But hair does help in the looks department. It can help you look young and fresh. Whereas baldness really depicts that you are on the roads of being ancient. And it doesn't help in any plans of prospecting.
       I've always considered going bald but haven't had the chance to do so until now.  I was a bit hesitant and reluctant at the same time because of the bald spot and the unruly, mess of a hair.  It's a drastic change. And of course, there is the fear that it might not suit me and then there is nothing I can do about it after. It's risky. And the fact that since I'm at the early stages of balding, it won't look great whilst I decide to grow it back. So I thought that once I  decide upon it, there is no turning back for me. I have to be committed to the fact that I'm now and forever more bald. Strange, but that was all brewing at the back of my mind. I was thinking of all the things that might go wrong after this tragic change. Never have I expected that it will garner such mixed reactions from my peers, family and friends.
       My mom hates it. Told me what was I thinking that I went bald. That I look more like a gangster and that it made me look older. Some liked it a lot. Thought it suited me well. That I should consider keeping it that way. My contractor asked me if  I'm going through a rough time and if I did it because of depression. A friend thought I did it to try to fit in and in a way updating my look to jive in with the present trend. It's not at all like that. I blame everything on genetics and heredity. Why, oh why did I inherit such a gene?
       When I decided to go bald I have my valid reasons for doing so just not the courage to live them. It's crazy and maybe a spur of the moment kind of thing. But bottom line is that I've already considered it and that I maybe subconsciously pushing myself to get it done finally. If I haven't so decided abruptly, I would've chickened out and had myself denied of having leaped into the unknown. I could have been left wondering how better off I am as a baldy. Hahahaha....
       We all have reasons for doing whatever it is we do. Mine are as simple and clear as daylight. Eventually in my life I would be bald. Sooner or later I would be dubbed as 'kalbo' by my peers. So in my mind, why not head it off since I'm already halfway there. Maybe being bald now would acclimatize myself into the acceptance that I will and forever more be bald. It would be easier to shift into that way of life if I get used to it as early as now. There would therefore be a smooth and peaceful transition on my part. It has given me the illusion that going bald is indeed a choice rather than a burden dealt me by an upper hand. It's like getting used to the idea of being bald therefore lessening the fear of it finally happening. Now after the experience of going bald have been there. I'm no longer so averse with the idea. Now I can totally accept that it's my fate and I should  learn to live with it. I know it's a bit melodramatic for such a not so trivial thing. But I need this to somehow be able to come to terms with reality and not be bitter and depressed that other people can get to enjoy having a full head of hair and not me. To be able to get different styles done onto it that would define their mood and sense of being. But alas like what I said before looks and appearances can only get you thus far. It's what's inside of you that would really define the kind of person you are. And mind you, I'm not talking bout your innards. Alas! I'm not that great of a person so I need the hair badly. Kudos....   

Linggo, Hunyo 16, 2013

A Dream

by Alyssa Marie P. Magno*

I had a dream,
Full of sweet singing birds,

A world full of happiness and joy,
A gift from God above.

No mean, bad people,
Just cheerful angels,
Merry families and heroic people,
No troubles whatsoever.

Beggars became ladies and kind sirs,
Honors came to students,
All adults have good jobs and enough money,
No more greedy people, only good ones.

Imagine what will happen if all these is real,
What a better place our world would be,
One tiny help can make good a difference,
Just have a big heart for it to be a dream no more.

 * is an aspiring writer and my most precious niece

Linggo, Abril 21, 2013


A single glance
A view from afar
Clouds of dust
Sheds tears and blurs past

A single touch
So near and so light
Thorns on the sides

Damn pricks and draws blood

A lifetime of bliss
A lifetime of agony
As dust quiets and settles
Clarity swiftly glides

Knowing, not knowing
Beyond kindred memories
Past the sour and the sweet
The stream flows dear

