Pseudo 80's love story

Like an antithesis to a John Hughes film, I have always wondered how would things end between us. Not that it matters, but at least some decency to close some doors left for expectations and weekly page visit on some social networking sites. But life has its funny ways.

It's that moment where Lloyd Dobler turns off and put that boombox back to his car.

Today was random day. After my god-knows-how-boring class, I received an sms from Nikki,a college barkada, who will be in the university to process some papers. The usual, she was late for an hour. But to compensate, she asked me to accompany her to Quiapo to check her client, then would foodtrip like the old days. Its food and Quiapo, so I said yes.

Instead of Jake Ryan waiting outside the church, the graveyard was there in black and white.

Looking back, I realized it didn't start as a real thing. Which makes me wonder if there's even a taint of sensibility on it. It was our last semester in college, both have the option of taking up law because of our parents and maybe we were just up for some frenzy to kill the stress out. You were the wallflower, but your crooked smile always got me. We were sweating after that PE class, but the locker room was always there for some more exciting game.

Semester ended, and I thought, maybe for one time I can let my safeguards down and try to take thing slowly and seriously. But we made it too clear that it was only good while it lasts. There was nothing to look forward to. And since I suck at expressing emotions thru words, I asked you to watch a short film as my way of saying goodbye.

Describing Blake McDonough as "not like the others" by your best bud is far fetched, like the impossibility of proposing inside a trespassed football stadium.

After a few trips to Hidalgo and filling our appetite with reused oil infested foods along the streets of Recto, Nikki and I decided to call it a day. Instead of walking to Recto station like we used to, we decided to take a jeep and take the Legarda station instead. With heavy bags and stomachs, we argued what part of the train will we sit. I won, and waited at the one nearest to the front, just behind the discriminatory line of all train system in the country.

Life has insane ways of keeping things up. My eyes roamed for a few seconds and there you are waiting on the same train line as I am. Of course I knew you are already in Beda. But never in my wildest fantasy did it caught me that of all the possible time and place, it has got to be today. If this got to be an authentic 80's movie, then this would probably signal the musical number.

My heart skipped a beat. My emotions would have prompted me too walk towards you and say hi. Maybe we could catch up with our lives, discuss the Supreme Court plagiarism case or some law shits if you want to, or just some random musings. But I guess that was not meant to be. I pretended to text while talking to Nikki but as soon as I raised my head, you were already on the other yellow waiting line on the train, just looking at the darkness with blank eyes. That was so you. As a defense I also moved to the next opposite line. Our eyes could've met, but I was afraid I might see fire in your eyes, and you might see mine. So we faced againts each other and went silent. Fair game.

Gilmore station. Where else would you go but to treasure the sanctity of your room and your nirvana of being left alone. But the four stations between Legarda and Gilmore was enough to clarify one thing- it was all for nothing.

John Bender could have punched his fist to the air to signify a romantic triumph, but instead, it hit me on the face, and woke me up.

Your birthday greeting two months ago was a line from that film I gave you. I thought is was hilarious for your sarcastic sense of humor. I just found out Australian Filmfest is showing Mary and Max next month and I thought of how we both like that movie and the part where Que Sera Sera was played. The memory of our first and last conversation along Katipunan, still in vivid colors in my head. But the last time I checked my heart, it was numb all over.

We all have scars. We all have stories. But if it's not like the 80's movies, then I guess that's just how it should be.


This ought to be a guide for my family and friends who will, and most probably, buy me a gift for the Holidays.

In bold are those I have read

In italics, those I would appreciate to have within the end of the year.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (just a few chapters though)

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


I have never finished and Bronte's novel in my whole life, and Marquez and Austen's books are my sleeping pills.

I have never read a hard core sci-fi. I tried Asimov and I burned the book.

I read The Bible because I used to be the family's holiest boy.

For my college barkada christmas party, I wished for the complete set of Larsson's Millenium Trilogy or Krauss' The History of Love.

I dig law books now. I feel sick I might throw up anytime after publishing this.

Not gift related

I would never date someone who had never read The Little Prince and do not know how to pronounce Les Miserables.

X & Y

A friend, born during the Martial law era, told me I was lucky to be born in the 90s. As he lamented, his generation has no identity-they were too young to actually realize the Marcos regime and the first people power was more of a holiday for them.

I then asked, but you call yourselves Generation X right? That signifies something. You were the children of parliamentary. The last of those with ideas of fascism and a government banning Voltes V thinking it would lead to revolution. We don't have that crazy laws now.

He said it was nothing. The children of the war were deemed to be the best generation, those that followed after were the baby boomers, which gave birth to my generation. His, according to him, was never tainted with such important event that will distinguish his generation- they were raised restraint from a lot of things and when they had the the opportunity to be mature, there were no more cause to fight for- no more evil empire to fight, no more Eureka moment to actually find fulfillment.

