icebreaker 020

What is something you had to learn that you hated? 

Hate is such a strong word. I can’t really think of anything I learned to hate. Maybe I’m still in the process of learning it.

Would you consider yourself straight, gay, bi, or something else? Why?

I have claimed in the past that if anyone ever asked me this question in person, I would willingly, without batting an eyelash, answer truthfully. And I have been asked this question before by my former team at the office. The only problem I see about it is, I don’t know the answer.

I don’t have a girlfriend right now, I did have a couple in the past. I do have a boyfriend right now, although I would rather use the more politically correct term partner. I don’t enter into relationships if I am not into it for the long run, that’s another reason.

Could I fall in love with a girl? Yes. Could I fall in love with another man? Yes. But as I am now in a committed relationship of course I won’t. And I am not looking into that in the future.

Sexually? That is a non-functional for me. Sex is sex is sex is sex. I’d have it whichever way I want or can get it really. So sexual I do not have any specific preference, I think.

Sounds like a long-winded answer to a simple question. But yeah,its a non-answer too.

What is your religious view of things? What religion, if any, do you call your own?

I was born and raised Roman Catholic, essentially Christian by all respects. That’s the thing about religion, it’s not something that you actually choose to begin with most of the time, you’re mostly born into it. Even though some parents would say that they would be fine with whatever religion their kids would want to go into when they are older,  it is pretty difficult to switch ideologies after a certain age, much less with the myriad of religions you get to learn about as you grow older.

I think  religion is more of a spirituality that you are comfortable with, a set of ideas and concepts that your conscience can grapple with, along with the set of rituals that reinforce those ideas and concepts. I used to dream to become a priest when I was young but then again I outgrew that when I stepped into public high school.

My partner encourages me to hear mass with him and his family one of these days and I honestly wish I could want to take him up on his offer more than ever. I was raised a Catholic school boy so I guess getting back into the rituals feels like I’m going back to the days of my childhood when it was simpler and safer, easier and rigid too at the same time. One of these days I guess.

What would you wish for if you found a genie?

I’d wish for peace. Peace of mind. And satisfaction. Which actually defeats the purpose of a genie in the first place.

Made fun of someone for being fat?

Yes,  but not at to their face. Maybe my brother at one time when I was young but that was more out of anger or spite instead of fun. I think he still has those physical scars to show for that one of many altercations that we had when we were young, I doubt if he could remember any of it though we were really young, and a bit really violent, which is odd since we’re really a quiet set of brothers actually,  even as we are older. 

Had a three-some?

Yes. And it’s definitely not like in porn where everyone is having such fun. Maybe it was just me and my experience, but it was not as good as I think I had imagined it to be. Maybe the next one will be better, I don’t know. 

on goodness

I’ve been meaning to write but then realized I was better off sleeping after everything that happened at work and at home. The thing is, good intentions are never enough unless you put them into actions. Positive actions at that. What’s the use of intending to do something when nothing actually gets done? 

I was thinking about being good the other day. Not being good at something or at work, but being good, being a good person. This, after a heated somewhat compulsive (?) argument with my father one very very early sleepless morning. I can get very cranky and extremely irritable under certain conditions: lack of sleep, hunger, and lack of clarity or actionable conversations. I was under the influence of aall three factors at the time, so, long story short, I ended up throwing a small transistor radio to the wall. Pretty violent yes, and I admit being very temperamental isn’t exactly something to be proud of. I don’t know where I got this attitude but at the very least I do acknowledge it.

So, being good. I don’t know who said it or it has been said as opposed to have been largely assumed, but being or doing good comes natural to most people. I say most people so you’d hear out the rest of this, just in case you believe that some people are naturally born evil. Actually we are all naturally born good, I think. It may not be something that we eventually sustain through the rest of our lives into adulthood, but as babies and or toddlers we are predisposition to do good.

Babies learn their way around things by mimicking people around then, their parents and guardians. That’s how they pick up what words mean and what certain actions will bring about what certain outcome. At the same time, they learn to respond to how their body works, when they are hungry or need something, their first impulse is to cry, the same thing when they feel any sort of pain or discomfort. Then if one adult picks them up or feeds them, they realize slowly that crying or making any sort of noise will produce a certin outcome (being fed or taken care of) and they learn this over and over again. Where’s the good in that? They think about what is good for themselves. The good of the self comes first.

