Saturday, October 29, 2005


At the break of dawn, I’m getting visions of a future that might have been. They sting.

It’s funny how the present is shaped. All of accidents and misfortune. Sometimes causing you pain and at other times, joy.

Nine years ago, I thought I’d already planned out a life. A couple years after that, I took to revising that plan. A few more years after, the plan was revised for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve and talk to people and they say that everything will be alright. Maybe things are written differently- that’s why I was thrown to the wolves in darkness.

Then I ask, who writes things differently? I thought we were free. Why must wonderful thought-out plans not come to fruition and cause you despair?

That’s life. You get bombarded with clichés. You rue them. Yet that all the cliché exist- it must be because there’s some truth to them.

Not before long, you realize that you’ve now become jaded. You’re a walking wound, oblivious to the world around you.

Shit happens. If only the pain would go away. Your friends tell you that it will.

Sometimes, I think that pain doesn’t really go away. You only forget them. That’s what time is for, to erode memories. Or to bury them in some deep recess of your brain. (You hope they never get found.)

And yet… who was it who wrote that, “there are some wounds that won’t heal, not even with a thousand tellings.” Jane Smiley? Sitting here, in the dark, while waiting for dawn to break, I’m suddenly faced with the harsh reality of those words.

It’s the semestral break. School starts in two weeks, though I don’t think I’ll be getting much of a vacation. I’d have wanted to go to Pangasinan to recharge, and to breathe cleaner air for a change. But the holiday schedule for next week is all mucked up. There is work only on Wednesday and Thursday. The rest of the week, regular employees get the days off. You work for two day-weeks and you’re on a rollercoaster of emotion. You get the Monday Blues on Wednesday and it’s a TGIF on Thursday. I don’t know how well the body will cope with alternating highs and lows.

A teammate of mine tells me that I’ve an Order from the court informing me that two of my Motions have been rejected. I’ll have to check those out on the 2nd and think up a remedy till the next day.

For the first time in my life, I think I’m facing a November 2nd that’s not a holiday. And only because the 4th is (Ramadan- Eid Al Fitr?). I’m hard pressed to guess when the roads going to the North will be clogged. Will the masses make a run for the province this morning or has everyone already done it last night? If I go to Pangasinan now, will I be stuck in traffic or will I be coasting along? Maybe it’ll be better for me and my ass to just sit the long break out at home. But what to do in the meantime? Ah, there’s a Ginebra game tomorrow at the Araneta. Maybe I should just buy a ticket and watch.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


i left home early so i could finish all the work that needed to be done at the office of legal aid.

it wasn't meant to be. nearing jollibee, philcoa- i intended to have a light breakfast- i suddenly began sensing a headache in its nascent stages. i headed for home. i thought that the things i needed to do, i could do them at home; i'll just mail the memos to myself and print it out later in the day, at OLA, when i'll have been feeling better.

things weren't easier. i stopped by Starbucks to give my body a chance to heal itself. maybe all i needed was a cup of caffeine. i wasn't feeling too chummy with instant coffee of late. i told the barrista that i would be having a double short americano. i also ordered a croissant for a pseudo-breakfast. i wasn't feeling any better, so i headed for home.

at home, i couldn't parlay the thought of my work piling up on me, so after a big gulp of air, i headed back to UP.

i almost wasn't able to finish the case statuses and their respective tables of contents because my head was starting to feel stuffy. i was also developing a very bad cold.

at close to eleven, i started back for home. nevermind that i was still scheduled to make three memoranda of law for our Director. i couldn't work with a burgeoning headache.

i was also starting to feel the chills. in fact, when i turned off the aircon, and even with my car baking in the midday sun, the temperature still felt right. i decided then that i had a fever. i went home, endured the chills, and tried to sleep my fever off.

it's almost six. i still feel sick- sick enough to avoid work of any kind. i think i'll just wait for the simpsons on cable.

