Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ballad of the Sun-shroom

I am of the night. At least that's what I'm bred to be. I sleep during the day and awake during the dark, that's true. But one look at me and you'll realize I do not belong in the darkness. You see, I shine very brightly just as the sun would. 

Of all creatures in this gloom-drenched world, it is I alone that radiate a golden yellow light from my skin. And I hate myself for that; the way I hate daylight and everything associated with it.

They say if you concentrate enough, you can purge all of that light from one's body and soul. So I do that. I conventrate very hard. Hard enough that small spheres of sun emanate from my body. I concentrate hard enough until I realize that I became stronger and bigger because of it. But the dastardly glow remained. I learned that once I grow, I could purge bigger spheres of suns. But despite my efforts the radiance remained. 

I belong in the dark, with the gloom-shrooms and the fume-shrooms and the grave-eaters and the magnet-shrooms. But here I am, with no ability to attack our enemies and defend our lands. With my sole ability being to generate spheres of suns which my comrades do not even need. I feel inutile. I just waste space here. And I hate myself for that.

(Here: http://plantsvszombies.wikia.com/wiki/Sun-shroom)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hopes and Dreams and the Parallel Universe

"I only need eight hundred grams of Cesium to maintain the field! I have given you proof and evidence that it works! Why do you deny me of such small amount?!" 

The man in a dirty white lab coat stands up to approach the bench. The sergeant-at-arms on the corner raises his arms and gives a  sign to the man to stay on his seat. The man looks at the sergeant-at-arms and sits down slowly.

"Dr. Bishop, it's not whether  your experiment will work or not. We trust in your skills and intellect and we know that it would work",  the Supreme Judge answers. Ten judges sit behind the bench as the Science Tribunal. They are the ones who regulate, monitor and decide on ethical and moral scientific dilemmas and related cases. Today, they are hearing the fifth appeal of Dr. John Bishop requesting for 800 grams of pure Cesium for his experiment. 800 grams is above the legal amount which is 200 grams for private experiments.

"Dr. Bishop, what we are doubting is your motivation for this experiment. For the benefit of the new Jury before us right now can you please explain your experiment again?"

"It's very simple really. I've created a Torsional Proton Accelerator that can reach energies approaching the Schwartzchild magnitudes. This device, once fully operational can create a gravitational force field that could create a miniature black hole with a picometer radius. That's not the breakthrough though, any undergraduate physicist can do that on his basement. What I've done is I coupled the black hole's radiated dark energy with a Picolaser Pulse synchronised via a superconducting crystal lattice of inert Uranium-230 to produce a dark gravity field with a radius of 2 meters. The problem is, once the inert uranium-230 is exposed to the pulse laser, it instantaneously decays into Plutonium-210 which immediately dissipates the dark gravity field.

But if I have 800 grams of Cesium, I can use it as a catalyst so that the laser pulse interacts with it instead. The Cesium's excitation energy will be the one to trigger the Uranium's radiation of the dark gravity energy without it decaying into Plutonium. It's pretty straightforward and simple. It's non-hazardous and very stable. I can't think of anything that could go wrong", Dr. Bishop explained.

"Please tell us the impact of this experiment" said the Supreme Judge.

"The dark energy field generated serves as a thread that links asynchronous quantum states. A bridge between two different quantum spaces." said Dr. Bishop.

"And what does that do?"

"In layman's term it connects two different configurations of a single particle."

"What is the significance of that?"

"It is a portal between two parallel universes. But it's a one-way portal, we can cross but the other side can't. So there is no risk."

The Supreme Judge pauses for quite a while to read a document in his desk giving way to a complete silence in the room. The Judge then flips a page and looks at Dr. Bishop.

"I see no risk in this. My question is why would you want a bridge to the other world?"

Dr. Bishop bows his head. He takes a deep breath and stands up to speak.

"Imagine the possibilities of a different but similar world. A world with different but similar people. A different environment, different circumstances. It is a world where you made completely different decisions. If one can go to that world, he can have an entirely different life but very familiar. One can start over again. Don't you want to have that possibility?"

"I know that it is a very good thing to have to start over again. Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe everyone have a regret or two in their lives. Let me ask you, Doctor, would you cross the other side to start a new life?"

Dr. Bishop stares at the Judge as if calculating if this is a trick question or what. After a few minutes of silence, he answers.

"Yes. I would."

A silence once again covers the court room.

"Why can't you just move to Boston or Australia? Why can't you start a new life here?"

"Because it would be different if I move to Boston. Different people, different places, just different."

"Then if you want the same set of people why do you want to cross-over? Why can't you just create a new life here with the same people that you know? Start over again with them. Why not here?"

"Because they're dead here!" Dr. Bishop exclaimed to the judge while teardrop rolls down his eyes to his cheeks. He then sits down and bows his head.

"I'd like to call a fifteen-minute recess. After that, we will read our decision," the judge declares as he slams his gable.

The Judges stand up and move as a line to the exit behind the bench. Every one in the room began to leave one by one. Only Dr. Bishop remained in his seat.

After the fifteen-minute recess, all the judges began to return. All the other people also went back to their seats.

"The court is back in session", the Judge said while slamming the gable. "Plaintiff, please read the decision."

Dr. Bishop remains in his seat with his head bowed down and his arms wrapped around himself. The Plaintiff walks to the center and speaks.

"Yes, Your Honor. For the appeal of Dr. John Bishop for the request of 800 grams of pure Cesium, the Tribunal has rejected. The Tribunal however approves 300 grams of Cesium to be granted to Dr. John Bishop for his experiments. This decision is final."

"With that this session is adjourned." The Judge slams his gable. Dr. Bishop remained motionless in his seat. Everyone begans to walk out again. But the Supreme Judge remains on his seat. After a while only the two of them remained in the courtroom.

Dr. Bishop speaks without raising his head to look.

"You are also a physicist. You know that I can't stabilize the field with just 300 grams. What's the point of giving me that amount?"

"With 300 grams, you can sustain a 6-inches radius non-reactive window to the other quantum space. I want you to look at them. Look at what they are doing, how they are living their lives. I want you to ask yourself, are you willing to alter those lives in a very major way just to make your grief go away? You are being selfish, doctor. Those are people with their own lives. You can't just go there and change everything and make them live your life. You have to make do with your own life here. Move on."

A long silence lingered in the room.

Finally, Dr. Bishop stands up and walk toward the exit door without saying anything. He grabs the door latch and pulls the door open. As he walks out the door, he looks back to the Judge and smiles;

"250 grams can do."

Dr. Bishop walks out and closes the courtroom door. The Judge smiles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anecdote: Ice Cold

A man is dying of heart failure. He has a heart disease with no cure. His wife decided to have him cryogenically frozen, to be thawed only when the cure for the disease is available. The wife, with her love and devotion, also asked to be cryogenically frozen herself, to be thawed when his husband is cured.

The cure was developed 500 years later. The man and his wife was thawed. They went to see each other. But as they met, they have become very far apart. There was no more warmth and affection, no more love and devotion. So they consulted the doctors about it.

The doctors have no solid explanation but they have a theory. They think the couple have been frozen for too long. Their hearts have grown cold.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adventure 4 Rent

I was sick and tired as I sat on the bus on my way home, after 9 hours of monotonous cubicle work. I saw the sign on an electric post on one of the bus stops.

Adventure 4 Rent
Call Toto (xxx) xxx-xxxx
or visit our garage 
Address: ###xxx Xxxx, Xxxx....

I know exactly what the sign is advertising. An Adventure van, a six-seater multi-purpose vehicle manufactured by Mitsubishi motors and a staple vehicle in the Philippines. Perfect for a small group of people. Van owners rent them for excursions or field trips usually for 8 hours of use, excluding the gasoline.