I rested my case. But then it bothered me, aside from being called the Y Generation, was there anything I could exclusively attribute to my generation that would stop me from going back to the conversation I had above.

You have the internet, he said.

Yeah, if you're from some first world country. Here, I guess my generation share with the Millennium babies the credit for that. And I thought of my 10 year-old sister playing Pet Society.

You have Jolina, he laughed. I thought he was right, at least the standard on how you perceive a jologs from one who is not came from the days we cheer for Judy Ann and Wowie.

In my mind, I can actually think of different factors that would differentiate my generation from that of the others. There are the various scandals and economic crisis that marked what our country is now; the boom of Monica Brava and Meteor Garden and Power Ranger; globalization and digital innovation to name a few. But to think of those as the defining identity of our generation has not yet caught my mind. We didn't have John Hughes. The Beatles and the Smiths are played on tape, with no possibility of seeing live. The evil sought now is different from that of the early years.

At least Gen X and Y cultures are not disposable. What we have will last and will always be a part of us, no matter what. I told him while we sip the last of our coffee.

We laughed.

God, can you imagine kids today talking about Kim Chiu after ten years? I bet they wouldn't even remember her. At least we have Julie Vega before, he boasted.

(Comic) geek in the pink

I have been reading a lot of graphic novels these past few weeks. Well, the geek inside me has prevailed over law school pressure so comics and some novels had again taken my life. At least it gave me a break from plain black and white sheets of paper scattered across my room.

Graphic novels, I believe, still has a very small market in the country. But in case you decide to spend your bucks on one, here are some recommended titles and character with a touch of pink you could start from:)

1) Wiccan and Hulkling of Young Avengers
I actually have to stop before I continued writing because I get too excited. Undeniably, these two are the cutest couple in the whole Marvel universe. Wiccan is the Scarlet Witch's son and Hulkling is the son of Mr. Marvel and some woman from Krull. The first few issues of the comic were filled with innuendos, but in the 12th and the following issues, their relationship has been a very vocal focal point of the story. I read the graf novel for the nth time and I still have the heartstop moment.

3) Midnighter and Apollo of The Authority
If Batman would have been gay, he'd be Midnighter. But I guess they are not that appealing if you are not into stories of historic and military background. But Midnighter's influence in gay pop culture as the first gay character to have his own titled series is huge. Plus, they even got married and adopted a baby girl. I still have to catch up with their story line and I am not really positive with superheroes marrying, but I guess I'll spare some more space for them.

2) Northstar of X-Men
This, I found hard to find, even online. I guess his story line is too disrupted since he is not a main character compared to say, invincible Wolverine or too gay Storm. But hey, Northstar is the most openly gay character in the whole mainstream comic world, even having crush on Iceman. I guess X-men just have to develop him more.

I think the three above is the best place to start with. But of course there are still more that feature pink character more or less. The new series Chew has a cop who seems gay, Neil Gaiman had one in The Sandman. But if you just want some plain love story, try Yaoi. There are some good find like Seven Days, but most are trashy over squeezed plots.

Okay, I can't help but post more shots from Wiccan and Hulkling. Forgive me, I am a big fan.

Bookstores don't have closets

I guess I have been breathing books even before I knew the pleasure of orgasm. Both my parents are from the academe, and I would spent significant parts of my childhood surrounded by shelves and closets of books and my dad's physics journals. In my mind, I traveled with Anne of Green Gables and moved mountains with Matilda.

To escape the realms of this world, I have to read.

I have read Sherlcok Holmes and Dr. Watson, Dorian Gray and Sir Henry, Batman and Robin but the notion of what I know now as bromance was for me, just pure friendship. Nothing like the Jane Austen type of novel. Mr. Darcy, for me, was an attractive fellow and Cyclops in his tight suit is the man. It was, in my young mind, a very usual attachment.

It was not until I felt different that I scrambled through our mini library to look for fictional characters that I might relate to. The closest I got was Oscar Wilde's (thus my fascination for his greatness), Mr. Hadolini in Catcher in the Rye and Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But scrambling more through our house, the closest I found to explain the attraction I felt was in my father's books about gravity.

That moment, I realized how prejudiced my situation was. While Elaine, the school queen bee has Stargirl to giggle with whenever the cute guy from the higher level looks at her, I was trying to fit myself in the Bronte sister's tales despite the fact that I was falling for the boy who leads the flag ceremony. And while she reads A Walk to Remember when she found out he is already taken, I was stuck in the real world, with no avenue to travel to another world.

When I wanted to escape the most, confused with what was happening, there were a few worlds to rely on- that was my sadness. Deep inside, I thought, even great minds hide inside dark closets to escape the real world's skepticism.

Years after, I still seek for solitude in those worlds read and created by my mind. I would still check the Gay & Lesbian shelf in National Bookstore in Cubao and sigh when I see the conservatism in such place that is supposed to be a collection of all sort of portals. Despite my smiles when I see the growing numbers of non fictional books in the university's main library, I still think of those young struggling kids who was in the same situation as I was before-why couldn't Sherlock Holmes just marry Dr. Watson, they're perfect together!

