Journal Entry No. 63011

A street hawker sat next to me on the ride back this morning. His hands were dirt stained and his nails untrimmed as he held his wares carelessly splayed on his lap: a wooden maria on the verge of tears and Christ crucified endlessly. His faded shirt and torn jeans were dusty on his dusty body. He was unwashed and unkempt but his soul electric had a rough edge that cut straight through all reason to my apartment.


Journal Entry No. 60411

Vanilla ice cream and Yakult.

Alarm wakes me at exactly 7. I turn on the tv and tuck myself snugly back under the covers. It feels good to pretend that it's six months ago; sleeping in, breakfast in bed, and modern family on the tube.

At 10 my manager calls but I don,t pick up. I hop in the bath and take a quick shower. And then I text her back saying I,ll be in the office in 5.

Our office assistant tells me I am red all over my face, and on my neck. She solicitously puts the back of her palm to my forehead and declares that I have a fever. It,s nothing, I say, just my morning rashes, but she,s not convinced. It might be dengue fever she stubbornly suggests, but i firmly disagree. It is only flu. And my morning rashes. To be sure she says to eat vanilla ice cream and drink Yakult.

Later in the afternoon, I am chatting with a buyer. Can you believe it, I say, this girl is telling me to eat vanilla ice cream and I,ll get better.

Why, she interjects, everyone knows that!

Crazy people.

I do as they say anyhow.


Journal Entry No. 41311

I love pictures. Like me, they hardly ever tell the truth. Look at this picture of me. Lots of things could be farther from the truth, but I think this far enough.

For one, I don't really have a beard. All my uncles do but Mother Nature and Charles Darwin conspired to make me smooth as a baby butt with a few bristles here and there. Also, I'm not really cross eyed.

More importantly, in this picture I've bared almost everything when the naked truth is that I am back in the closet. It still feels somewhat comfortable, like I've never left, but having to watch what I say and do and the faux machismo I have to keep up with is grating.

Why the fuck do salesmen have to be so straight? Last week we had an area meeting and team building and boy you couldn't go an hour without someone bringing up the topic of sex and girls and other straight shit.

The worst part is that I want so bad to be part of it. I want to be straight and unaware that almost every guy in my team is hot as hell. Or failing that, I wish I could just be cool. I wish I could be a bro and just shoot the shit with these guys.

But damn if I don't know how. I'm too quiet, too awkward, too distant, or too saddled with a boner that just won't let me be cool damn it.

God I wish I wasn't such a dork.


Journal Entry No. 40211

Sit in the park and watch fish glide across the lagoon like iron filings tracing a magnetic field.

Sit in the park in the early evening when the breeze doesn't know yet that it's summer and still pebbles the skin.

Sit in the park while distant amplifiers blast disco records at each other.

Sit in the park listening to a stranger beside you introduce himself and desperately attempt conversation.

Sit in the park and watch lonely men, hungry men with searching eyes, play the game.

Welcome to Bacolod.


Journal Entry No. 31011

Well, yesterday was my first day of work at the new job. I got the office really fucking early. Like people 'have' to be there at 8 am, but I arrived like a quarter before. So I ended up sitting in the conference room by myself for a while. Good thing Carlie was there really early too. She handles key accounts here. First impressions; she seems really nice, a bit brusque in her movements for a girl, but I think she is a lady. A boy scout lady maybe. She chatted with me for a while about my schedule and then she turned me over to HR for my personnel orientation.

The HR lady showed me some Power Point slides about the company, the org structure, the products, etc. And then the coup de grace - the Employee Code of Discipline. In which she read to me almost the whole handbook. It was godawful boring! There was only one section that interested me really: the one on sexual harassment. Apparently, it is considered inappropriate to ask a fellow employee about his sexual activities or preferences. There is one accounts guy who is gay. He is not loud but he is flamboyant a bit. I'll see whether anyone treats him different, or if there's any gay ribbing etc.

After HR it was back to the sales office for more orientations. Berna explained the reporting system we have to use. She's one of those girls who you can say are really cutesy. You could say she is on the opposite end of the scale compared to Carlie. Funny thing is they are roommates. Ha! Anyway, there was a part of her explanation where it just got to me, how slowly she was speaking and how it was all so cutesy; plus there was a totally awesome Mario figure on her desk (and I'm not really a big fan of Mario I missed that part of my childhood but all of the sudden the guy just seemed so fucking adorable with his huge eyes) and the cuteness factor just overwhelmed me and I started giggling uncontrollably. Berna was looking at me like why the fuck was I laughing was anything she said funny? And I felt bad for her because obviously she thinks I'm laughing at her but I managed to say that Mario looked so funny and she just looked at him and back at me and I swear, if she was the type with arching eyebrows she would have arched them, but she wasn't so she didn't, we just went back to the lesson.