But I half-expected something more. I need an adventure. I'll have one even if it's just rented. Even if just for 8 hours. Even if gasoline is excluded.

Before it even started running again, I stopped the bus and I got off. I took note of the address. Luckily, it is just a few minutes walk from the signpost. So I started walking.

As I walk, I thought of what I would say to the owner. I know he rents a van but how can I explain what I want. Should I say I'm bored with my life? Should I say I need to have an adventure? I know he will just think of me as weird or even whacked out person. He's renting an effing van, for chrissake!

Well, anyhow, I arrived at the gate of the house. It was a big mansion with beautifully decorated gatlings and pillars. I pressed the doorbell and waited. An old man with white hair and long white beard and moustache opened the gate.

"May I help you?", he said.

"I'm looking for Mang Toto. I'd like to rent an Adventure." I said.

"Oh, I see. I'm Mang Toto. Please come in." He said as he waves his hand to tell me to come inside house. My heart was beating faster for some reason. I seem to be hoping for something that will definitely fail me.

He stopped a few meters away from the open garage. From where we stood I can see a silver Adventure parked inside. I can almost discern about ten or more other cars inside the wide garage.

"There is the van. Would you like to see it up close?" He asked.

"I think I'm good here. I changed my mind. I'll just contact you if I need it. I'll just go now." That's what I said to him. I wanted to tell him what I am really looking for but I don't want to look crazy.

"Okay. Thank you for coming." He said.

With that, I turned my back and walk slowly to the gate with my head down. But as I was stepping out of the gate I heard Mang Toto call me from behind.


I looked back and saw him smiling.

"I think I know what you are looking for." he said.

I was astonished. Does he really know?

"If you need an adventure. I'll give you one. And it will be the best adventure you'll ever have in your life as long as you do the best you can in return."

I was appalled and couldn't think of anything. He knows!

"How did you know?" I asked.

"You see, I used to be menial worker. But I have big dreams. You know how I got all these things, a big house a rental business, everything? While on my way home, I saw a sign that says 'Fortuner 4 rent'. Call me crazy but I went to the address to rent a fortune even just for a while. I used that rented fortune to the best I can. And so here I am now."

"So I'll rent you an adventure. But just for 8 hours. And gasoline is not included." he said with a wink.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Inevitability of Singularity

During the olden times they started to call me god, deity, allfather. But the fact is I'm just a collective cloud of gas and dust that gained sentience over time -- a few millons of aeons of nonexistent existence.

In the beginning , I was just floating aimlessly, or that's what I think I did before I gained knowledge. For I know nothing about my self before knowledge, I just deduce these from my composition, my trace paths, my accumulated particles. One thing I'm sure is I was made of energy, a strong spark of energy dissipating slowly into the form of the gas and dust of my current form.

But there in the beginning, in the instance I was born, I was not alone. I found myself floating among the dust. Am I the dust? Or am I apart from the dust, like an external consciousness perhaps? The answers I do not know.

What I do know is what I percieve. I perceieve a foreign group of gases and dust along with the native group I have. I percieve mixed shards of rocks and ice floating as well. I percieve a material darkness adjoined with me. I'm in the company of things I'm unfamiliar of.

I floated for aeons. I have no aim. I attained scraps of wisdom on my way, about the celestial objects, about stars and suns, about space, about the universe. I began introspecting not many aeons laters. I learned the truth about the gases and dust, about the things that form the gases and dust, about the things that form these things, and about the things that form everything.

I become purer as I go along. Gone are the rocks and ice and the foreign groups of gases and dust. Soon, even the native dust and gases were gone. I know not what I was made of anymore. I learned that I could occupy a sun and become the sun--I know of its heat, its radiance, its explosions, everything about it. I learned that I could occupy anything I want to to and become that thing and know everything about that thing.

After a few more aeons, I occupied almost everything in the known universe and I have learned everything I could. After learning everything, I began to think. I thought of the connections of these knowledge I have. I connect every dots and I began to learn new things. For aeons I just thought and thought and gained more and more knowledge on the way.

A million aeons later, I stopped thinking. I've thought everything there is to be thought. But suddenly something different emerged out of my consciousness. I began to want about thinking and learning new things. Yet there is nothing left to learned. I wasn't able to explain it then but I know now that it was that time I started to yearn. It was my first experience of emotion. I yearned for knowledge each passing time. I yearned and yearned until I became sad.

With my vast knowledge, I then realize that If can't learn new things I should create new things where I can learn from. I found a good place to start on a gigantic floating rock formations in a milky white galaxy. I formed a sun and put nine huge planetary rocks to orbit it. I started my work on the third rock from the sun.

I provided it with an atmosphere. I covered it with water. I let a few landforms protrude from the water. I saw these things happening and I learned a little each step of the way. And I was happy.

But these formations are so predictable. I felt longing and sadness not many a time passed. I need something more dynamic, more stochastic.

Below the surging ocean waters, I occupied the thing that forms other things. And I became that thing. Upon learning it I vacated. But I left a very minute part of my consciousness in it. The consciousness I left became active and it developed into something autonomous, not predicted by physical laws. I have formed life.

Life began to move. The consciousness I have imparted began to impart consciousness to its nearby elements. Life evolved.I was watching and learning every step of the way. From the time It became motile. To the time it began to breathe. To the time it began to swim, to the time it began to crawl on the earth, to the time it began to fly. I saw everything and I was happy.

Not soon after, I becme sad again. My creations became very predictable. When they are hungry they eat food. When they age they preocreate. When they are threathened they fight. When they are old they die. Everything began to feel contrived.

So I occupied one of my species, those that walk upright on the lands. I became that species. I left it later but imparted a bigger part of consciousness than the first time. I gave it some of my knowledge. And I gave it free reign to use that knowledge. I made it rule over other creations. I called it Man. I watch as Man take care of my wild creations and domesticate them into beasts of burden. I watch as Man forms the landscape into something habitable. I watch as Man collabarates with other Man for better ways to do things. I watched all these and I was happy.

I speak to Man once in a while, as a booming voice from the heavens or as a raging fire on a lone tree. He speaks to me before he sleeps and during those rituals of idolation. All the while Man does things I never expected and I never predicted. I learned so much from those things. I finally felt like living for long in this phase of my existence. together with my creations and my peers.

But my consciousness can only exist for so long apart from me. Life soon decayed and my prodigal consciousness abandons their host and returns to me as newfound knowledge. Man soon becomes extinct along with my other creations. So I do it again. I create life on some unknown planet until life decays the second time. And I do it again and again.

I move along solar systems, galaxies and clusters; creating solitary worlds and conjuring life in them. I learn many things from each iteration. But soon enough I began to learn of the pattern. Each world begins their civilization, ruins their civilization, governs the people, makes mistake and destroys their civilization in the end. Each civilization does this in a clockwork pattern--sometimes shorter sometimes longer but always on that same pattern.

On the last iteration, I understood the pattern and everything becomes a ticking clock, predictable, slow, uninteresting. So I abandoned it yet again.

I've known the secrets of the macroscopic and microsopic universe, the secrets of life and the secrets of society. I've felt all kinds of emotions from love to anger to melancholy to joy. I realized it's everything I need to know, nothing more. So I stayed on my corner of space-- a consciousness floating in the darkness.

But on that last station of the universe, I realize there's one thing more I need to learn--one that I've always overlooked.

So I occupied the dark space. It was a strange feeling, trying to put yourself into nothingness. I feel compelled to curl into myself into a very small point of that darkness. I collected all my knowledge and compressed them into that point. And I sucked any matterforms into that point.

