Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Smoke Spells Trouble

Normally, I abhor elements that pollute the environment. Anything that spoils the beauty of nature is my nemesis. It still is. However, this time, I don’t come out clean.

Now, it used to be that I repel bitches and bullies. I guess my constant exposure to them allowed me to develop a special kind of immunity. I mean, in the world where I live, they are an inevitable part of the great majority. Note that in the world where I live, everything is not as pink and flowery as it seems. No, wait, it’s not pink and flowery at all! You can only imagine what would happen to me when trapped in a relatively small space oozing with positive ambiance and populated by a bunch of nice people. Not a good sight. Definitely not a good sight.

But I was trapped in a relatively small space oozing with positive ambiance, and populated by a bunch of nice people.

Nature found a way for me to cope. Again, I correct myself. I found a way to cope.

One nauseating afternoon, after being exposed to an extremely pleasant environment, I decided to defy my own personal laws. I searched for the most convenient store there is where I could buy the only thing which would potentially take the nausea away. In this case, my definition of “convenient” is not based on location. It’s more based on anonymity.

“Convenient” is scarce when your mother happens to be a title holder of the Ms. Congeniality award and you happen to look like your mother. Having been gifted with 90% of her genes, everyone will know that you are her daughter. And eventually, your mom will know what you have been up to.

Anyway, my search for the vomit-soothing tool was easy; it was the whole journey which proved to be hard.

Next step I took was buying the tool that would ignite the “the only thing which would potentially take the nausea away.” In my attempt to remain anonymous, I hopped to another store. I discretely asked the saleslady if they had the thing-which-should-not-be-named-aloud. With the least effort she could muster, she pretended to be searching. She wasn’t a good actress and she sure wasn’t the most patient person in the world. To my dismay she yelled to the other saleslady, “May lighter ba tayo?”

Guilty people are paranoid. In my case, even without the guilt I am paranoid.

I could have melted beside that saleslady but apparently I did not. Perhaps the persistent nausea kept me alive and conscious—extremely conscious in fact. I left the store in a snap and decided to buy the publicized lighter somewhere else.

A few minutes later, I succumbed to the practice which I used to detest. I popped a menthol candy inside my mouth. (A friend of mine once told me that the menthol candy completes the whole ritual.) Then, I saw a bright light, and another, and another.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen! I huffed and puffed my first stick of cigar. I, who abhorred elements that pollute the environment, polluted the environment! I, who never gave in to any form of smoky peer pressure, smoked!

Rationality faded along with the smoke and nausea I exhaled. For a few minutes, I learned not to care—I learned not to think. I huffed and puffed, and puffed and huffed; and the world became hazily clear. The same way nice things can be bad; bad things can be good too—sometimes.

The nausea subsided but I am sure that the nicotine and tar I voluntarily and actively deposited in my lungs did not. They are stuck in my alveoli—the tiny air sacs that keep me alive.

They may be clogging my lungs as I speak but at least this time, they are clogged because of me and not because of some inconsiderate stranger sitting beside me. Now, that’s supposed to justify the smoke that got me in and out of trouble? That darn stick must have done more damages on me than I thought!

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

When Dreams Do Come

We dream and we hope against hope that these dreams come true. For some, it takes millenniums before their dreams are actualized. For me, it took around two years. Roughly.

I am not a born writer. I detested writing the same way I abhorred reading. For me, both activities eat up precious time to socialize—to be present in the world, to see and breathe what is real.

I wrote because I needed to. It’s either I whip up something or I’ll fail in school. Whichever way I look at it, the latter was not an option.

I can’t say I survived school by submitting half-baked papers. Heaven knows they’re not half-baked! Come to think of it they were never baked at all. They were all utterly raw. Just imagine what kind of gibberish results from inserting a decent piece of paper on a worn out typewriter then typing one’s thoughts extemporaneously. Anyone who lived in the pre-word processor days knows that typewriters aren’t equipped with one (or two) of the best keys computer keyboards today offer, the backspace (or delete) key.

And I dared to dream of becoming a writer. Must be something I ate. Or my insatiable masochism—my subconscious must have known what torment it would be to turn me into a writer. But I went on with the bumpy ride armed with a dream, not with talent. And what fun it is!

One Sunday night, I got an unexpected call from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I had to sit down and catch my breath, otherwise I would have passed out without hearing what the person on the other end of the line was about to say. And then she said it. They were considering the first article I ever submitted to them. That meant, the glory of the byline was soon to be mine. I shrieked and jumped and cried. Although I submitted my work, I never saw such privilege coming.

