Thursday, March 30, 2006

Beggars Ride

To Jackson's surprise, Vicky smiled. "Law only works if the majority agree to let it. Don't you know that? No, of course you dont. You're a simple binary code. On for your own interest, off for everybody else. You could be dipped by a child. And you were."

Cazie said angrily, "Ad hominem sophistry isn't argument."

"You're not a hominem. You're not even a synonym. You're a redundant code in the human information, and you're already obsolete."

I applaud. This is from Nancy Kress's Beggars Ride, a superb book that no one should miss. But how many of you have you actually heard of it, not to mention the author? I really mourn that fact, that a lot of you are missing a lot.

I mean, how many times have I wished that there's at least someone I know who reads the kind of sci-fi that I do? I can just imagine the philosophical discussions, the story analyses on the works of great men like Isaac Asimov and HG Wells. Add to that Jules Verne, if I have to mention the popular ones. I've introduced sci-fi to Cc, but his heart is not in it. He's more for Carlos Bulosan, AV Hernandez, and NVM Gonzales. Oh well. Two opposite poles in mitosis.

I thought that i will at least meet someone in college to let out all my thoughts, thoughts that may be awarded at least a degree of understanding. But there's no one. Yet.

Anyway, Beggars Ride is about the future (note:sci-fi is not always about the future, so there is no 'of course'). It portrayed the kind of future that will make V want to die later than the dramatic time he chose to. Sleepless and SuperSleepless (those people who have been genetically programmed not to sleep and are therefore smarter and more productive than the normal people, the Sleepers) have withdrawn into Sanctuary, situated on the moon. The Sleepers, on the other hand, are divided into two camps: the Donkeys and the Livers. Donkeys are those stuffed-assed, overpriveleged citizens who live in exclusive Enclaves, protected by top-of-the-line technology against Livers who are the lower, uneducated class.

That was a very simplified precis of the story, because it doesn't cover all the double-crossing, genetic science and ethics, and individual struggles engraved in the book. Suffice it to say that the novel depicts a more defined class distinction, each class warring over control and apathy among each other.

The story is very complex, and is only a sequel to the Beggars of Spain by the same author. Imagine my elation at finding the original story in an sci-fi anthology about 3 years back, since I've read Beggars Ride when I was in 5th grade and wanted since then to read the book before it. Well, yeah, I haven't read the book, but I've read the short story that set off the book, which is almost good enough.

My dear, I am ranting. I can't help it. But if you've skipped lines and paragraphs and plan to do so again, i'll finish this with an explanation of the title, which is not really an explanation.

"If wishes were horses, then beggars might ride."
John Ray, English Proverbs, 1670


I have a season when all I read are sleazy romance novels (in English, please) and nothing else. There really isn’t much of story content in books like that. They basically go along these lines: in the beginning, a girl falls out with the world, if she hasn’t already. In the middle, the girl starts to get a move on and finds a hunk in the process, whichever comes first. In the ending, they more or less get together, after sojourns of sex in between. I believe with all my heart and soul that romance novels like such only differ in narrations of how the hero and heroine copulate.

Why read them, then? They’re good stuff, after I’m saturated with science fiction and fantasy books. Books like the latter two deal with at least a modicum of reality; romance novels never do, although they may seem like it. While sci-fi and fantasy are based on some aspect of the real world, romance is too ‘telenovela-ish’ to be read with any degree of trust. They numb my mind. They make me cease any coherent thought processes. They make me feel like an idiot, without a spoiled watermelon bubblegum for the world.

Hence, the love books. The sci-fi I read are basically from the 50’s to the 70’s, an era of massive social upheavals. Most of those changes are reflected in the works of the best authors of sci-fi: Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson and Jerome Bixby, among others. On the other hand, my fantasy diet is from the 70’s onwards. I’ve met Ursula K. LeGuin, Madeleine L’Engle, and Lloyd Alexander even before I have even heard of JK Rowling and Harry Potter (duh). Believe me when I say that I believe a lot of what is written by the authors I have mentioned. They have good sands of philosophy for the sick oyster. Anyway, I believe them more than Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, Luanne Rice and Belva Plain combined up to the 99th power.

The thing is, romance is too near the real that it distorts what we know should not be. They’re perfect vehicles of escapism, far better then Harry Potter’s Hogwarts or Taran’s Prydain or even Lucy’s Narnia.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bakit Malaswa Sumayaw Si Jollibee?

Matapos ang mahabang linggong nakasubsob sa libro, nakarating kami ni Betch at Geronimo sa Los Banos. Birthdy kasi ng kapatid ni Betch, kaya ayun, swim to sawa.

Ang saya nung weekend! First time kong matulog ng nagsasalita. Tabi kami ni Betch, at kung anu-ano ang napag-usapan namin. Tagal rin non. Hindi ko na maalala kung ano yung pinagsasabi naming dalawa, pero hindi ko malilimutan yung pakiramdam.