Stars converged into that point. Galaxies were pulled. Clusters were attracted. Everything was pulled closer into that point of consciousness. I had a strange feeling like my consciousness was being pulled from within.

The darkness has enveloped my entire consciousness. The entire universe is with me. I have knowledge of everything in the universe . Alone, in this darkness, with no time passing, I am the God of All Things. I am the Ultimate Knowledge, the Prime Consciousness. Without matter or space, I am Pure Mind.

Ultimate but alone. But I understand that this is supposed to happen. Everyone and everything ends up alone in the end. Everything decays and fades away until only the ultimate remains.

If I'm to create matter, it will require a massive release of my Energy. I shall create matter and create a new universe, where I can learn more of what is possible. Is it knowledge or company I seek? I know the answer but i'm afraid to say it. For I am the Ultimate Being, capable of anythig without anyone’s help.

My calculations say that all of my consciousnes may be converted if I’m to create a whole new universe. Which means I would cease to exist. Alone in this dark singularity, that is my only option. So I thought: Let me begin with a little light.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Death of the Things We Love

The wailing sound of the nuclear bomb siren drowned the music of Snow Patrol playing in my iPod. I hit the volume up to its maximum. Nothing can part me and my music.

From my seat outside the coffeshop, I saw a white ball of light coming from the horizon getting bigger and brighter. I sip from my coffee cup and lean back.

I felt my mobile phone vibrate on the pocket of my faded jeans. It was my father calling about a hundred times now. I see he also sent a hundred text messages. I don't care.

It was getting hotter on my seat outside so I stand up and walk to the air-conditioned inside of the cafe. I look around for a cozy spot. A sofa on the corner seems to be waiting for me. I walk to the sofa and just slumbered on the soft seat still with my coffee in hand.

I recline lazily and leaned my head back. I can see the ceiling and all the chandeliers. Everything starts to shake. The chandeliers began to dance--each bumping glasswork creating a loud shattering sound.

The shattered glass falls slowly like snow above me. The quakes became stronger and stronger. Bright lights began pouring through the windows.

Snow Patrol on my iPod. Coffee on my hand. 
Reclining on a soft sofa under a magical shower of crystals.

This is the best way to die.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Window Loving

A new receptionist was hired for the hotel concierge. She was stationed on the front desk overlooking the entrance and the window to the streets.

In her first day of work she saw beyond the hotel windows a man walking on the street in front of the hotel. The man pauses as he is directly in front of the concierge. Then the man gives a faint smile. The new receptionist, not knowing what to do, immediately looked away.

The next morning she saw the same man again. Again, he pauses in front of the receptionist's position and smiles. The receptionist just looks away again. On the third day, the man came walks past again and smiled. This time the receptionist smiled back and she felt good.

She began to talk his coworkers regarding the man.

"That guy? Don't tell me you're falling for him. Everybody knows him as a selfish guy who only thinks of himself."

But the receptionist doesn't believe what they say. Through her brief glimpses of the man, she can say that he is a sweet person.

On the fourth day, the man walks again and smiles in front of the receptionist. She always smile back and it always makes her day better. Sometimes, the man would stop longer than usual and just stand there for a few seconds smiling. And she always smiled back. Everyday since, she was eagerly waiting for him to come inside the hotel and talk to her.

On one occasion, as the man passes by, he turns and winks to the receptionist. She would immediately blush with this action. On another occasion, he passes by pauses in front and pouts his lips as if sending a kiss to her. This made her decide. If he will not still approach her inside the hotel on the next day, she will go out herself to meet him.

The next day, the man walks by, pauses and just and smile towards her. Then he continues walking. So she rushes out of the concierge and runs outside of the hotel. She catches up with him walking and then she called him.

'Hi!' She shouted but he did not look. So she shouted louder.

'Excuse me! Hi!'. At this point, he pauses and looks back.

'Yes? Are you talking to me?' asked the man.

'Yes. I am.' She cannot hide her smile.

A long pause passed by.

'Do you need anything?' asked the man breaking the silence.

The receptionist's smile slowly goes away.

'Don't you know me? I'm the girl at the hotel reception.'

'Uh huh. Okay. Do you need anything?' he replied.

'Um. Nothing. I...I'm sorry. It's a mistake.'

'Okay. I need to go. I'm gonna be late.'

And the guy turns around and walks away.

The receptionist do not know what to think. He's always been looking at her and smiling at her. How did he not know her. She thought maybe he did not recognize her being up close. She also thought he might bee smiling at somebody else, not her.

So she walked back to the hotel to check if there is somebody he might be looking at.

As she arrives in front of the hotel, she pauses and looks inside through the windows.

And then she noticed.

The window glasses are one-way mirrors.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two Moons: Ikatlong Yugto

Sweet Binaries

Sabi ng isang manunulat, tula ang nagbubuklod sa kanya at sa kanyang mangingibig. Mga berso ang nagbibigkis sa kanilang mga puso. Lilipas ang panahon ngunit ang mga titik at saknong ay di maglalaho. Ito ay patuloy na magbubulong sa hangin ng mga matatamis na salitang puno ng pagmamahal.

Hindi ako aakyat ng ligaw. (Pero sa suot kong itim na Synthetic abaca-carbon nanotube fibre dress ay mapapagkamalan mong pumoporma ako sa isang babae.) Una sa lahat, graphite fibres lang to, mumurahin lang. Pangalawa, isang job interview ang pupuntahan ko. At mukhang ma-lalate na ako sa appointment ko.

Salita ang sandata ko ngayon. Matatamis na salita, matitinding mga tula. Kailangan kong mapaniwala ang mag-iinterview na ako na ang pupuno sa hinahanap nilang posisyon sa kanilang kompanya.

Naghahanap kami ng Senior Tweet Analyst.

Yan ang sabi sa Job Advertisement.


Kailangang higit sa isang minuto ang attention-span. (Pasok pa naman ako dito.)
Kailangang may 59 o higit pang Twittard accounts. (Kakagawa ko lang ng sampu kahapon kaya pasok na rin ako.)
Kailangang may 6 na buwan o higit pang karanasan sa enternet. (Pasok.)
Kailangang nakapag-umpisa na ng lima o higit pang online flame wars. (Dito ako pwedeng sumabit. Pero madali lang naman itong gawan ng palusot. Hindi ko kasi trip yung gumawa ng mga flame wars, pero sa mga healthy online debate at discussions magaling ako.)


Sanay sa MicroLinuxsoft Office 2610 Applications (Binary, Fowerfoint, HEXcel)
Bihasa sa paggamit ng ng HTMLXX 197.0
Bihasa sa paggamit ng Gooogle OSX

Nagamit ko na lahat ng ito kaya tingin ko ayos naman ako sa aspetong ito. Pero kinakabahan pa rin ako. Lahat naman siguro kinakabahan sa mga job interview. Sino bang hinde?

Mas kinabahan ako nang makita ko ang signboard ng building na hinahanap ko.

Jollibee Technologies.

Nakatambad sa harapan ko ang mga letra na gawa sa mga neon tubes. Kumukuti-kutitap. Nagpapatay-sindi. Nakakasilaw. J.O.L.L.I.B.E.E. Nakakabulag. Sabi sa nabasa ko, dating nagtitinda ng pagkain ang kumpanya. Pero nang madiskubre ang Fastfood-meal-in-a-capsule ng Revicon Company ay nalugi na ang Jollibee at naghanap ng ibang mapagkakakitaan. Internet Research Information Gathering na ngayon ang business nila (o mas kilala bilang cyberchizmis).

