Old Shorts – “Too Late” (A Short Story)

It was raining quite heavily. A grey Civic drove slowly into the parking area of the airport. A young man came out. He had strong features, fair skin, and round eyes. He ran under his blue jacket through the pouring rain, towards the arrival area. At once he caught glimpse of his friend, sitting next to a pile of baggage.

“Hoy Antonio! It’s time you got here. I’ve been waiting for you for hours!” his friend jerked. His features, weaker than his friend’s, glimmered in the pale lights. He had tan skin, chinky eyes, and pale lips. “Is that the way you are going to greet me after five years we haven’t seen each other? I think the last time I saw you was at my wedding, wasn’t it?” Antonio replied, jokingly.

Yes it was, the other man thought. He remembered it bitterly, but tried not to show it. He tried to remember Andrea’s face. She seemed so happy. Very happy. And he’s giving her away to his very best friend Antonio. He tried to ask her to come back to him, but she refused.

“I’m really sorry I’m late. I got stuck in heavy traffic. So, how was your trip?” Antonio asked.

“It’s okay, but I’m really so tired. I think I’m going to be sick.” he answered.

“Maybe it’s just the weather.” Antonio said.

The rain calmed. They walked towards the car and shoved two big traveling bags and a medium sized box. They both hopped into the car, and started a long drive home. When the car got out of the airport, it began to rain heavily again. The traffic was jammed and the road was flowing with water. It will take some time for them to get home. “Are you alright, Jonathan?” Antonio asked.

“Yep, just resting.” he answered.

Antonio popped a tape into the car stereo, and the air was filled with song.

my lullaby
hung out to dry
what’s up with that
it’s over

Jonathan closed his eyes and tried to sleep. He remembered the song. It was one of the songs Andrea used to sing. He remembered Andrea. He met her back in high school. They were sophomores then. A friend introduced him to her. She was not that attractive. She’s the type that you’ll only appreciate if you look at her more closely. It also goes for her character. You’ll never appreciate her unless you know her really well. As for him, he knew her very well. He became a friend to her. He also appreciated her beauty.

The road became less congested, but the rain continued pouring. Antonio drove his car into a gasoline station, and got fueled up. Jonathan went down to find something to eat at the snack station. After fueling, Antonio parked the car in front of the snack station and got out.

Jonathan got out with a sandwich in both hands. After getting into the car, he handed Antonio the one on his left. Antonio began eating it clumsily, spilling some filling every now and then.

This is my best friend, Jonathan thought, biting into his own sandwich. They have been best friends since their first year in high school. They’re already twenty-seven, but almost nothing has changed. He could not imagine how different they were, yet how they agreed and got along with each other. He also could not imagine how Andrea got to like him. Perhaps everything Andrea couldn’t find in him, she found in his best friend. The way Antonio was so carefree about everything, while he always worried about how things will work out.

my mouth is dry
forgot how to cry
what’s up with that
you’re hurting me

The song continued playing. It lurked into Jonathan’s ears once again. He remembered the day they parted. They didn’t break up because of a terrible fight. They broke up because they realized they wouldn’t work anymore. It was before graduation. Andrea cried, but he didn’t. He was still so in love with her, and was so numb at that time to feel the pain. They broke up as friends. This was the last song that she sang to him.

An hour or so passed, without a word between the two friends. They finally got to Antonio’s house. Nobody was there. The house was so hollow, and their footsteps echoed on the walls of the spacious living room.

Antonio unloaded Jonathan’s bags into the guest room, beside the wide staircase.

“Andy! Andy! Where are you?” Jonathan searched, climbing a few steps of the stairs. Antonio glanced at Jonathan with an uncertain look.

“I really don’t know how to tell you this but,” he stuttered.

“What? Don’t tell me she’s out of town. Didn’t she even wait for me?” Jonathan asked. Long silence.

“No, Jon. She didn’t wait for you… She’s dead.” Antonio sobbed.

“Tony, you’re joking! Andrea can’t be dead! She can’t be!” Jonathan screamed. He pushed Antonio unto a wall. “You never loved her! You stole her from me! Show her to me! Where is she? Stop hiding her!” Jonathan shrieked.