And then there were two talks on accounting stuff which were just marginally interesting because they were things I ought to do eventually. It was a mishmash of things really, because the manager who was supposed to do the sales orientation was really busy. We decided instead to tackle all of the admin stuff first and that was it. 5 pm came around and with nothing else to do, I asked if I could go home. The manager was really apologetic for not being able to spend time with me, and then he made some comment about how I should enjoy this lack of anything to do while it lasts, and then he gave me his blessing to leave. So I left.

You guys listen to this awesome trippy haunting remix.


Journal Entry No. 30611

I had half a pound of watermelon for lunch yesterday. Doesn't sound like much does it, but it took me almost an hour to finish. Okay, I exaggerate. This might give a better idea of what half a pound of watermelon looks like.

Oh Google, I don't know how I'm ever going to trust you again. 


Journal Entry No. 21911

I've been working my ass off and I didn't even notice. This is what I've been wasting my time on. Pure, old-fashioned goodness.

This is Miss Pearl Kinne of Detroit. "My mother used to tell me, 'A lady always wears a hat and gloves to work.'" Check out the frames she's rocking.

Ed Podolak, running back of the Kansas City Chiefs, before he grew old and a mustache to go with his age.

Found the photos on HAVI digital. Original credit: Detroit Free Press for Ms. Kinne's photo and Associated Press for Podolak.


Journal Entry No. 20711

My brother was born during a thunderstorm and he has the temper to show for it. When we were younger, he would flare up at the slightest provocation, which only encouraged us to goad him further. One time we were running around the house playing tag. Him being the smallest, he ended up being It most of the time. At some point this pissed him of so much that when we ran into the kitchen he grabbed a knife and backed me into a corner. His face was red and he had this look on his face, I thought he would stab me for sure. He was only six then.

Ten years later he is still prone to outbursts. Thankfully he has given up physical violence in favor of skulking and angst, the first choice of teenagers all over the world. I, on the other hand, have renounced my role as tormentor-in-chief. God knows he has enough demons of his own, growing up in the shadow of his older siblings. Of late, I have found myself feeling more familial. It is as if adulthood has inspired a brotherly sense of obligation. Considering how absent I was in the years I was away at college these feelings are novel, even surprising.

Ironically, now when I am home again and ready to provide friendship and guidance, it is he who is away for school. As such, I try my best to take advantage of the weekends when he is home. Last week I attempted to impress in him the importance of using the computer for more than just games.

Sid, I told him, it's not good for you to be playing DoTA all the time. You don't even know how to keep the computer free of malware. You'll regret being so illiterate. I tell you, ten years from now, people who know how to do stuff on the computer, how to make stuff work, they'll be like the wizards and dragon riders in novels. And all the other people will be the bystanders, the peasants who get killed by dragons and stuff.

To which he replied, in classic fashion: I'd rather be the dragon.

Maybe this was not a very apt analogy for people who make malware (and tons of money) vs people who click on flashing links and download malware thereby unwittingly consigning their computers to be used by the former to make even more tons of money. But I thought it would make the concept more relevant to him. I was sadly mistaken.

Yesterday we were in the sitting room discussing college. He had recently announced his intention to study packaging engineering. Being the supportive brother that I am, I did an online search for universities offering such a program. Being the mother that she is, my mom started suggesting other, better, fields of engineering. Or why doesn't Sid just blah blah blah.

Ma, I really want to study packaging engineering, why can't you let me be?

But I'm just trying to be helpful, she said.

I was sorely tempted to point out that her advice had not been especially helpful in my case but that would have only come out as vindictive, and anyway the point was moot.

In any case, I believe my brother will make his own decision. In that way he is like a dragon.


In this track Bag Raiders have the energy of Phoenix, but darker. Not in a gloomy way but in a golden moody dusky way. The vocals are sensual; the beat compelling and dancey.


