Exceprts from a Cheap, Cardboard Notebook Smothered with Stickers

There are days when she’s bound to go away. How often one looks at her with the heart becoming influxed with emotion! Causing the body to forget its basic task, until it realizes that its eyes see reality speeding the body back into motion. Causing that little panic attack, condensed into a physical characteristic, upon sight.

When the heart skips a beat, there is nothing that earthly needs could use to distract us from the heavenly body which has come down right in front of us. Only for a moment do our phones stay silent and the mouths of our detractors remain shut. For one moment experienced in our short life do we experience a split-second trip blip can truly go on forever.

But goodbyes, as noted by a famed Portuguese poet, are known to us as deaths within the smallest factor. Human death is of no context but rather the feeling of change that is so desperately needed. Yet our body and mind reject it at first glance. Some may view this and laugh it off like a deluded man turning off the television set upon sight of a man with a red jumpsuit apparatus waltzing around the stage. Toying with the performers while they look back with a smirk of amusement as the crowd grows united within one another.

But it’s easy to disregard the devil if you don’t believe in the devil. For the poor man who is heartbroken, when he chooses to shut himself out from the world, to wallow his feelings inside of a dark closet, then demons surely do exist. He is in its real human form. And when such temptations to fall under his wing prove successful, then the world can never find out to what caused such a man to be possessed by something so simple yet so demanding and devastating in effect.


Megacon Brings In The Worst People (Part 1)

It was a gloomy Saturday morning with the sky as a blanket of clouds and the sunlight producing a blissful haze throughout the region.

My brother, Johnny, is posing as Kato from The Green Hornet with the hope that one of his photos would serve as his latest profile pic. He was keen on participating in a pastime well known for many the nerds and geeks worldwide who anticipate such a day within the likes of Johnny and I. Posing in various martial arts stances, after taking two pictures, anguished, he let out a big yell “Augh! My costume has a hole on it!”

This was when the adaptation of “The Green Hornet”, directed by the visual French eccentric Michel Gondry, was released. The once hyped movie of the summer in 2011, ultimately brought down to mediocrity due to a number “imperfections” caused a once beloved series, integral to the rise of stardom for the iconic Bruce Lee, to go down as nothing more than a mere cash grab. Likely to end up in the collection of five dollar DVDs at the local Walmart. Holding high regard towards the Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou, for the portrayal of his hero’s breakthrough role, my brother dressed as said character in respect to the late actor. I took a picture from his back. A large sea of white ripped from the Velcro lining, serving as the first clause of dismay to the Bruce Lee wannabe. It didn’t his news deteriorate my excitement for the day though. In the weeks prior to the event, the largest and most premiere Comic Book, Anime, Sci-fi, and Pop-Culture festival in Central Florida, my brother invited me to go with him to this public event. Joining his friends eager to surround themselves with the life they once enjoyed. Everyone I knew in high school was keen on attending and if I hadn’t conjured up the interest to say yes, I imagined a month long period of remorse; fueled by the giddy conversations of past attendees of explaining the event in vague and clichéd key words such as “epic” and “cool”. With all of these factors playing against my conscience, naturally, I accepted his invitation.

“Megacon it is.” My brother replied.

The year was 2011 and I am driving down John Young Parkway squashed with cars due to the morning rush hour. Inside a dark indigo Nissan 300z, Johnny is riding shotgun while my father sits in the back seat. I had just gotten my permit and my father wanted me to use every available opportunity to get scolded by him for any common mistakes I made when practicing. Whenever a mistake was made, I would end up with an earful of livid sentences screaming out from a man who never got sick from his overwhelming redness. This was not faring to be a good morning.

Driving through John Young Parkway, mired in the morning rush hour, a large HONK from a white Lexus passed on my right. My father yelled:


Apparently, I was jeering out of my lane with the right side barely merging into traffic. Frayed with emotion, I obeyed his orders and brought the car back in its lane as I tried to remain cool and content while my livid father lectured me from the back.

“You see Albert? Keep the car on the center of the lane. If you don’t then you’ll merge into the other lane and cause an accident! Keep the…keep the car in the lane. Okay? The center lane. Keep the car in the center lane.”