“She’s dead Jonathan, and I can do no more. I loved her, if that’s what you want to know. I loved her. She’s no more now. Not yours. Not mine. Go get dressed and we’ll go to her wake together.” Antonio said.

Jonathan released his hold of his friend, and scampered to his room. Both of them dressed up and got back into the car.

why, bleeding is breathing
you’re hiding underneath the smoke in the room
try, bleeding is believing
I used to

The stereo snickered. Now he understood.

They arrived at the wake. There were many people there, with some familiar faces. Jonathan went directly to the casket. He looked into her face. She still is beautiful, even though her face was now pale and lifeless. He missed her so much. He broke down and cried. It was the first time ever he cried because of her, after the time they broke up. It has been a long time. Now it’s too late.

Antonio patted Jonathan’s back.

Bridget Jones and my raging hormones

bjdThe trailer for ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’, the newest Bridget Jones movie was very much appealing to me and I’m meaning to watch it soon, but I honestly haven’t seen any of the previous movies yet. That was until two nights ago, when I chanced upon their first movie, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ showing on TV. Watching it for the first time, I found it to be much of a delight.

I don’t know really. Is it because she’s single and on a challenging search for that elusive love, and it is something I can pretty much relate to? In the movie though, in the craziest way, in a wonderful chance, she found a wonderful gorgeous man who was willing to take a chance on her. Mr. Darcy.

Wait, he sounds familiar. Oh yes, Pride and Prejudice. A little googling told me that Bridget Jones book and movie are actually loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, especially on the BBC series starring Colin Firth. Oh yes, Mr. Darcy. I was also in love with the Mr. Darcy from the 2005 movie version of P&P.

Okay, back to Bridget. And her Mr. Darcy.

Oh, I don’t really know if it was such a good idea to watch the movie while I am hormonal, highly emotional, and all that shiz. Somehow it has uncovered and unearthed all that subconscious longing and that unfulfilled desire for the love of my life, who somehow hasn’t shown himself yet after all these years.

I’ve enjoyed watching Colin Firth, Mr. Darcy. Where do I find myself a real life man like that? So I was pining for my own Mr. Darcy during and after the movie. Then went to bed (alone).

Lo and behold, my dreams may have revealed to me my hidden desires. Wonderful vivid dream about a guy I was in love with from long ago. It was the sweetest dream I’ve ever had for the longest time. I wish it never ended.

Honestly, I don’t really think I want him back, whoever that specific person was in my dream. But how I long for that feeling again. Why has it always been so elusive?

I had to watch the second movie too, ‘Bridget Jones – Edge of Reason’, since it won’t be long until the third movie is available in the cinemas for me to watch. I watched it tonight, and again just fell for Mr. Darcy even harder. Perhaps I did not relate with Bridget in the second movie as much as the first, since I didn’t agree with her reasons for questioning her relationship with Darcy. But Darcy has just been such a delight.

Within the next hour I shall go to sleep, but now I am already wondering what dreams will come this time around.

What If…

Lately I’ve been wondering, what if I was never meant to find the love of my life in this lifetime? What if he does not exist, and I continue to drag my feet all my days still waiting for him to magically appear out of nowhere? 

What if my soulmate has passed on, murdered or died heroically, or died too young because of a disease, before I even got the chance to meet him? Perhaps we’ll see each other again in the next lifetime, but I am left to toil for the rest of this life alone and lonely. Is it time to start buying cats? But I hate cats. I should just get myself dogs, rabbits, and capybaras…

But seriously, it is a possibility. Same way that finding the love of my life is simply a possibility and is not certain. That’s why I enjoy imagining how my my funeral will be more than imagining how I want my wedding to be. At least I’m sure my death is certain, but love? I don’t really know. 

I should start working on my Plan B, since Plan A doesn’t seem to work at all. What can I do with this beautiful life if I end up living it all alone? I want to be completely rational and at peace with my Plan B. I don’t want to feel horrible and alone and defeated even if I never find the love of my life in this lifetime. 