As we grow older and expand out personal network from family to eventually, friends, lovers, other relationships, we realize that there are other people our world who may or may not have the same good intentions as yourself. You start, and are taught in school, about thinking of other people’s needs and wants (what is good for/to them) and learn to consider those things when thinking about the next step you take or action to do. What will they say when you tell them something? What will you say when they say that back to you. You start from small circles like your playmates and neighbors, then move on to the school where you are even more exposed to society as whole and nature and everyone and everything else apart from yourself. And so you act upon what is good not only for yourself but also for the good of other people. You learn to care for other members of society and eventually develop deeper relationships with other people, that as you learn more about them and what is good for them as their personalities reveal to you, you realize that you are no different from them, that what’s good for you as you see it is also the same thing that they see as good for them or feels good for them, as they see it.

Then when you all realize that your goal is the same ,that goodness you seek, you form bonds to active those goals together. Altogether. It seems like an unselfish act but in truth, all just seek the benefit that they have for themselves deep inside, up to the point that sometimes we even fell good when other people get what feels good to them.

When you trace the goodness that is there in the world, it all boils down to the basic nature of people to seek what is good for them. In a way the pursuit of goodness, what feels good, what looks good and what is good for ourselves is always the same. The real conflict only comes up with the definition of what is good or not good. I wouldn’t say bad because in the same vein, what is bad for some might be good for others and vice versa, depending on what virtues we grow up appreciating, and what experiences we would have as we go through life. It is the definition of such that brings about what is not good in others. 

I guess this is an aside that seeks to rationalize myself as a good person. I am a good person, in general. I think or at least I hope. 

throwback thursday: sa hindi maipaliwanag

I don’t know when I wrote this. But it’s one of them notebooks. This is in Filipino, though I am not sure how well this would translate.

Nandun ako. Hindi nga. Nandun ako. Alam ko kasi nandun ako. Nakita ko kasi nandun ako. Narinig ko kasi nandun ako. Naramdaman ko kasi nandun ako. Hindi ako nagbibiro. Sa maniwala ka man o hindi, totoo ang lahat ng sinasabi ko. Nandun ako.

Hindi rin ako makapaniwala sa simula. Hindi ko inaasahang makakarating ako doon sa ganoong oras. Sabi ko nun sa sarili ko, parang may mali, parang hindi ako. Hindi ako yung pupunta doon para sa wala lang. Hindi ako yung maliligaw sa ganoong lugar, dahil hindi ako marunong maligaw. Hindi ako naligaw. Hindi rin ako dumarating ng wala sa oras. Pero iba noon. Hindi ako maaga. Kailan ba naman ako naging maaga? Pero hindi rin ako nahuli. Ang pinagtatakhan ko ay dumating ako sa oras. Sa eksaktong saglit na nangyari ang lahat. Nandun ako ng eksaktong sandali. Nandun ako sa eksaktong lugar. Alam ko. Nandun ako. Pero parang hindi ako ang akong nandun.

Nandun ako. Nandun ako nang nagyari ang lahat ng nangyari. Nandun din sila. Parang pinagtagpo ng tadhana ang lahat at nagkakawing-kawing ang aming mga landas. Kakampi namin ang oras at ang panahon, marahil, dahil sa pagkakasalabit ng aming mga landas ay nandun kami para saksihan ang pagsiwalat ng mga pangyayari para sa bawat isa sa amin. Lahat kami ay naging saksi sa lahat ng pagkakaton. Sa sandaling iyon, lahat kami ay napag-isa sa pitik ng segundo sa gulong ng oras. Ang mga katawan nami’y nanuldok sa gitna ng teon ng kalawakan at kawalan. Marami kami sa tuldok na iyon, marami kami sa pagpatak ng sandali. Kasama ako dun. Sa tuldok. Sa sandali. Naging malinaw ang lahat sa pagkurap ng aming mga mata at paglundag ng aming mga puso. nandun kami. Nandun sila. Nandun ako. Nasaan ka?