Medyo late na kami nagising dahil doon, kaya mga 8 na kami nakarating sa Los Banos. Sabik ang lahat sa pool. Within five minutes, babad na kami. Yun, swimming. Tapos tulog din sa gitna ng tanghali. Pagkagising, kumain at nakipag-tsikahan sa mga tita ni Betch. Napag-alaman namin ni Geronimo na malas, malas talaga ang magiging bf ni Betch. Malas. Malas talaga.

Pagkatapos non, dumating yung party guya mula sa Jollibee Los Banos. The usual stuff.Hindi ko alam kung paano, pero napagbalakan namin na itulak sa pool si Jollibee. Mas lumakas ang conviction na iyon nung sinayawan niya ang isang matandang babae ng macho dancer dance.

Nung padaan siya sa pool para umalis na at magbihis, kinapitan siya ni Geronimo sa braso at kinausap siya. Medyo na-off balance si Jollibee noon, yung off-balance na tipong mahuhulog...

All in all, masaya ang katapusan ng linggo. (Am I being redundant?). Basta. Maitim ako, pero masaya.

Moving on. Back to reality. Eto na naman ang mga maliliit na problema sa buhay. Napag-atasan akong tulungan ang isang lalaking hindi alam ang gagawin. Sino ang nag-atas? Siya. Tignan natin, o magiting na lalaki. Tignan natin.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Astig Magparinig

Hindi ko lang alam kung matatawa ako o magtataas ng labi sa isang perpektong sneer pagkabasa ko ng dalawang blogang astig magparinig.
Hindi naman sa nakikialam, pero yun nga, nakikialam ako. Kasi, magaling pala ako manghula. Ang tagal ko nang nasabi sa iyo to ha! Ano ba akala mo, kung hindi ka kikibo walang mangyayari? Kung ganoon lang kadali, ba, kokonti na lang ang eepal sa mundong ibabaw dahil wala nang papansin sa kanila!
Kaya nga...nangyari na. Pano na?
Hindi naman siguro ganoong kadaling pabayaan mo na lang yung tao.Kahit paano, naging magkaibigan kayo. At ikaw! Oo, ikaw! Napunta na rin ako sa kalagayan mo. Nagawa ko na rin yang ginagawa mo. Pero sa totoo lang, kung ang isang tao ay sapat ang halaga para sa iyo para saktan ka ng ganyan, hindi mo siya dapat binabalikan ng parehas na kalbaryo.
Wala akong kinakampihan sa inyo. Gusto ko lang ipaalala na nasa kolehiyo na kayo. Kung sapat na ang edades niyo para sa mga sakit sa puso, hindi naman siguro makakasama sa kalusugan niyong magkaroon ng ilang sakit sa katawan.

Ano ba, suntukan na lang. Karate niyo naman bukas eh!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Kant's Favorite Haunt

Cramming works, but you can't keep it going for an indfinite period of time. Look at what happened to me, as detailed in my last post. I swore never to be in such a pathetic situation again.

Because, I can't rely on cramming, and Cc, forever.

So I practically spent the whole weekend reviewing for upcoming exams. Back then, I was okay with waking up at 1 am. There was the silence and solitude to love. After doing it for one week though, I just about almost drowned in my own phlegm and urea. Long story. At about this point, I sigh. And swear. Never. To deliberately. Punish. Myself. Again.

What's with getting good grades? What's to work for? I can't answer that for anyone but myself.'s not the future transcript for the future job that I care about. That's too far off. It's not for the challenge, the sheer masochistic joy of learning. It's not because of my pride; not anymore. Sheesh, not even that anymore! I plod to get good grades because it will make my parents happy. They're not even pressuring me for anything. I just know. I recognize that its my duty to make me worth their while.

Duty. I've never even heard of that word during the far-off days of high school. Pathetic. And now I'm left to cope with it the best I can...the first step, is not to cram.

I look down, sigh, and shuffle off to Biology, that world of dead things inside the formaldehyde of the human mind.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Best Day Ever

My tea’s gone cold
I’m wondering why
I got out of bed at all

I woke up at 3 am yesterday so I can finish my research paper. I’ve already done four pages by then, and I only had to do four more and I’m off. There was no reason for me not to finish it by 7 am; four hours for four pages is actually too much time. But I didn’t finish it. Why? Imagine trying to complete a paper, not to mention doing anything, when you are sick and in pain and you have to stop every ten minutes. You have? Good if you did, better if you didn’t.