Almost one month after, I savored the sweetness of having the public listen to my written voice. I would say it is the best thing that ever happened to me. It kept me in cloud nine for months. The dream I thought of constructing two years ago just came true!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

In Memory of Aaron--Youngblood Edition

What can I say about a twenty-three-year-old boy who died? That his death isn’t romantic. That it is mostly tragic.

Thursday afternoon, after returning from my break I received a text message which read, “…patay na c aron…” I am not sure if it was really obscenely cold in the office or what, but at that instant, I felt like the temperature at the exact spot where I was seated drop close to zero. My entire body began to shiver. A slight pang of grief struck me.

Someone I know just died.

***

Barely a month ago, my mom and I visited Aaron in the hospital. I learned, two days before, that he had problems with his heart—literally, that is.

Now, I often have these pseudo-chitchats in my mind. It’s my way of testing the words I’m about to say—sort of prototype conversations. Anyway, if someone heard me then, he’d probably smack my head for thinking like a complete idiot. Why? Because I thought, “Boy, you look sick.”

An annoyed little voice inside my head replied, “He should. He is sick.”

And indeed he was.

***

Aaron and I have known each other for 11 years, but we were never friends. We never became friends. We hadn’t even had a decent five-minute conversation with each other—ever. Not one.

Our connection is bound by the same element that holds together the members of a normal family: oblique, filial love. (Note that in my vocabulary “normal,” when pertaining to “family,” is synonymous to “dysfunctional,” thus explaining the “bond” despite the lack of “talk.”)

You may look at it this way, Aaron is like family to me. Now that he’s gone, I feel like I’ve lost a brother.

Don’t be fooled. We never had those warm brotherly-sisterly times together. We just know that in some unexplainable way, we were related. Our interaction was limited to “Kakain (na),” “Ang mommy ko (mo)?” “Oo nga no?” “Hindi ko alam,” “Sige”—you get the picture.

We once spent a youthful summer together, though. Along with my siblings and his sibling, we joined a volleyball league held in the street where my family and his family used to live. He hated me for missing points by not running after the ball. I hated him back for being harsh.

Sometimes, I thought that he was crazy. That same summer, he hit his chin on the edge of a table. It bled so much that his mom rushed him to the hospital. The moment he stepped out of the emergency room with a stitched chin, he burst with a matching gesture, “Superman!”

Despite that, I’d still say he wasn’t the worst kid his age, but I know he wasn’t the best student his age either. He went to school for the fun of it, not for the need of it. There was even a time when I doubted if he can actually read a minimum of 1,000 different words or, at least, write his own name. It’s mean of me, I know. It’s just that I wondered why even if we started high school together (we attended different schools, though), he seemed to have been trapped there.

We parted ways when his family moved to the province. Little did I know that I would have the opportunity to be with them frequently come my college years. I ended up attending a university in the same province where they transferred.

He would drive his mom to my dormitory for “calamity” or leisurely visits. Sometimes, I was the one who graced their home. The whole time, he never resented me for sharing his mom.

I did not see him or the rest of his family for a while when I decided to be like him temporarily. (Translation: I took the time off from school too.) Later, I just learned that he got his girlfriend pregnant after he told my Ate, over the phone, that he was in the house of his “biyenan.” He said it like it was a joke.

At 18, he became a dad to a boy who looks exactly like him.

***

We grew up.

He grew up. He used to be shorter than I was, but I soon noticed that he was already inches taller than I.

I grew up. I managed to convince myself that school is important. I graduated college. He didn’t.

We both grew up in two different ways.

***

Aaron was the picture of a carefree “kabataan.” He goes through his day without any vivid, realistic plans for his future. He lived like Peter Pan. At least, as far as I know. It made it hard for me to see him, for the first time, sort-of deflated in a hospital bed.

I guess he found himself a comfortable position on the hospital bed he hardly slept on when, during my first visit, he decided to give us a basic lesson in anatomy.

He said, “Nandito pala ang puso,” then he pointed at the left side of his stomach. He was serious all throughout.

His Kuya and I laughed.

He defended his point by saying, “Nung inexamine ako sa E.R., dito [still pertaining to the alleged location of his heart] nila pinakinggan ang tibok ng puso ko.”