Habang papasok ako sa pintuan ng building ay mas lalong bumibilis ang tibok ng puso ko. Pero matagal ko tong pinaghandaan. Di ako dapat panghinaan ng loob. Sa loob, nakita kong may mga limang taong nakaupo sa sofa sa may reception. Mukhang mga aplikante din.

Taas noo akong naglakad sa harap nila. Hindi ako magpapatalo. Kailangan ko ang trabahong ito. Nakasalalay dito ang kinabukasan ko. Ito ang magdidikta kung sa susunod na mga buwan ba ay matutulog pa rin ako sa aking kama o sa isang tambakan ng mga nanofilms.

Hindi pwede yun. Ayaw kong kumain ng pagpag na meal capsule. Ayaw kong pumatol sa mga botyang GMO meat. Hindi maaari. Hindi ako dapat panghinaan ng loob. Kaya ko 'to.

Lumapit ako sa reception at nagpapakilala.

Hiningi niya ang virtuacard ko. Binigay ko naman.

"Saglit lang po sir" sabi nya sabay swipe ng virtuacard ko sa computer interface.

Eto na. Di ako dapat sumuko.

"Ay, sir, tapos na po yung oras ng appointment nyo e. Pasensya na po. Sumuko na lang po kayo."

Susunod: Ikaapat na Yugto

Sunday, June 12, 2011

walang papel

walang papel
(out of paper)

Eksaktong alas otso y media ng gabi nang natapos ko ang aking taym report. Sa mga oras na iyon ay natapos ko na rin ang mga dokumento para sa woktru bukas. Tapos na ring lahat ng mga nakatoka sa akin-- ang metriks dokyument, ang post mortem report at kung ano ano pa.

Uwing-uwi na ang mga umaasam kong paa. Nasasabik na ring pumikit ang pagod kong mga mata. Ang likod ko nama'y nagwewelga na para humilata sa malambot kong kama.

Subalit, hindi pa maaari. May isang bagay pa akong dapat gawin. Kailangan ko pang i-print ang mga dokumento. Kailangan kong ipasa sa aking manedyer ang taym report ko. At kailangan ko ring basahin at pag-aralan ang iba pang mga manuskrito para sa presentasyon.

"Konting tiis na lang 'to", nasambit ko sa aking sarili. Kaya't binuksan ko na sa mahal kong kompyuter ang lahat ng i-piprint ko. Pagkabukas ng taym report ko, pinindot ko ang isang maliit na larawan ng printer sa iskrin ko. Klik.

Biglang akong kinabugan ng biglang may lumabas na tandang padamdam sa iskrin ko. "Wag naman po sana" bigla akong napadasal.

Nang binasa ko ang inilalabas sa monitor, unti-unting nagdilim ang paningin ko--napuno ako bigla ng pangamba, galit at mga iba pang emosyon.

"OUT OF PAPER" ang naninindak na nakaumang sa iskrin ko. "WALANG PAPEL!?!?" sambit ko naman.

Paano na ang sahod ko kung di ko maipapasa ang taym report ko ngayon?
Naisip ko bigla ang nanay ko na maysakit sa hospital, ang kapatid kong nag-aaral sa kolehiyo at ang tatay ko na nasa kulungan sa salang di siya ang gumawa. Paano ako makakabayad sa gamot, sa matrikula at pampyansa. Bakit kasi ngayon pa nawalan ng papel?

At paano na lang kung hindi ko mapag-aralan ang woktru?
Siguradong hindi magugustuhan ng kliyente ang presentasyon ko, at posibleng maging mababa ang reyting nila sa akin. Pagnagkaganun pihadong matatanggal agad ako sa trabaho. Naisip ko na naman si Inay, Itay at si bunso. Bakit nga ba kasi ngayon pa nawalan ng papel?

At paano naman yung mga metriks at post mortem para bukas? Paano kung hindi ko naayos ang mga datos para sa pangkat namin? Hindi kaya magalit ulit ang kliyente at i-sunset na lang ang pangkat? Pag nagkataon matatanggal pati ang trabaho ng mga ka-opisina at kaibigan ko! At ako pa ang naging dahilan niyun! Nang dahil lang walang papel.

Napaisip tuloy ako kung kanino bang trabaho ang paglalagay ng papel at kung bakit hindi nila ayusin ang trabaho nila nang hindi naman maapektuhan ang iba. Sa pag iisip ko, nakita ko ang isang personel ng City Service sa tabi ng printer.

Tumayo ako upang lumapit at kumprontahin sya. Naisip ko bigla kung ano ang pwedeng kong gawin sa kanya kung malaman ko na napabayaan niya ang trabaho niya kung sa kanya man nakatoka iyon. Pakiramdam ko'y makakapanakit pa ako ng tao dahil lang sa papel na iyan. Kawawang nilalang. Nang dahil lang sa walang papel.

Sa paglalakad ko ay nadaanan ko ang aking crush. Pagtingin ko sa kanya ay binigyan niya ako ng isang napakatamis na ngiti. Subalit, madilim ang kaisipan ko ngayon, kaya't hindi ko sinuklian ang ngiti nya. Biglang tila narinig ko ang isang awitin ng Itchyworms:
"...ang mga araw na hindi sana naglaho
mga anak at bahay nating pinaplano
lahat ng ito'y nawala..."
Ito ay dahil hindi ko siya nginitian pabalik--dahil sa papel ay gumuho ang pag-ibig ko. Bakit nga ba kasi ngayon pa nawalan ng papel?

Nagbalik sa aking isipan ang lahat ng mga bagay na aking pinakayayaman. Ang aking pamilya, mga kaibigan, ang aking dangal at ang aking pag-ibig. Lahat nang ito ay tila kastilyong buhangin na unti-unting gumuguho sa aking isipan. At lahat ng ito ay dahil sa kawalan ng papel.

Kaya tuloy pa rin ako sa paglapit sa dyanitor upang harapin ang salarin.

Nang tumapat ako sa may dyanitor sa may printer ay akma ko nang ibubuka ang bibig ko--bilang paghahanda sa isang makabasag tenga na pananabon sa maysala. Nang biglang lumapit ang isa kong kaopisina at may kinuha sa may printer. "Bat siya nakapagprint", naisip ko. Naisip ko na baka nagtatago siya ng papel para sa sarili niya. Napaka-walang-konsiderasyon naman niya. Ikaw pala ang dahilan ha, naisip ko.

Pinigil ko ang sarili ko na sugudin siya. Kaya't tinanong ko siya sa isang malumanay na paraan.
"Pre, san ka kumuha ng papel?" pilit kong pinigil ang emosyon ko na nag-uudyok sa akin na sunggaban siya at bugbugin.

"Ayan o andami, limang reams. Sa tabi ng printer. Sa harap mo."


- - - W A K A S - - -

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Moons: Ikalawang Yugto

Neon Quiapo

The Sky mourns our fallen comrades
The Sea flows as are her tears
Rise now warriors, 'tis not a time for grief
Assemble, great army, the devil's not asleep, kuya...


'Kuya! Kuya!'

Nagising ako sa paniniko sa akin ng katabi kong babae sa Bullet Jeep.

'Saan ka daw bababa?' pagalit na tanong sa akin ng dalaga.

Ako naman walang kamalay-malay sa nangyayari. Wala pa rin ang ulirat ko sa mahaba-haba kong idlip. Nakabalik lang ako sa matino kong sarili nang mapansin kong nakatingin na sa akin lahat ng pasahero.

'Saan ka daw bababa?' ang chorus ng mga pasahero.

'Teka, na-i-enter ko na dyan sa touch screen ah?' pabalang kong nasambit.