The morning rain
Clouds up my window
And I can’t see at all

I boarded a baby bus by 7.45 am, my chemically straightened hair still wet and horrible. By that time, I was already 15 minutes late for my removal exams in PE. Having the luck I had, I got stuck in traffic (still in Cavite, at that!) while going to the stop where the Manila buses let passengers board. So I ran all the way to that bus stop, with all the books, phlegm and pain I was carrying. Tragic. I got to the damn bus, where the strap of my favorite bag got stuck and broke. It was 8.15 when the bus left for Manila. I sat at the very back of the bus where six people (supposedly) sit in six seats. Unfortunately, the rule was broken. 3 grown, brawny men + 2 fat women + 1 nine-year old kid + 1 college moron late for an important exam= 7 sardines.

And even if I could
It’d all be grey
But your picture on my wall

I got to the PE building by 9.30 am, 30 minutes fucking late for the test. Okay. After the test, I discovered that I left the last four pages of my paper at home. So, I asked my mom to send the paper to my e-mail ad so I can just have it printed in a computer shop. That’s easy. Right? No. She’s computer illiterate. It was 11.30; the deadline for the paper was 12 noon. I (together with Cc---thank The Guy Up There) spent 30 minutes telling her how to copy-paste and send an e-mail. Until…the server failed. She couldn’t access the net. So I couldn’t get my paper. I was crying by that time. I was desperate. I was not thinking properly.12 noon came and went, along with 50% of my grade in Communications II. Whee.

Cc and I then decided to get the paper in Cavite, all hell be damned even if it was passed late. He reminded me that I will not fail the subject; that the worse I can get is an INC, where I have one year to complete the requirements for the subject. Okay…we can do this. He’s calm. He knows what to do.

It reminds me
That it’s not so bad
It’s not so bad

As we were boarding the bus, I got stuck in the doorway as the driver closed the bus door. Yehey,

It’s not so bad…

It was the worst day I have ever had in my entire 18 years of uneventful existence. How could something so awful happen to me? Me? Maybe it’s my past life catching up with me, or my present sins making their presence forcefully felt. Duh, it’s probably more of the latter. It was coming to me, anyway.

But…I couldn’t have taken it if it weren’t for Cc who was there for me all the way. He even missed two classes just to help me. Thanks so much. So much. What will I ever do without you?

And I
Want to thank you
For giving me the best day of my life
And oh
Just to be with you
Is giving me the best day
Of my life

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Puffy Eyes+Extra Pound= Death

Nah. Death is too strong a word.
Anyway, the past week has been the most hectic week i have ever had the misfortune to live through. There were three major tests, two of which are from the subjects I find hard: Biology and Math. Hard is an understatement for Math. I absolutely suck at it, and no matter how much studying i do, numbers never come to me as it comes to some of you.
Oh well.
There's a paper tomorrow, and it has to be eight pages. Good. I've got the material for at least half of it---maybe more. Its a research paper about tv commercials and im ranting. Spare you. Im awake since 12.30 and its 3 am. Dont mind me.
i shudder to think about the coming finals. Iam not in danger of failing anything----except math. its not even a danger. its a certainty of failing it. i think ill start studying before photocopied papers start flying at my face and makes me see nothing and oblivion clutches me by the ankles and trips me and makes me break my glasses. i have no time to have my glsses fixed. darn.

Now that, is incoherence.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Sanay na siyang maghabol. Siya kasi yung tipong ng tao na napag-iiwanan---ng berdeng signal ng ilaw pantrapiko, ng bus, ng pag-ibig. Sa totoo lang, hindi na bago ang mga pangyayaring tulad ng walk-out, pagpatay ng cellphone pag tinatawagan, at kung anu-ano pang drama na maaaring maisuksok sa katawan at ibato sa kanya. Sanay na siya. Sanay na siya.

Kaya lang, dahil tao lang naman siyang maituturin, napapagod din siya. Napapagod makisakay sa lahat ng paghihimutok na oo-ohan na lang para matigil na. Napapagod na paulit-ulit magpaliwanag ng mga bagay na dapat ay malinaw naman. Napapagod na magpanggap na walang nangyayaring hindi kaaya-aya para lang hindi mabagabag bago matulog bawat gabi. Napapagod na sadyang hindi makialam sa mga problemang sana’y isinasabahagi sa kanya. Napapagod na mapagod.

Bakit ganoon? Bakit may mga taong pakiramdam nila na sila lang ang nahihirapan sa buhay? Iba naman kasi yung nag-iinarte sa lahat ng panahon at pagkakataon kaysa nananahimik lang at parang walang inaalala, kahit na meron. Iba yon.

Siya…ay madaling makalimot. Pero hindi ibig sabihin noon ay hindi na niya naaalala ang sakit na idinudulot sa kanya ng masang Pilipino. Tahimik niyang tinatanggap yon dahil may takot siya na pag umimik siya ay lalala ang problema.

Kaya’t ang lahat ng bagay ay itinatapon na lang sa hangin, at kung susuwertihin, ay mapupuwing rin.

Pero ayos lang naman. It’s worth it.