In the mildest way I could muster, I quipped, “Nalipat na pala ang puso? Ay kaya yan masakit.”

I really thought it was funny.

***

The doctors were supposed to repair two valves in Aaron’s heart, but due to complications, they fixed three.

Aaron’s spirit fought but his body lost. Two days after his operation, his freshly mended heart ceased beating.

***

Upon learning that he’s gone, the first thing that popped inside my head was the idea that he may have died without knowing where his heart is. It made me sad.

I wonder if I’ll die that way too. Expiring without knowing where my heart really is.

I don’t know which one is worse, dying without knowing where your heart is or living without knowing where your heart is.

***

The last time I saw him alive, he asked me to accompany him to the hospital recovery room where a nurse was taking him. He was scheduled to watch a video explaining what happens to a patient after undergoing an open-heart surgery. I doubt if he watched it at all. He kept on vomiting air the whole time. He barely ate anything so he barely threw up anything.

I knew that no matter how unserious a person he used to be, he was definitely seriously ill.

***

I never comforted Aaron nor gave him any concrete form of moral support during my last visit. I didn’t know how. I’m just not good at easing people’s pain—at least, people who are suffering from first-degree pain.

I left without bidding him good-bye. I left without letting him know where his heart was. But maybe I wasn’t meant to.

When I think about it now, I don’t think I am entirely sure where people’s hearts are.

I do not even know where mine is.

Friday, August 13, 2004

In Memory of Aaron Rabajante

ORIGINAL VERSION

And I thought that my first day at work will top my week. I have even began to mentally draft an essay on how I spent my initial hours on my first job, ever, reading a million greeting cards—some I like, some I don’t—then proceeded on relaying how nice the people in my workplace are. Of course, I would end up saying that they’re too darn nice that if I let them get to me, I’d be sick and I’d have to take a leave of absence for a month.

As much as it would be fun to explore the topics I’ve just enumerated, I’m afraid I have to reserve the fun stuff later to make way for something more important: the major event of my week.

It’s not a good event; rather it’s being tragic leaves a very intense impact on me.

12 Aug 2004, 3:15 p.m. I just came back from my break when I received a text message in my cellphone which read: “…patay na c aron…” I am not sure if it was really cold in the office or whatever, but at that instant I felt like the temperature just dropped close to zero—well at least, the temperature at the exact spot where I was seated. My hands trembled relentlessly. I had no one to share my slight pang of grief. Someone I know just died.

Barely a month ago, my mom and I visited HIM in the hospital. I learned two days before that he had problems with his heart—literally, that is.

Now, I often have pseudo-chitchats in my mind. It’s my way of filtering words that are supposed to be said from those which are better off kept within the bounds of my skull. Anyway, if anyone heard me then, they’d think I’m an idiot. Why? Because I thought, “Boy, you look sick.”

A little annoyed voice inside my head replied, “He should. He IS sick.”

Indeed he was.


Aaron and I were not friends. In the 11 years we’ve known each other, we never became friends. We hadn’t even had a decent five-minute conversation with each other—ever. Not one.

Our connection is bound by the same element that holds the members of a normal family: oblique, filial love. (Note that in my vocabulary “normal,” when pertaining to “family,” is synonymous to “dysfunctional,” thus explaining the “bond” despite the lack of “talk.”)

You may look at it this way, Aaron is like a brother to me. Now that he’s gone, I feel like I lost a brother.

Our interaction within the span of time I’ve known him was limited to “Kakain (na),” “ang mommy ko (mo)?” “oo nga no?” “Hindi ko alam,” “sige”—you get the picture. Together with my siblings and his sibling, we joined a volleyball league in the street where my family and his family used to live. He hated me for missing points by not running after the ball. I hated him back for being harsh on me.

I’d still say he wasn’t the worst kid his age, but I know he wasn’t the best student his age either. He went to school for the fun of it, not the need of it. There was even a time when I doubted if he can actually read a minimum of 1,000 different words or, at least, write his name. It’s mean of me, I know. It’s just that I often wondered why we started high school together (we attended different schools, though) but he seemed to have been stuck there. I reached Second Year College while he remained in high school.

I did not see him or the rest of his family for a while when I decided to be like him temporarily. (Translation: I took the time off from school too.) Later, I just learned that he got his girlfriend pregnant after he told my Ate, on the phone, that he was in the house of his biyenan. So at 18, he became a dad to a boy who looks exactly like him.


We grew up.

