Thursday, June 30, 2011

qt: catharsis

Some people are afraid of what they might find
if they try to analyze themselves too much,
but you have to crawl into your wounds
to discover where your fears are.
Once the bleeding starts,
the cleansing can begin.
—Tori Amos

Friday, June 24, 2011

calm before the storm

Days ago, I received an SMS from my boss. It got into my core. I was deeply affected. He told me that for the past weeks, I've been showing a lackluster performance. I've been churning less outputs compared to my usual. In his words, my other superiors were already "noticing" that something's wrong with me. I was haranguing myself for I knew it was true. But, I do have a reason I unfortunately couldn't just tell. Explaining is not always an easy task to do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sappho of Lesbos

Originally written on July 10, 2008. Revisiting my old blog account, when I found this entry of mine:


If it wasn't for my two friends, whose giggles were already spreading like wildfire, my professor wouldn't be battling against the noise of our class, shouting, pleading for us to put our interest back into the discussion.

I was reclusive in my own world, in breathing silence, lest I would be dragged by the seeming immaturity of my two seatmates should I join their own way of saying "I missed you, slut," after one of my friends' hiatus. I was at the brink of ennui, when suddenly, one of the class discussants on Longinus' Sublimityrecited words from the greatest female poet of antiquity, Sappho, to embody how words should be organized.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

not another "Reactive"

In my hand was the last lab test result needed for my baseline. My head was swirling for seeing another "Reactive" again on the paper. I thought the last "Reactive" I'd like to see was on the HIV test. This was too much.

The downpour of rain cinematically coincided with the fresh wave of torment in my chest. Inside the cab on my way home, the driver might have noticed my peculiar silence. Normally, you would command the driver where to turn, especially in the innards of a district. But this time, he did the initiative in asking me if we'll take a left or a right or just straight ahead. He might have read on my face and the way I stared blankly beyond the pane of glass my anxiety.

"I have Hepatitis B. I have Hepatitis B? How? Perhaps he had too. Why? Just live with it."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

someone’s got to give

Disclaimer: A long read as much as it is heavily opinionated. Not for the faint of heart. Kidding. Levity aside, it's a post after almost a month of blog-hopping, being exposed to HIV routine and the ponderings while commuting.

Had I known that I would contract HIV five years ago, I would have taken the issue seriously back then.

I was a newly-minted college freshman. It was probably the first few days of classes when some worn-out upper classmen went inside the room and educated us about HIV. To my recollection, they were two guys who still brought in some materials about the virus and all.

My memory is a bit rusty now but what I could just make out of the past was they were asking us if we knew HIV, if we knew that it wouldn't technically kill us but the opportunistic illnesses would, and how the virus would mess our immune system. Other than that—issues on condom use and all—I forgot.

But I can still vividly recall that as they continue to preach about the disease, I was a bit aversive because, "Hindi naman ako magkakaganyan. Bakit ko kailangang makinig." To me, it was a peachy try to educate some "seventeen-ers" whose sexual hormones are on their way to rage.

Fastforward to 2011. The memory now haunts me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Kung sakaling kapusin
Ang liwanag ng araw bukas
At sa paghuni ng mga maya
Sila'y mamaos at masamid

Kung sakaling kalan
Ang unang babati sa tandang
O magsikupas ang mga bulaklak
Talulot nila'y malanta

Kung sakali lang naman
Umaga ko'y biglang maudlot
Dahil sa kung saang lupalop
Naglagalag ang diwa ko

Ako'y magpapaalam na rin
Na bibitbitin ko
Mga munting iyong 'di mo
Inakalang pinagbilin sa akin

Sa lalim ng gabi, tinig mo
Ang huling himig sa aking pandinig
Boses mong ginoo ngunit mapaglaro
Tono mo'y pinatahan at hinele ako

Sa gitna ng dilim
Ang mga tala'y kumikislap
At ang tingkad ng buwan
Umukit sa'yong mga mata

