3 years

Contrary to my observation in high school, girls who like rock music are dime-a-dozen. All of them seem to dig Pearl Jam and the Gin Blossoms,  and some can even tolerate Metallica or Korn. But very few can stretch their boundaries to the dark and sinister dirges of Opeth and Moonspell.

I happen to marry one of them, in the fine cold morning of December 16, 2006, and it’s been a helluva soundtrip ever since. Good music, after all, is best appreciated with another pair of ears beside you.

To Charmaine, here’s to more nights of drinking Rhum-Coke while listening to Alice in Chains and discussing Bradbury.  Thanks for the most wonderful gift you gave me last June 27. May she grow up liking Sentenced.\m/


funereal winds

raincloudsHad my usual pre-bedtime smoke last night, in the garage of Charmaine’s residence in the heart of storm-wrecked Quezon City. Smoking before bedtime is my way of assessing the day that is about to die (or had just died depending on what time I sleep).

Last night was a particularly dark night. Quiet, too, except for the distant hum of traffic along Mindanao Avenue. I could hear the city breathing around me – the soft inhale-exhale of souls moving on and of souls giving up. Every now and then a siren would cut through the stillness, piercing the gloom with its implied misfortune, reminding me of the tragedy around, only to fade out moments later.

There is something oddly surreal in sirens heard in the dead of night.

Cold wind was blowing from somewhere, chilling me to the bone. Above, the moon stared down like God’s lonely eye peeking at His creation. But like the siren, it was gone in an instant, leaving only a faint sheen behind the ominously drifting rain clouds. It was as if God himself couldn’t bear to look at all the sadness.

Then there was only the wind.

Full moon, silence, solitude. I used to enjoy nights like this. But not tonight, I thought.

Not tonight.

in memory

I’m thinking of a dead man.

The dead man’s name is Emmanuel Cunanan, a good friend since elementary. He was stabbed dead in Cavite three years ago, another victim of gang war violence. I only learned about it last week through a mutual friend in Facebook.

So that’s why he hadn’t called me for years. I remember that even when he was in prison – his “college,” he once told me – he would give me a buzz every now and then just to shoot the shit. There were times he sounded weepy, but most of the time he was in his usual jolly self.

I will surely miss the bastard.

Now my thoughts are drifting toward that lazy afternoon many years ago when, on top of Lores Subdivision’s rickety water tank, we plotted ways to own the world and its bevy of beautiful girls. I never thought he’d take that shit seriously… and in his own hands.

I should’ve invited him for a drink when I last saw him in the summer of 2004.

night rides

There is something oddly dreamy in traveling by bus in the dead of night under a pouring rain. The sleeping establishments along EDSA look enigmatic if watched from behind a misty window. Neon lights are beautiful. Buildings look asleep and dreaming. Smiling billboard goddesses tell me life is sweet.

Always, I put on music for good vibes. These days it’s Great White, funky Jack Russell singing, “The freeway is my song…”

Next time I’ll try Dylan.

Music, midnight rain, window seats. Maybe life is really sweet, if only I know how to appreciate it.


We’re all going to cross the river sooner or later, and as I jump from one Christmas party to another, I’m going to be raising my beer mug in silent salute to those dear to me who already did.