Torpe is an excuse

Very lightly translated, “torpe” is a Filipino word that usually refers to a guy who is too shy to make the move to pursue a girl that he likes. Interestingly, the translation of the same word from Spanish means clumsy, slow or awkward (which perfectly describes the Filipino translation, actually).

I have lately realised that calling a guy torpe is just an excuse, especially for those beyond or way beyond their teenage years. If you think a guy is torpe, it probably means one of three things:

He’s undecided. Maybe he’s attracted to you, but he’s completely undecided about it. He may be exerting a little effort trying to test the waters. Maybe you’re one of his options. He may be flirting for days, weeks, months, years… or it can go on forever (seriously, I’m not kidding), but it does not give you the assurance that he will eventually pursue.

He has ego issues. He’s afraid of making a fool out of himself. He probably loves himself more than anything else. He does not want to put himself in a position where he can be rejected.

He’s just not that into you. He probably just likes you, but he doesn’t like you “like” you. Maybe he’s just one of the guys who’s sweet and nice to everyone. Or he’s one big flirt. There is a chance that this is just the “friendzone”. Remember: flirting = attention without the intention.

Bottom line, if a guy likes you enough, he’ll take the chance. A bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates, an invitation to go out for coffee or dinner, or even the simple effort of keeping in touch. Trust me, it’s worth sticking out for men who make an effort to let you know that you matter.

Ma-basted man, at least they tried, diba?

A letter to my future husband (letter no. 4)

Dear future love,

I made yummy crêpe for breakfast this morning, and how I wish you were here to taste them. I do not want to brag, but they were great. I’m hoping you’ll be able to try them out next time. Would be sweet if I could share this Saturday morning brekkie by the balcony with you. Maybe sometime soon. 

Somehow I feel that I am not too far away from you now. I’ve traveled thousands of kilometers to get here, and know that each and every step I take I am hoping to take me closer and closer to you. I’ve come a long way to find you. I have waited for a long time. I’m here now. I exist. Come get me.

Sometimes I can’t help but think back to all the shit I had to go through in the past. It’s been a crazy journey, and I’ve risked my heart so many times. I do hope you don’t mind receiving my heart a little bit scarred and bruised. But once you find it, it’s all yours. Then, maybe all the shit in the past will make sense, or maybe they wouldn’t even matter anymore. 

I pray for you each and every day, that God keep you safe and happy and give you the things you hope for. I pray that you’ll eventually realise once you’ve found me, all in God’s perfect time. I pray for patience as I continue to wait, to search, to hope. And I pray that He mold me into the person that you’ve always prayed for. 

I love you yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I’ll see you soon. 

Untitled (A Throwback Thursday Poetry)

Learn the rhymes of my heart,
the measure to which no breadth or height compares,
words which speak nonsense.

Do not analyze,
do not try to comprehend —
love is not math: definite, precise.

Dream, instead;
float away in the raging madness,
a river who knows nothing but passion.

Be naked from reason
encapsulated in nothing but your senses;
unrated love, pure at earth’s birth.

Allow me to be free,
love unjudged, in shades of gray;
existence in itself — pure insanity.

(01/28/06)

Music is fuel to my soul

Music is fuel to my soul.

Music used to play eternally in my bedroom whenever I am at home, and my sister can attest to this. I savored music during my long commutes to work and home back when I had to go through the hells of C5 or EDSA. I find myself engulfed in music even at work – to the point that some days I obsess on specific songs and have them on loop for the entire day.

Perhaps I’ve gone on too long without feeding my soul. When I moved, there were too many things to be worried about – finding a job, settling down, making sure that I had the basic things that I needed. I worried about running out of money, about eating too much and exercising too little, about watching too much TV. I was so afraid of standing out, of not being able to fit in. Too much on my mind. I didn’t want to bother the other folks at the flat with my music. I was afraid to put on my headphones while commuting since I was still getting used to how the roads worked here (and the way the vehicles go about the opposite way takes some time to get used to). My spotify also did not want to work for a few weeks (I had to update my location in the app just to make it work). The only music fix I would get was in my brother’s car through his spotify, but of course he also had his own music flavour.