He grew up. He used to be shorter than I, but when I reached my last year in college and when he and his mom visited me in my dormitory, I noticed that he was already inches taller than I was.

I grew up. I managed to convince myself that school is important; I graduated college. He didn’t.

He was the typical kabataan. And he lived like a bata (At least, as far as I know.) It made it hard for me to see him sort-of deflated in his hospital bed, not knowing how to position himself just to ease the pain he was suppressing.


I guess, he felt a little better when he began “teaching” us. He said, “Nandito pala ang puso,” then he pointed at the left side of his stomach. He was serious all throughout.

His Kuya and I laughed.

He defended his point by saying, “Nung inexamine ako sa E.R., dito [still pertaining to the alleged location of his heart] nila pinakinggan ang tibok ng puso ko.”
In the mildest way I could muster, I quipped, “Nalipat na pala ang puso?! Ay kaya yan masakit.”

I thought it was funny.


Upon learning he’s gone, the first thing that popped in my head was the idea that he may have died without knowing where his heart is. It made me sad.

I wonder if I’ll die that way too. Expiring without knowing where my heart really is.

I don’t know which one is worse, living without knowing where your heart is or dying without knowing where your heart is.

Last time I saw him alive, he asked me to accompany him to the hospital recovery room. A nurse was taking him there to watch a video explaining what happens to a patient after undergoing an open-heart surgery. I doubt if he watched at all. He kept on vomiting air the whole time. I knew that no matter how unserious a person he used to be, he was seriously ill.

After the mini-seminar, his mom and I left the room. I consoled his mom. I’ve always considered her my 2nd mom. I felt that she needed it. Somehow I know that it is hard for a mother to see her child undergo such risky operation.

I never comforted Aaron nor made him feel any concrete form of moral support during my last visit. I didn’t know how to. I’m just not good at easing people’s pain—at least, people who are suffering from first-degree pain.

I left without bidding him good-bye.

I left without letting him know where his heart was.


I guess, I myself do not know where it was. (I just missed my chance.)

Thursday, July 29, 2004

From Los Baños and Back

Almost two and a half months after I last breathed the Los Baños air, I got the opportunity to revisit the place I called home for around four and a half years. However, the “legality” (so to speak) of my visit was all about my last business there. Just the same, I savored every rainy moment I had in my former habitat.

The moment I stepped on the UPLB grounds, I went straight down to business. I got my PINK transcript of records and my PUNY diploma. OK, I admit. I had, plastered on my face, a big smile free from sarcasm while holding such life-long earned papers—well, at least for the first 30 seconds of holding them.

A pink transcript of records is fine. I can let it pass since I occasionally feel like flaunting my feminine side. But a puny diploma??? I didn’t work my ass off to college to get a piece of paper which can be read within the range of 0.50 meters!!

A few days later, I came to my senses. I like my puny diploma.

It’s sturdy since the substance of the paper is way above 24. It’s portable so I wouldn’t have to worry about ever folding it when I bring it to a photocopy center. It’s unpretentious. It’s neat. It’s practical. And most of all, it’s my pride.

I like my diploma!


Back to Los Baños.

Almost everything there is the same. Almost. The tent-like structure which was being put up when I left is already done. But it still is a tent-like structure. There were less familiar faces on campus though, but the Humanites Building remains the same.

The only element that held me back from my leaving Los Baños two and a half months ago was my friends. It’s quite immature but it’s true. It’s just that it’s hard enough to find people to trust. It’s even harder to leave the people whom you trust.

I got to spend time with them—the people whom I trust. Not as plenty of time as I used to but I did. For a few instances, I felt out of place. There were my friends, busy with school work while I was not. Usually, it is fun to see people suffer while you sit in the cozy side of the room, brushing your hair. However, I didn’t enjoy it this time around. It reminded me of the things I no longer have. My friends knew what they were supposed to do while I didn’t. They have things that will keep them busy while I don’t. They have a life. I don’t.

I am happy for them. Really, genuinely happy for them. I’m not happy for me.

* * *

While in LB I did my courtesy visits. You know, I had to make my presence felt to those who are dear to me (hopefully, I am dear to them). I was hoping to end my unfinished business in LB but I somehow failed. I simply could not get the right timing to correct the wrongs in the past—well, at least, to clear out the wrongs in the past.

My stay in LB had to end. I would have wanted to stay longer in the humanities steps but the incessant rain wouldn’t let me. I would have wanted to stay in Los Baños longer but my personal treasury wouldn’t allow me. Sometimes, things really have to end.