Linggo, Pebrero 24, 2013

Losing My Religion

       I really don't know where to start. The title itself is controversial as the writer of it. Whenever I accept the lamb of God and saying my amens, I always question myself if I'm truly deserving of it or what the little round thing really signify. What's it got to do with me?
       I was born and raised a catholic. Through the years growing up I've been exposed to the ways of catholicism. My family itself, I can't consider as very religious but we are the type who observe Sunday masses, prays the rosary and have religious relics at home. We are not the type who really devote their time tending the church and church matters and being too religious as one wants to believe. But as I was growing up, I began to wonder what it all means and if all that I hear rings true. As what you've observed in my entries, I'm quite an outspoken, critical, radical and opinionated person. So I began looking closely at what my religion really meant to me. As a free thinker, I began to question some of my religious ways. I started questioning my faith in this religion I grew up believing. Everything fast tracked when I entered college and enrolled in Philosophy 1. Having an atheist for an instructor somehow opened my eyes more to the different ideas outside my religious zone. This instructor of mine loved essays. Loves torturing us with very early essays that were mind boggling and too draining especially at 7 in the morning. Not that I hate essays. I live for these stuff. Yes, my class starts at 7 a.m., so it is expected somehow that having just woken up and still half asleep. My brain is still on sleep mode and we always commenced our class with a hefty essay. What's up with that? So coming late for class won't cut it big time. The silly thing in addition to this is that he calls on students to read their work in front of the class. Some added pressure there. Lol! And yours truly was almost always have been called front and center. One time I even had to do an impromptu argument because I have only been able to  write a total of three and a half sentences to be exact. Cool, right? But totally frightening and unnerving. Sir Odchimar is a man fond of arguments. He would always challenge your opinions making you think further and deeper. So to make things more interesting and to be able to bag a prized Uno, I challenged myself to do good and to explore the other side. When given a question especially regarding religion, I often strayed away from the expected answer and chose the other way. Most often going against what I normally think. That helped me look deeper into things trying to dispute everything I thought was real and true. I'm critical and I love to rationalize. I always take both sides into consideration and rationalize my way to a conclusive idea. At one point my teacher, during one of  the many consultations, asked me if  I was indeed verging on becoming an atheist. I said no. Told him that I just want to challenge myself, learn more and understand better. These, and I have to admit the influence of a teacher led me to self discovery and eventually to my real self. I have to admit that the catholic faith does have some major loopholes. And the people behind it more controversial than holy. These people that are supposed to guide us in doing the right thing, not forcing us to conform just to get what they want. Sometimes usurping our freedom to choose for ourselves. RH Bill and the divorce laws, same sex marriage and the likes are just some of the controversial topics that they are pouring themselves into. And I thought they are just supposed to be there to guide us to do the right thing. Let me rephrase that, to do what we think is the right thing for us not because they said so. They are not living our lives to know better than ourselves what is best for us. They are like self professed dictators dressed in holy garb. Using their influence and even using homilies to their gain. Instead of guiding us to make the right choices to suit us. They try to manipulate us into submitting ourselves into their rule. They become too meddlesome that sometimes they go where they aren't wanted. They think they have a rule on everything, even politics. Why don't they just leave that to those people who call themselves public servants.  Sometimes because people rely on them so much for their faith and salvation, they take advantage of that for their gain. Considering not the fact that each one of us as individuals have our own opinions and sides on different matters. We have our own insights and convictions in life. No offense to the church and it's people, it's okay to live a selfless life but one way or the other we have to consider our personal interests as well.
       This is one of the reasons why I lost my trust in the church. Mainly because of the people behind it. I'm not saying all of them but some. The people we fondly call the 'banal na aso, santong kabayo'. Let me expound on that. Is it not the teaching of the catholic faith that we should observe all the religious factions they have introduced to us. Masses, prayer rallies, and the likes. To do rosaries, and observe the holy sacraments of the church. All these are ways to our salvation, or so they say. So does it mean that it makes me a less good catholic and more likely not to be saved if I miss masses even if I'm the nicest person ever? And does that mean a really bad person can redeem himself just by attending mass and foregoing being good? Because to tell you frankly I do see people doing just that, sacred asses and divine evils. With all that has been said, it's a given that I still thank the catholic faith for instilling in me some of the core values I have now. I still treat catholicism as the basic foundation of my faith. But upon my self realization I actually became aware that religion is just religion. Faith is somehow deeper and the driving force behind any religion. So, in a way for me, you don't really have to belong to any religion as long as you believe in what you think is right then you are good to go. Different religions, sects and faiths, are just labels created to woo in divisions and more differences. Giving people further reasons to create tensions and more problems. So whatever it is you belong to, may it be pagan, muslim, catholic, wiccan, or christian, we do have one goal in life. That is to be good and give respect to others and to a higher cause. I once said that different religions are one and the same only spoken in different languages. This for me is very true. They all stand for what is good and right, well maybe not all their teachings. That would be greatly reliant on us what to believe and what not to. This is the ultimate reason why I started writing this essay in the first place. All these different faiths have something good to teach us, it may only vary in the way they teach it or its representations in life. But they speak the same virtuous thoughts. Like, take for example, karma which is quite popular in the hindu teachings. It is simulated in catholicism as the famous teaching which goes, 'do unto others, what you want others to do unto you'. And in a more simple passage, 'you reap what you sow'. Through the witches' view, it is getting back three or ten folds whatever it is you send out, something like that. All these from different religions but meaning the same thing. They may differ in the way they were put to words but their context and thought are the same. Different religions may differ from one another but their goal is only one thing, to guide us to the right path of goodness. They may have ways which can be unfamiliar and sometimes unconventional thus being unacceptable for the others of a different religion. Even contradictory to some. You can't hide the fact that they have more similarities than differences if we look at them closely. Like individuals, no two can be too alike. We have our own stands on things animate or inanimate. Different beliefs and experiences that make us who we are which is unique from the others. These factors can greatly affect