Johnny, who had grandfathered my dad’s unpleasant attitude, put his hand in front of the dashboard and gestured it to the left, causing to further bottle up my emotions. I looked to the rosary swinging from the rearview mirror while my restless soul fevered with rage. What had I done to deserve this? I was bound to have a good morning today, and already I was experiencing a moment that tends to ruin my day. I was trapped with these two people for the remainder of the car ride. Normally, when I would become increasingly frustrated, my parents would notice this behavior and demanded me to explain what’s wrong while asking to keep my mouth shut. Needless to say, I picked up on their advice and remained stoic while my brain reduced itself to an anger infused mush.

Yet from behind, my father continued to dwell on my close call with death.

My father sneered “I just don’t get it Albert. I just don’t get it.” He picked up his phone and dialed his brother on the phone. The rest of his family lives in The Philippines. Cebu City to be exact. A city that I would much prefer to live if I didn’t forsake my Visayan tongue to mingle with my passively racist friends. His voice immediately became cheerful and enthusiastic as a conversation consisting of updates from his mother, his sisters, and his brothers were on the topic. While he happily continued conversing with his family, I was whispering to myself. Speaking in tongues into the open air to remain calm. Telling myself “It’s going to be alright. Everything is fine. Just let this pass and you can live the rest of the day without your father breathing down your neck.”  My father noticed my bizzare behavior and immediately put his phone on his chest.

“Albert…CALM DOWN.”

What he had failed to realize was, because I was learning to know how to drive, I was in control of the steering wheel. And whoever has control of the steering wheel was in total control of the car. I stepped on the pedal and the Nissan revved in acceleration. The three of us jerked back and the cars in front of us started to slow down, causing me to dodge the red tailights of the commuting traffic. In the back, my father drops the phone and panics in despair. He begins yelling at me in a such a powerful voice; akin to when I insistently hold my ground. Johnny begins to grab the wheel while he punches me in the face. He was always nuts about martial arts, but it’s too bad considering I have an affinity with cars. I focused my attention on the steering wheel; using years of training from playing Gran Truismo and Daytona USA. I was determined to make things go my way. My father always got what he wanted… and today was the day when I finally stood up to him. The serves in traffic begin to become blurred lines and I look to the dashboard. One hundred miles per hour.

I veer off of the lane and dip into the grassy median into oncoming traffic. I lose a bit of speed from the grassy knolls on the median. But when I went on the road, sparsely populated in comparison to the lane I was in, I pick up from where I left off. This time, the honks become more vivid and numerous. I begin dodging through traffic while my enraged and terrified father begins to grab the wheel while my brother holds it in the same position. Trying to pry of my hands by pounding on my finger tips, slapping my cheeks, and pushing the steering wheel with great force. This time, their power overwhelms me and cars begin skidding off the road. From a distance, I see a tow truck. Whatever’s on the back made no difference to me. Considering that it takes quite an effort to turn a big rig to the left or right, especially in a frantic manner, this is where I made my last stand. I gunned it, and the headlights begin to look like stars going through light speed. I see the metal grill of the Peterbilt head and I close my eyes. The screams and efforts of my father and Johnny against me have, for the first time in my life, failed. I was in peace.

The light turns green and Johnny reminds lightly hits me on the arm. I look up and I go before the annoyed commuters start honking at me.

We decided to park on a driveway near the convention center. I stepped outside and immediately walked to the stairwell while my father was profusely apologizing for his behavior. I couldn’t bear to look at him in setting the tone for the day, but deep within of my heart, he was my father. And I couldn’t stand to think of a person with malice so I forgave him. Taking a picture of my father posing with the car, I walked up to the catwalks. At this time, the sun was up and provided the convention center with light that brought the thirty year old center a modern look. From the pearly white walls of the mezannine and its outdated architecture common, I was ready.

