Tag, I'm It

>> Sunday, February 25, 2007

The best revolutions are the ones that are spontaneous, but even those have considerable underground planning.


Freedom is a tricky thing. For me, it came in the form of a plastic ID card. It's ironic, the government has tagged me and they now have me in their database and yet I still feel free. I say that because now, I have the option (and freedom to move around) to find a job that actually fits me and, not to mention, one that would pay me well.

In two days, I will be three months old in Qatar and so far the oracle has yet to be completed.

I am still waiting for other things to happen as promised. I'm giving it a month. If nothing happens then a revolution might strike soon.

I cannot sit here forever (or until November 27, 2007) and be stressed out by some of the most annoying people I have ever met. I am aptly tagged and I am IT. It's my move. My turn to run and catch an elusive Qatari career. It's time for a revolution. But soon. Soon. OUT.


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fidelio?

>> Saturday, February 24, 2007

shards of his broken trust
pierce my guilty sole.
each step to a home
i leave tracks of red--
blood from the heart that loved.

jli/06/12/06

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mantra

"return to your ways,"
calls the warm black fog.
i breathe a troubled sigh
gasping for clarity in thought and in the wind.
and just like smoke fading into thin air
the fog reveals the mantra unmuddled--
"never to be chained again,"
"never to be chained again."

jli/02/24/07

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Seriously Considering Fags Again

>> Sunday, February 18, 2007

If smoking kills, then I propose that smokers be called murderers.

I'm sorry friends. I used to smoke. You all know that right? No, that's not quite accurate. I used to chainsmoke. I stopped cold turkey with no help from you. I don't mind that some of my closest friends still smoke but I would appreciate it if they smoked away from me.

I am so pissed off tonight. I've stopped smoking for more than a year already but tonight I can't help but feel that my abstinence was but a joke.

First, two people I know died. They didn't smoke yet they died because their system gave up on them. It tells me one thing. Smoking doesn't kill you. It's only destiny that kills you. If dear old D says your time's up then you wave goodbye.

Second, tonight, my boss asked me yet again to watch the internet cafe for him. The internet cafe is a dark, dank and dreary place. It's called Active-X internet cafe and so far the locals seem to take the X part literally because all they use the internet for is to surf porn.

Anyway, my boss is Muslim and he hates it when any of his staff smokes. But Active-X welcomes smokers. In fact, 99% of its clientelle are smokers. And with poor ventilation, Active-X doubles as a self-service gas chamber. I find it ridiculous that my boss would forbid me to smoke but would ask me to take a twelve-hour shift in a smoke-filled room. Would somebody please tell him about second hand smoke?!

You can't blame me if I seriously consider smoking fags again. It makes no difference really. You smoke, you die. You don't smoke, you die too. At least you know how you'll die, right?

I try to stay away from it, but what do they do? Shove me in a place where I'm most prone to have a relapse.

I swear, I'm so close to buying a pack of fags and if somebody does so much as to blow one stinking puff of smoke my way, I am going to say f#%k it and light a tasty menthol, American Spirit or not! OUT.

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Eulogy on Valentine's Day

I've been to the stage where I'm always invited to children's parties. Then debut celebrations. More recently I had quite a number of baptismal invitations. It's a sign of growth. But news of death from family and peers is one invitation you don't want to receive.

Manang Pat
Her family is by far the most tragic: A schizo mom, abandoned by their father, siblings scattered all over the country without a clear-cut future while she devoted her life to serving the better side of the family. She never had a boyfriend, never fancied fashion, remained religious and decided to stay single and celebate. Yes, the forty-year-old virgin isn't just a movie, although Manang Pat represented the female kind. She passed away a day before Valentine's Day which was a metaphor on its own because her heart gave up on her. She died of a broken heart.

She was my cousin. We lived in one house but we're not that close. But she watched over me and my brother during a very crucial stage in our lives. My mom went to work abroad, and my grandmother was bedridden. Manang Pat would cook our meals, wash our clothes and clean our rooms. She never complained and most of all she never asked for anything in return. It was a natural act for her. Most of all she wasn't bitter about it.

Yongyong
In highschool I was a bit of a loner and I hung out with the rebels, the outcasts. That's why when I stepped into college I decided to change my image. I got involved. I started to hang out with big groups. And I met Charisse and the rest of the gang. Yongyong was one of them. Yongyong reminded me of myself when I was in highschool. Shy type, quiet and private. I don't know much about him because I spent most of my time enjoying the new environment. One thing I do remember about him is that he always appeared so innocent. He would smile at whatever. He could've invented the smiley. Charisse would always sexually harass him, and in public too, and he would just laugh.