our own opinions of religion and of life itself. The fact that we were dealt with intelligence and the power of reasoning gives us the advantage to make choices that would best suit us. And the conviction to actually question things that we deem incorrect. I do have now the freedom to be selective and critical about things that are thrust upon me. Freedom to choose what to believe and what to deduce as false. Given that I do applaud people who think the same but that doesn't give us the right to be critical of other people. We may not see eye to eye on certain matters but that doesn't mean we have to disprove of them. If they wish to believe it, then let them. Not unless they force it on you that you can be defensive about it. As long as there is harmony between people  whatever religion they belong to, there is no need to argue and compare. Their faith lies there, the same as yours laying somewhere else, let them cherish it. I myself have friends belonging to different sects and I'm open to listening and learning from them. Listening from people who have different views can be fun and highly educational. You get to see and understand where they are coming from. You get to know that their religion is no different than yours. Well maybe for some aspects, yes. The thing is you learn and for me, the true religion is the culmination of all the religions there is. We all do worship a God in a way. He or She may have different names, may come in different forms, or may be represented by the sun or nature itself. But doesn't it occur to you that maybe, just maybe He,She, It is one and the same only in different forms depending on the perception of people and their beliefs? Let's ask ourselves that.
       Faith is the driving force of a religion. If people don't believe in it then there is no established religion there. Faith serves a higher cause. It's the belief in something that can guide, help or enlighten you. It's a source of strength and comfort. We hold on to religion because we need something to base our faiths on. I have to admit that catholicism is my base religion and it did teach me a lot of good things. The thing is I don't want to be limited to only that. I'm willing to learn and be enlightened. Nowadays, I still hear mass, I still pray and I still see God as my guiding light. Mary, Jesus, together with all the saints, I see as mere representations of the miracles and goodness of God. It's some of the teachings  that I'm after and the total belief that miracles and good things do happen around us. Things we can't explain. Things that are beyond us. I still thank them  for everything, blessing and trials alike.Faith is about all of these and not the fancy church or the priests and nuns about. So now, when I hear mass, I look past those things and just savor the meaning of the words I'm hearing. All in all, I just pray, say my thanks, listen and learn. For my faith lies on something higher than the people who only speak rubbish just to make a delusional point. Heck, I could do a better job than them.
       Religion is just a sentiment that we have to base our faiths on. But just having one doesn't really justify it.  People now have become too complacent when it came to religion. It's like a go with the flow thing. Some just hear mass during special holidays like Christmas and some other special occasions such as birthdays and the likes. Many of them don't even know what it means to partake in each of these masses and others just plain don't care at all. They just do it because others do. And it ain't right also to mislead our kids into hearing masses just because they can get their wishes to come true. Why not just tell them the significance of attending masses. Doing the former would just give them the wrong impression and reasons for believing in religion. It bugs me when I see people religiously attending masses but then do the wrong things once outside the church. What's the point of all the deed? Is it all just for show? I always tell those close to me that it doesn't really matter how many times you pray or hear mass or confess or subject ourselves to the lamb of God, as long as we do the right things and not commit sins and trespasses against others. It's not a question of how religious we are but how well we behave ourselves and how deep our faith is. Religion is treated like a label now. It only narrows things down. Being in one doesn't make you better or anything less than those belonging in another. No religion should deem itself as superior or more correct than others.We all have our own opinions and takes on different stuff. We believe in different things and want to follow a certain path in accordance to what we think is right. We all have that freedom, fair and square. So instead of disputing others for thinking differently we can try to listen and understand where they are coming from. Every action that we do is subject to reason. No religion should  be in the way for others to live, believe and have faith in something they find more enriching and fulfilling. Respect begets respect. It is what all these religions in a sense teach us. There is no contest there.
       Even in  our own chosen religion we tend to find some inconsistencies that drove me to write this. But as I now profess, who said that we should believe everything they say and follow everything to a tee. It's just being selective and choosy. There is a way to believe in what it stands for and not the other things or what I fondly refer to as sugar coatings. I'm right in saying that I'm critical about some religious beliefs or ways. Now, I have given myself an option to be coaxed and coerced into believing it or just be adamant about it.  No need to argue or dispute anybody. If you don't want to believe it then don't. Leave them be. We are all free to believe or have faith in the things that we want to. 'Walang basagan ng trip', Ika nga. If they think they're on the right path in following it, then there's nothing wrong with that. If it fits, it works. People like me tend to be more open minded that we look for answers or we look for things that we don't find in our current circumstances. Being opinionated doesn't help in just casting a blind eye about things. We tend to look deeper. That made me realize that, well my religion is no different from yours. We may differ in our ways but we are one in thought. Certain idealisms are just the same just wrapped in so many different ways. So I thought to myself, that religion is just a label or some kind of boundary to create division amongst us. Differences that later on create conflicts and chaos. Differences that put ourselves at war with ourselves and other people. We so love labels and religions are no different. It fuels our drive to compare and alleviate one from the other. A just cause for us to judge others and feed our own ego for being better than the rest. So why be confined in one when you can just believe in one thing. So  whatever religion or lack of it should matter as long as we have faith in something. In my case, I'm still in good terms with catholicism. It's just that I gave myself the privilege to a broader perspective of life and not be confined in a religion which doesn't totally suit me in a way. Not confined in one religion but a set of beliefs that works for me. It's like saving myself from the confusion I get from some of the teachings I sometimes find ridiculous and far fetched. This pushes me to look beyond and dig deeper into the main idea, minus the rubbish, which is mainly to do the right thing accordingly. Each of these religions have something to teach us. And with our capacity as free thinkers we can now be judgmental, if I may say choosy, in what to believe in and what not. You may think I'm so out there , maybe I am. The good thing here is I'm at peace with myself. I have a different sort of faith which is not deliberate, rehearsed or dictated. I'm free. I did in a manner of speaking lose my religion but did gain a new faith. Faith in God and faith  in myself to always do the right thing. Then my life goes on....             