Unless I would earn my own money to bring me to LB and back, I am afraid I would never breathe the Los Baños air anymore.

Funny. I landed in LB because I wanted to run away from the chaotic city where I grew up. I left LB once because I missed my chaotic city. I returned to LB to plant a promising future in the chaotic city. And now, I am in the chaotic city—I am bound to thrive in the chaotic city and all I can think about is returning to Los Baños, my sanctuary.

Thus, my journey from Los Baños and back.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Fashion Rant

What’s wrong with you people?

I’m a human being, for crying out loud!

I deserve a fashionable piece of cloth to envelop my body—
one which is intended
for a three-dimensional being
not
a
paper doll!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Mula Los Baños Hanggang Malacañang

Isa ako sa mga taong matiyagang nilalakad mula UPLB Campus patungo sa Grove hanggang Lopez Avenue. Ayon sa walang basehan kong sukatan, kulang-kulang isang kilometro rin iyon.

Ganoon ako kasipag. Wala lang. Type ko lang.

O sige na nga. Nagsusunog din ako ng taba. Kapos din ako sa pamasahe. Happy now? Pero hindi iyon ang point. Napansin ko lang na nagsisimula nang putaktihin ng mga mukha ng mga pulitiko ang mga poste’t pader ng very wonderful and homey Los Baños.

Galing ako sa SESAM Lecture Hall. Wala ang teacher ko kaya hindi na naman ako nakapagreport. Lintik! Mukhang masasayang pa yata ang limpak-limpak (OA na, limpak lang) na salaping ginastos ko para sa mga visual aids! Anyway, dahil malamig naman ang panahon, naisipan kong bumalik sa dating gawi. Naglakad ako.

Sumambulat sa akin ang ‘sangkatutak na kabataang nakahelera mula UPLB gate hanggang Lopez Avenue. May dala silang flaglets at banners. Alam mo ba kung ano’ng nakasulat sa banner?

“We love you Jolina!”

Joke.

“Welcome GMA”

Kita mo nga naman, pupunta pala si Ate Glo dito, hindi man lang nagtext. Sa tinagal-tagal ko sa Maynila, never kong nakasalubong sa kalye ang presidente ng Pilipinas.

Ayos talaga dito sa Los Baños. Kahit malayo sa Malacañang, dinarayo pa rin ng presidente!

Hindi si Ate Glo ang nakita ko. Tinitingnan ko pa lang ang larawan (take note: colored ang pin-up at mas malaki sa long bond paper) ng isang mama na hindi ko alam kung anong ginagagawa sa senado nang biglang nagkatawang-tao siya sa harapan ko.

Naloka ang mga misis ng tahanang nakikiosyosong katulad ko. Nagtatatalon sila sabay sigaw, “Noli!”

Napamura ako ng Tagalog. Mananalo pa yata ang loko. Parang gusto ko ring sumigaw, “Oy, kumapit ka d’yan sa auto mo! (Nakalabas kasi ang kalahati ng kanyang katawan sa nagmomotorcade na luxury van) Baka malaglag ka pa sa kakakaway!”

Yeah right! Concern ako.

E kasi naman, baka malaglag pa siya’t makakita ako ng dugo. Morbid ko ba? Hindi. Kasi nga masyado pang maaga para madisappoint ang milyun-milyong fans ng “Magandang Gabi Bayan” sa kanilang soon-to-be vice-president. Why not hayaan muna natin siyang maupo, maglaro, at pumalpak bago natin siya sabay-sabay na ihagis mula sa tuktok ng isang luxury truck?

Pero in fairness, parang maganda ang skin ni Ka-Noli. Foundation at blush-on ba ‘yon?

Naglakad pa ako. Agitated na ang mga kabataan. Excited na silang makita ang kanilang presidente na ‘di nalalayo ang height sa kanila. (Oops, personalan ‘yon!)

May dumaan na “nice” na bus; “special trip” ang nakalagay. May sakay daw na artista ‘yon sabi ng nadaanan kong hospital attendant na nakikiosyoso rin. Hindi ko naman napansin ang sakay ng bus dahil mas masayang pagmasdan ang mga mamamayang Pilipino habang nakangangang ina-anticipate ang pagdating ni Madam President.