funny, 'no? you get to have half the day off from work when you're sick, but you won't be able to enjoy it. sometimes, i just want to run away from it all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

clarity- through the haze

lot came in at about 0315h. right on time. i figured that we only needed about a half hour to get to shell (bocaue), nlex. of course, that was by my own driving standards. i didn't know how fast or how slow she drove.

shell, nlex, at 0400. the rest of lot's officemates were already there, eating breakfast.

i've always loved travelling at dawn, when the night's all set to go and wane. the streets are devoid of people, leaving only yourself and your demons. sometimes, it just makes it easier to think when you're away from the din of humanity. in the wee hours going to sunrise, the world is your own, if even for a moment.

on the way to manaoag, lot and i got to talking about risk. and fate. somehow the two intertwine, and are related. one moved by the other.

what is life? why do people say when bad things happen to you that, "maybe it just wasn't meant to be"? i can't, for the life of me, understand that line.

what do you mean by things being meant to be? are you saying that there is a Plan hovering over our heads, governing our every thought, our every action?

why is it that when we talk about accidents or unfortunate events, we always have to allude to a plan?

i think it's just one way of comforting ourselves. disaster befell us, but we shouldn't worry. there's a brighter future ahead of us. because this bad thing that happened, it's only meant to be. thus do we comfort ourselves during our times of need. stay put, cry all you want, let it all out- because tomorrow, there'll be sun.

me, i haven't seen the sun in six years. (who was it who wrote that, "there are some wounds that will not heal, even with a thousand tellings."? jane smiley? does it matter?)

our lives are our own. our own futures are ours to carve. if there's going to be a bright future for us, it's because we will it, not because it's all planned out for us. saying that everything's all planned out is the ultimate cop out. most of these bad things that happen to us- we brought these things upon ourselves.

i remember my religion teachers trying to drill into our heads this paradox. we are free; but we are only free to do what is right.

you'd think that it was lawyers talking. hairsplitting.

and yet you realize that we really don't have much of a choice. you live out this life believing you're free so you do anything you're wont to do. then when you die, you realize that you've to account for all your misdeeds. pascal's wager.

somewhere in tarlac, talk shifted to risk and risk-taking, and we came to a conclusion: it's more risky not to take risks. (but it sure needs a helluva lot of courage.)

all a jumble of thoughts. and yet on the expressway, at dawn, with the sun rising, everything was clear.

Monday, October 17, 2005

monday random thoughts

trying to save today's newspapers onto my Palm. the server's slow tonight. should i still go out and watch a movie?


went to manaoag last sunday.

i accompanied lot, and her quirky friends, who i hope will Never get to read this. hah!

no, seriously, they were a blast. i've never been more comfortable with a group of strangers. plus: i didn't think it was still cool to catch early sunday mass at manaoag- whn you're coming from manila.

i woke up at the ungodly hour of 2am. we were supposed to meet up at shell, nlex at 0400.

the plan was originally to hook up by 0330; later, the group bumped it to 4am. i didn't think the whole trip would push through. not when everyone kept on messing with the schedule. soon it'll be, "let's set it to 0430." then it becomes, "let's meet at 0500." later on, someone will volunteer, "let's just meet in 2007." that's how most of my gigs turn out.

whatdoyouknow, it pushed through. and the guys even arrived at shell earlier than we did (which was at 4am). they were already eating breakfast.

re the Invite to go to pangasinan. i Just had to go. lot's a very dear friend whom i haven't seen much of; couple that with the fact that i needed time off from manila, and there you have the makings of an escape.

speaking of manila. these past couple of weeks, i go home to a subdivision covered in fog. i think, wow, it's like baguio. we've got fog! here in manila!

then i remember that manila doesn't get cold enough to Have fog. even during the Christmas season. as i step out of my car, i realize that it's not fog but smog. i gag. it's like dawn of new year's, when the firecrackers from the night before cover the metro with this dark, suffocating haze. i should wear an oxygen mask each time i step off into the streets of manila. i swear. i'm better off chain smoking.