Journal Entry No. 13011

Today marks the second week of my liberation into unemployment. Half of the time I am happy. The other half is spent feeling guilty for being unproductive. This is purely self-inflicted since my parents have so far made no comment, or even so much as implied by their actions, anything about my being home again. I didn't think it would be so hard to shut down the capitalist slave app in my brain. Maybe I am trying too hard to be alternative and it's not the lifestyle for me. More likely I am not trying hard enough. You know things are shit when you can't tell the difference.

But really I feel like I have accomplished nothing of significance. You could say I am in a state of somnolence although that wouldn't be very accurate as my mind is on overdrive. Lethargic passion if  you can reconcile the two would be a good way to put it. Here is a track to illustrate what I am trying to get at:

At least I haven't been completely adventureless and I am glad because if there's anything worse than being unproductive, it is being counterproductive. Duh.

Mission No. 1: Install Ubuntu. They make it sound like a breeze to switch and maybe they are telling the truth, but things are never easy for me and this was no different. It took me a whole day to get the spare PC in our condo running on Ubuntu, in the process carelessly locking everyone out of my sister's computer.

Drew - 1, Machines - 1

Mission No. 2: Say goodbye to my boys. Neil, Santiago and his interim girl Victoria, and I drove to Makati for some "authentic" Japanese food. Tucked away in a nondescript corner of Makati, on the corner of Pasong Tamo and Amorsolo streets (across Makati Cinema Square, which ironically has no cinemas) is a place called Little Tokyo. The entrance is a small fake bridge and a tori facing the street. Through the traditional Japanese gate is a driveway which leads to a courtyard hidden from street view. We chose the busiest (and cheapest, I think) restaurant and it wasn't bad at all. The waitresses all chorused a Japanese greeting as we entered and led us to a private room with sliding panels and a low table. Some unsolicited advice: don't order the rice toppings you can find in Japanese fast food menus, it tastes the same. Try the ramen instead but only if you're prepared to finish a ginormous bowl of it! Afterwards we checked out MCS cos I'd never been and I wanted to see the DVDs. The selection is good but I thought the hawkers, almost half of whom were trannies, too aggressive and almost scary.

Drew - 0, Trannies - 1

Mission No. 3: Return to Cebu. This should have been straightforward really but I did not count on both my eyes still being bright red on the day of my flight. I wasn't thinking at all really and when I checked in the woman at the counter asked me to drop by their clinic and get clearance from the doctor, a middle-aged woman who probably was kindly but was unfortunately a stickler for rules and therefore immune to my pathetic groveling. I felt like dying right then and there. But I have a very important job interview tomorrow, I said as hopelessly as I could. Tell them you need to defer it for medical reasons, that's all. Some people have no heart at all. But I am not so easily deterred. I went back to the flat to rally my spirits and come up with a plan of attack.

A few hours later, armed with dark sunglasses and a different outfit, I tried to check in again. My heart was beating so fast as I walked up to a different counter and a different girl. I handed her my ticket as nonchalantly as I could. She looked at it and said to the man beside her, I have a no show on the morning flight, shall I check him in? But the man waved her on and she went on typing away. I still could not breathe. She handed me the boarding pass and smiled. Mister, can you please remove your sunglasses for a while, I need to check your eyes. HOLY SHIT. So it was back to the clinic and I almost felt like giving up. It would be humiliating to face the same doctor again. I could almost imagine her clucking as she ticks DENIED BOARDING on the clearance form and saying, so you think you can sneak through just like that? But the door opens and I walk in and it's a man sitting at the doctor's desk. I mutter a quick prayer of thanks to whoever decreed that doctors should pull several shifts at different clinics.

I hand the man my forms and explain that he needs to clear me for boarding because my doctor has informed me that my conjunctivitis is past the contagious stage. I see, I see, he tells me as he scans my forms and then, you aren't Stephen's son are you? And I could almost jump for joy at that moment for the man sitting in front of me is Dr. Dolittle, who used to be assigned in Cebu and play golf with my dad. He shines a light in my eyes and after I inform him that it is the eleventh day my eyes have been red and that I have been applying meds for five days he decrees that the infection is subsiding and I should be good to fly home. Sometimes it surprises me the things that doctors don't worry about. Anyway we chat for a bit while the nurse applies a cold compress to my eyes, ostensibly to lessen the redness but I maybe just so he could be said to have done something.