Pagdaan ng isa pang bus, nagtilian muli ang mga tao. Wala naman akong nakita. Puro kurtina lang ng bus at isang mamang nakadungaw.

“Sino ‘yon?” Tanong ng isang bading na panandaliang iniwan ang kanyang parlor.

“Di ko alam,” sagot ng kanyang kasama na sigurado akong isa naman sa mga tumili. “Basta artista raw ang mga nakasakay sa bus.”

Talaga nga naman. May hakot pang celebrities ang mga pulitikong mangangampanya rito. Kaya yata naiisipan ng mga artistang tumakbo. Ganoon din naman kasi. Kasama rin sila sa pangangampanya, kaya why not campaign for themselves? Naisip ko nga, maglaan na lang kaya ng special spot/position sa gobyerno intended only for the artistas. Yung parang imbis na Bb. Pilipinas-Universe lang, may Bb. Pilipinas-World o Bb. Pilipinas-International. Therefore, magkakaroon ng political president at showbiz president. Ganoon din sa vice. Cute ‘yon. May variety. Tapos habang nanunungkulan ang political president, na hopefully ay hindi trapo, aarte na lang ang showbiz president. Aarte na nanunungkulan din siya. Kagaya nung ginawa ni Erap. O kaya naman, habang nagso-SONA ang political president, maglalaan ng maliit na bilog sa TV screens (s’yempre televised ang SONA) where we will see the showbiz president interpreting the messages of the political president. Mag-skit s’ya doon o kaya mime. Parang “Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko” ang dating.

Konting lakad ko pa, nagsigawan muli ang mga tao. No. Hindi sila nag-away. Andyan kasi si Jawo. Napalingon muli ako. Si Jawo?!? In fairness (ulit), kahit wala siya sa basketball court, mukha pa rin siyang pawit-pawit.

E ‘di ba isa sa mga nang-onse sa bayan ‘yon? Magkapartido sila ni GMA? Close na sila?

Hay ang politics talaga, puno ng ka-showbiz-an!

Hindi ko tuloy lubusang maisip kung sino ang iboboto ko. You see, first time ko kasi. Virgin pa ang aking daliri sa indelible ink. Oops, walang anuhan ng edad! Hindi ako umabot sa cut-off by 1 month nung 1998 presidential elections. Tapos, nagpaka-antisocial naman ako noong magbobotohan na ng new batch of senators nung 2001. But hell, I don’t need to explain! Si FPJ nga, hindi nagpapaliwanag kung anong nakain niya’t tumatakbo siya ngayon.

Grabe na ‘to! Kahit sino na lang mag-trip pwedeng tumakbo. Sa tingin ko lang, nothing’s gonna stop Mahal from going for the presidential post. Maski running mate pa niya si Jimboy o si Mura, mananalo ‘yon as long as may career pa siya sa MTB by the time na tumakbo siya.

Hindi ko na hinintay si Ate Glo. Ang tagal kasi. At saka paninindigan ko na lang na ‘wag siyang makita.

From where I am right now, naririnig ko pa rin ang mga “wang-wang” ng mga naggagandahang sasakyang lulan ang mga aspiring leaders ng bayan. Ang halaga ng mga sasakyang iyon ay enough to feed 4,000 men.

Ewan ko na lang talaga kung saan patungo ang bayan natin after this elections. Hindi ko lang alam kung papaano pa babagsak ang bansang bagsak na. Siguro, this time, lagapak na with matching kalabog.

Sabi nga ng isa kong propesor, “our country could not afford anymore mistakes.” Agree ako dun.

‘Pag si FPJ ang nanalo, ewan ko na lang. Siguro pwede na akong magtayo ng kiosk sa Quiapo. Kasi ang hula ko magiging “Erap: the repeat” lang ang mangyayari. Now, kung magwawagi nga si FPJ, maveverify ang 99.99% sure na hula ko. So hindi siya hula. Let’s call it a prophecy para mas spiritual ang dating—parang mayroong na-intercept na divine intervention. At dahil effective akong manghula, ka-carireen ko na lang ang fortune-telling. Go na ito! Makiki-compete na ako sa mga “madam” sa Quiapo grounds

Kaya lang, ‘pag nagkaganoon, malalayo na ako sa Los Baños. Hindi ko na malalakad ang Grove hanggang Lopez. Sa Maynila na lang ako mag-i-istroll.

Ayaw ko.

Malapit sa Malacañang ‘yon. Baka talagang hindi ko na makita ang presidente.