Archive for February, 2011

Travails in Tagaytay

February 28, 2011

Tagaytay is known for its cool fresh air and lush of greens. Also, for sumptuous food (my girlfriend told me mushroom burgers and a kind of fish known as tawilis were a hit in the town) and various parks where you can kick back and relax in your comfy coat, which you usually can’t wear in the streets of Manila due to atmospheric reasons.

(The mention of coat makes me want to post this:)

However, when I, my girlfriend, my cousin, and some other usual getaway suspects went there yesterday,  we experienced it differently.  No walks in the park, no food trips. Instead, we set off to lay  eyes on perhaps the most famous crater in the Philippines: that of Taal’s.

In order to reach the crater,  people, after enduring a 30-minute boat trip,  needed to ride horses so they can traverse a four-kilometer mountain road riddled with rocks, boulders, horseshit (both wet and dry), and an unbelievable atmosphere of dust.

But, adventurous as we were,  we denied the word of the locals and went on with the trip on foot (actually, we didn’t have the budget to afford the horses–P450 per rider!–but since I want to present myself to you as a maverick explorer, I’d say it’s more of a choice rather than a consequence).

Also, unlike most of the tourists, we didn’t have hats to battle the sweltering heat of the sun. Some of us did buy face masks, though, to avoid being smothered by airborne dirt.

After an hour or so, we  reached the apex and beheld the much-celebrated crater, unscarred yet exhausted. Going through the rough road armed with just  stories and jokes–and stamina and determination, too–paid off with us feeling like triumphant conquerors. And we were, actually, having braved the odds of our adventurism.

So how arduous yet remarkable was our feat? Let’s just say it left the sole of my girlfriend’s Docs–yes, Doc Martens, those boots highly regarded for toughness–at the brink of coming off.

Here’s a photo of me and my cousin daring you to follow our footsteps, literally, when you pay the place a visit.

Here’s another photo of us, this time mocking you for being inactive on your chair as you read this.



February 26, 2011

It feels as if I’ve been looking far into the bright horizon that I failed to notice the bricks under my feet are no more: that this time it’s surrender rather than hope, it’s distance over determination.

Where the road breaks is not where endlessness ends.

Operation Blues

February 21, 2011

I tried shunning the thought of my mother’s operation for I know it will only leave residues of worry. But after learning she had to undergo endoscopy, I couldn’t help but brood.

They said gallstones may have fallen to her neighboring organs, which may be causing the contractions in her stomach. Or perhaps something went wrong with her laparoscopy. She still hasn’t eaten anything yet since they extracted her gallbladder. The procedure, they assumed, may finally shed light on the real problem.

In striking contrast, though, it just left us groping in the dark with further guesses as good or maybe as bad as those medical guys have. They found no gallstones. The first operation left no inconsistencies.

We’re now uncertain if it’s ulcer further riddling her condition. Or pneumonia. Or any other sickness whose name I might not be able to spell correctly.

I heard my father is all flushed because of hypertension. And I’m here venting to alleviate my moods that keep on swinging like an ethereal monkey.

This Shirt Is No Motherhood Statement

February 19, 2011


I have a thing for shirts. I take them seriously. I believe they are the extension of myself, or, more exactly, of myself being expressed.

Rifle through my wardrobe and you won’t find a Bob Marley shirt there, or one which has Che Guevara’s face splashed on it. That’s because I have nothing to do with the Rastafarian movement or the Cuban revolution (at least, unlike those who wear those ubiquitous red shirts who insist that the man on the print is the vocalist of a band they can’t identify, I know Che’s real name is Ernesto). And no, I don’t buy shirts from lavish brands just because they’re “mahal” and “uso.” No, sir, my pretension hasn’t reached that far, thank you.


Back when I was a kid, I recall my mother telling me that “The Three Stooges” was one of her most favorite shows of all time. I don’t know if this occurred while she and I were watching “Woody Woodpecker.” See, my mom, just like me, loves a good laugh every once in a while.


Right now, Ma’s in the hospital. She underwent laparoscopy. And because of tight and busy schedules, it’s a challenge finding time to drop by. To somehow alleviate the guilt churning in my gut, I bought the shirt you see pictured below. Consider it a means to connect, a way to commemorate, a method to console, and it’s fine since that was the real intention anyway.

Maybe seeing this will make her smile and remember the show. Maybe seeing this will make her smile knowing that she randomly shared part of her youth once with her son, and that her son, till now, remembers.