I’m rediscovering my music now. Plugged into my headphones at this very moment that I am writing this. I’ve also plugged in during my gym time. I’m also slowly easing back the music in while working. A little bit of music on the speakers at home when the rest are away. I’m starting to get my fix again.

Music is fuel to my soul, and I’m starting to feel a little more alive again.


p.s. Music currently on loop is “Indak” by Up Dharma Down – http://endlessvideo.com/watch?v=tb2uJtlZzbk

The Breakup Playlist – a movie review

The-Breakup-Playlist-Love-and-music-is-in-the-airOut of my innocent boredom, I decided to watch “The Breakup Playlist” at the cinema today. Okay I’ll be honest instead. I really wanted to watch “The Breakup Playlist” so I watched it at the cinema today. So how did I find it?

First of all, I left the cinema with a looping last song syndrome (LSS) in my head until now — “Paano ba ang magmahal?”. Also, I really had an urge to write about it. If anything, I guess that makes the movie effective — there is recall and retention.

Ok, brutal honesty now. The good and the bad:

  •  A number of the product placements are a little bit annoying. They opened story points and introduced characters that were largely unnecessary. What was that big bank transfer to Gino for? What is the relevance of those kids in Trixie’s new house to the story, and how were they related to her? The only product placement I liked, if ever it was really a placement, was that of San Miguel Beer… it belonged appropriately to the scenes that it was included in.
  • I liked the way they structured the movie, where the flow is not chronological. It’s reminiscent of how “100 Days of Summer” was structured, jumping between different points of the story. Was it effective for this particular movie? In a way, yes. They started the whole movie with the most critical part of the characters’ love story. For the rest of the movie, the viewer is left waiting for the reasons how and why they reached that critical part.
  • The actors played the characters well. I believe Sarah Geronimo has greatly improved in her acting, and Piolo Pascual has greatly improved in his singing. Haha. You know what I mean. But my favorite of all is Jett Pangan. I don’t know, I just liked him there.
  • The basis of the story they used for the movie is good and something a lot can very much relate to. However, I think it was a little bit half-baked. The character development and key transitions could have been better. Why did Trixie go back to him in the end just like nothing happened? What was Trixie doing at present time? Why did it take three years for them to have another chance at a reconciliation? What happened to Trixie’s dad and how did it affect her? So many other questions opened by the movie that were never answered.
  • What happened in the three years that they were apart? That was a big black hole for me. I think the movie “One More Chance” did a better job at showing what happened during the gap.
  • Perhaps the “theme” of the movie was very obvious from start to end… it was music, and it was the song “Paano ba ang magmahal?” How many times was that song sung in the movie? I’m not complaining though, it’s a good key element, and it gave me an LSS that will probably last for at least a week. I also like their selection of songs, and their arrangement and performances. TBH, I’m listening to their playlist on Spotify now, and now on the third loop, I think (helps with the writing of this article actually).

Okay, the bloody part done. Here are the key scenes I’ll remember from the movie:

  • “With a smile” song (originally by Eraserheads). This will always be a memorable personal song, and I love how the song fit in to the right parts and corners of the movie. I’m brought back to those sad (or even depressing) moment of my life when a friend comes around with a guitar to sing that to me.
  • Those memorable lines that started with “can you just do me a favor and [get out of my life]?” It has just enough drama. I can pretty much imagine the line being used in real life (fortunately it has never been used by either side in my past relationships). I did envy that confrontation though. It was much better than having someone just disappear without saying anything aside from a text message… (place #hugot here)
  • Three years is actually short if you talk about love and breakups. Sometimes the moving on and the forgetting takes more time than the actual relationship.
  • Falling in love because of music? Agree, it happens.

One thing that the movie made me feel is it made me miss my music. Yes, I was (or am?) a musician. Back in high school I used to jam with some friends. I played the guitar. I also know how to play the piano and have started learning how to play the violin at one point. I love singing (although I can’t really judge if I am any good at it). Playing in a band was a high school dream. Some high school friends did pursue that road. However, it was the university degree and the professional life that I went for. No regrets though. But it would be nice to find a chance to jam again in the future, I hope I still have the music.