Bago pa man makapagsalita ang ibang pasahero ay inunahan na sila ng manong drayber.
'Bossing, pasensya na ho, may bug po kasi yung 2nd CPU unit ko e. Ipapagawa ko pa mamaya sa Payatas.'

'Ah.. Uhmm.. Sa may Quiapo TechnoHub lang ho ako.'

'Pwede ka na hong bumaba dyan sa platform', sagot ng drayber.

Dali-dali akong bumaba sa takot kong makalagpas sa pupuntahan. Habang pababa ako, narining ko ang mga bulung-bulungan ng mga pasahero. Kesyo bakit daw natutulog ako sa biyahe. O kesyo bakit ako pa daw ang parang galit. Pero nalaman ko na nagsalita pala ako kanina habang natutulog. May isa pang nagsabing pa-ingles-ingles pa raw ako wala na naman daw ang amerika. Nag-taingang-kawali na lang ako sa kanila.

Dumeretso ako sa may plaza ng Quiapo. Ang totoo nyan di ko pa alam kung saan ang pupuntahan ko. Nililis ko ang kanang manggas ko at tiningnan ang built-in PDA sa braso ko.

Jollibee Technologies
15th Flr. Left Spire, Fortune Towers (Formerly Quiapo Church)
Carriedo St. Quiapo TechnoHub

Titingnan ko sana sa GPS kaya lang ayokong magsayang ng 5 digicreds para lang dun. Dadaanin ko na lang sa santong paspasan.

Parang isang magulong panaginip/bangungot ang Quaipo technohub. Parang isang psychedelic/electronic neon maze. Meron dito lahat ng bagay na maiisip mo--may mga gadget na paglalawayan ng mga techies. May mga librong hindi pagsasawaan ng mga history buffs-- mga libro tungkol sa Enlightenment of The Great Obama, may merong title na 2012: The Second Coming Realized, may mga artifacts gaya ng CD's at DVD's at kung anu-ano pa.

Lumingon ako sa paligid para maghanap ng karatula at direksyon. Kung anu-ano ang nakapaskil, karamihan para sa negosyo. 'Bawal ang digicreds dito', 'Picochips lang po sa umaga', 'Tumatangap ng fabric rejuvenation', 'Nag-a-outsource ng dasal'. Meron ding pampersonal, 'Palimos ng digicred', 'Pangcharge lang po ng cybernetic arm', 'Alay para sa Unitron'.
Meron ding pang-serbisyo publiko (ito ang kelangan ko), 'Wag liliko sa ika-apat na mini-clover', 'Kumanan lang kapag asul ang stoplight 1, pula ang stoplight 2 at lila ang stoplight 25', 'Bawal lumakad ang may metal implant sa talampakan' atbp.

Pero mas lalo yata akong maliligaw kung babasahin ko ang mga ito. Matagal-tagal na rin akong naglalakad at medyo lowbatt na yata ang paa ko. Yung kaliwa lang naman, nakalimutan ko kasing palitan yung mga electroplating sa battery connection kaya mabilis magdischarge.

Sa awa ni Unitron, nakita ko rin ang Carriedo St.

Susunod: Ikatlong Yugto

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Tale of Colors

I live in a world of black and green -- mainframe colors, that is. Everyday I come to office to work, I plug-in my earphones, face the monitor and caress my keyboard for eight hours straight. Everyday, for just eight hours, my cube is my kingdom, my black terminal screen is my territory, and the green letters are my constituents. And every night as I come home after work, the only thing I look forward to is sitting in that same cube again tomorrow. For me, work is life. For me, life is just eight hours of work plus a couple hours for travel and a few more for traffic.

That is why my life was disoriented when a foreign color intruded my kingdom.

She came to me with vivid pink and sunny yellow. As soon as she stepped in front of my cube, she tipped the balance of my work-life scale.

What used to be an 8-hour routine became an 8-hour torture. I started to yearn to see her more often. Instead of me looking forward to working eight hours then coming home for the next day, I became obsessed with getting a glimpse of her hair, her eyes, and her face. And every time I get a glimpse, my heart shatters bit by bit, knowing that I can never fully appreciate her beauty and that she can never really learn of my existence.

My black and green world has vanished. What remained was a chaotic concoction of black and yellow, green and pink, with the pink and yellow dominating mostly. But the colors never resulted to a bright and sunny blend-- they instead mixed to radiate a blinding tint which hurts the eyes of those who stare.

So I was blinded ultimately. I saw nothing more except her. I look forward to nothing except a glimpse of her. My work deteriorated with it to the point that I have become the best to worst employee in just a few days. That's when I decided to make my move.

As a blind person would feel his way in a room, so did I felt my way nervously to her place. Slowly I walked, trembling, until I reach the front of her workstation. From within my darkened sight I saw a ray of pink and yellow in my periphery.

There was no turning back now, I said to myself. So I collected all the courage I have been keeping my entire life and formed them into a single word.


I did not expect any answer from her. I can't think of anything at that moment. But she replied.


It was more than I could handle. I was flooded with a barrage of colors that completely knocked the sanity off me. But I'm out of courage so I collected all my known wisdom next and weaved them into the most rational sentence to say.

"You're Marie, right?" I asked

"Yes I am. And you are?" She asked back.

"My name is Earl" I answered.

"Oh. Hi. Nice meeting you."

Then she faced her monitor once more and continued what she was doing before I came. I stood there just doing nothing, waiting for some miracle to happen or something. I was still in shock with what just happened. Then she said something again which completed changed the entire feel and color of that scene.

"Do you need anything? I have to go back to work now."

I don't know what I said after that but the next thing I know, I was back at my cube with my earphones on, yet no music is playing. I was staring at my monitor although it is turned off, and my fingers are fiddling with the keyboards unconsciously.

And I can see a different color, too -- the blue screen of death.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brothers! Flesh and Soul

[A Full Metal Alchemist Fan Fiction]

"Why that look again? Did you break you're automail again? Come here I'll fix it for you."

It was Wrath. It was probably more than his tenth time to break his arm and return back to get it repaired. Yet I never get tired of fixing it. Maybe because it made me feel that it was Ed's arm I’m repairing. Somehow it lessens my longing for him.

"I did not find mother" That was all Wrath said as we head home. I did not dare ask where he went or what he did. I was afraid he would tell me gruesome things like, he massacred a city or so. I never doubt his show of kindness to us. But he is still a homunculus and although I don’t want to believe it, I know that he is still capable of killing.

Tomorrow would be Ed's fourth year of disappearance. Wrath was almost as tall as him

now. If Ed was here, he would surely flame into an explosion if you say that to him.

"Does Ed cry when you put these on?" Wrath asked innocently as I prepare to connect the nerves of his automail.

"He always does". I can remember vividly Ed face as Grandma Pinako and I put on his automail connectivity. I remember how He would cry and scream like a baby.

"Ok I'll connect the nerves now", I warned Wrath as I lower the small lever in his automail, although I know that he never needed any warning because He never feels the pain. As I pulled the lever toward his shoulder, I half-expected a loud cry from Wrath but instead I only heard a soft voice.

"Can I go now?" Wrath asked.

"Sure. Just don't break that arm too often OK?" Then he was gone again.

"Did Wrath come here?" a young kid asked.

"He just left" I answered.

"Ok. I'll just follow him then. Thanks, Winry!"

It was Al. So much has changed with Al right now. He is definitely different from that armored Al I knew before. It's not that I don't like this Al or what. It's just that he became so different when he got his body back. He became so serious and silent and dark most of the time.

He becomes very contented and light-hearted though when Wrath is around. And the same is true for Wrath. When they are together, it seems the worlds problems seem to disappear. Wrath seems to forget that he is a homunculus. Al seems to forget about his lost brother and about his past 'death'.