i had my brother drop me off at jollibee, philcoa. bless his kind soul. it's difficult riding a jeep when i'm wearing my contact lenses. i'm afraid dust will get into my eyes; i'm afraid the wind will blow them off their proper places (my iris, i'm assuming). i'm afraid i'll be robbed while my contacts seek refuge in my eyelids. i imagine the cops asking me to describe the robbers while i try to make some gadawful explanation about how i hate riding in the jeeps while i'm wearing my contacts. and that i couldn't See the robbers because the wind blew the lenses off my cornea.

jollibee, philcoa is open for 24 hours. i don't know why they do it. i can't imagine there being much in the way of profit from loafers, or from those low-lifes who walk the streets of manila at midnight.

i think the original idea was for them to attract the thorng of people from the University who study late into the night.

guess what. University people don't study. and those who do are holed up in some little burrow of theirs. what self-respecting nerd would want to study in a fast food joint? they should just open round the clock once the Finals week starts creeping in. there's a University full of crammer s right at their doorstep.

at jollibee, i promptly ordered a cup of coffee while i waited for lot.

to be contnued....

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Wow. As fast as the Final Exams season had come, it’s just as rapidly going.

What does it mean when all you can think of most days is that time is passing you by? And at the speed of light, it seems.

We had our last exam this morning. Well, the last exam for me, at least. I think a few more of my friends still have a Proj Dev (Project Development) exam tomorrow.

What do I care? Haha. I’ve no more exams! for the moment, and I have practically the whole evening to catch up on my sleep. Tomorrow, I’m hitching a ride to Manaoag, Pangasinan. We leave Manila at 0230h.

Sigh. Manaoag. The trip’s ostensibly to accompany a friend. To and back. Probe deeper and I’m really trying to find a balm for my melancholy. I’m hoping that maybe even that tiniest whiff of air that’s from outside of Metro Manila will breathe life back into me. I don’t know. What’s the salve for sorrow? Hasn’t anyone bottled the stuff up yet? (And we call ourselves advanced and intelligent.)

I feel like I’m letting someone else’s pain seep off me.

And I can’t help it because I can’t seem to keep the phantoms at bay. I try to hold them off, but I’m no match for a hundred thousand intangibles. I let the phantoms win. And I watch, as if detached from my own body, as I’m carried off deep into the darkest recesses of the earth. I need to have someone find me. (bring a torch.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

in between phases

nowadays, my dog is my only constant.

i keep waking up mornings thinking one thing and disbelieving them as the day progresses. like i'm in some sort of limbo. or like i'm in a coma, and details whiz by past me while my world remains in stasis. when will i ever wake up?

i guess when you start to look at it that way, it really does seem like i'm emerging from a coma with each day that i wake up. i'm 29. i look at the mirror and the mirror confirms that. where have all the years gone? i can barely remember them, even as i flit through memory. though i see my past, everything seems contrived, like i didn't live the past ten years at all. it's all been so unreal.

and it's not an unreality that ends in a happy ending. i mean, it's not like i wake up one morning and all of a sudden, i'm lying supine on a bedful of money, and my wife's lying beside me, clutching a fistful of money, and my daughter's giggles can be heard from across the hall (and my dog's barking at me to let her out to pee). but here it is- here i am. i'm waking up each day still surprised that i'm here now, in the present. at This present. i don't know what i'm doing here.

how does this bode for the future?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

motion day

i had a motion hearing today -yesterday? what time is it? is it already past midnight?- okay, yesterday- i mean friday. my client and i can't find one of our repondents (we have three) so we moved that we be granted permission by the court to issue Summons through publication.

funny thing, this mode of service. the Rules of Court say that the primary mode of serving Summons is "personally". the process server has to hand it to the respondent himself. in lieu of that, the Courts allow you to serve Summons by substituted service.

there are two modes of substituted service. the first is by leaving the Summons at the place of residence with anyone of sufficient age and discretion or by leaving the Summons at the place of work. the second mode is by publishing the summons. we're asking that we be allowed to publish. saves us the trouble of having to ask for the bailiff to serve the Summons again. (we have to pay for his "transportation expenses".)

