Monday, September 25, 2006

Dresses and Depression

I went to the mall to look for this perfect dress for a debut. It has to be slinky but not burlesque, sexy but not vulgar. By all means, these qualifications are simple. Tough.

I grabbed a green dress, a polka-dotted black and white dress, and a lacy off-white dress. I stalked off to the fitting room with my prizes and my self-esteem intact. When I left, I felt so horrible and mad at life, the universe, and everything.

It can’t possibly be! There must be something wrong with the fitting room mirror. I can’t possibly be that fat. There must be something wrong with the mirror.

There must be something wrong with the mirror.

As this sentence made a marquee on the screen of every neuron of mine, I went to another shop. I grabbed three dresses and stormed the fitting room. With a sinking feeling straight to the gut, I have come to a numbing conclusion: I am fat. The mirror says so. The reflection is mouthing off the three bad, dirty, and pathetic excuses for words (wait, is ‘I am’ two words? Is ‘am’ a word?). What, you think I’m joking about this mirror thing? I really believed the mirror was fattening. So sue me. It was only yesterday that I have pounced upon the discovery that I am wrong.

That really depressed me. I know you’re fairly sick of me whining about my mass, and I’m sick of it too. Obviously, I have issues. Acknowledging them really does a lot. A lot to depress me.

It well may be that this fat-issue is all inside my head. Maybe I’m anorexic, hunh? But if I’m anorexic, I’m a pathetic excuse for one. I eat to my heart’s content, impulsively and uncontrollably. I weigh myself everyday. I weigh the same everyday. So what’s wrong then? Maybe I am just in love with Whining. You know Whining? I’m sure you’ve met it. It’s annoying and gratifying at the same time.

I can get all serious and gunk and say that society is cruel and that it imposes upon us poor hapless women unrealistic expectations of being beautiful. A woman has to be bone-thin, with ribs sticking out like a dog not fed for a week. A woman has to be fair, and if she is tanned, her tan has to be a specific shade of brown (copper, if you may) to be attractive. A woman has to be this, a woman has to be that, a woman has to be everything that she is not.

As I constantly bitch about, TV commercials are the agents of this cruel Inquisition, er, imposition. There are also magazines as excellent funnels to drain out a woman’s self-esteem. They tell you, quite successfully, that you are ugly. While most of us know that it’s just a marketing pitch, there will always be the lurking fear of the television or the glossy page being right. Lurking fears are the worst kinds of fears. They paralyze us because we fail to acknowledge their existence and thus disable us to be anything but afraid and incomplete and inadequate and weak.

I can get all serious and gunk and say this. I am.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

To hell with dresses and depression.

I walked around the mall and just stared dreamily at ice cream and cotton candy. A sugar fix would fix me up, I’m sure. But before ruining myself in the eyes of myself completely, I decided to go to Booksale for a greater marginal utility.

I stared at the bookshelves (as per routine) and found (gasp!) Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams. It’s the third book of the Hitchhiker series, the third book I’ve wanted to read for the past month of my life. I considered not reading So Long, And Thanks for All The Fish (the fourth book) until I’ve read the third book, but what the heck, I threw prudence to the polluted winds.

A little background: the Hitchhiker series centers on the misadventures of the mild-mannered space and time traveler, Arthur Dent. He’s the Englishman who hitchhikes out of Earth a few seconds before it was destroyed, in his bathrobe and his most valuable possession: a towel. He travels with his best friend, Ford Prefect, an alien from the vicinity of the Betelgeuse star system. There is also Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed rock star slash President of the Galaxy and Trillian, the last human female turned sexy space cadet. Together, they traversed the reaches of space and time, moronically blundering and blabbering alternately. If you’ve got the right sense of humor, you’ll find the Hitchhiker series a great way to expel gas.

There are five books in the series: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless. Basically, the series center on finding the Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe and Everything. Why not the answer? Because the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is 42. And no one knows what sort of misbegotten question 42 answers.

Life, the Universe, and Everything was published in 1982. The back of the book says: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [first book] has appeared in more forms than one might reasonably expect…and the motion picture version is confidently expected any decade now. The prophecy came true in 2005, 23 years later, starring Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent and Mos Def as Ford Prefect. Of course, it’s not accurate to the word (it almost was, except for the last quarter of the film) but it was absurdly funny all the same. It was sheer idiocy, a total detachment from reality—or fiction—whichever you want to call it. A smartass said: the only difference of fiction from reality is that it has to make sense. Douglas Adams has the knack of writing his fiction so senselessly that it’s almost quite not unlike reality. After reading his stuff, it’s not going to be hard to believe that the cafeteria lady is an alien from the marshes of Sqornshellous Zeta or your terror prof from the xenophobic world of Krikkit.