After some walking, we finally end up near the front entrance as noted by the increasing volume of attendees. All around, I see the fine-looking animals. Bodies shaped from their countless years of devoted fitness routines and their dedicated nutrition habits. The majority of them who were playing dress up to look like their favorite characters from role playing games such as Lightning from Final Fantasy 13 or well-loved T.V. shows such as The Walking Dead. (I only took photos of the characters that I recognized.) These beauties were walking side by side with the nocturnal beasts of the night; rocking their shirts of their virtual idols. These are the people whose lives are lived within the confines of their bedroom. Their imagination, computer keyboards, computer monitors, and their game systems providing everything needed to be satisfied in life. For three days, they have come out of the dark; briefly exposed to the outside world and its glamour of which they can only see from afar. To mingle with their friends; to live out their virtual fantasies; where an extensive knowledge of trivia and useless knowledge was not only a sign of dedication but as a sign of integrity. It was one the few instances of their life where their hobbies had led them to become accepted. Where they could walk around without any of the protruding Pharisees, ranging from the athletic jocks to their own parents, commenting how much of their life has been wasted keeping up with such trivial interests.

Megacon 042

The mezzanine also played an integral part to showcase the imaginative creativity of Cosplayers.

Megacon 034

Johnny’s martial arts training did come to good use.

Megacon 032

He was quite a hit.

Megacon 040

We end up meeting Johnny’s friends near the doors, and from there we all played the waiting game. I don’t know how I ended up hanging out with my brother’s friends as I have never considered them to be a part of my own circle. They had just graduated high school and had embarked on their first year in college while I was still in junior year figuring it all out as I went along. The music they loved was the “catchy-yet-soon-to-be-forgotten” Top 40 hits while I desperately wanted to become a musical “hipster” (a term which was gaining traction around that time) by listening to EDM and alternative music through the means of YouTube and Pandora. It was during these years when I had discovered Deadmau5 (loathing that I had discovered him when he had already achieved fame), Skrillex (months before he blew up with “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”), and Empire of the Sun (discovered them as part of the lineup for Ultra Music Festival 2011). With these group of upperclassmen, they simply preferred to talk to each other since they had formed a clique conversing on topics of which they would only know between themselves. But it was through the actions of my brother, who was trying to live up to his “older sibling” intuitions, that I would find myself spending some time together within the company of his closest friends. All to provide me with some sort of entertainment and break from the monotony of YouTube videos that I filled my evening 99% of the time. Although I was clearly the outcast, Johnny’s circle welcomed me with open arms. This morning, however, it seems as if I stepped on their tail or something.

Johnny’s closest friends, who go by the name of Wilbur and Sam, tend to be a bit hyper when it comes to their love of pop-culture. While discussing about these certain topics, their passion had soon come caught up to them as the two started to shove each other around while laughing with their bellies. Soon, hormones took over and their aggressive horseplay caused a nearby group of girls nearby to be shoved along with them. Their faces already expressed discomfort as if a Florida man walked up to the pair and asked the two for sex in exchange for a hotdog. A few shoves in and their father soon comes to the rescue by asking them to stop. It wasn’t in the case of the father asking them politely with a gentle tone yet reassuring tone,

“Look, I know we’re in Megacon and you’re excited to be here. But could you…behave until it actually starts?”

Instead, the father demanded that Sam and Wilbur to behave themselves. The two repeatedly apologized to the father for being stupid teenagers. In response, the father showed them no form of remorse,

“This is the only time that I’ll say this.”

The mood went quiet and things died down, only for them to come up again. Yvonne, Johnny’s girlfriend, is known for being extremely ticklish with a yelp indicating that she is being tickled against her will. Wilbur was the suspect as he touched the inner crevices of her body, causing a number of their friends to cackle at her. The sight was amusing and the only reason why someone would continually tickle someone was to see their reaction. I wanted to join in on the fun, and when opportunity had risen, I tickled her. This time, the frown was gone and Yvonne looked straight in my face,

“Stop!!” she demanded.

“Yeah seriously…stop man” Her friends would echo from behind.

Confused, I kept my mouth shut and took a step back. I wasn’t too happy with how things were turning out. I took pictures of a few more of the costumed attendees and waited a bit, seething a bit in my own humiliation which had turned into anger. I know now that people have their limits, but it was quite hard for me to fix my attitude. I already had a bossy father to seal the expectation that anyone who raises their voices far beyond the likes of an inside voice was already on my shit list. I didn’t dare to say anything back at them though. What would that make of me? A hyprocrite most likely.