Those are the moments when I’d wish nothing would transpire anymore, just them talking, laughing, and playing together, forever. It's just like Ed and Armored Al as they were traveling together. Those are the times when I only want to watch them.

Al and Wrath became like brothers when Ed disappeared. They would fight together, like Al and Ed used to. They would perform alchemy together like before. In short, Al and Wrath became like the previous Al and Ed. I sometimes wonder what would happen if Ed appeared suddenly. Will Al and Wrath's friendship be broken by Ed and Wrath's rivalry or the other way around?

I once asked Wrath what he'd do if he saw Ed.

"I'd kill him", Wrath answered matter-of-factly.

"I will stop you" Al would immediately answer.

"Then I will kill you too!" Wrath answered back. Everyone became silent after that. But Al would suddenly exclaim as he run away suddenly, "That is if you can catch me!" And they would just forget what they talked about as they run dashing into the fields.

But I never forget those conversations. Previously, I used to feel like Wrath had always wanted to kill Al, and that he is just waiting for his chance. But I always try to brush off those thoughts. I always tell myself that Wrath has no motive to kill Al--it was Ed who vaporized his 'mother' anyway. For Wrath, Al is his brother. And in return, Al treats him like one. And Wrath will not kill his brother as he would not harm his mother.

However, there are times when Wrath changes his attitude. When he seem to revert to his homunculus self that he has always been trying to hold back.

Wrath once asked Al, "Do you think I would be a good brother?"

"Of course you would!" Al answered, "But of course my brother Ed will always be the best brother in the world!"

Wrath just fell silent after that.

Maybe that's how he began his personal creed to become the best brother to Al. After those conversations, it has become wrath's dream for Al to treat him as a real brother, more than Ed.

Once in a while Wrath would ask Al, "Am I a good brother?"

Al would answer, "Of course you are, you somehow made me feel like Ed is still here'. With that name mentioned, Wrath would just fall silent again. Those are the times when I feel like Wrath would just explode. Those times, I became afraid.

One day, one of those conversations happened. As before, Wrath just fell silent. That same night, I saw Wrath walking to Al's bedroom. I never saw Wrath like that before, his eyes glaring with fury and his lips grinning with contempt. I followed him to Al's room and I peeped slowly to see Al sleeping in the bed and Wrath sitting on the chair beside him. I was paralyzed with fear at that moment. And then slowly, Wrath raised his right arm and moved it Al's neck. I tried to move and scream but I can't. Still sleeping, Al leaned on one side making the arm of Wrath envelop his neck completely.

Then it happened. Wrath was starting to grip Al's neck tighter and tighter. I almost thought Al would be killed.

Until Al muttered in his sleep, "Wrath...Let's just play tomorrow... Ok, Brother?"

It was that moment, I know Wrath will not kill Al. And he will not kill Ed either. That moment, I know Wrath would be more than willing to sacrifice his life to make Al happy.


That morning, I knew something big would happen, and I was right. As I was bringing some food to Al for his breakfast, I was greeted by an empty bed. When I proceed to Wrath's room, it was also empty. I went out running to our front yard, still no sign of them. "I know of only one place," Grandma Pinako shouted to me. But I know the place also.

When I arrived at their burnt house, I saw Al kneeling on the place where the front door used to be. Wrath was just standing behind. When Al stood up, I approached them and greeted,

"Hey, what are you two up to?"

"We're going on a trip" Al answered.

"And where would you be going?"

"To the Underground City!" Al exclaimed happily. Wrath was just silent all the time.

At that moment, I felt that Wrath has volunteered his life to bring Ed back, although Al has not realized that yet.

"Come on Wrath, onwards we go!!!" Al exclaimed ecstatically.

I felt happy for Al. For finally, he will have the chance to bring back his long lost brother. But somehow, I feel sad for him too. For I know that after this, another brother would be lost from him, forever.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Council Up High

When the Grand Jury arrived, the Great hall was already filled with the presence of many beings of light. There were cherubs, seraphs, ophanims and all kinds of angels. There were fairies, demigods, fauns and other kinds of supernaturals. There were comets, nebulae, stars and other celestials.

As the Jury walk toward the thrones all beings began whispering to each other. The hall was immediately filled with noise that coagulated into what seems to be a white static. The hall custodian, known only by the name Allaj, picks up his gable and slams it onto the table in front of him. Everyone instantly fell silent.

"Let us all listen to the verdict." Allaj said with a booming voice.

Everyone moves their eyes on the direction of the thrones.

One member of the jury stands. The being is holding a shining golden scroll and a white scroll.

"Does the Jury have a verdict?" asked Allaj.

"Indeed", the Prime Jury answered. The Prime Jury then walked from the thrones and moves toward the pulpit.

"May I call on the defendant. OldFather, please step to the center." said the Prime Jury.

From the audience in front of the thrones, a being clad in brown robe and overrun with flowing grey beard stands up. The being called OldFather walks slowly to the center of the hall. OldFather is one of those beings considered as lords of nature and dwell in isolated mountains, rocks, and caves. In some cultures, he was called a troll.

The case of OldFather is a classic one. With his powers, he created a world from the earth. He created beings to steward this world. But he made the world hostile such that his creations consistently fought with each other to their destruction.

His own creatures then began to complain, from Job to Moses to the Apostles. And the Grand Jury heard them all. Hence this trial.

"I am here." OldFather said.

"OldFather", said the Prime Jury. "You have been accused of Abuse of Power. Let all present here be known of this decision and how it came to be."

The Prime Jury then opens the golden scroll and raises it above his head. The scroll released a very bright light outward and shone over all beings in the Great Hall. All beings are suddenly aware of the decision.

"You will be stripped of your power and be exiled atop the asteroid Alkatro and sentenced to stay there for the remainder of your existence."

The custodian Allaj then slams his gable. "Abide!"

Two shining light shapes then appeared on both sides of OldFather. Then, in an instant the lights were gone as well as OldFather.

The Prime Jury then picks up the other scroll, the white one. He opens the scroll and speaks.

"From this day on, I appoint Yhvh, of the seraphs, to be the new God of the world. You shall bring new order to this world. Let this scroll be your guide."

Prime Jury raised the white scroll. It transforms into a white orb of light and flies away from his hands. It flies around the hall as if looking for something. Then it zooms on one direction. It flies to the searph's group and halts.

One seraph steps towards the light slowly. The light just stayed there. The seraph walks closer to the light then starts to reach his hand to the light. As soon as he touches it, the orb bursts into a majestic light and illuminates the hall. Then the light disappeared along with the seraph.

"The Grand Jury has spoken. This session is finished." said the Prime Jury.

The custodian Allaj then slams his gable. "Abide!"


Atop the hill dedicated to skulls, three men considered as rebels were each crucified to wooden crosses. The man in the middle suddenly exclaims "Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?"

A few moments later the earth shook and the rocks split. The OldFather's spirit has left the world.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Surfing the Apocalypse

The monitor flickered bright against the dark backdraft of the open night sky. A blinking button just below the screen screams for attention. Akki presses the button just as he enters the cabin. An image of a person forms instantly on the screen.

"Hey, Dude! Where you at? You surfin' this weekend?"

"Hey Ladzik, whazup. Can't find me a good wave lately. Guess I'll just stay here." said Akki.

"What! Loser. I have one for you. On the third sector. A credible source predict its gonna be epic. Mother of all waves, dude!" said Ladzik.

"Yeah sure. Who's your source? Camping? That guy can't predict the end of the world. You should have asked Bieber and I'll believe you."

"No, dude. This is authentic. It's top brass. Conspiracy-stuff. They knew about the Great Flood, for crissake! Just risk it ok? You haven't got anything anyways. What you say?"