Better than ice cream and cotton candy with no fat—Douglas Adams is love.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


It was a quiet ride and I was wearing this punk all-black outfit with black tights. I fell asleep with Panic At The Disco and found my mouth open with a little dribble on the side. I was in Taft and spotted KFC---the signal that I'm near school. I gripped the head rest in front of me and got ready to go down.

Not a bad Wednesday, I told myself: not a lot of traffic, the aircon is cool, and no one is being obnoxious.

While ruminating about these wonderful things, the pregnant woman beside me vomited. On my hand. On my skirt. As I stared and blinked at my barf-covered self, the only thing that (after winning against the bile rising up my throat) came out of my mouth was 'oh'.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

To: Dear Reader

It was a slow, painstaking evolution (devolution?). Since I started college, I found it faintly distasteful to explain to people I’m not close with. First, because I rarely find the need---I don’t know them, therefore I don’t owe them. Second, I don’t think they’ll understand what I’m going to say anyway, so why say it in the first place? It’s a waste of precious saliva, and worse, even more precious words. Lastly, my friends know exactly what I mean most of the time. I trust them to have the necessary processing systems.

So what do I mean by ‘explaining’? It’s giving the exact reason why I’m going to do this and not that. It’s saying what I actually think. It’s not saying the most convenient thing that would happen to leave your ego unharmed. When we have a ‘conversation’ and you hear me telling you ‘that’s nice’ or ‘wala lang’ or ‘ewan ko’, you should get the drift. By that time, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t owe you anything (even a decent conversation), that you won’t understand what I want(ed) to tell you, and that you are not my friend.

That’s why I’m quiet most of the time. When I get noisy and start making crude jokes, I a.) have had coffee from Gonuts Donuts b.) am misguided into believing that I am wearing a pretty fly outfit and c.) like you and find you interesting.

Obviously, I am explaining right now. That is because I assume that by the time you have come to this line, you have survived the egotistic, self-centered, solipsistic, and pointless three paragraphs preceding it with enough comprehension left to read the conclusion, and thus, you are a friend. I know some people who read this page only to skim through it because they find it boring. That’s really nice of them.

And oh. I am a sarcastic person. I am not going to explain why and when I am.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Conqueror Worm

But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!---it writhes!---with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

I love Edgar Allan Poe. Besides the fact that he is the master of the macabre, he is also a sci-fi writer. Yes, dear reader, science fiction was what you heard. When I read that in a book entitled The Road To Science Fiction (which detailed the evolution of sci-fi from Gilgamesh to H.G. Wells), my eyes fairly popped. I mean, for a guy whose all-consuming topic is a beautiful woman dying (specifically) and death (generally) the assertion was a nasty shock.

This is the same guy who wrote Annabel Lee (it was many and many a year ago/ in a kingdom by the sea). And he's a sci-fi guy. But really, the assertion makes sense. I think it was based on the premise of Poe's lesser known works which tackled topics like mesmerism and cryptography.

Don't ask me what mesmerism is---I barely understand it. All I know is that it's some sort of fancy medical procedure which was controversial in the early 1800's where the patient is hypnotized and thus, cured. The only other time I've read about it (besides Poe's) was just recently, in Alduous Huxley's Island. And Huxley is definitely a sci-fi guy. Cryptography, on the other hand, is about code-making and code-breaking. I'm sure you've read about it in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

Anyway, the poem above is entitled Conqueror Worm. You may want to read to whole thing; it's nice and gory and disturbing. It's part of Poe's short story Ligeia, where the beautiful woman who died wrote it. Sushal no?

Oh, speaking of nice and gory and disturbing: read William Golding's The Lord of the Flies. I just finished it and was duly shaken. Yeah, I know, I know, I got the gall to call myself a good reader and yet only read Golding's most popular work yesterday. Well, I meant to, but I never got around to it.

The point of all this: if you like beautiful and disturbing literature, you may want to read Golding and Poe.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Basura Song

hindi ka ba nagtataka
kung saan napupunta
ang basurang nabubulok at hindi
dito sa UP Faura?

kung oo, puwes ito
na ang pagkakataon mong malaman!
dito sa NatSci 4 kami ay samahan
sa isang palabas
na tungkol
woh basura
woo basura...