I couldn’t deal with the pressure arising from my body. So I simply stayed silent while I waited. Then from afar, I hear people cheering, laughing, screaming with delight. There was a small light in the corridor. The crowd of people were starting to move forward and my brother informs me to hold up my wrist band to get in. This was the moment that I had wanted to experience for years. And in a few seconds, I would finally have that opportunity.

In other words, the doors were open.

Toxix Relations**t


I know who you are

You treat me like i’m nothing

i continue to say nothing

I am powerless within my own self.

Because i fear you


the one true god

who controls our dumb thoughts

Churns our simple shoulders

controlling our feeble minds

The god who brings life

In pen


in paper

The god you claim doesn’t exist


if i were to be


You would feel




A punching bag

who punches back

with our talk

being the last talk

Before you hang the rope on

your neck


I fear for you

I care about you

So i continue to say nothing

To be nothing

To continue your Friendship

against me

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens – Thoughts

*Note: This is my first review…ever. So I apologize if I seem a bit absent minded. Also, I’ll try to keep this review spoiler free.*

When I heard that Christopher Hitchens, the man known to vocally rip the so called “heroes” of faith such as Mother Teresa and Jerry Falwell, admitted to being close friends with the author, an Evangelical Christian named Larry Taunton, I made it my mission to find the proof towards their seemingly unlikely bond for each other. However, they wouldn’t come to terms with a few “certain” issues about faith (except their shared views towards Islam).  Starting from his post and a joint interview, which was posted on the CNN Religion Blog a few days after Hitchens’ death, I looked far and wide, with the help of Google, to learn more about their unlikely rapport. All to fulfill my desire to know what the power of friendship can do to the most unlikely of characters.

Link to his CNN post:

My Take: An evangelical remembers his friend Hitchens

Since then, like many journeys to find the hidden treasures that very few know about, I was able to uncover a few gems. YouTube videos showcasing that Taunton, who initially, according to the book, was antagonized by fans of the Hitch for his religiosity, wasn’t bluffing about being close friends. There is proof all around YouTube showcasing their comraderies. Just type in “Christopher Hitchens Larry Taunton” and all of the links provided are merely the first few videos that I happened to post on this review. But when I discovered that an actual book was coming out detailing Taunton’s bromance with Hitchens, who was known to have his atheist companionships with the likes of Richard Dawkins, Salman Rushdie, Lawrence Krauss, and other like-minded individuals, I preordered the book without hesitation. Fueled by the expectation that I would finally know more about what those two did during Hitchens’ final years.

The first half of the book starts off with a general overview of Hitchens’ journey towards unbelief starting from his rocky boarding school days, his rise to prominence in Oxford, and as a controversial contrarian who broke ties with the left due to his stances a few topics. I learned quite a bit towards Hitchens and his envious journey to the top. Hitchens’ mother did mention that he was bound to become a member of the upper class. And ultimately, he did. All on his own terms.

Taunton does add in a few of his opinions towards his view towards Atheism and how such views support his foundation for Christian belief. (To avoid sparking any debates concerning my thoughts on his words, this is as far as I’ll go.)

Then came to the last half of the book. The section that I was eagerly anticipating since ordering it online. The day when Taunton meets the Hitch. It’s interesting to note that while reading this section, Taunton reuses some of the lines of his first encounter from the CNN post over here. He even uses the same description in his podcast featuring the very interview recorded on that day. On the acknowledgements, Taunton mentioned that the task of writing a book takes years to complete. So I’m guessing that the idea for this book was on his mind on the day of his closest companions died.

Link of their discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obycPvu5fro

The book then fast forwards to a few months after the discovery of the same disease that killed his father: stage four cancer of the esophagus. Upholding his commitment for an upcoming debate in Taunton’s home state, Alabama, the two buddies undertake on a road trip. During this section I was filled with joy and laughed out loud between witty banter and eccentric quirks shared between the two. I could easily imagine such events occurring between my friends during a road trip. A few months later, another road trip, this time on the beautiful mountain state of Montana, travelling to Yellowstone National Park, proceeding yet another debate between the two in Billings, Montana.