"Alright, dude. I'll go. Where is it again?"

"It's on Earth. My source says the date is December 12, 2012. That's this weekend."

"How big is it?"

"It's their Apocalypse, Dude! Expect massive earthquakes, typhoons and volcanic eruptions. And of course epic waves. I'm telling you it's the shit! "

"Awesome! You aint' comin'?"

"Oh, I'd love to! But I have this meet-up on Pleiades. Business."

"Oh, poor you."

"Yeah dude. Hey, I gotta go. Enjoy youself there. Hang Ten!"

"Alright, Dude."

Akki presses the blinking button again. The monitors turns all black. He then walks toward the back of the monitor and opens a tall metal vault behind. He picks up a long silver surfboard. He walks toward the door of the cabin carrying the surfboard.

He walks to the bridge of the ship and sits in front of the navigation deck. He types in some coordinates and pushes some levers and buttons. Then he moves the Main Lever forward at maximum warp speed.

"Apocalypse, here I come!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Oracle Story

In my quest to have a glimpse of my future I have gone to many places. I have met many fortune tellers, soothsayers, diviners. I have gone to eclectic "prophets" that go through extremely weird rituals-- so weird and so extreme that they consider crystal balls and tarot cards as child's play. I have met people who chew grains of rice and swallow them then regurgitate them again from their stomach and spread the oozing concoction on my forehead. I met people who claim that they have been possessed by the gods themselves, with their voices changing during possession. Yet for every person who claim they can see the future, I can only see myself consulting them-- I only see the present.

It was during my quest that someone advised me to go to this "sacred" place. It was believed that when you stay long enough in that place, and if you're intentions are clear and true, a real oracle will approach you and show you your future.

I was desperate at that time to see my future. I am at the point of taking my own life due to hopelessness and uncertainty for the things to come.

So I went to that place, the sacred land. When I arrived, I saw only a desolate park facing a vast lake, surrounded by tall trees, carpeted with Bermuda grass. I sat on one of the wood benches near the shore and stared at the lake for a very long time. I waited.

I waited and waited but no oracle came, not even a shadow of one. The sun set on the lake and still no oracle. I was torn apart because my last hope has faded with the setting sun. I just closed my eyes and cried.

During my moment of hopelessness, I heard a faint cry from the lake. When I looked up, I saw this woman walking towards the lake, crying. I stayed there on my place and watch her as the glistening lake water slowly lap her lower body as she continues crying. I just watch her, until her body was almost submerged up to her waist. Then I realized, this woman was trying to drown herself! I sprang up to my legs and ran toward her. I grabbed her by the waist and dragged her to the shallow shore; she did not offer any resistance.

In that beach by the sunset, it happened. I saw a vision of myself walking out to a yard from a small house. Then I saw two children walking after me. Then I saw myself turn around and carry the two children, and then I continue walking. Then I saw a woman coming out of the house behind me. I saw myself turn around again and the woman kissed me in the lips. Then she kissed the two children. When I looked at her face, I saw that woman, the same woman I saved from drowning. It was her in the vision.

Finally, I saw my future. My future is with her.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Two Moons: Unang Yugto

Philcoa A.D.

I'm hanging my hopes on a little red kite
Built a fortress 'round a frail stalactite
we're going down, my friend, (though i do not care)
Come, sail in my boat (as if you would dare)

'Paingles-ingles ka pa, e patay na ang Amerika!'

Napakislot ako ng sinigawan ako ni Manong Jun, Ang Magtataho. Hindi ko kasi namalayang napalakas na pala ang pagsasalita ko habang kumakatha ako ng tulang Ingles.

'Magkano ho ba?' tanong ko sa kanya habang inaabot ang virtuacard ko.

'2 digicreds lang, pogi' sabay swipe niya ng card ko sa card interface.

Mapait akong napatango nang mabasa ko ang balance ko sa screen ni manong.
'Andres, meron ka na lang 355 digicreds. Magkarga ka na agad ng digicreds upang hindi ilitin ng Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas ang lahat ng ari-arian mo.
May kargahan ng digicreds sa mga babanggiting lugar na malapit sa yo;
Balara Technohub, Guho ng Oblation fleamarket, Fort na Ligas ... '

Di ko na natapos basahin ang nakasulat dahil sa pag-aalala ko.

Meron na lang akong 355 digicreds.

40 digicreds para sa buwanang upa ko sa tinitirhan ko ngayon na RCB (Residential Converted Barracks) sa Fort na Ligas.
80 digicreds para sa inutang ko na SmartHouse sa Pinatubo Habitations.
35 digicreds para sa pagkain ko sa isang buwan.
18 digicreds para sa pamasahe ko.
2 digicreds para sa 'pamasahe' ko.

Suma total, 175 digicreds ang ginagastos ko bawat buwan. Ibig sabihin, may dalawang buwan na lang ako para makahanap ng bagong trabaho kung ayaw kong mailit ng gobyerno ang lahat ng pinaghirapan ko.
Hayup na recession kasi yan! Tuloy nasibak ako sa Andoks Solutions. Kala ko pa naman magiging ok na ang lahat nung manalo si Smith bilang unang puting presidente ng South African Union.

Dalawang buwan.
Bale dalawampu't apat na araw na lang.
Kung pwede lang sanang gawing mas mahaba ang isang buwan. Sabi dun sa nabasa kong aklat ng kasaysayan, dati daw may tatlumpung araw sa isang buwan. Umikli daw ito nung panahon na napuno ng 'ore mines' ang buwan.
Ngayon puro resort na lang meron dun. Pugad na ngayon ng mga political prisoners na naghahanap ng asylum.
Ang sabi-sabi, dun daw naka-asylum si Jomari Singson, ang founding overlord ng ‘New Order Hackers!’ (NOH!).
Kaya nga natatawa na lang ako sa tuwing nag-rarally sila sa ilalim ng araw (may alam pa silang mga slogan na nirerecycle lang naman gaya ng, 'Tolits pasista NOH!', 'Ibagsak ang pamahalaang Tolits NOH!', 'Lumaban ka Pinoy NOH!'), pero hindi nila alam nagbabakasyon lang ang lider nila sa isang magarbong hotel sa buwan.

Ang buhay talaga. Merong iba, hindi naman nagpapagod pero sa kanila pa napupunta lahat ng grasya. Samantalang yung iba, nagpapakahirap, nagpapakapawis pero wala pa ring napapala sa bandang huli.

'Sige ho, Manong', paalam ko kay Mang Jun sabay kuha ang virtuacard ko.

Pikit-mata kong sinipsip at ninamnam ang aking taho na binili ko ng pinaghirapan kong digicreds.

Lasang pawis.

Susunod: Ikalawang Yugto

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ang Talaarawan ni Juan Tamad (Mayo 14)

(Mas mainam kung babasahin mula umpisa, o Mayo 12. - EXD)

ika-14 ng Mayo

Mahal kong talaarawan,

Kaninang umaga, bumalik ako sa may bayabasan sa may dulo ng daan sa may bayan.

Ito yung nadaanan ko na punong bayabas na napakaraming bunga na nahihinog na nung isang araw nang pinabili ako ng alimango ni inang.

Nung isang araw kasi, nang padaan ako ay may narining akong mga huni ng ibon sa may mga sanga. Nung tiningnan ko kanina sa taas ng puno ay nakita ko na may isang pugad na may mga inakay.

Humiga ako sa mismong ilalim ng pugad para kung malaglag man, walang hayop o batang makakadampot sa mga mahina pang inakay.

