Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bittersweet Birthday

There were only two instances I remember my younger brother weep in his adult life- one was when he told me the heartbreaking news of our Mom’s passing, and the other during Mama’s interment with his tears silently sliding down his cheeks while his eyes remained covered by dark glasses. He is a man of a few words- always quiet and wielding. He never said anything bad about another person (he left the gossiping to other less prudent members of the clan), and even more curious- he was never quite expressive of his sentiments. So from his actions you’ll get the best cues to what he’s feeling.

He left for Manila today, and is scheduled to leave for the US tomorrow. He was never much into goodbyes, but today, I think was a turning point for him. You see, my brother stayed home for a few months for his surgery (it is less expensive here in the Philippines, plus we are here to take care of him) and at the same time meet his son for the first time.

It’s a long story. And by that I mean looooooooooooong story, a saga if you will, so let us not get into how the situation came to be- the important thing again, is the present. As father and son spent the past glorious months, it was pure magic. I’m so happy my sister-in-law, my brother, and their little tyke were finally together like a real, regular family. My brother and my nephew have this uncanny resemblance- Gavin is an exact carbon copy of his dad except for his dimples and fairer complexion. The kid is funny. Articulate and precocious for his age- and he just turned two years old a few days ago.

After their first Christmas together, the Barney-themed 2nd birthday party, and countless days and nights bonding and hanging out together- it was suddenly time to go back to the US again. Like our parents many, many years ago, my brother has to go back there for work- he is joining the US Navy (just like our youngest brother) so that he can support his family.

It’s hard to think of Tyrone as a grown man, I got used to thinking he is my younger teeny-tiny brother who was somewhat a Mama’s boy (haha!). Now he has a family to take care of and I can never be prouder. It is not easy for you to be away and I’m in awe- seeing someone sacrifice for the one he loves. I’m reminded of what Mama and Papa have done for us…

Godspeed bro! (I know, I know I’m sappy) Be brave, and I promise I’ll do my part well and manage the household here and take care of Gavin the best I can. So wipe away those tears because in the end, you know it would be all worth it- when you see Gav grow up and be like his dad.

birthday boy
nanay with dimple and umbang
nanay with clown
that's me in pink!
barney, agnes, gavin, and tyrone.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Thirty Year Old Freshman

After classes, my friends and I would hop off to the grassy lot under the trees, just in front of the St. Therese Chapel, to dream. It was the year before the closure of our school (but we didn’t know that yet), and us geek sophies love to frolic an hour or two before heading home.

Sometimes I told them I wanted to be a scientist (I suppose, I was inspired by our Biology classes- while back in my Elementary days I had wanted to become a priest because of the heavy Catholic influence of my school), the next day, I would change my mind and wanted to be a lawyer instead- since we passed the Law building everyday, and the students looked so sharp and so important. I happened to love drawing too, so I also leaned towards Architecture, but never, ever would I imagine myself working in the field of Health Sciences- I was terrified of blood and needles.

In hindsight, I realized we were just being silly. None of us turned exactly the way we dreamed we would be- who would have known some of us would work in a Call Center or Business Process Outsourcing company, or work for minimal pay at Commission on Audit, or just stay home and be devoted Moms and Dads, or work abroad as accountants? It was as if Fate played tricks on us and never really disclosed a clue to our future occupations.

My philosophy had always been “do what makes you happy”. But even happiness, for me, had changed meaning over the years. Since the start of my college days until the time I worked my first job, it was all fun and games. I never really bothered thinking what I wanted to do in the long run (I guess this would explain my constant meandering, career-wise), I just lived in the moment. I suppose I always assumed I’d be young forever- until I turned 26 and left my old job.

I found myself back in Tacloban. Seeing some of my old high school friends made me realize how much they’ve grown, while I remained at a standstill. I was exactly the same when we last saw each other a couple of years ago- still going to the same clubs, traveling, and partying like there’s no tomorrow. The biggest surprise was that it was our classmates who stayed in the background during our high school days who were now doctors and lawyers. Have I been in limbo all these years?

I’ll be in my senior year in Nursing for CY 2009-2010, and have been contemplating on taking the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) sometime this year. There is only one medical school here, and if I do well in the exam and be accepted in the Doctors for the Barrios program of the DOH, I might be a freshman med student by 2010- at age 30.