I Mentally Moan. I know Sir Marquez will say the worst things about our report on waste management. I just know it. And the fact of the matter is, he'll probably be right. He's the kind of professor you can't bluff around with. I Mentally Moan.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I've got a vague, uncomfortable feeling that I'm supposed to be busy.

But I'm not.

I've got another vaguer, uncomfortabler feeling that I'll be paying for it in the near future. 'It' being the distribution of classcards.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Only Difference of Fiction from Reality Is That It Has To Make Sense

Started the day with Spongebob’s Friend Song (a friend is a friend till the end of the end that’s forever and a day). Followed it up with Steven Lynch’s Hermaphrodite (she’s part girl, she’s part boy, she’s got parts everyone could enjoy). Picked the pace with Panic! At The Disco’s The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage (sit tight I’m gonna need you to keep time come on just snap snap snap your fingers for me). Was feeling cool with their There’s A Good Reason Why These Table Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought Of It Yet (I’m the new cancer never looked better, you can’t stand it).

Fell asleep on the bus with Ks Choice’s Quiet Little Place (and now everything I feel whether it’s fiction or it’s real it’s so much clearer). Woke up and realized I was already in Taft. Late. But I was still Walking By the avenue with Something Corporate (so why do you leave these stories unfinished). Ran up six flights of stairs to my fourth floor Hum1 classroom to the beat of Fall Out Boy’s A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me (I set my clock early cos I know I’m always late). When the prof glared at me as I entered the room, it was Sugar, We’re Going Down playing in my head.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Animal Farm

The easiest way to reclaim your self-esteem is to feed on another's. Fortunately, the world will never run out of inferior people---there will always be someone more pathetic than you are, someone less talented, someone weaker-willed. Does this sound mean? A pig named Napoleon once said: all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. It is mean, I guess, but it's also true.

That's something I've observed in the university. People are very spare with compliments even though they are deserved. I got a nasty feeling that if they say it, these words of admiration, their internal weighing scale tells them that their self-esteem lost weight. But lo! When it comes to criticisms, even though misplaced and unfounded, their generosity kicks into high gear.

UP students are superhuman. Let's accept that painful fact. These are the students who finished on top of their class in high school. These are students who just got slapped with the reality that they are not the hotshots that they thought they were. The more unfortunate ones, well, they just never get over the shock. The more adaptive ones, they find ways to feed on the unfortunates and regenerate the tissues of their self-worth.

Am I one of them?


Are you?

Honesty is not the best policy. But in Animal Farm, you'll never learn how to walk on two hind legs if you don't know why you can't.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Pilosopiya: Edited

Una. Kapag ayaw mo sa tao at ayaw niya sa iyo, iwasan mo na lang siya. Sa ganitong paraan, hindi na kayo maiimbiyerna at maaabalang mag-plastikan pa. Hindi ibig sabihin nito ay huwag mo na siyang pakisamahan. Kung kailangan mo ba naman siyang kausapin o may kailangan siyang itanong, magsalita ka ng maayos. Makitungo ka.

Pangalawa. Kung magakakaroon ka lang naman ng kasintahan, huwag maghanap ng kyut, hindi mang-iiwan, hindi naghahanap ng kapalit at palaging masaya kapag kasama ka. Kung mga ganyang kuwalipikasyon ang gusto mo, hindi tao ang hinahanap mo. Aso. Kung gusto mo naman ng sobrang guwapo o guwapa, maganda ang katawan at magaling mag-project, paalala lang, hindi ‘to beauty contest. Buhay ‘to. Mahirap. Masalimuot. Maghanap ka ng taong handa kang samahan sa pinakamalayo ninyong mararating na magkasama. Isang tao na hindi perpekto kagaya mo. Isang tao na tunay na mahal ka at tunay na mahal mo.

Pangatlo. Ang grado sa report card ay repleksiyon lamang ng mga ginawa mo sa eskuwela. Hindi ito ang sukatan ng pagkatao mo. Hindi ibig sabihin na dahil singko ka sa Math o sa English, singko ka na rin sa buhay. Isa lang naman ang pakay mo sa eskuwela: matuto. Hindi lang ng kung ano ang Venn- Euler Diagram, thesis statement, at Inclusion Principle. Kailangan mo rin malaman kung paano madapa at tumayong muli, umiyak at magpunas ng sariling uhog. Kailangan mo rin makasanayan ang angkop na kakayanan para magtagal sa planetang ito. Halimabawa, kung paano tumawid at paano manligaw.