After a rough year of PT and failing, I left Riverside College. I didn't hear much from Yong after that. And I only got two major news about him, one, that he was in a terrible condition, and two, that he died a day before Valentine's Day.

Life is short. In another time I would've cried. But with the world we're in right now, death becomes an escape. They're probably one of the lucky few who got the most out of life and said farewell before the world fell into pieces.

Take care guys and have a safe journey. And yes, follow the light. OUT.

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A Very BD Day

>> Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not even the butterfly effect could explain why BD became the theme of the day.

My mom turned 50 yesterday. She called me up from Hong Kong and asked if she should give away the antique vase she bought as a raffle prize for their school's Valentine's gathering. I said that children don't care for antiques, although I wished I had kept my mouth shut.

At the end of the day she decided to keep it for herself as a personal gift. I wonder if the vase is at least 50 years old. Like my mom it certainly stood the test of time. I wish she could retire early and just enjoy traveling around the world and perhaps find more antique vases. But that remains a wish for now unless a genie suddenly comes out of that vase. I greeted her a happy birthday and she told me that she was on her way to the store to buy some chocolates. Since she's keeping the vase, she's giving away sweets instead.

In the meantime, five hours behind, I was waiting for Blood Diamond to start. I wasn't so sure I was going to like this movie. On its fifth minute I was hooked. There was so much going on in the movie, all things imaginable in a spectacular film. Action, heist, passion, family, romance, drama, love, and a more recent crowd favorite, gore. Each time there were scenes of bloody mutilation and genocide I feel sorry for the kids in the theatre. There were a dozen kids below ten years old when I watched and I can't believe their parents allowed them to watch such violence with caramel popcorn and blue slush.

The movie was terrific and moving and surprisingly, Leo didn't sound like his whiny self at all. He pulled it off quite well and I'm starting to feel nervous for my early Oscar favorite Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson.

Still thirsty for more, I decided to watch one more film, this time, Brian De Palma's Black Dahlia. I don't know if he's going for film noir. Chinatown and L.A. Confidential did a good job in this 50s Hollywood crime drama genre. Black Dahlia did not come close to the two greats. It was entertaining, but for the most part, the film seemed like an homage to 50s filmmaking rather than a film set in the 50s. Often I find myself noticing how great the set was or how authentic the costume was or how carefully the sequence was shot to mimic 50s style framing and staging. In LA Confidential you don't see these things because you are lost in the story and instead of seeing the era, you are feeling the era. Complete with detective narrator and wipe transitions, Black Dahlia never fails to remind the audience that the film is old. Black Dahlia was a grand scale costume party with supposedly heavyweight actors looking uncomfortable at best in their vintage Hollywood skin.

Our dear censors also made their presence felt. They cut out all the love scenes even the once that had narration which leaves the audience two steps behind the murder trail because of missing information. No wonder this world is perceived as violent, people here feed violence and gore to children but they hide the love and passion.

When I got out of the theatre, my mom called again. She said my brother in the Philippines tried to withdraw some money from an ATM but the machine did not dispense any cash yet his money was gone. Tough luck.

It's my mom's birth day, I watched Blood Diamond and Black Dahlia, and my brother had a bad day. It's a very BD day for the family in three parts of the world. OUT.

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Future is Orange?

>> Sunday, February 4, 2007



The moment you start buying things--like puffy pillows, a table lamp, matching orange bed sheets and pillow cases, a tangerine candle, and your own cabinet--for your small area in a staff crib, only tells one thing, that you are getting ready for the long haul.


The day I got my measly allowance I was so happy despite being several thousand riyals away from my expected income. I was so happy in fact that I started to buy stuff. When the cashier billed me I was over my budget for subtle shopping. Then it dawned on me why I was spending so much so soon.

The puffy pillows, the orange sheets, the candle. These are symbols of my acceptance, that I am going to be here for quite some time.



Along with it came other thoughts. When I go out I don't even bring my bag anymore nor do I check the map once in a while to see if the taxi is not driving me in circles. In short, I've become a resident.

Of course it takes more than these things to make this place a home. It's far from being one. But we do what we can and hopefully each whiff of that tangerine candle will take me back home even in dreams.

Incidentally tonight the boss asked me to photocopy something and tonight I caught a glimpse of my contract. The offer looks promising on paper. Everything I have hoped for was in that five-page black-and-white, a short document that represents my life. It is yet to be seen though if it will take effect as stated. If everything goes as the script says, then the future looks orange...or does it? OUT.

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Abre Los Ojos

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Thirtysomething educator who holds the secret to the meaning of life. =P

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