Kung sakali lang namang kapusin
Ang liwanag ng aking bukas
Hayaan mo akong sinupin
Ang tamis ng huling gabi

I-a-alkansya ko ang tinig mo
Iseselyo iyong mga ngiti
Sa maliit na bagahe isisilid ko
Ang uwang nitong Buhay at Gabi

Bitbit ang latak mo, ako'y
Liliban, maglalakbay pakanluran
Kung saan magtatagal
Ang gabi ng tala't buwan

Took my cue from Edith Tiempo and Angela Manalang-Gloria. And, no. I am not even in love.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the diameter of a prayer

Someone lit a candle for me. And then, I was not alone.

I finally met a doctor Wednesday last week. She's great. I went alone this time at PGH because I took the visiting-the-specialist routine as a personal retribution for the supposed mistake I did in the past.

A day before that, I, my mom and my sister went at NEC to see an HIV doctor at H4, but the most she did is to schedule me for an appointment. (Seeing a doctor there is on a by-schedule basis. You've been warned.) So I told both ladies that the next day, I'd like to see the doctor only by myself because I don't want to hassle them. But of course I lied. I knew that if I asked my mom to tag along with me at PGH she would gladly, but since I wanted to take this as an act of amending my past, I just lied.

Friday, June 3, 2011

self-made act

Kasalanan ko naman talaga. Hindi ko itinatanggi yun.

I was absent again at work. I decided to work out my lab tests so that my doc could already have my baseline for treatment, if needed in any way. First off was a private hospital, but they don't have the lab service I needed. And so does the second hospital. Before I left, the good (nurse/doctor?) told me to go to QI since I'm requesting for a TB-related lab test. Good, QI is just a jeep away from us.

At QI, finally, they have the service I was asking for: TB C/S—and it's costly for a government-run hospital already. Just after the attendant wrote the price, I knew my money was already short to fund myself. So I first went home and come what may.

tenuous strings

MAY 31–My thoughts are as incoherent as my feelings tonight.

I must be at sleep–I should be. Staying up late at night won’t do any good to me. But what’s the use of tossing and turning on my bed when somewhere in the corner of my consciousness, there’s a dint of reason enough for me to stay awake. I don’t know why am I affected so much. Or perhaps, just maybe, my alter ego was so influential this time around that I believe in him more than I should believe the real guy. But what’s there to believe with the other if he hadn’t or couldn’t (or wouldn’t–Oh Lord!) answer my question right off the bat. Once I was told, “The simplest questions are sometimes the hardest to answer.”


Here’s to the one more day tucked under my belt
To the last 24 hours I tried to live without worries:

Seven in the morning, the daily sentence begin
But two cups of rice at 11 set it aside
Sometime noon, I pay 30 coins to a man
and pass by a seventy-kilometer scenery

Anytime in the afternoon, there comes two stories
Of 604 words that makes gold out of mud
Dozen scribblings, three phone calls
An exercise of routine learned out of degree

Sun sets sometime at six, and somewhere
Inside me, mercury seems to rise
A funny sort of neon flicks before me
And the sentence finally reaches its meaning

The road ahead is dark, at seven streetlights glow
Stars cast a pale light of reverie and melancholy
Nameless faces scurry off to their roofed shores
Outside no soul ever wanted not to be at home

Walking down the path–
“There’s something with numbers I am afraid of
The more they grow, the more I stand alone”–

It takes to Church 61 steps of blind faith
Inside the room of 4 rows of 3 pews
Sits 2 women–one kneeling, one sitting
Them ever praying to the one miraculous bread

I unzip my bag and pull out 10 beads
Where my faith hangs on and death seems to peek
Here’s to the 873 soldiers that fight ’til the end
Against a deathly heirloom of that 60-minute heat

If I were to quantify my faith, courage, and hope
Numbers will come to reel in human scale
That one sentence outweighs gravity, physics
Making angels weep when faint prayer uttered

For the 6 women who held my heart
For the 172 new people by March
I was told, Savor the sorrow to soften the pain
Two hands clasped may save the day