Tuesday, January 8

How to perform a meltdown, how to restart a life: the second weekend in the islands

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I guess that you can take the boy out of the island, but you can never take the island out of the boy (insert cf).

The second weekend back home was spent with friends from college days. A quick two-hour bus ride south of Manila brought us to Puerto Galera where over the weekend we owned a boat, and a few unmanned islands. The sea and the skies were just gorgeous as usual, and everything felt great.

The food just taste tastier when the air is always clean, salty, and warm. Hours are uncountable, revelries are listless but wonderful, the sun is a king, and the stars are all grown up constellations, not just some isolated bashful flickers in the night time .

Sunday, January 6

How to perform a meltdown, how to restart a life: the first weekend in the islands

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A departure begets an arrival. I have finally landed back in the islands, and these past four weekends have been simply wonderful. There is an overflowing comfort and joy from friends and families, not to mention the eternal warmth of the tropical weather, Saturday nights spent in the beach, home-cooked meals, dirt-cheap beer, and cable TV. So far, I would like to think that I am doing pretty well in handling the post-Tokyo hangover.

Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines

Wednesday, December 26

How to perform a meltdown, how to restart a life: the last weekend in the city

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How uncanny to leave a city for good while it was wearing off all forms of life. It felt like as if no one was winning, and that even mornings looked like sunsets.

During the last days, I took a thousand photos of sunsets all over the city: at the university in the morning, at Akihabara at mid-day, at Kanagawa in mid-afternoon, in O-okayama in the early evening. Funny how sunsets look all the same everywhere, yet feel so different everytime.

Tokyo was yellow beneath my last footsteps, a proof that my lonesome city was colorful even during goodbyes. I remember now how I described Tokyo during my first days four years back. This time, when I left, it was a cold rainy Monday morning and Tokyo bled white all the same. As the limousine bus I took from Shibuya cut across the city on its way to Narita, my favorite city fixtures weren't saying hello.

Behind the frosted glass of the bus window, the Tokyo Tower was ashen, and looked as commonplace as the other radio towers dotting the city. Has someone even noticed it this morning, I wondered. I take that perhaps, I was the only person in the world who took a photo of it that day, gracing my unmistakable departure, my sweetest goodbye to my most favorite city in the planet thus far.

Wednesday, September 19

Summer in Nagoya

This year’s summer is particularly arduous--- I had to move to Nagoya last June and had to break all that is routine in Tokyo. It was just a hot mess really, but thanks to so many people who were always welcoming, helpful, loving and very kind. The stay was memorable, something I can make a good sigh for, now that it's over.

Thursday, August 23

Instagraming the times, 001




There was this unrecorded time between fall and winter last year when nothing really mattered just because nothing really appeared or disappeared or has changed, and cool mornings and afternoons start and culminate the cycle of my day. I let Sigur Rós sang me things, and everything felt permanent even just for awhile.

The walks were long because they didn't feel empty, but rather were light and inquisitive, and I'd wish the streets would just never break off at my doorstep because I swear I could go on forever. I could spend the 4 o'clocks waiting for everything and nothing, end the sentences of my conversations with a fleeting comma,

forget about dinner, sleep, love, condom, and be a mixture of sadness and joy in inappropriate proportions yet feel and look the same. Nothing was hard on the heart that's feeling, time has no potential or aspirations and no instances of defeat- not even the idea of an end. The weather was mild and nicotine fixes became unessential. Even to remember the slightest of these things now mean nothing to me, nothing at all.

Tuesday, July 31

Monday, July 16


When I was nine, our neighbour was a rich, old couple that owned a pool.

During summer, when days were unbearable, they fill the pool, much to the frolic of the kids in the neighbourhood. I remember spending that summer swimming, diving, floating, brooding over the movie Titanic which just came out of the theatre that season, running back home all wet to grab lunch, head back to the pool, swimming, diving, floating, brooding over the movie Titanic which just came out of the theatre that season, until most surface of my back was covered with burnt skin. I would spend the whole afternoon trying all possible tricks and water acrobats I could imagine.

The best part, however, was floating for hours with eyes closed, and just hearing nothing but the flapping of water between the lobes of my ears, opening my eyes and realise that too much exposure to sun has made me totally but temporarily blind.

 How did you spend your summer when you were nine?

Rhodes, 2012. Greece.
(My toes were wet.)

Tuesday, July 3


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I’m growing a zit at my right eye bag. How retarded is that? Aren’t eye bags supposed to be oil-free and have no pores? Then how come this, now, really?

 Anyway, I’m back to reading old-school, paperback books lately. I know this isn’t just a phase as I have often done in the past. The difference from former attempts is mainly I’m more engrossed, or seemingly so, this time. This is a surprise considering how I have acquired the attention span of a goldfish recently (grad school, I dare you). I’ve long waited for an empty time, too, and a recent trip has given me just that.

This whole reading thing, however, is currently giving me a big problem: I feel sleepy all the time. Like all, the, time. Like even when I defecate (not that it needs a fully awakened state to do so), or when I walk (life threatening, I suppose), or when I do the reading itself (very anticlimactic, really). A beneficial trade-off is that I am able to save my supply of Xanax; also, sitting alone with a book after a meal at the school’s cafeteria has never before become this less stressful.

I’m close to finishing my current book, and now looking for the next. A friend has recommended “50 shades of grey”, what with all the bdsm involved as I was told, and the presently growing cult-following (of the fetishes of the book). I’m just hoping Japanese bookstores have already gotten copies as I am not really the Kindle kind of guy.

 Anyway, photos above are from the parliament building in Athens' Syntagma Square. I went there exactly a week after their recent election. Believe me, things aren't as bad as they are vilified in the news.