Link of their trip to Yellowstone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n85Sjh0r7s


It was here where Hitchens, in front of a camera crew for a local news outlet, spoke his true feelings about Taunton: “If everyone in the United States had the same qualities of loyalty and care and concern for others that Larry Taunton had, we’d be living in a much better society than we do.” There is no denying that there was a special connection between the two master debaters. That their friendship, given to the dying Hitchens so late in his life, was one that allowed him to reflect on all of his years to begin reconsidering the validity of the foundation in which Taunton bases his life’s works upon.

Hitchens jokes that by saying it on camera, there’s now video evidence to prove his words.

Link of the news report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xorMPrHrzNU

Needless to say, not only was I satisfied with the content living up to my expectations, it provided me with a newly found worldview that I hope would satisfy my journey towards self-enlightenment. I loved how Taunton wasn’t depreciative towards his death compared to many of his Christian contemporaries and made sure that the book was focused towards his personal views of the Hitchens’ journey home. Some might be thrown off by Taunton’s views towards his Christianity but then again, a number of believers were big fans of Hitchens despite his obvious thoughts against what they believed in. As I closed the Kindle app (I bought this as an E-book), I took a deep sigh of relief and patted myself on the back. It was sixteen dollars’ worth spent.

Five stars out of five.

The Agony in my Diary

Today is Holy Thursday. The night when Jesus and his twelve disciples celebrated their last meal together. Breaking bread and wine and sharing it as His own flesh. Before Jesus willingly gives up His own life for the sake of providing us perpetual light, especially to those who follow in His footsteps. Anxious about tomorrow, I try to calm my nerves by writing this down on my real journal.

The skies are pitch black. An incessant downpour, almost everlasting in length, accurately sets the scene for tomorrow morning at work when my managers assign me to any position that isn’t the job that I know best and that is being the dining room attendant of my restaurant. The dining room where I am willing to do menial tasks such as cleaning tables, taking out the trash, and stocking up condiments for seven and a half hours. The reason why I fear such a First World Problem is due to the disastrous run I had last Sunday. Working under the heat lamp section of the kitchen where I served side items and kids meals for the decadent visitors, looking for no sympathy towards my fragile heart, at my resort.

My problem isn’t towards serving the food. That part isn’t hard. It’s actually towards the end of the breakfast rush where I have to undergo through a process of switching the breakfast items to the lunch items. Sounds easy enough, but every time my restaurant switches to the lunch hour I am required to complicate a simple task of disposing the morning lefovers. Considering that I have not worked in such a position for two months, the transfer was disastrous. And as weak willed as I am, I fear that I will undertake the same responsibilities tomorrow morning and each day until Easter. Perfectly explaining the chaos Jesus went through when he was in the tomb for three days.

I can’t help it. I only work weekends and ninety five percent of my workload is either by bringing food to the guests or taking out the trash. Whenever I have that brief surprise of working in the back of the kitchen, usually I end up lost and confused, resorting asking constant questions to the preoccupied chefs and slowing down the kitchen in the process. The people in the back mostly consist of Hatians who, in contrast with my laid back Americanized attuitude, are direct with what they want. If I show any hesitation with my decisions, they will call me out and lecture me. Demanding to know why that despite working there for six months, I still do not know how to do my job correctly.

There are two solutions: either I do it or ask a manager to exchange my shift with someone who knows the job better than I do. Because I’m too scared to have my “fellow” co-workers berating my work style. The job isn’t hard. Really. But anything other than being in front of the counter is my weak spot.

I love working in the dining room for several reasons: I walk around the restaurant in order to pass the time to see if the condiments to be restocked, tables need to be cleaned, and if the floors need to be sweeped up. I also love interacting with the customers. Asking them on what attractions they’ve visited and their impressions towards the resort. Thankfully I have never encountered a guest that was despondent towards my presence. Each converstaion I have is brought up with the intention of brightening up their day. One co-worker mentioned that I should work in entertainment because I find joy when I chat with the guests instead of preparing their food. I should probably do that when the time comes.