The verdict for the movie? It’s worth watching, but not a “must watch”. It’s entertaining, a little bit heart wrenching, a little bit sappy at times, and of course it stars Piolo Pascual. Worth the trip to the cinema if traffic and flooding are not a problem.

Of Weddings and Wedding Singers

My dream wedding singer is Basil Valdez. If you know his songs and you know how beautiful his voice is, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. And when I once met his manager through a friend, I knew this wasn’t impossible. But then again, if ever I end up marrying someone who does not understand Tagalog / Filipino, his songs may end up too foreign.

I also once wished to have The Bloomfields as my wedding band. That was once when I was still with my then-boyfriend (now ex-) and we regularly watched Bloomfields’ gigs. They had nice and sweet songs too. But perhaps they’re no longer a good option for me, eh? 

Then there is my good friend Michael (who I fondly call “Bear”). He’s my mega-talented friend (and this is still an understatement). Way back in college I already asked him to sing at my wedding, and he agreed. I will eventually hold him to that promise. I’ve seen him and his girlfriend perform at our friends’ weddings, and they simply sound heavenly. 

I’ve thought of wedding songs too. I’ve previously had some friends ask for advice on what songs would be good to use at their weddings. Sometimes they do take my advice and the songs turn out nice. I do take care, of course, to never give away a few specific songs I dream to use for my own. 

My own wedding is still not in the horizon though. I have yet to find my groom-to-be, but no rush. So I’ll just decide on the details when it finally comes around. 

I had great opportunity last night to sing at a friend’s wedding reception, my first time ever. Since the bride and groom are non-traditional and planned to have mostly alternative music in their lineup, I opted to choose a song that fit somehow. I originally planned to sing “Lovesong” by the Cure / Adele, and was already practicing it. However, I was drawn so much to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, tried it out, and singing it felt great. The bride and groom agreed to the change, and I started to practice the new song. I think I pulled it off somehow, although I did forget a line. Hehe. Oh well. What is important is they enjoyed it. 

Congrats to Erick and Jona, and thanks so much for allowing me to be part of your wedding! 

Tsubibo

Ocean_City_Ferris_WheelIsang simpleng teleserye na araw-araw kong pinapanuod ang biglang humatak sakin pababa sa isang kumunoy ng ala-ala. Bakit kailangan siyang dalhin sa perya, isakay sa isang tsubibo, hangad lamang ang kaligayahan, ang pag-ibig nito? Hindi ba ganoon din ang ginawa niya dati? Pinaibig ka, dinala sa isang malayong lugar na masaya, isinakay sa isang malaking tsubibo at hinawakan ang iyong kamay? At kung tama ang aking pagka-alala, takot siya sa matataas na lugar, o sinabi lang ba niya ito para makahawak ng mas mahigpit sa iyong mga kamay?

Pagbaba ninyo nang gabi rin iyon, napuno ang kalangintan ng makukulay at maliwanag na paputok. Isa iyon sa pinaka-maligayang sandali ng buhay mo noon. Pakiramdam mo ikaw ay prinsesa, ngunit hindi, sabi niya, ikaw ang reyna at siya ang hari ng buhay mo. Hanggang pauwi ay halos hindi niya bitawan ang iyong kamay. Pinagmamasdan ka kahit dapat nasa daanan ang kaniyang mga mata habang nagmamaneho. Sa inyo lang umikot ang mundo noon. Wala nang iba. Halos maniwala ka na sa walang hanggan noon. Sino ba naman hindi maniniwala habang ikaw ay nasa mala-panaginip na mundo?

Pero sabi nga nila, walang forever. Pero nakakagulat din ang bilis ng mga pangyayari, gaano kabilis ang paglaho at pag-gunaw ng kung ano man ang namagitan sa inyo noon. Hindi mo na ninais na balikan pa ang sakit at kabiguan, tuluyan mo nang sinubukang kalimutan. Madaming taon na ang nakalipas. Halos hindi mo na nga maalala, maliban sa mga paminsan-minsang mga panahon tulad nito.

Napapaisip ka nga kung kilala ka ba ng nagsulat ng teleseryeng iyon. Sinasadiya ba ng mundo na ipa-alala sayo? O baka naman, masyado ka lang affected.