Linggo, Pebrero 17, 2013


my heart stops
my eyes stream sour 
the thought of loneliness 
stings at the back of my mind
bitter bile rising
emotions brimming
nerves tumbling, throbbing
blasting my head with worries
thumping myself
hurting, hurting

looking for a way out
finding nada
darkness looming
closed doors, barricaded windows
the end in my midst
like death lurking
misty, murky
demise slowly creeping
nowhere to go but deep
gasping, drowning

ready to give up
to succumb to this sickness
pain courses my veins
like venom, like poison
slowly killing me
scared and spiteful
everything suddenly pitch black
can see light no more
numb, fleeting
slight tremor, then silence

no more, no more.   


Listen to the wind as it whispers your name
Lovely as it is, it carries a spell.
Lingering in my mind,
Like a mystery in the midst.

In the silence of the night,
It's you I remember.
In the darkest of the hour,
It's you who keeps me struggling.

Silly, you may think of me.
Sincere that I really am.
Stricken by your lovely eyes,
Someday I wish you'll be mine.

Aphrodite in the flesh you are,
A perfect epitome of the girl I dreamt of.
An angel sent from heaven above,
A person who sheds light in my life.      

*This was also written during the same time as Butterfly. As you can see the wordings and phrases are somehow relative to one another.


Shall I compare you to thee a butterfly.
The epitome of beauty and grace,
Splendid and colorful you seem be,
Serene and poignant how I describe thee.
Enticing me once you flutter your wings,
Flattering my sight with endless beauty,
Lovely is thee you carry a spell,
Carries me through my worries and despair,
You art thou gift sent from heaven above,
The light that shines through the darkest of times.
You shed happiness wherever you go,
Infectious that's what I see it to be.
Perfect you may not be for all to see,
You're perfect in every aspect for me.

*I wrote this a long time ago, 2004 if I'm not mistaken, for a cousin.