of course, if the court allows us to publish, we'll be looking for some obscure newspaper that charges peanuts, so we can go on with our lives with our moneys intact.

a friend of mine was telling me that there was this newspaper that thrived on publishing Summons. (what's the plural of "Summons"? Summonses?) as if the news articles were only put there so that they can be classified as a newspaper.

go figure. i don't know if publishing in a newspaper that no one's ever heard of is going to inform anybody. but those are the rules. it's allowed, so go do it.

what was my point again?

ah, the motion hearing.

i was expecting stiff opposition from adverse counsel, so i took care to reMemorize the pertinent provisions in the Rules and bone up on recent jurisprudence on the topic. i was prepared for a fight.

what do you know. when i arrived at the courtroom, the staff told us that the judge was away on a Supreme Court function, and that the roll would just be called.

after the roll, i was made to sign an attendance sheet, and promptly told that i can go. my motion is already submitted for resolution. without need of argument. i didn't even get to see if my opposing counsel made his appearance.

i didn't know if i would be happy that they didn't ask me to wait for the judge (who was ostensibly going to be late) or if i would rather be throwing a fit for the time i wasted. go figure.

Friday, October 07, 2005


I’m trying to drown out the din of the world. It can all get so confusing sometimes, the noise- voices, calling you, asking you to come hither, leading you astray.

As if there was a life’s path that you can be led astray from. Like supposing that upon being born, we’re supposed to follow this one path, till life’s end. Life’s path- till death do you part.

And yet we open ourselves to the possibility that we can be led astray. From life’s path. There you go. We’re off the path. From there, where do we go? Can we get back on the path? How?

For years now, I’ve been grieving over the fact that we don’t have full control over our lives. Why must I? It’s a fact of life. It happens to you; it happens to everyone else. You plan; you think you've the rest of your life mapped out. Then everything goes down the drain in an instant.

Yet it can still astonish me- this realization that there are a dozen, a million other hands that will wreak havoc on whatever plans we have. History calls them the sister Fates. {Thus has man ascribed this loss of control to the handiwork of womenfolk who spend eternity weaving our lives. (And interweaving it with others’.)} But when it happens to us, we simply dismiss it as bad luck or a turn for the unfortunate. Sometimes, all you can do is sit still, wonder, and silently weep.

We may not know it, but the world weeps with us.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


i was talking to a friend last night and somehow, things steered their way to the topic of Rebirth.

i want to be Reborn. i want to scrap everything i have now and rewrite everything.

the problem is, that last sentence smacks of at least two premises: 1.) that one can be reborn; and, 2.) that assuming you're reborn, you won't end up where you are today.

when i say Rebirth, i mean it literally. literally disappearing and just finding myself in the womb of my mother. literally starting all over again.

i don't know. is it normal to come to that point in your life when you just want to erase everything and start all over? i guess i'm in that rut now.


assuming i'm reborn, given that it's still Me, won't i end up where i am now? (then it'll all be pointless.)

probably not. though some may argue that where we are, and what we are today, is owing to a set of choices that we made. if we were still the same person, we'd make the same choices. probably not. because for one, i'll have a sudden sense of dejavu and be forewarned immediately. cellular memory. and then i think that that's only part of the picture.

sure, we decide where we go from wherever, and our decisions are based on who we are and possibly who we want to be. and yet, our lives are also governed by Chance. there are so many different variables that could differ and lead us to make an entirely different choice. even waking up a minute later than when you should would lead to an entirely different outcome (cum future).

you also have to consider that where you are now_ it's not solely dependent on your choices. it also depends on the choices made by the people around you. those you meet; those whose decisons matter because they affect your life. how they decide is a matter of Chance on your part. one tiny variable that will differ for them means that they'll decide differently. thereby tossing your whole life into another future.

millions of possibilities. i'm already getting dizzy just thinking about them. now if only i could be reborn.

oi, but i'm taking my dog with me.