Still Human


I woke up this morning,

feeling a little strange

like something was missing.


I couldn’t move,

and salty water streamed from my eyes.


There was a vague

memory, a vague feeling

of saying farewell


to someone who

stood for everything I loved for in humanity


and I

begged her

to stay.


I woke up without ever knowing if she did.

Slice of (my) Life

Why You Should Fall In Love At A Bookstore

This particular piece is dedicated to the bespectacled girl in orange pants, large glasses, carrying a large brown handbag with wavy hair. What really caught my eye was the black necktie you were using as a scarf. That was… adorable, actually.

-November 22nd, 2014, Fully Booked Trinoma


Why should you fall in love in a bookstore?

Let me outline the ways.

First, you walk in. Looking over at the quick titles of “bestsellers”, feeling a bit nervous that the detectors would go off even if you hadn’t stolen anything because you’re paranoid like that. You stand a bit and (don’t lie, you’ve done this too) inhale the scent of new books. That paper smell that just makes you want to open all the books and breathe it in.

After catching yourself, you walk to the first corner. Or the first table. The first shelf. It doesn’t really matter, you just wander around. Milling idly through all the people, through the bestsellers of the month that you promise yourself you’ll read but end up getting sidetracked by a classic that was written ten years ago (because a good book will do that to you- it demands your attention, being re-read again and again, and you always discover something different about it each time) and take notes on “what’s what” in the book world.

You walk past by shelves filled with books you’ve already read, books that you’re reading, and books that you promise in vain that you’ll find time to read. You will find time for them- it’s just that it’s never at that cozy couch at Starbucks or in the comfort of your own bed- you’ll find yourself reading it on the train, in the middle of lunch, when the person at the front of the room keeps talking and talking because goddammit, this book is just so fucking interesting.

You smile to yourself, happy to be in your element. And then she appears.

It doesn’t matter what she’s doing. She might be right next to you. Or the other end of the row. Or at your back, checking out something on the wall she can’t reach. Maybe you two are across each other at one of those funny tables filled with the bestsellers. Either way, you see her, and like any good character intro, she makes you want to read more into her.

You do a little awkward sidestep to see which books she’s checking out, to see if your tastes match. You feel a little tingle of delight and camaraderie when she picks up a book you’re already read and peruses it- in your mind, you think: aw yes. Someone with the same tastes as me! Or perhaps you accidentally make eye contact as she pulls a book off a shelf and you’re on the other side of it.

And being one who lives in the imagination, you imagine. You envision you two picking out the same book at the same time. Or you end up bumping into her to reach for one. Or she asks your opinion on something she’s holding (which you are all too- happy to oblige her with). You image yourselves going out for coffee, exchanging books, giving recommendations, teasing each other about spoiling books you haven’t read and laughing because you know she won’t really do that and neither will you, because some thing are best left discovered by yourself.

And then you’ll begin to see past the books that she reads. You see the eyes that scroll down the page look at yours. The lips that soundlessly move along each time she reads forming a smile whenever she sees you. The voice that could lull you to sleep whenever she reads a bedtime story (it was a dare or something, you don’t know which) laughing. Her face that lights up when her favorite author releases another book on your shoulder. The hand that you hold has held hundreds of pages- a hand that will be instrumental in writing yours and hers, together. She demands your attention, being re-read again and again, and you always discover something different about her each time. Does that last part sound familiar?

And maybe one day, when you tell people how you met, tell them that you met among a place of the imagination. Where people like Shakespeare and Rowling hang around in the same bookshelf, where Asimov and Plato can reconcile the times they set their narratives in. Tell them that you met in the place where manga met Geronimo Stilton; where Sherlock Holmes can merely look to his left and wonder about all the cases going on in The Hunger Games and how could he think himself out of it.

Tell them that you met in a place filled with words, filled with stories, filled with the knowledge of thousands and thousands of people and even centuries of time that passed before you two ever caught each other’s eye. Where you could swear you saw Clifford The Big Red Dog that eventually inspired you to buy a Laborador- something she will always tease you about, by the way- and saw Edgar Allan Poe smile and laugh at your awkward attempts to recommend a book to her.