Ang galing. Ni hindi ko yata naisip kung bakit o paano ako napunta doon . Sa isang iglap, alam ko na ang lahat, sa susunod, muli ko na itong naitatanong sa iyo. Kakaiba talaga. Ni mga sandali o mga pangyayaribago o matapo ang lahat, kaunti na lang ang naaalala ko. Baka hindi ko na rin nais pang alalahanin, o hindi ko na kaya pa. Sinsasabi na ng utak ng tao ay may kakayahang makaalala nang higit pa sa napapangarap ng tao. Na maliit lang na bahagi nito ang ginagamit natin. Alam ko. Pero nung mga sandaling iyon, para ring sandaling pinatay ang aking isip. Sandali kong hindi kinailangang magisip, o maghukay ng mga sagot sa baul ng aking ala-ala. Nangyari ang lahat ng wala akong kontorl; parang awtomatik ang lahat. Nang balikan ko ang aking isipan, naglaho ang mga tanong. Narito na ang lahat, sabi ko noon. Nandun na ako. Ano pa ang kulang? Wala. Alam mo ba yun? Naiintindihan mo ba? Di ba? O baka naman hindi mo maisip kasi wala ka doon. Ako, nandun.

Aalis ka na ba? Buti na lang. Samahan mo na lang ako. Kailangan ko ang talagang sabihin ito sa iyo para namana mainitindihan mo ako. Alam ko parang magulo sa simula pero maya-maya lang ay makikita mo rin. Sasabihin ko sa iyo ang lahat. Buti naman.

Nasaan na ba ako? A, oo.

Nandun ako. Sila rin. Ngunit may ilan pa ring nandun. Ang ilan ay nagtangka na ring umalis dahil hindi nila makita ang kabuuan ng mga nangyayari. Hindi na kinaya ng kanilang isip ang lahat, ikintaka na nila ang malaking bahagi ng kanilang paniniwala. Pakiramdam siguro nila ay isang malaking biro ang lahat. Pero hindi. Totoo. Walang aksidente sa pagkakatayo nila doon dahil kabilang sila sa lahat. Nangyari ang lahat ng nangyari dahil nagtaka sila sa mga bagay na hindi nila nakikita, kaya lumayo na lang sila at ibinaling ang paningin sa iba. Nabulagan sila ng tabing nang tuluyan at hindi nila nalaman ang mga sagot na bigla na lamang nandun. Sayang, hindi nila naramdaman na maging ang kanilang dilim ay kabilang sa tumuldok sa kalawakan, sa pumitik na sandali. Sabi ko sa iyo, sa ilang napagpapakitaan ng liwanang, marami pa rin ang pilit na pipikit at dadaing sa silaw.

Ang ingay naman. Noon, sabi ko. Ang ingay nung nandun ako. Marami kang naririnig, maririnig. Ngunit ang hirap humanap ng pakikinggan. Hindi ko maintindihan kung ingay lang iyon dahil sa nangyari, o kung lahat sila ay nagsasalita. Tama. Lahat nga sila nagsasalita. Sabi ng iba nalalaman na nila ang lahat. Naiintindihan nila ang nangyayari. Daw. Yun ang sinsasabi nila. Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit kailangan pa nila sabihin kung ano ang nagaganap e nandun na nga sila? Parang ikinukuwento lang nila ulit kung ano na yung naririnig ng pinagkukuwentuhan nila. Yung iba naman tanong nang tanong. Makulit naman sila. Hindi ba nila naririnig ang nangyayari? Parang nandun nga sila pero wala sila dun. Nakakarinidi ang ingay. Doon, sabi ko. Dagdag pa rin ang ilan na nagsasabi ng mga nangyayari pero sa totoo, sinsasabi lang nila ang gusto nilang mangyari. Ang masama pa nito, sumisigaw sila. Parang sumiigaw sila ng kanilang mga utos sa kanilang lipon ng mga bingi. Parang wala dun ang kausap. Parang wala silang mga sumisigaw dun pero nandun sila. Narinig ko ang lahat. Nandun ako. Ang hirap palang pilitin na walang pakinggan kung hindi mo maiwasan ang makarinig o makapakinig. Nakikinig ka pa ba?