Most of all, because of the laid back environment and doing work that doesn’t feel like work, I end up having a fun day whenever I am assigned to those two.

Anything goes, but lately I’ve been a bit superstitious. Feeling no uplifting connection between Reason and Science but instead with Religion and Scripture. The latter two never make a good combination as I tend to have a pessimistic attitude whenever I use wishful thinking instead of critical thinking.

Tomorrow is Good Friday, where the son Himself goes through the process of purging our sins by passively recieving each deep laceration given by the Romans. Waking up before the sun rises to work and sweat under the clamoring of the strict, middle aged Hatians and groggy eyed families looking to gain some energy for visiting the parks. The families, who will later on have all smiles with their family on the hour Jesus looked up while hanging on the cross and closing his eyes.

I suspect that if I am assigned to work behind the counter tomorrow where I will have my share of the graceful suffering experienced by my Saviour. Willing to take up the pain due to the simple fact that it’s my duty to do so and I’m getting money in the process.

But as I mention above, anything goes. I have nothing to do but either mentally prepare myself for the day ahead of me. Tomorrow, may the Lord help me, because I know that I can’t help myself.

Why This Filipino Doesn’t Sing (until recently)

There is a special place in hell reserved for the inventor of karaoke machines which, after each song, grades your singing ability based on your performance.

Let me start off with a stereotype: Filipinos are known for being great singers. My mother, bless her heart, spends her nights and weekends reminiscing about her home country by clicking through YouTube video after YouTube video of of entertainment news reports, audition videos, T.V. Shows, and the occasional collage of a Philippine Celebrity such as the Current Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Usually, I am guilty of delving into a few guilty pleasures of my own such as reading the blog posts of Australian fashion mogul Margaret Zhang (even though I have no interest in fashion) and the past articles of the late wordsmith/polemicist Christopher Hitchens (despite having opposing viewpoints towards religion).

A few months ago, Fourth Power, the vocal quartet that had made grounds on The X-Factor (U.K. edition), was on her radar. With each video showing their rise to the top on the program that helped create One Direction, it seemed like a good time to be a Filipino. Like many Filipinos, the allure of these four born and bred in the outskirts of Manila hitting it big in the world would make one proud of their country. Pride is a sin, but for the sake of a country that is not known for producing superstars, it’s nice to delve inside the feeling for some time.

I tend to see myself as a complicated individual who resorts to listening to the moody sounds of Sufjan Stevens and The Camerawalls as they tend to emphasize emotion through musicality instead of how high a vocalist can hit the high note. In terms of my musical tastes, I am a hipster. The only thing that is missing from my bag is plaid shirts, baggy shoes, a kale diet, and embracing chaos. But hipsterdom shouldn’t be the main motivator on I tend to stray away on a creative pastime.

It all started when I was the sixth grade. To bring spice to our sporadically vibrant household, with the occasional sound of Sharon Cuneta or Eraserheads blaring from the stereo, a karaoke machine was purchased. Normally such a purchase was meant to entertain the middle aged, hyper-conservative parents of the English-speaking Filipinos by singing pop songs both new and old, in English or in Tagalog, as the main event for a house party. But for my family, singing is not just a passion, it’s a way of life and given the opportunity to exercise their vocal chords, they sing their heart out. My brother was involved with the school choir throughout his school years and my parents were the lead performers for their prayer group. However, of course, I had to be the different one. The outlier, the Black Sheep. I wasn’t keen towards singing or any type of music that tends to glorify the singer.

I pressed 216 on the microphone’s keypad and the song “ABC” from the Jackson 5 was selected. Blaring out the cheap MIDI files commonly associated with karaoke hits, I began singing along with the words. Gracing the lyrics, I channeled my inner Michael Jackson on the microphone. I felt powerful and music was at the helm of my shoulders as I hit the high notes and the low notes. Even the break where Jackson scats out was performed I was lost and unsure on how to blurt out random phrases to an imaginary audience. An audience who, real or not, would present me an after show present of a bouquet of roses, a straight jacket and a limo to the nearest psychiatric ward.

