Saturday, August 13, 2016

Millenial Talk

"Ano ba hinahanap niyo sa isang partner?" Jap asked all of a sudden.

We looked at each other.

Who will answer first?

Obviously Drew is out of the picture.

Walang makasagot.

"Ako I'd look for a partner who doesn't base mostly on looks," Jap answered his question.

"What do you mean?" I probed.

"Yung tipong kahit may tiyan ka na o kahit hindi ka na ganoon ka-gwapo eh mahal ka pa din."

"Hay Jap, we're still creatures of superficiality. Hindi mawawala ang looks," I made a rebuttal.

And it's true. We're looking for partners who more or less, would be quite identical to us, in some way or the other.

"Oo alam ko naman pero sana lang someday we can look at relationships other than having trophy boyfriends of that sort."

We nodded.

"Yung tipong despite how everything has changed, kayo pa din. Kayo lang din. Wala nang iba."

I felt Jap's jadedness with his statement. Naramdaman ko what that felt like: "Kayo lang."

"Hay, basta ako kung meron, meron. Kung wala, wala. My family is my priority," Aaron interjected between our #relationshipgoals drama.

"Oo naman dear. Whatever happens, family is family. We also know what happened to you. Buti naka-move on ka na," I said.

"Buti na lang talaga kamo. Isa sa mga na-realize ko sa isang LDR is that sooner or later, may susunod - na dapat may mag-gi-give way kasi hindi talaga posible yung isang dekada kayong magkahiwalay, skype-skype lang? Nope. Not gonna work.

And it struck me.

I wasn't like that. It was a clash of egos. Pride versus pride.

As most of you know how I wrote poems of the saddest themes. It was for my ex. The one I firstly and truly had a hard time dealing with post-breakup.

I got fazed. Nawala ako. I lost myself along the journey. And no matter how I wanted to let go, I couldn't.

"Anyway guys, pupunta pa kami ni Drew sa Butterfly. Babalik na siya sa Tuesday sa Cebu," Jap unconsciously popped my thought bubble.

"And I think I have to get back to work too," Aaron added.

"Ako naman I have to get up early to jog," may masabi lang ako.

"Sige I'll see you guys around."

We waved each other goodbye.

"Sa susunod guys, I think darating din tayo doon," Jap, with finality, spoke.

"Saan doon?"

"Na hindi na tayo mag-ba-base sa laki ng muscles ng partner natin or that hahayaan na natin ang kahit anong imperfectons meron sila."

We laughed lightly.

"Oo Jap, we're looking forward anong mga mapag-uusapan natin by the time we're 39 - 10 years from now. Sana something deeper, richer than the ones now."

And just like the rising sun during Malate days, we all went our ways - with stories from each other to keep for another decade.

"But a voyeur is so possessed by what he sees that he doesn't reason. The world is all blinding surfaces." - Becoming A Man by Paul Monette

End

Millenial Talk

"So saan na tayo ulit?" I asked the gang while sipping my brambleberry juice.

Yes we were at Starbucks. The default of people who has nowhere to hangout to.

"We were talking about our future," Aaron replied.

"Ay oo nga pala. Pero before that tanungin ko muna si Drew."

"What?" asked Drew.

"Where'd you meet your partner? At ilang taon na kayo?"

"We met at Davao when I was still based there. Actually matagal na kaming magkakilala. Hindi lang kami agad nag-meet."

"Ah, okay."

"Tapos it was a long process kasi nga he's not based there and when he does go there, he just messages me out of the blue. As in walang text man lang before a day or two na pupunta pala siya. Ganoon."

So Drew was narrating how they met, how they got to know each other and how they fell in love. They were seeing each other on and off for about a couple of years before they finally and mutually agreed to be together.

"How is it with LDR? Hindi ba mahirap?" I further inquired.

"Hindi naman."

"And this is a fairly monogamous relationship?"

"Yes." Drew answered with much conviction.

"Hay Drew, masaya kami para sa iyo. Nahanap mo na siya. Sa dami ng lalaki mo before. Here came this guy out of Manila to woo you." I said while smiling.

"Thank you, G."

"You're welcome. I remembered your blog before when you went to the club, slept with a guy, took some multivitamins and had to go to work the next day. Nakakaloko."

Aaron, Jap and me laughed while Drew wondered.

"So ikaw Aaron, are you dating anyone now?"

We turned our attention to him.

"Hay, you wouldn't even say dating. Not even a meet-up. I don't even have an adjective for it. That's how it is. That's how it goes."

"Remember how we used to categorize people as date-able and such? Ngayon, grabe, hindi na natin sila ma-categorize."

I laughed.

"Sinabi mo pa," The three echoed.

"Ikaw Jap? Anything new?"

"Aside from work, wala naman. Nagpupunta ako doon sa Butterfly bar in Timog sometimes.

"Ah that bar. Napuntahan ko na yun once," I said.

Knowing Jap, he drowns his sorrows in alcohol. And as much as we tell him that that's not good, it's his life to decide.

"Wala kang nakilalang lalaki doon?" I asked.

"Wala. Wala naman."

"Hindi pa din ako handa. I just came from a shitty relationship," He added.

Aaron looked at him.

"Alam ni Aaron yun. Nasabi ko sa kanya yun."

"Yeah. Naikwento mo nga yun."

"Paano'ng shitty?" I was curious as I had lost contact with them.

"He was very immature. Even for his age. He's spending beyond his means. Mga ganoong bagay. We were always arguing about things."

"Ah kaya pala. Pero nag-uusap pa ba kayo?"

"Hindi na."

"May mga ganoon talaga, Jap."

"Sinabi mo pa."

"Ikaw? Kamusta ang Cebu? Wala kang nakilala doon?"

They all turned their attention to me. I was now on the hotseat.

"Believe it or not guys, wala. Wala talaga."

"Hindi nga?" They chorused.

"Oo. I was so swamped with work that by the time it's the weekend, I just stay home and go to the mall. Literally ganoon naging buhay ko doon."

A few people know me and how I used to be; I was a club goer who had a penchant for spontaneous things.

I'll leave it at that.

"Ganoon talaga ano? We really change our habits and views. Mga ginawa natin dati, we rarely do now. Katulad ng lumabas at mag-club," Aaron added.

"Some things really change guys. Tumanda na nga talaga tayo."

We laughed lightly.

"So ano pang pag-uusapan natin niyan?" I jokingly asked them.

Part 3

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

Salamat

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

Back

*Sigh
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, G."
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