Ang sabi ko, kung nakikinig ka pa ba sa mga sinasabi ko? Buti kung ganoon. Akala ko nabibingi ka na rin.

Naramdaman mo ba yun? Parang may malamig na hanging dumaan. Nagyun-ngayon lang. Sabi nila, ibig sabihin daw nun e may kasama tayo. Huwag kang matakot. Kakampi natin sila. Sana.

Nagulat din ako. Oo. Medyo. Konti. Kung sa bagay, parang kinutuban na rin ako. Hindi masamang kutob o mabuting kutob na parang swerte. Hindi ganoon. Wala. Kutob lang. Na may mangyayari. Hindi naman talaga natin masasabi kung mabuti o masama ang nangyari, di ba?

icebreaker 019

Who are the people who lift you up?

I don’t know if I need lifting. Most of the time I just lift myself up when I’m down. Of course I have my close friends, less than a handful of them really to depend on when times get tough, but only when they get really really tough.

Other people would probably say their family, apart from their friends. But I fear I don’t feel the same way. I don’t think anyone in my family feels the same way. And I know it’s kind of sad and odd at the same time. But, yeah.

Are you willing to release him/her from your anger and forgive him/her?

How long can anyone really be or stay mad at someone? How long can you actually physically and mentally (psychologically) sutain anger? Against anyone or anything in particular?

Ok, that doesn’t really answer the question. I may eat my words in the near, or hopefully far future or maybe not, but I won’t and can’t forgive him. He is ill, I know, but I wouldn’t even give him the satisfaction of my pity or forgiveness. Half of his illness is his fault, though there is no known cause of Parkinson’s disease bu the way he managed it was absolutely irresponsible even for someone who was ill.

I still know that at the back of my mind I hope to forgive him but I don’t see any good reason for that right now.

How do you feel about a vacation?

That sounds quite nice about now. Right now. This very second.

But truth is I am saving up my vacation days for my mandatory leave in two months. By then, I wish two weeks off work and out of the house would get me back into whatever groove I wish I could say I had before, or maybe get me out of this deep, deep puddle of a rut my stressful life is in. A good case of ice-cold beer is required of course.

Do you worry about being taken for granted?

In all essence, no. Is that really a bad thing? I’ve been really independent for most my life, and I don’t really like unwarranted attention that much from anyone so I guess that makes me like a plant.

How do you feel about when you judge yourself inadequate, guilty, or unlovable?

When did I ever? When did I ever not? And how does that feel? Pretty normal. Everyone has their own insecurities in their lives, I guess I’m not so different, I hope.

How do you feel about when your criticized or made fun of in public?

“Fuck it, let’s do this.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been put in that kind of situation before, to have myself publicly criticized or made fun of. Or maybe not, I have been performing with the company’s choir for the past three years already so I am not a stranger to putting on a show in public. And I have been made to sing in a couple of public venues as well as play host to one of my friend’s weddings, so yeah I have had my share of the limelight so to speak.

But I’ve never thought of those instances as a chance to publicly ridicule myself or expose any of my weaknesses. I think of it as a challenge of how much courage or guts I have, or maybe a test of how much of my own ego I can stand. In Filipino, papangatawanan ko na lang.

How do you feel about parades?

Parades are fun, unless you’re in it, except when it’s thrown in your honor, I guess.

I remember watching the Rose Bowl Parade on TV when I was a kid. I wondered how much fun it would be to work on those gigantic floats and how thrilling it would be to see them coming down the street in person.

In highschool, I worked with my fellow scouts as representatives for our school in the annual city parade, that was hell and half. It was nice at the start, but when midday comes and the heat and hunger is getting to you, you can barely muster a smile anymore and just would wish death or the parade to be over. Ahh, the scouting days.

In college, we used to anticipate watching the annual lantern parade in the university right around Christmas break. I worked with the council then too, so we had more time to spend on helping out with organizing the college “float” during my final year on college. It was better since the parade was done at night, and you could enjoy the lights on the parade partcicpants just sitting on the sidelines, or get a tour of the whole university all lit up for the Holiday season by walking with the parade.

Who controls the mood in your house? The conversation? The bed?

The bed… and the idiot box.

What is your favorite fruit?