Pang-apat. Hindi malaking problema kung hindi mo pa alam kung ano ang gusto mong gawin sa buhay mo. Ika nga, a purpose driven life is not a purpose unto itself. Sa paniniwalang ito, hindi ang patutunguhan, kundi ang paglalakabay papunta doon ang mahalaga. Kaya lang, nasa iyo na kung ayos lang sa iyo mag-aksaya ng pera at oras dahil sa pagbabago-bago ng isip mo. Sa huling analisasyon, mas mainam na meron kang malinaw na direksyon sa buhay, pero ayos lang kung wala. Darating at darating rin yon.

Pang-lima. Huwag ka munang gumawa ng bata. Hangga’t maaari ay iwasan ang ganitong aktibidades hanggang hindi pa handa ang bulsa at kaluluwa para sa maaaring magbunga. Oo, merong condom at subok na mga paraan para maiwasan ang ganitong kataklismo (kung hindi ka pa handa), pero hindi sa lahat ng panahon at lahat ng pagkakataon sila gagana. Mabuti nang sigurado at wag na lang makiikot sa kama. Mabigat na responsibilidad ang hinahanap mo kung nagkataon, at sana ay pag-isipan ng maige ang lahat ng pwedeng mangyari. Tandaan. Hindi sapat na rason ang ‘pag-ibig’ o ang libido mo para ikulong ang sarili sa pang- habang buhay na kahihiyan (kung hindi kayo makakasal) o pagkakabagabag ng loob (kung tinakasan mo yung ina).

Pang-anim. Eto related sa pangalawa at pang-lima. Walang matalino pagdating sa pag-ibig. Sa katunayan, yung mga mahuhusay ang utak ang nabobobo dito. Siguro, dahil sanay sila na naso-solve at naiintindihan ang maraming bagay kaya’t nag-iilusyon sila na kaya nila ang mainlab. Hindi iyon ganong kasimple (makinig kay Juday!). Komplikado ang umibig at ibigin. Ang pinakamabuting maaasahan ay ang hindi maliyo sa landas na alam mong tama. Sana, kahit in-lab ka, hindi maglabo ang paningin mo at hindi kayo magkagaguhan. Huwag ka ring mangarap na walang katapusan ang inyong pagmamahalan. Estupidong pangarap yan. Kung marunong kang tumanggap at mag-alaga, matuto ka ring mag-palaya.

Pang-pito. Kung mas kumbinyente ang magsabi ng totoo, wag nang magsinungaling. Masama ang magsinungaling eh. Kaya lang, hindi dahil sa masama ito ay hindi na puwedeng gawin. Meron talagang mga sitwasyon na kailangan gumawa at gampanan ang isang kasinungalingan. Yung nga lang, matuto kang limitahan ang pagsisinungaling. Kapag nahuli ka, malaking abala kaya’t hangga’t maaari ay iwasan ito.

Pang-walo. Matuto kang pumili ng kaibigan mo. Kung lagi ka nilang hinihingan ng pabor o tulong pero hindi naman sila marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob, hindi ka nila kaibigan. Doormat ka lang. Kung imbes na palakasin ang loob mo ay ibinabagasak ka nila, hindi ka nila kaibigan. Punching bag ka lang. Mahirap makahanap ng mga tunay na kaibigan na sasamahan ka sa lahat ng pagsubok mo sa buhay. Pero, kung ang mga ‘kaibigan’ mo ngayon ay sobrang layo sa pagiging tunay, ibasura mo na sila.

Pang-siyam. Isa sa pinakamahalaga: kapag gusto may paraan, pag ayaw may dahilan. Kung may destiny man, hindi ako naniniwalang isang diretsong landas lamang ito. Maaari kang gumawa ng mga desisyon upang maabot o hindi ang mga pangarap mo. Kaya, wag kang maging fatalistic. Nasa iyo lang yan. Sa ibang salita, ikaw ang may kasalanan kung mapeste ang buhay mo at hindi ang fate, destiny, Diyos, o ang maldita mong prof.

Pang-sampu. Makinig sa magulang. Uy, hindi sa sermon. Alam mo at alam ko na alam rin nating lahat na ang sermon ng nanay at tatay natin ay standardized. Ang ibig kong sabihin ay makinig ka kapag kinuwento nila ang lab layf nila nung college pa sila, o nung panahon na muntik na silang masuspend, yung grades nila nung hayskul, at kung sino yung mga kaibigan nila noon hanggang ngayon. Sa mga ganitong kuwento ka matututo sa buhay. Sa mga kuwento nila, ika’y matututong magpahalaga. Magpasalamat. Magmahal.

Kaya, makinig ka.

I am Machiavellian

I am evil. I think its about time you start believing that.