Thursday, December 31

I just wanted to say...

... that this has been a meaningful year for me.  Harsh, yes, but profoundly beautiful all the same.

I want to thank all the people who have touched me this year.  If you happen to be one of them and you are reading this blog post, then I thank you.  I am humbled and honored and yes, lucky to have people like you touch my life (very Hallmark but fuck I don't care because I mean it). I wish you all a great and more profound life this coming year.  Be well and safe winds.

Tuesday, December 22


I've always maintained that I don't celebrate Christmas... Not that I don't believe in it; it's just that I don't have enough affinity to celebrate the spirit of the Holiday cheer or whatever you call it these days.  I love the free food and free gifts though, so you can call me a hypocrite. Like I said before, I used to love Christmas when I was a kid.  I used to look forward to everything that was Christmas - the decors, the Christmas tree, the fake snow {I live in the tropics}, the loud disco Christmas songs that my mother used to play in full volume the whole of December, the Christmas table with all the Filipino trimmings {by that I mean shitloads of Filipino food that mostly consists of noodles, rice, cake, fruits, and assorted Filipino dishes of pork, chicken, some beef, more pork and moooore pork}, the nine morning masses, the carols,  the Christmas lantern that my father prepares in late November and hangs on the first day of December... then there's the new clothes and gifts and money. 

As a kid growing up in the ghetto parts of Manila, Christmas for me was the time to be in another place, albeit make believe, it was valid enough for me to be real.  I'd pretend I'd be having a white Christmas wearing my new sweater and drinking hot chocolate and watching Superman (I don't know why, but they always show Superman on TV during the Holiday season {probably because of the Messianic overtones}.   I loved Christmas. When your  a kid, you see the world through different eyes, especially during the Holiday Season.  You believe what the TV tells you.  You believe in cigarette commercials bringing joy to the Season of Giving.  You believe in the Santa Claus that comes through those American chimneys bearing gifts of Coca Cola and more Coca Cola.  You believe that everything outside the Philippines is America and that every god damn place in America is laden with snow, fluffy white and clean like they are made from the same machine that makes ice cones and shit and you just want to lick it off of the television screen. You wonder how snow might taste like... Is it sweet? Does it taste like Tang or ice cream? Does it taste like America?  That was me, a kid who jizzes over the Holidays like some nymphomaniac on uppers.

Then you're 31 all of a sudden.  You realize that snow doesn't make your Christmas white or perfect or cheery, it makes it muddy and cold and you could get frostbites and gangrene and probably end up in a hospital somewhere, high on morphine as the doctors try to amputate you right leg.  You realize that not everybody celebrates Christmas or your version of Christmas.  People also celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, sometimes the Hajj, the Winter Solstice and whathaveyou.  You also realize that not everyplace is America and not all people are Americans.

What happened? Pubic hair happened.  Sex happened. Growing up happened.  Bills  and taxes happened.  Knowledge happened. Politics happened.  Death happened.  Diseases happened. Wars happened.  Everything. just. happened. I became an adult. Adulthood became me. And when you're a grown up, you suddenly dwell on other things aside from snow and Christmas trees, and gifts and new clothes. They fade in the background.  You want to go back to the time when they were the most important things but you realize that you can't.  So the only way to relive a semblance of your youth is to just commit it to your memory, and hope in all hopes that you won't forget it as you advance in your years.

I probably sound jaded to you.  Maybe I am. I don't hate the Holiday Season.  In fact, I still think that in some fucked up way, it's good for kids and for most people.  It doesn't work for me though.  Free food works, but the whole silver bells jing-a-ling ruh-puh-pum-pum snowman glistening yadi yadi doesn't do it for me.  Scrooge much?  Naaaah, me and the Ghost of Christmas Past are tight.  Dude, if it works for you, by all means celebrate it.  Revel in it.  You are one lucky bastard, I tell ya.  Hold on to it.  But don't feed it in my throat, except the food on your table.

I must confess that  I like the idea.  The Christmas narrative revolves on the theme of god made man, born in a manger from supposedly poor biological parents.  The cosmos, fate, destiny, the stars and the eternal weave of the universe or whatever you may call it conspired for the baby's birth.  Once born, the child is visited and honored by learned men and rural folk from all corners and proclaimed and sung by angelic beings, which ensued a king's wrath and sparked the hope of a struggling nation.   The story is epic, yet the message is profoundly simple.  A god that authored all of creation willingly becomes the created because of love.  The idea of a supreme artisan humbling himself/herself/itself in front of the beloved opus, by becoming insignificant and unimportant is noble. It is pure and innocent love. It is good.  I think that's the whole gamut of this Christmas hoopla once you remove all the commercial trimmings and the Hallmark  greetings.   You don't have to be a believer of a religion to understand and appreciate the message.  It's what lies within the message that counts. And it's a good message.

I like the idea of that "innocence" in the Holiday Season. I have to admit though, that I can never again fully experience that innocence, that purity.  It is a challenge to reconcile even that 'idea' of innocence with the human condition.   I can't sure as fuck be seven again; and to be honest I don't think being a kid all over again appeals to me.  In spite of it all, I like my adulthood; and for all it's worth, I am at peace with what I have become.  Do I believe in Christmas still? Perhaps. I really don't know.  To be honest, I really don't care.  But I think what's important is holding on to those memories of past Christmases.  That I was once a kid that loved the Holidays.  I remember one Christmas Eve,  I think I was 7 or 8. My mother had outdone herself - she cooked for an army and our house exploded of the holiday cheer.  The decorations were tacky but we didn't give a fuck.  We were able to coax my father to go to the Christmas vigil.  All of us had gifts, even I had gifts for my parents.  My brother wasn't high on something for a change.  My father was trying to be low key. He wasn't preaching or anything. In fact he didn't drink one bit that night. My sister called us from the States because she couldn't come homre.  I'd stare at the Christmas table and I'd keep asking my mother what time it was and if it was ok to eat already.  She said it wasn't time yet so I'd stare at the Christmas lights for hours and hours listening to Christmas songs and while thinking of snow and wondering if it tasted like Tang or ice cream.   That was a perfect Christmas. And for once, the whole family actually ate together.  I remember my father pulling me to his lap after dinner to tell me the Christmas story.  He didn't use big words,  in fact they were very simple and dry, yet I was hooked with every word.  I believed every word.  I loved every word.  And at that moment I thought, in all my innocence, that I had everything I could have ever asked for.  Even though at 31, a part of me still holds on to that memory dearly.

Sunday, December 20

Monday, December 7


I just finished writing what is probably the longest letter that I have ever written in my life. It took weeks to finish, and yet I still think the words were still not enough.  I may never reveal myself in such a way that I have revealed myself in that letter.  Naked, the words left me.    To the reader of the letter, please, I implore you to read it.  I know it is not enough to let you know how I really feel about you, of how much I love you.   But we have a lifetime to discover each other's mysteries.  My heart quivers for you still. It always will.