The song ends and the verdict comes up:

Without an applause or an upbeat melody. I sat in silence as the bold numbers flashed on the screen for five seconds. Five long seconds as I sat on the couch, coming to terms with the harsh truth that I was not good at singing.

I was bad.

Needless to say, I typed in 216 again and replayed the song. This time, I would try ten times as hard than the last one. The first attempt was simply a warm up and on this second try I was going to do far better.

This time, I transferred my whole heart onto the microphone, straining my vocal chords to hit the high notes. Feeling the rhythm pounding on my heart, once again I channeled my inner Michael Jackson on the MIDI background. My mother, listening in the sidelines, remained silent throughout. I was determined to get a better score so I could finally be placed alongside the legion of the amateur vocalists. One step closer to my family accepting me as one of them.

The songs ends and the score finally pops up. No applause was heard and no music played in the background. My efforts were left in vain.

A 68 graced its message all over my eyes, killing my self confidence towards singing and a growing disdain for the art or any song or musical that emphasized the use of vocals instead of using actual instruments. It was the first step onto becoming a vastly different family member. One that would spend a Filipino house party wandering around the house instead of conversing with like minded individuals, causing concern towards my parents.

Soon my insecurities arose whenever my family recited their lyrical poems. I became the bad son and my family grew to despise my very existence due to my antagonizing responses whenever the urge to break into song and dance came into their mind. When their part for “Real Life: The Musical” was performed, I usually covered my ears or ran out of the room to prevent my mind from going dark. There was a time when the muffled echo of my brother’s soprano voice, practicing his part for the choir, was met with my body flailing around my room, pounding the carpet in hopes that the singing would stop. When my brother finally came into my room to see what the banging was about, he was met with his sibling on the floor, huddled in the fetal position. It was the only moment when such an exchange was met with no friction between us brothers. The same couldn’t be said for the other times.

My relationship towards my older brother gradually diminished into a flattened pancake, produced by the steel toed boot of a brother’s hellish fiery fury unleashing upon me whenever I covered my ears for safety. My father had a similar reaction. Seething with anger, instead my father gave me advice on how to calm down whenever any of my family members started expressing their feelings through music. I wasn’t getting better, and such heated exchanges ultimately led me towards a year long slump towards our relationship. For one full year, after a fateful sixteenth birthday which was ruined from his anger and my reluctance to accept my faulty singing, I had an intense disliking towards my older sibling.

God couldn’t save me either. The act of singing is encouraged in church where a simple song rendition can lift up a prayer into a grandeur spectacle of praise. Oftentimes, I was pressured by my own family to start singing in order to please El Papa but I tended to stick with my values once they’ve been established. So I remained quiet, absorbing the positive energy exemplified by the faithful. I hope that I don’t go to hell because of my reluctance to perform in public.

As the years progressed, I started to grow up by reconciling with my family towards my disdain for their passion. Heck, I started singing along to my favorite songs (in private of course). In 2012 I discovered The Smiths and Morrissey’s yodel like vocals, where I would spend time in my room placing my hands upon my temples and gliding around the room. Occasionally, my parents would overhear my singing and would compliment my skills. I gradually regained my self confidence towards my works. Ultimately, inflating my massive ego towards an poppable bubble.

It was enough to consider joining my high school choir a mere four months before graduating. I remember the faces of both the mega star choir teacher and my guidance counselor when I expressed my interest in singing halfway through the year when people were preparing to go into the real world. Everyone that I’ve talked to concerning my decision, including the choir teacher who was dumbfounded to even hear such a question, encouraged me to follow through. However, my guidance counselor stopped me on my tracks with a simple word: no. To this day, I still cringe whenever the memory flashes in my brain.

It wasn’t until the term “The haters only hate because they’re insecure of their own lives” became relevant. Normally, I would agree with such prose due to the confidence needed to continue under the face of ridicule, but then I remembered thinking about singing and receiving those two low scores. Once I put the pieces together, the puzzle solved itself.