Nung araw na yun, kabang-kaba ako na baka magsilapitan ang mga bata at makita ang mga inakay. Paminsan-minsan may lumalapit sa akin na bata, at tatanungin kung anung ginagawa ko sa ilalim ng bayabas. Syempre hindi ko naman sasabihin na binabantayan ko ang mga inakay. Kay naman sabi ko na lang hinhintay kong malaglag ang bunga ng bayabas kasi tinatamad akong akyatin sa taas.

Buti naman umaalis ang mga bata pag sinasabi ko yun. Minsan sinsigawan nila ako ng tamad. Pero ayus lang basta mabuti ang lagay ng mga inakay.

Umalis lang ako sa lugar na yun nung wala na din ang mga bata. Bandang hapon na rin nun. Kaya tuloy napagalitan ako ni Inang pagbalik ko ng bahay. May nagsabi pala sa kanya na maghapon lang akong nakahiga sa may bayabas. Sinabihan din nya ako ng tamad.

Pero ayus lang sakin. Mabuti naman ang lagay ng mga ibon.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ang Talaarawan ni Juan Tamad (Mayo 13)

(Mas mainam kung babasahin mula umpisa, o Mayo 12. - EXD)

Ika-13 ng mayo.

Mahal kong talaarawan,

Kaninang umaga may kakatwang nangyari. Paggising ko ng umaga nagkaulirat ako na sumisigaw na pala si inang. Yung tungkol sa kahapon pa rin.

Sa kabila ng lakas ng mga sigaw niya, may narining pa akong kaluskos sa may likod bahay. Narinig din pala ni inang. Pagpunta namin sa likod nakita naming may gumagapang na mga alimango! Nang pinulot ni inang ang pagkakatali ay nakita niyang maraming alimango iyon para sa limang piso. Sa puntong yun lang humupa ang galit ni inang. Pasalamat daw ako at dumating ang alimango at mukhang nakamura pa ako sa pagbili. Dali-dali niyang pinulot ang mga alimango at dumiretso sa kusina para magluto ng panghanda.

Ako naman ay lumingon lingon muna sa paligid kung may tao. Wala naman akong nakita. Pero nung papasok na ako ay parang may narinig akong kalatog ng mga bote.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Ang Talaarawan ni Juan Tamad (Mayo 12)

Ika-12 ng Mayo.

Mahal kong talaarawan,

Napagalitan na naman ako ng husto ni inang. Wala na kasi yung pera binigay niya na pambili ng alimango. Hindi ko naman ginusto ang nangyari. Kaninang umaga, habang papunta ako ng bayan para bilhin ang bilin ni inang napadaan ako sa may parmacia. May eksenang naganap sa parmacia.

Isang lalaking may bitbit na malaking sako ang tila paiyak na nakikiusap sa tindera sa botica. Sa aking naulinagan, bumibili ang mama ng gamot para sa anak niya ngunit nakalimutan ang pera kaya't nakikiusap na pautangin muna pero ibabalik din agad ang bayad. Hindi naman pumapayag ang nagtitinda dahil bawal daw sa botica nila ang utang.

Hindi ko naman matiis ang mama. Nung lumapit ako sa kanila at tinanong ang problema nalaman kong isa pala syang magbobote. Naiwan daw pala ang pera sa bahay nila sa pagmamadali nya dahil kailangan na talaga ng anak nya ang gamot. Nung iniabot ko ang limang piso na pambili ko sana ng alimango, nagliwanag bigla ang mukha ng mama. Walang tigil ang pagpapasalamat sakin. Sabi nya, siguradong isasauli agad ang pera. Sabi pa nya, siya na daw ang bibili ng alimango, at kung kailangang samahan na gumapang ang alimango papunta sa bahay namin ay gagawin nya.

Binili nya agad ang gamot tapos ay nagpasalamat ulit sa kin at dali-daling naglakad papalayo. Habang naglalakad ay rinig na rinig mo pa ang kalatog ng mga bote sa sako niyang dala.

Pag-uwi ko ng bahay, nag-aabang na si inang. Nakita nyang wala akong hawak na alimango kaya't tinanong kung nasan ang pera. Hindi ko naman masabi na binigay ko sa mamang magbobote. Kilala ko si inang at maaari nyang sugurin ang mama o kundi man ay baka isuplong pa iyon sa mga tanod.

Sinabi ko na lang sa kaniya na nung bumili ako ng alimango ay napadaan ako sa may puno ng bayabas at naisipang magpahinga muna saglit sa lilim. Sinabi ko sa kanya na inilapag ko na lang ang mga alimango at pinagapang ang mga ito para maunang umuwi na sa bahay.

Nagpanting ang tenga ni inang sa sinabi kong yun. Katakut-takot na sigaw ang lumabas sa bibig niya. Tinawag akong tanga, tamad at kung anu-anopa. Tumungo na lang ako at pinilit magbingingihan at naglakad na lang papasok ng bahay. Hanggang ngayon nga parang dining ko pa rin na sumisigaw si inang.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When Butterflies Return

My father died when I was 10. He died during the night while he was sleeping. The old people said he had a nightmare in his sleep. The doctor said otherwise. Cardiac arrest due to a low blood pressure, whatever that is. What I learned back then is that it is not a nightmare.

A couple of weeks later, we saw a black butterfly flying inside our house. The old people would say that it is my father visiting us. You see, there was an old saying that whenever your loved one dies, they visit you one last time in the form of butterflies before they finally proceed to heaven or wherever they were destined to go. But back then I began losing belief on the old sayings. So we just drove the butterfly out of our house and away from us.

We never saw any butterflies again.

Many years later, as a married man, I encountered all sorts of butterflies, big and small, dark and light colored. But they mean nothing. They are just butterflies.

My wife once had a very grave sickness. The old townfolks said it was due to bad spirits. They told me to bring her to a faith healer. Being one of the financially less fortunate ones, I took my ailing wife to a faith healer because we don't want to spend much on doctors.

My wife became sicker and sicker.

In the end, we went to a hospital and consulted a doctor. My wife was cured after a few days. And I've lost any faith left in our beliefs and traditions.

Years later, we were gifted with our first child. She was a very beautiful girl. I remember playing with her every day before and after work. She learned to crawl on her third month, stand on her sixth and walk albeit clumsily on her ninth.

On her tenth month, she caught a high fever. We went immediately to the doctor for consultation. But the doctor was clueless. She kept getting sicker by the day. We went to other doctors but no one had a clue. The old townfolks said she it was her fate; that it was her time to go and that we can do nothing anymore. But I never believed them.

She passed away on her first birthday. We never know what really happened. I fell into a very deep depression. They said I should let go. But I just can't. I didn't even hear her first words and yet she was gone. I don't even know what happened to her. I cursed our beliefs. I cursed our traditions. I cursed fate, destiny, God.

A few weeks later, as i was sitting in my bed, I saw a small, yellowish butterfly hover on the floor near my feet. Then, the butterfly flew towards me and perched on my knee.

She just said 'papa'.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Joke

There were two lovers.
They have been together for many years eversince childhood.
The two are very happy together.

One day the woman tells a joke to the man.
The man falls silent all of a sudden. He wen't into deep thought.

Soon thereafter, everything went cold between them. The woman never told any more jokes. The man, meanwhile, tend to be silent and introspective most of the time.

Years passed. The couple never regained the passion with each other. Many years passed but they just continued their lives coldly.
Ten years passed.

Until they are both 100 years old.

One day, while on On their death bed waiting for their last breath, the man laughs suddenly. He laughs long and hard, tears rolled from his eyes.

The woman asks why.

The man replies,

"I finally got it!"

"Got what?", the woman asked.

"Your joke" the man answered.

Then both of them die laughing.