Saturday, July 9, 2016

Millenial Talk

"Kamusta na si Drew?" I asked Jap.

"Ayun, may jowa na," he replied.

And there it is, that magic word: jowa.

"I see. Gaano na sila katagal?" I inquired.

"Matagal-tagal na din ata. LDR sila. The guy works here and he works in Cebu."

"Drew works in Cebu? Hindi man lang kami nagkita nung andoon ako. Sayang."

"Order na tayo guys," Aaron said.

Off we went to check what this new part of Megamall foodcourt had to offer. I had to satisfy myself with some Vietnamese Spring Rolls while Aaron had chicken and Jap had steak.

A few minutes while we were waiting for our orders, Drew came.

He looked a little fuller. Happier and healthier. We all smiled at him.

"Drew, kain." We offered him.

"Thanks. I just had dinner at Galleria," he replied.

"What brings you here? Balita ko asa Cebu ka na?" I asked.

"I go here about once a month."

"Ah okay." I said while finishing my spring rolls.

The four of us were talking anything under the sun but it mostly revolved around work and future plans. It was funny and weird at the same time because the last time we saw each other, we were talking a whole lot differently: clubs, dates and being "wasak" from binge drinking.

Sino kasama mo sa O?

Sino date mo last time?

Sama ka sa amin uminom ng Sabado?

Kamusta date mo? Nagkikita pa ba kayo?

Ay wala na yan. Move on na.

Did you know who slept with who?

"Saan tayo pagtapos nito? I need something sweet, like dessert." I asked them.

"Tignan natin," They chorused.

Part 2

Millenial Talk

"Hay, Aaron iba na talaga ang mga bata ngayon ano?"
We were chatting while roaming around Shangri-la, waiting for another friend.
"Sinabi mo pa," He said in a matter-of-factly tone.
"These millenials really have a different thought process." I added.
"G, kasama pa tayo sa millenial generation," Aaron quipped.
"Hahaha! I knowww. But these younger guys, them, they're really something."
Aaron just smiled at me.
We decided to transfer to SM Megamall since we were looking for an inexpensive place to eat and we were getting bored at Shang too.
"Sorry, I'm late." Jap said while hobbling towards us from Zara.
"Anong nangyari sa iyo?" I asked.
"Natapilok sa treadmill yet still continued to use the treadmill the next day," He said. "Actually isang buwan na itong masakit."
"Have you seen an orthopedist for that?" I asked.
Aaron looked at me.
Jap replied: "Well, you know what I'm dealing with now..."
"I know, Jap. I understand." I didn't ask further.
"Susunod pala si Drew." Jap said.
"Ah si Drew. It has been a while!"
The last time I saw Drew, Jap and Aaron together was five years ago - 2011. Malate was still alive. We were younger back then...Had more endurance and partied-till-we-dropped.
Five years. Can you imagine? OBar Malate was still quite famous.
So there we were, waiting at the foodcourt for Drew to arrive.

Part 1

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Maiibsan ang kalungkutan,
Kumapit ka lamang.
Darating din siya,
Walang aasa kundi kusa.

Sinambit niya ito,
Ako'y um-oo,
Ngunit aking napagtanto,
Bakit hindi na lang ulit tayo?
Dahil tapos na,
Ang ating kabanata.
Panahon na para,
Isarado ang pahina.
Tumingin ako sa malayo,
Pumiki't huminga.
Tama ka, tama ka.
Kailangang sumaya.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Clasped Hands

*Wednesday night

I looked at the HR personnel and looked back at the pieces of paper in front of me...

"This was not what I was expecting," I told him bluntly.

"Yes, yes Mr. G. I know that," He replied, sympathetically.

"Give me a moment while I think about it." I picked up my bag and left the interview room.

I took a deep breath and sat on one of the chairs for applicants.

I looked at the job offer again.

It's not quite what I had in mind.

But I needed a job. And I needed it fast: bills are piling up, my house won't construct by itself, and the variable insurance nor stocks won't pay for itself either.

Closing my eyes for a moment I envisioned myself if I stayed in Cebu and asked these questions:

Would I be happy with my work?
Would I be happy with the people at work?

No. No I won't be...That's one thing I am sure of.

So I shall start a different beginning, or perhaps, a continuation of what I have started.

And from there we'll see how life goes.

Leaving my work in Cebu was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I have learned what type of boss I will not be next time.

I have learned what type of employee I will not be on my next venture.

And I have learned what type of leader I will be once I get into Operations again.

Finally, I looked at the offer once more...

I faintly smiled and said to myself, "It's still a blessing. No matter how I look at it, it's still a blessing."

"Nobody's ever who they were. We just have to watch and listen. Meet him there." - Daniel, The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

Friday, April 29, 2016


I exhaled a huge amount of air as I rolled and packed my clothes inside my luggage bag.
"I'll surely miss Cebu," I said to myself.
Zipping the bag, I sighed once again.
I went up from my room to breathe some fresh air and check the sunlight. The ambiance and atmosphere is a far, far cry from Manila.
I went down again to check what I might have missed. Nothing, I guess.
My Tito finally came a few hours later to pick up my stuff.
"There's no turning back for you, Paolo."
It was my conscience making me bite reality.
"Yes, yes I know that," I replied.
It was sad saying goodbye to such a beautiful city. It was also my first time being completely independent. It was a wonderful feeling: you get to know yourself more, you get to do what you want to do more, and you get to be responsible for your actions more.
*A few days later
As I climbed onto the plane heading back to Manila I remembered the time I was going to Cebu.
I was worried and excited at the same time! Away from family and friends, heck, I don't even have any relatives there nor do I speak Bisaya and eat lechon. But it was a gamble I was willing to risk...
"Three months. Three fucking, stressful, toxic, educating, adapting, worrying, convoluting, happy months."
I looked at the sun again one last time before the plane ascended.
"But everything's gonna be okay," I told myself. "Everything will be okay."
As the plane finally lifted off I smiled down and looked beyond the place I shortly called home.

"But these are crazy times. I sometimes believe these must be the craziest times ever." - Maggie, Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hanggang Saan?

Tumingala, minasdan ang mga ulap.
Sana'y maabot sila, munting pangarap.
Tinignan ka, sinambit kaya mong mahawak.

Tumingala, sinubukang abutin.
Hindi, hindi talaga kayang kunin.
Tinignan kang muli, wala, ulap ka pala din.