Drew - 1, Airlines - 0

Mission No. 4: Job interview. So the first interview here was with the area sales manager and it went well. Maybe it was a bit too easy leaving me completely unprepared for the next round which was with the national sales director. To illustrate:

NSD: What was the last book you read?
Me: Well the last book I finished was Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis...
NSD: Was it a good?
Me: Yes, in fact they made it into a movie back in the 80's. (Yes because books are good if they make them into movies, like Twilight and The Notebook)
NSD: Who is Drew when he is mad?
Me: Growing up, the most sacred rule we had at home was no hitting and until now, when I get mad, I just shut up and internalize the anger. (What the fuck?)

Just to stay positive, I feel like I am so getting hired. We'll see.

Drew - ?, Job - ?


Journal Entry No. 11711

in which more of the same shit that passes for my life is detailed, as well as some news.

Cebu was fucking uneventful for me, sure it's a happening town but mostly I stayed at home and whiled away my vacation being dismissive of our latest mongrel. He is an ugly dog really, looks like a jackal that hasn't eaten for weeks, minus the bushy tail. I think there might be a soft spot for the ugly that runs in the family.

Probably the most exciting thing that happened was me crashing my high school friends' Christmas party. Called up someone who was going and asked to tag along, of course he couldn't say no. It was pretty awkward until someone busted out the alcohol and then the party really got going. There was this one drinking game I don't know what it's called but you ask someone a question and they must ask someone else a question. Player drinks if he answers the question, or hesitates in asking someone else a question. Well we made up a bunch of extra rules as we went along, stupid rules really just to get more people drunk, like you have to drink if you ask a "lame" question.

Anyway after a couple of rounds a question comes up which almost makes me choke on the pizza I'm eating. This one guy turns to the guy beside him and says, "They say you're not a real man until you've fooled around with another guy." This catches the guy being asked off-guard and everyone's laughing and saying he should drink when someone points out that it's not really a question. So then it's the guy who asked that drinks instead and then I say that he should answer his own question as well. Which doesn't make a lot of sense since we'd declared it a non-question but we make the guy down another shot to steel his confidence and prod him to answer. So sheepishly grinning he says, "I would have liked to but I've never had the chance..." and then he laughs and everyone else laughs as well and I'm the only one who doesn't get the joke. FUCKING STRAIGHT GUYS. I spend the next few nights fucking him while I jack off. I hope he feels like a real man now.

So I've been in Manila for two weeks and the past four weekends have found me in O bar getting drunk as hell it's not funny anymore. The guys that stand out:

1. Lacoste shirt, so-called because when I first saw him two months ago he was wearing a white Lacoste shirt that showed off his fitness. He was wearing an oversize black TOKYO shirt and a trucker cap and his hair was longer but he was still fine as hell. As I was leaving I met him coming back from the restroom and he said Going home so early? which was totally random as the first thing you say to a stranger but maybe not so random considering this moment from two months ago: after spending the better half of an hour sitting next to each other not talking, I get up to move somewhere else when he grabs my hand and pulls me back onto the seat.

2. Ceasar who I see at the club all the time. It's probably around 4 so I'm tired from all the dancing and just trying to drink my beer in peace. He sits himself on a chair next to mine and introduces himself. We shake hands and then he kisses me. Some guys are just too fucking forward. Also other guys are just too fucking easy.

3. Kurt and Stan. Stan reminds me of a guy I had classes with back in college. Short and slim but with wide shoulders and they even dress the same - small emo shirt, tight jeans, trucker cap. This guy is no emo, he has a boyish angelic beautiful face and it's just too bad cos I hit on Kurt first, who's also hot, just in a different way. I find out that Kurt lives not far from me so when he offered to share a cab I knew where we were going. Dropped by Banchetto to grab some breakfast (I got tapas, some bacon, and an omelet) which is becoming a habit. When we got home we were so full we couldn't sleep yet so we watched some TV. I was lying on the couch with my head on his lap and that was how I fell asleep, with his dick poking my head. We woke up late in the afternoon and finished up. He stood at the doorway watching me as I left. When I was halfway down the hallway to the elevator he called out Hey guy, what's your name again?
I couldn't believe it. I looked back at him and he had something like a smirk on his face, or whatever, but he was just too cute so I said Drew. Goodbye. And he said, Goodbye, Drew. Take care.

One more Friday and one more Saturday like this and I'm done, or at least I hope so. I'm going to go back to Cebu and I'm gonna be a good boy. Had a job interview this morning and I felt it went well, a feeling which doesn't really count since I'm pretty worthless at feelings; most of the time I get them all wrong. At least I'll know if I get into the second round of interviews within the week. If I don't, I'll find out next week. After that, it won't matter anyway.

Take care.