In a place filled with millions of words on every topic imaginable, you two met- and will write a story that will be different from all those.

And that’s just the imagination. You snap out of your daydream and see the same girl looking at you spacing out. You turn your back and pretend to be browsing something. A few minutes later, you see her heading out the door. Crestfallen, you return to the table- and look up again just in time to catch her eye as she smiles at you.

And even though you never really got her number, her name, or anything- you felt like you’ve been through a novel in a few minutes. A story. A world that could happen to anyone, but since it happened to you, it’ll be special. You smile and browse through another book.

After all, she might be coming back here some other time. Perhaps that’ll be the next installment.

So if you want to fall in love, I advise that you go to the bookstore. The stories you thought were good will pale in comparison to the one that you’ll be writing yourself.

Journal Entries

For those of you who don’t know, around the beginning of this year, I finally started to put my life back together.

It was difficult. Years of battering and struggle don’t recede into memory that easily, and your biggest enemy in trying to make yourself better will all too often be yourself. It’s always a good story to tell after it’s all done with, but the beginning- hell, the entire process, isn’t some sort of ride you can coast through. Old habits die hard for a reason, after all.

So when recently I found myself experiencing symptoms akin to the time that I was feeling lost, I became alarmed. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. I already fixed things, the feedback was good, the experiences were better- what on earth was going on? Was I going into remission? Or was I turning into something else that wasn’t part of the plan?

Fortunately (though it took longer than I would’ve liked) the answer was neither. I had fallen into the rut of the “afterglow”- that phase after a long, rigorous exertion that you think: “Yes, I’m done. I am so fucking done.”

But life doesn’t work that way.

You see, even though I’ve been through much, if there was any value to living a life such as mine, it is that life is a bitch- it gives you the test first and then the lesson later. And sometimes, it does this so often to us that we get fooled into thinking we have all the answers- that we’re reviewed enough, that we’re “ready”- when in reality, it’s more likely that it was feeling generous, or sometimes, you actually did something right and you finally catch a break.

If we’ve all been taught to never take anything for granted, it should follow that we shouldn’t think that we can rest for even a second. Life is more or less a stream that we’re floating in- it takes effort to go against the tide, but it also takes effort if you want to even stay where you are. It doesn’t wait for anyone- even when we think that it should.

No time-outs.

why you should never rest on your laurels

Journal Entries

…and the answer is “nothing much.”

Well, sort of. I’ve gotten my room cleaned and my things organized, and I’m currently prepping for the incoming semester in the last two and a half-ish weeks that is my sembreak left.

Though, on the project front, I’ve recently acquired a camera and am currently versing myself as to how the damn thing works. Might post the pictures I take as a gallery by day. So now I finally have a photography page! Wheeeee~

Also participating (again) in National Novel Writing Month. Of course, me being me I have no plot at all. Well, I do. Maybe. Possibly. You know how this goes.

Might fix the blog a bit, come to think of it…

what i’ve been up to

Slice of (my) Life

Wanted: A Paranoid Mother

So a few minutes earlier, the guard walked into my room to tell me that my sword had been confiscated.

A little context: I keep a replica of a Japanese wakizashi inside my room. For those of you who don’t know, this is what it looks like, here:

Now, obviously, being a replica, this weapon is rather harmless, and even if used to injure or maim someone, would break apart in a few hits. (I tested this by trying to “slice” a couple of mangoes I forgot to eat sometime.) Furthermore, the sword has been in my possession for more than an entire semester.

So my question, obviously, was: why the hell would you take it, and why now?

And this was the answer the guard gave me: apparently, cleaning crew were forced to confiscate it after the mother of one of my roommates (most likely the mother of the last dude to move out yesterday) saw it and thought oh my god, he is going to kill my son. Keeping in mind that her son is a sports jock, is two times my size, and actually one of the few people in the dormitories I get along with, I find her worries to be rather… laughable.