I began to start the processes of forgiveness towards myself and to everyone around who has been hurt by my disrespectful nature. I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that my family loves to sing and the majority of songs and artists that I love exemplify their self confidence by writing out lyrics and singing into a musical backdrop to express their feelings to an unseen force of listeners. I’m even starting to sing a bit, with the occasional sing along in my car to Shark?’s “California Grrls” or MUTEMATH’s “Chaos”. But despite forgiving my tresspasses against my family, karaoke bars are still out.

First post and telling my old self to shut up

“Why am I doing this?” I ask myself when I sit alone in my desk. Classical music blares out of my speakers from the Windows 10 TuneIn app as I try to copy the writing habits of my favorite authors. I realize that I have a test next Monday for my Differential Equations course and I’m using my spare time needed to study to write this post. It’s not a good way to start off my academic career but forget about it. Tonight, I am Charles Bukowski gathering thoughts of lost loves and destructive behaviors and transferring them to the word processor. So far, judging on past works, I don’t sound like a writer who suffers from alcoholism and chronic introversion but as a dateless virgin who spends his nonrefundable minutes on Earth watching YouTube videos. After writing in a number of personal journals, or as they’re called “diaries” for everyone else, I think I’m ready to start a blog where my thoughts, biased and ignorant as they may be, can be seen and shared to anyone in the world.

Insecure thoughts continue to hinder my writing. Demons surely do exist, and they have evolved from the freak acts of nature and the evil misdemeanors of humans to the small confines of my brain. Their newest method of temptations are gradually taking control my energy to continue writing. The idea of quitting leave me desperate and towards an agnostic’s plea for God. If I submit to their taunts, by closing this page and continuing on my life, then they have won.

This blog is a gateway from removing my past self into a new form of man. The man I am talking about is the man which I want to become. The details are too hazy and they are too personal to discuss, especially for a post meant to serve as a first impression. But let’s just say that there comes a certain time in my life when I have to abandon the life I once had before the feeling continues to hold me down rather than maintaining its sense of self satisfaction needed to continue. Writing has never been my closest ally as standardized test scores have constantly proved that I’m naturally better at math instead of writing. Regardless, I’ve expressed an interest to write for quite a while. After years of diving in towards other art forms such as photography and film making, which I continue as a hobby instead of a potential career, that I might as well learn how to write and learn how to write well.

I don’t know what this blog will consist of. It may contain movie reviews, exhibitions of my own works, my own personal opinions concerning the big questions, or just random ramblings as I’m too shy to give it to a regular human being. But they will be focused on one goal: practice. I don’t know if I want to become a writer but I certainly want to be good at writing. Especially towards prose and the constraints of these poorly composed essays. I may even do the dirty work and post an entry per day. It’s going to be quite pointless, but I don’t mind writing out words with the intention of improving with any reader acting as my intellectual guinea pig

Admittedly, I showcase the two naughty no no’s of composition with a sloppy form of writing and a failure to provide additional details for each point that I make. I get too caught up in the moment of writing with my heart that I fail to reword with my head, a lesson that I’ve taken from one of my favorite movies “Finding Forrester.”  But maybe I’m not writing essays in order to prove a point, but instead I want to write out simple thoughts and words out on paper as an outlet. Similar to (yes I’m using him example yet again) Charles Bukowski and his hero, John Fante. Where each book brought out by these two are examples of how to write with an emotional and impassioned form of style. When reading their words, I was blown away on each hard boiled sentence that punched out from the page and slap me in the face, each word giving me a boost of energy needed to continue. Rumor has it that such writers such as these two are often mimicked with aspiring writers (I have been guilty of this distinction, I wasn’t as good as a writer to begin with.)

But the lesson learned here is that the form of style I often see with these two is enough to keep the reader entertained but if will need a certain lesson needed to be made through. I hope that I can continue until I can write without any sense of pretentiousness coming from this post. I can’t please everyone, but I hope I can please the few who.

So that’s my brief and somewhat confusing introduction to who I am and what I wish to accomplish with this first post. And what I want to accomplish with this blog is…I don’t really know. Maybe when I start writing often, I’ll gradually form the basis of what’s best for the blog. Other than that, bear with me. I’m a mere beginner at the writer’s circle and I feel like I don’t belong here.