Guitars, carpenters, and puppy loves

James Mercer is singing to me. A song about moving away, drinking cheap beer, and listening to rock ‘n roll. It’s New Slang 2.0 but I dig it. It’s an origin song too, I believe. A song about how he got to where he is, to making music, to making a living out of it. Press play, kind stranger.

Now read.

I wonder what my origin song would be, if I could even write songs. Why did I even start playing music to begin with, if I could even play at all?

Ah, Grade 4! My mom wanted us to learn how to play music but we were too poor to buy a keyboard. One day, though, Ma came home from Cebu with a guitar. It’s worth 900 pesos, she told us, though I was too young to gauge whether that’s mahal or not.

Continue reading “Guitars, carpenters, and puppy loves”

Weak lungs and Rippingyarns

I suffered from asthma as a kid. I was too young to remember the severity of the attacks, but I do remember being fed some concoction that involved buntot ng butiki and dahon ng kalachuchi. I don’t remember the taste at all — maybe it wasn’t that bad? I dunno.  

When I started school I realized that I preferred staying indoors. I didn’t mind missing the outdoor fun. I was always the most useless player in a game anyway. The only “sport” I excelled at was hula-hoops. I swear, baks, nobody could ever beat me at hula-hoops.

I stopped having asthma attacks so I thought I was able to outgrow the disease. At 17, I started smoking.

Continue reading “Weak lungs and Rippingyarns”

Rakista Dreams

Pangarap ko talagang maging rockstar noong hayskul. Pantasya kong maging gitarista sa isang banda, at kami raw ‘yung bandang hindi sobrang sikat, pero hindi rin naman nakabaon sa kaibuturan ng “who u.” Sakto lang. Sapat lang.

Marunong akong maggitara pero hindi ako mahusay. Sabi sa mga nababasa kong magazine dati, hindi rin daw technically mahusay ang Eheads noong nagsisimula pa lang sila. Pinanghawakan ko ‘yun, baks. Kasi ibig sabihin, hindi ko rin kailangang maging henyo bago ako maging legit na musikero.

Pero napapaligiran ako noon ng mga batang henyo. Ang dami kong ka-eskwela na mahusay sa gitara, sa violin, sa cello, pati sa kudyapi at sa kulintang. At sa tantya ko, sila ‘yung mga batang sadyang ipinanganak na mahusay. Gifted, kumbaga.

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I found my old Tumblr

That’s right, folks. I unearthed an old blog.

And it isn’t really a blog, sort of, because it’s nothing but pictures and YouTube links and a few occasional notes about the movies and the songs that I used to enjoy. I wish I still owned the account so I could fix the grammar lapses, haha, but I was young and dumb and,

hmm, when exactly does “youth” stop being a valid excuse? After high school? Upon turning 21? (I’ll confront this thought some other time.)

But if any of you are curious about my 2011 self, go ahead and visit this link. There’s little to browse and there’s no juicy secret to uncover; it’s just a few pages of snippets that may or may not remind you of me, however you perceive me today, seven years later.

And if by chance you trace who I really am, the real name and all the details I purposely try to hide, do you mind just keeping it between us, just you and me, like our little secret?

Love love,

The featured gif is originally from a now-defunct tumblr site.


I got a little too excited the other day so pardon the slew of “‘tang ina” and other senseless kiligisms (now deleted, nay, pasted into another document por my eyes onli). But the point was made: I was surprised, and I was ecstatic. UP is in the UAAP Men’s Basketball finals after 32 years. NAKAKALOKA. And yes, ‘tang ina talaga! 🔴💚


I know when to use ng and when to use nang. I also know the difference between pinto and pintuan. But is it spelled anu-ano, or is it ano-ano? And is “although” bagaman? Bagamat? Are they both correct? Beats me.

But I do know that hyphens are used for repeated words and that repetition necessitates likeness. So technically it should be sino-sino, not sinu-sino; taon-taon, not taun-taon. This rule, however, also implies that halo-halo (a combination of unlike objects) is different from haluhalo (our favorite dessert).

It reads wrong, and it looks wrong — who spells it haluhalo anyway? But experts insist that this isn’t a matter of preference. “Paano ka magtuturo ng language kung lahat ay tama?” asks national artist Virgilio Almario in a Wasak interview with Lourd de Veyra. Everyone, including the media, must follow the rules. So it should be ni’yo, not n’yo (rule on contraction); imahen, not imahe (rule on etymology); siyokoy, not syokoy (rule on diphthongs).

Continue reading “Postscript”

Friday Hustle

A part of me regrets posting the Plath poem last night. Work has been a shitshow this week and yesterday was just — hay, ‘tang ina. The gist, I suppose, is I fucked up.

Or other people fucked up. But because my brain is wired a certain way, I have this crippling tendency to just take in all the blame.

This morning, for example, the contractor told my boss that our project had not been running smoothly in their site. Parts never arrive on time, he said, and it’s my job to tell the vendor to provide all the parts on time. But I always speak with the vendor and he always assures me that he’s got it, that he knows the drill. Welp. Apparently not.

The other day I had a different problem with another project. The site discovered existing issues with my design, all of which I assumed were already handled in the past. Again, apparently not.

So I made all these assumptions and they ended up biting me in the butt. I’ve been trying to justify my decisions but, to be honest, they were really just shitty decisions. I fucked up.

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