This decision might have come a little late, but that’s okay with me. I wouldn’t exchange the wealth of experiences I had in my heyday- I can’t imagine doing things any other way. At some point during those times, I was living my life exactly the way I wanted.

It is never too late to find a job that, even though requires eons of studying and memorizing, makes an impact on people’s lives (especially in the rural setting where health care services are scarce). Besides, I don’t look a day over 24- my supposed Friendster age. Haha!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh my! What a big cock you have!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Anonymous said...
r u gay dude?i read ur book...its so scandalous...most of the story i read on your book were intercourse of a gay and male...wats that?omg!!!!

Thanks to this guy, I got my gears working again. First off, to answer your question: yes, I’m gay. Second: my book isn’t about sex. In fact, there are only about 4 out of the 42 articles and stories had sex interwoven into them (I counted). Allow me to clarify what the book is about- The Private Exhibitionist is an attempt to elucidate the phenomenon of personal blogging through a blogger’s point of view.
The vignettes, anecdotes, and stories aim to entertain, and beyond that, give readers glimpses of the life of a young gay guy growing up and living in a conservative society. The first book City Girl Gets Trapped in the Boondocks and Other Stories sold out its first printing- so we went ahead and produced the second book, intended for the same audience, hoping that it would appeal to the same market.

I’ve encountered a predicament months ago, as I was going through the final stages of editing- I realized I was risking overexposure by divulging extremely personal experiences. Should I go ahead and reveal myself for the sake of, gulp, reader's entertainment? Unlike City Girl, which was light and generally a mishmash of concocted tales, the second book is a lot closer to home. I’ve kept myself awake for nights, thinking about how people would react- those who know me (or think they know me), and strangers who would read the book. Thad Hinunangan, now open for judgement and criticism!

But then again, I remind myself that first and foremost it is just an attempt to write creatively. The readers shouldn’t take it as “historical records” because at times, I embellish or stretch stories a little bit. The mood and message are always apparent, but in an attempt to achieve maximum dramatic disclosure- I needed to spice it up a little bit by peppering it with exciting add-ons. And hey, just because I wrote about a funny incident of a one night stand doesn't mean I do that on a regular basis! Dude, you need a little bit of humor and an open mind, otherwise you can put the book down.

So we’ve established: 1) the book is a reading material intended for a certain audience, and a reminder: they aren't necessarily autobiographical accounts, and 2) it may offend sensibilities of less mature readers. But the latter, I figure, is not my problem.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I don’t know what it is about the new year that makes me feel so nostalgic and pensive. I find myself listening to watery, sad songs contemplating of things past, and surprisingly, of those that have yet to happen. This is not to say I am living in the present, in fact, I’m in limbo-

Whispering to the wind secrets that bound me for quite some time, as if to expiate myself of sins that burdened me. Now I see things beyond the mists of anger and pride, and realize how cruel I have been at times.

The time is ripe. Set things right, make amends, pick up pieces of things broken, and move on.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Teacher Evaluation Week aka Payback Time

I kid, I kid. Right Miss Tapia? = )

Rhetoric blunders

During a quiz, a student was confused over a true or false test- would he simply write T, or not? So he inquired from his good-humored teacher:

Student: “Sir, write the whole word?”

Teacher: “Yes, write the whole world!”

During a high school graduation, an adviser asks her student what her plans were…

Ma’am P: “What do you want to be in four years time?”

Student: “I want to be a Nursing!”

(‘Wag ka, gusto nyang maging kurso!)

A waray boy fairly new to the tagalog-speaking urban Metro Manila, goes to the sari-sari store.

Boy: “Magkano po yung munay?”

Tindera: “Ah, yung monay?”

Friday, January 2, 2009

Meldy, Take the Backseat Honey

Eartha Kitt, the original Catwoman, popularized the song "Waray-Waray" with the feisty attitude of a true-blue Waray woman. She died last Christmas at the age of 81. Listen to the song (she also purrs midway through the song and comments about Waray women who have muscles “like steel and we can fight any battle but our kisses are as sweet as wine") as we bid farewell to a legend and icon.


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