The guard tried to be very serious about the entire thing, telling me that my sword was a “deadly weapon” and that “they were only doing their job”, but I could hear the amusement in his voice- and more than that the entire thing sounded like an apology rather than a lecture. That’s because the security staff themselves know the thing is harmless, and while I might certainly not be, I hate confrontation. (They know this to be true because I usually just don’t stay in the room at all when I’m not feeling hot around people, such as every dorm event ever.)

I’m not even mad, though I am a bit miffed that this lady in question confronted the guard rather than me about the entire thing. I was in the room with her the entire time, and she never spoke a word to me. I assumed that she was too busy doting on her son- how the hell was I supposed to know she was actually judging me as a potential killer?

The entire situation reminds me of a play I acted in a few weeks ago called Wanted: A Chaperon by Wilfredo Guererro, a Filipino playwright. In it, a character called Dona Dolores angrily confronts the family about a situation involving their daughter and his son- a situation, unfortunately, that was blown out of proportion. It’s a very good play, and a comedy at that- I highly advise you to read it.

But going back to what happened earlier, I’m just rather amazed at how annoying some people could be, especially if they’re the mothers of the people you live with. I personally think that a parent’s responsibilities should drastically lessen, or even end, at collegiate level, but this is the Philippines- given how idiotic we act on occasion and our ridiculous regard for familial customs, I’m frankly not even surprised anymore.

What I find rather hilarious is that my batbat (sticks used in Eskrima) was not confiscated as well. Given that I’ve been trained better in using those, if I were to hypothetically injure her son, I would most likely use those, and I know that they’ll do the job damn well. I wonder what she’ll react the next time she walks in and I’m practicing in the middle of my routine. She’d probably scream to have me arrested.

Oh well. Her son will be receiving my annoyance on this matter once he comes back anyway- and if she wants to get involved, then I politely encourage her, and all the people like her, to sod off.

What do you think? Should she have confronted me about it first, or was she right to just report and have them confiscate it by the authorities? Let me know, because aside from amusement and mild dose of feeling a bit annoyed at her lack of manners, I really have no idea how to react about this. Oh, well. Maybe next time I’ll bring a paintball gun in here and put it on my bed.

Slice of (my) Life

Why Should You NOT Play Normal Games In LOLPH


So for those of you who don’t know this, I’m a gamer. I don’t think I game enough to be considered “hardcore” (since gaming is not allowed using the dorm internet,) but I take the game seriously enough to not be called a “casual”.

I’m currently playing Dark Souls II (twinblades are awesome) but I play MOBA’s by preference. Specifically, League of Legends. Specifically, the Philippine server.

Now my country has not had the greatest track record in the international community (not talking about games yet here). We get butthurt real easily, we take pride in the wrong things and generally act retarded for the most part. So it should really be no surprise that in gaming, we’re twice as bad.

Context on my part: Since I avoid ranked like the plague and generally game by myself, I often find myself either in Solo Queue or Team Builder. While I thank Riot Games for that wondrous addition to the game, the fact is that it takes me about 20 minutes to find a team, another 20 to have a completed team, and finally another 20 to actually find a match, that thanks is rather diminished. So for the sake of brevity, I go to solo queue- normal.

Which is possibly the worst thing you can do in LoLPH.

Here are a few reasons why.


1. People have no idea how roles work.

I had a game where I was Quinn, and for some reason, I had a Darius with in bottom lane. He ended up being kited by the enemy team while I had to sneak around… because the bastard kept ulting the people I was whittling down, denying me a full kill streak (and gold.)

Here’s what’s wrong with this picture:

While I understand that carries are not limited to ADR’s (attack damage ranged for those of you who don’t know) it seems rather stupid to get all the kills when you can be kited like a Shen with no boots chasing Ashe through the jungle. It just won’t happen. People here seem to fail to realize that there are some characters that need kills in order to scale late game, and their job is to walk in, cause as much fuckery as possible while said character takes potshots at the enemy team (in particular, I love ulting the enemy team with the reworked Sion and just totally wrecking shit.) In my example above, what happened was a Darius that kept getting slowed by an enemy Zilean, and had the audacity to run back to me… carrying a time bomb.