There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book, Books are well written, or badly written. Perfect words from Mr. Wilde.

If there's one thing reading has taught me, it is that the world out there is big enough for me. Maybe not as vast and understanding as the fictional world I am used to, but definitely worth living. And that there are always opportunities to scavenge through old and dusty closets to search a world even greater than what C.S. Lewis could imagine.

Back to the story

"I really like you. Okay, I also like her, but that's it. I can like any other person, right? But with you its really different."

Bullshit. You can now go back to being a slimy and disgusting frog.

Now, I don't believe in commitment but I respect those who do. One reason: my bestfriend believes in her fairytale and her knight in shining armor. Through the years, I saw her earnestly wait for that guy and swallowed my own pride to catch with her bombshell dreams.

So I was ecstatic when he told me about him. A few weeks after, she introduced him and would invite me to third party their date. The few months, I saw my bestfriend strut through busy workload and stress with a smile. All the time, I saw stars in her eyes, I wondered if maybe I am wrong.

Then the above quoted words. I don't care if I won't have time to read the freaking assigned cases. This is one of those very seldom times I leave neverland and squeeze the humane in me. All for her, to hell with that guy-frog.

One word or act, and the fairytale starts to crumble. Snow White enticed by the redness of the apple, took a bite; Aurora, in her curiosity, touched that one thing she had never laid her eyes on ever. And that guy fucked the whole things up.

I am in no position to mutter "I told you so", but she let her fairytale crumble and told me I may be correct. From the person I least expected to agree with me, I felt like the evil witch in every tale.

And there, out of nowhere or maybe of desperation, I told her she did not do anything to be like me. I still believe she is the princess of her own fairytale and I don't want to be the one to blame when she ends up being the evil queen.

And just like that, I threw the black coat of cynicism and tried to weave back her aspirations of love and hope. Without the deep sleep, Snow White or Aurora won't get that true love's kiss. For a moment, I believed, for her sake.

Chances are, she's already crying herself to sleep now. And I was left lying in my bed, with books and papers scattered on the floor, thinking.

One guy told me I am in the borderline of misanthropy. I don't think I am. But the world is one wicked stepmother's poisonous apple, its beauty baneful, its sweetness deadly that left me nothing but doubt.

The walking dead

Right after I was quite sure my parents were willing to pay for my yet another four years of school, I told myself I have one semester to actually sort things out. You see, while most were rejoicing to be part of the 15% who passed, I was talking to my thesis adviser with tears in my eyes.

You know when they always tell you to choose the good path? I bet your Sunday school teacher taught you that, too. But I was often caught in a situation where the few options remaining seem to be better than the other. And with no time in my hands, I went with my guts.

I saw myself with an enrollment form and cases to be read even if I wasn't enrolled yet. I prepared for a life of- oh, no life.

But I told myself I have to settle everything after the semester so it won't be too hard to go back to point zero in case thing fall apart. So sembreak it was, make or break.

But the last two weeks just saw me watching foreign movies (thank god torrent, forgive me laptop), catching up on unwatched series and starting new ones, and reading novels bought during the semester. And since I am broke, I sticked to reading The Walking Dead in PDF. Some morning I spent drinking coffee with my parents, some spent in the bed hugging the cold fresh wind on the country.

It was two weeks of absolutely no heavy thinking, except for some guessing game with my high school friends about who's who with whom.

And just like that, the semestral break was over and I was up facing another yet miserable months ahead of me with a mind of blur. It's like when Rick Grimes woke up in the hospital bed and saw the world devastated with zombies but has no idea how suddenly every human body is like a entrée.

And now, I have to sleep early because tomorrow is yet another day. Or I could just finish reading TWD and go to class tomorrow with bloodshot eyes and rotten attitude.

To hell with the starbucks planner...

I'm buying this.
Witty will save the World's 2011 planner! Check it here-

Or if anyone out there is willing to buy me one, I would really appreciate.

Merry Christmas! :D


I was quite the corky kid in my WorldLit class back in college. I ran against almost all of the majority's point of view. I thought Medea is but amazing and Yokio Mishima is the most underrated Japanese writer. I went against this cocky engineering student who still wear elephant pants when talking of human nature in discussing The Iliad.

But I guess it, the cynicism, took its toll when we took up Inspirational literature and Paolo Coehlo. As far as I can remember, I was the only one in the class arguing against the mysticism surrounding the sudden boom of books that tells me everything is going to be alright. Don't get me wrong, I actually think Coehlo's Eleven Minutes is quite good. But the fuss behind literature being inspirational that tells one how to live his life is not quite beyond my catch.

But sometimes some good "it-will-get-better" moments are needed. Especially now when things are changing at a pace faster than I never would imagine when I was back in college.

Ah, cynicism at its best.