When the Last Day of the Semester Grabs Me With No-Gloved Hands


March 28, 2015. The last day of this year’s second semester.

I’ve sped through my laundry to be out early. I needed to go to school; actually, I only needed to have my final requirements printed. The trip to school via jeepney was, as always, scenic. But I couldn’t swim deeper into the morning’s visuals because my head was so set to simplifying the otherwise complex series of contingencies:

  1. Print my papers.
    1. I’d go for printing on point A. If there’s a queue, I’ll move to point point B. (I hate queues. But I still follow lines. Yet, I can’t help but hate lines, the waiting, the sudden interest that I have to put on the surfaces of walls, floors, patterns of thread in cobwebs or bag straps…)
    2. Point B. Exposed printing cubes in front of San Carlos (university).
  2. Eat brunch.
    1. I can have jjampoong on cup courtesy of that canteen. I went there and the thing I hated — queues — met me. I really tried to line, wait, and call the vendors’ attention but I really have no knack for doing all these with an assertiveness inherent in most customers. So, I went outside.
    2. I had my brunch in a carenderia. My fare consisted of dinuguan, utan (pinakbet?), one-cup of rice, and Sparkle or “Sparkol” for most of us 🙂
  3. Submit my papers. 

I thought that was it. Well, that’s the thing with lists made out in our heads; they lack the surprises that make this whole affair interesting.

As the afternoon begins to fade, and the strange glow settles down the roof, my steps rounded to a few. And that’s how I met my friends again. They’re teachers. The other one’s going through the same route as me (research) while the other one’s proceeding to wear that black garb and finally, graduate. It’s awesome: being in the same room as these guys, as it is now. We were loitering in the hall, exchanging tips on research, advisor-advisee relationships, and all. that. jazz.

It was cool talking like forever, grabbing respite off the pauses, and then launching on another tirade of rhetoric, of literary criticisms, of teacher-stuff. But it had to end. We said goodbyes and left with a smile. 😀


A poetry-reading event. I haven’t attended one ever but that night just. felt. right. I waited for my friend… And before the darkness could fully claim the day, she’s done with her paper presentation. She seems to be on edge with all the required revisions. Yet, all I had to tell her was that there’s this poetry event in this quaint pizza-place, and we were off. 😉

I opened the door, yet, we we’re still out. My old-friends and new acquaintances seemed too shy to take a step closer, and join these poem-loving creatures. I wasn’t exactly shy but I didn’t feel like going head on to some new nest. ;P

We heard someone say “come in” real loud; a collective giggle follows and I could tell, they were really excited to see a whole lot of us. As we settled in, a wee tiny notebook is passed: it collects poets, poem-readers/performer’s names. Every one or group or clique was tucked in each corner of sofa seats; we were on the left, on a table set for six to eight people. And then one by one, girls and guys of ages that ranged from young adult to adult to senior stood or rather, sat in front. They had with them their wee tiny notebooks, smartphones, laptops, and memories. They read their poem with the voice that does more than just reading. Words were spilled and the night heard at least four mediums: English (our second language), Filipino (first language), Cebuano (our local dialect), and yes, Waray too!

It was a bevy of feelings that flood to make you feel sad, happy, pained, suffer, forget, remember… Ultimately, it made ME feel something. And that’s good; hell, it’s healthy. In a world of self-anesthetized remedies, it’s good to gather in a group and foster this feeling of… of letting some things go to welcome the “other” things; to be surrounded with people who deliberately collect shards of their broken selves, the residue called ashes


Soon, it had to end. But the night was still too young and I received an invitation via text.

Another session; my kind of fun.


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When snakes kiss


You’re lucky; I like snakes.

Those medusa-locks of yours

have been teasing me.

They’ve been waltzing —

with the wind that

only jeepney rides can


And when their heads touched

my cheek, they kissed it.

I’ve got wet kiss-marks on my cheeks now.

I guess I’m lucky, too.

B is for …


You call it ‘bored’ when you’re bored. When your doing nothing. When whatever it is that you’re doing does not interest you. This is the curse of repetition.


And I wonder: how can I save myself? How?

The smartypants in my head said “finish it already.” Wrap up every loose end of your research paper. When it is done, the torture will be over.

I want to believe that. But I can’t do a make-do research. There’s no way I could whip everything up. I’m no longer used to making things for the sole purpose of meeting a requirement.




You saw my dirt

You saw my flaws

Amidst the stain

That wrap your paws

Pointing it out

In disguise of my

Own so-called benefit

You rule it out

Like one grand judge

Clean out of smudge

Oh hypocrite

You look at me

As if I’m dirt

Must have forgot

The strokes




For those of you wondering, “muta” is the local Filipino term for that yellowish stuff in your eye.

Wikipedia calls it “rheum” though.