2. In general, Murphy’s Law applies to ALL potential teamfights.

I have yet to play a normal game where a clash went off without a hitch. Someone, somewhere, will miss their Stranglethorns, shoot an Enchanted Crystal Arrow at Yasuo’s Wind Wall, or more recently, will miss Sion’s ult, resulting in a hilarious (yet ultimately disadvantageous) fail.

Here’s what’s wrong with this picture:

Alright, so clashes are generally the biggest clusterfuck you can find in League. Spells everywhere, everyone going berserk and you have no idea where your character is with all the fancy particle effects (I’m looking at you, Pulsefire Ezreal,) but in general, there should be a law that mandates a two to three minute discussion with your team whether or not Garen should run in the Baron pit while the enemy is there trying to kill it as Anivia casts her ult. If it can go wrong, at least it can be prepared for. If it does go wrong, no great loss. What we have is merely a failure to communicate- or at least to communicate coherently.

3. People are astonishingly careless/Research, research, research.

My last game before writing this article was with an Azir had no idea if he scaled off ability power or attack damage and didn’t tell us. He then ended up using attack damage runes and masteries, building a Bloodthirster with Trinity Force. Needless to say, he died swiftly while wondering “Why aren’t my soldiers doing damage?”

Here’s what’s wrong with this picture:

I get it. Either you got a call, your kitten ran across your keyboard or you momentarily got displaced in time and replaced with a stupider version of yourself- you make mistakes. I myself had a memorable game where I ended up using ability power runes and masteries on Darius top. However, the essence of any MOBA is to adapt accordingly towards situations like that. In my case, I ended up building pure tank for Darius with no damage items whatsoever- we ended up winning, not without a bit of effort. In cases such as the Azir above though, it’s a different case. Do not, I repeat, do not play a game with other people when you have no idea what you are doing. Some people like to play for the sake of playing- some people, like me, play because we want to win. You will be a giant weight on the entire team if you do not adapt to that mistake accordingly, and will most likely get reported.

4. Bots don’t exist here.

Or at least, training in the sense. For some reason, like the Azir case above, people will play normal or ranked games with characters they have no idea how to use.

Here’s what’s wrong with this picture:

Do I really need to explain it? The bots are there for a reason, people! At least have the decency to try your skillshots against training dummies rather than an enemy team and put your entire team behind for feeding. Apologizing will not destroy their nexus or will keep ours intact. In my case, whenever there’s a champion I’ve never played before and wish to try, I often just play a game by myself, getting the hang of how the skills work and how effective they are. Usually not even against bots- but I make it a point to stay away from human opponents until I at least have a semblance of being adept at the skill order of my champion.

5. People are generally stupid.

This is probably numbers 1-4 in a nutshell. We have players who can’t land a Blitzcrank pull to save their lives, Garens that will always run in the middly of the enemy team while everyone’s at base, Singeds who will Fling a Rammus into our team, Sivirs who will insist on getting blue buff instead of defending the inhibitor turret, Shens that taunt the AP caster and not the AD carry, and people who have no idea that stunning Katarina in the middle of her ult will stop it.

Here’s what’s wrong with this picture:

Mistakes will be made, and we will cry and rage about it. However, in PH, it’s mostly just mistakes. It seems like the vast majority of players here have no idea how to play, and when called out, will only play worse. They seem to lack the ability to reason out the most basic of tactics (such as facechecking the brush when they’re playing Zyra) cannot seem to follow simple instructions (please for the love of God Charm Vayne, not the Leona, Ahri!) and generally, seem to do more harm than good (cue the Hecarim who shows up at the end of the clash and immediately gets focused to death). Other people learn from their mistakes- most Filipinos seem to be hell-bent on making them again and again.

There are a hundred more things I’d like to say about Solo Queuing here in the Philippine server ( actually, League Of Legends in the Philippines in particular,) but I’ll leave them for next time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make breakfast while waiting for Team Builder to find me a group. Shouldn’t be long now, I’m currently at 22 minutes and 14 seconds in queue. Good riddance.