Wednesday, August 25, 2004

In My Past Life I Was A.....

Quiz Me
chel tamayo was
a Successful Gladiator
in a past life.

In My Past Life I Was A.....Oh yeah. I always knew there was a reason why I chose Tomb Taider for my thesis...(aside from the, uh, babe factor of course)..but there you go, i was a succesful gladiator in my past life...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Chinese Water Torture

Chinese Water Torture You can throw me right now in the middle of the Pacific and I’ll float. Guaranteed. Even if I do not know how to swim. For the past week I have drunk enough water to fill up our huge water tank just so I could start working already. Goddamn medical requirements. I could actually hear myself sloshing with every move. I'm the human jell-o. Come on take a bite. I jiggle. I am green. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la.

Monday, August 23, 2004


I just gave my brother our semi-annual haircutting sessions yesterday. For every six months, I moonlight as a barber giving my brothers a trim or a new style, for free. I honestly do not know what brought that on because ever since my brother came home from Singapore late last year, I’ve been giving them these haircuts because they’ve been too lazy and too cheap to go to the barbershop.

I watched hairs fall onto the ground, then swept and gathered to throw away in the trash. I watched my brother brush off the bits of hair that got stuck into the folds of his t-shirt, his neck, and arms because if he won’t, then he would have to suffer the itchiness it would cause and he would have to undergo the agony of scratching it till it goes away and his skin would be raw by then.

How you could set the time by how long your hair or nails grow. It’s the most latent way of telling us that time had passed and how. My hair now almost reaches the small of my back. Scrutinizing it, one could see the ends split, needing a trim badly but I’m in no hurry to cut, unlike some other people. Have you ever realized that that wear and tear in our hair are a life’s worth of pain resulting from the harshness of the elements and not taking care of it properly?

I prefer the discretion of it against the tic-toc of the clocks that are strategically hung around our house. I feel that somehow, like the curse of the Deathwatch Beetle, I’m doomed every second that passed by. Those cuckoo clocks that cluck every hour (yet sounds like a Banshee wailing to my ears) announces another fraction of my life gone by and that I will never capture again.

Immortality. We all crave that do we?

Like the hairs that are cut from us and the nails that we clip that are swept and thrown represents the years in our life that is now lost.

So we take precautions in to prevent these damages. We try to live cautiously.

I have a friend who still can’t cross the street at the age of 22. Even I, when I reached my 21st birthday realized that I am not as invincible as I think I was when I was younger. I became more responsible, for myself and for others and in return I became more frozen. I tried to retreat in the corners because open spaces have this big potentiality of getting your heart broken, or becoming disappointed. The bigger the space, the bigger the risk.

But I still think that we should do something that we are most afraid of, even if it paralyzes us or worse, kill us. Everything in this world is a risk even if you think that you are safely ensconced in the security of your house. Paralysis can be cured with therapy and conditioning but death. Death, we cannot do anything about it but at least we could earn our bragging right in the afterlife, wherever that is.

Being frozen from far too long is a risk; we may get stale. Then it would all be for nothing.

I told Karen a few days ago that we humans tend to survive without actually living and having said that out loud, I was horrified at the thought.

Tomorrow I’m going to the salon. I’m going to have my split ends trimmed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Thousands of people ride the MRT every single day. Maybe more than 10,000 purposes and more than 10, 000 destinations from 13 stations, whether purposely intended or the result of aimless meanderings from 5:30 am-9: 30 pm.

I do not usually ride the MRT whenever I go to Makati. I prefer the frenetic commute riding the LRT, masochistically bearing the sweaty, odoriferous, and noisy trains instead of the zooming Metro Star Express. As convenient (and clean) the MRT is, I am afraid of getting caught in its granite maze of stairs, escalators interspersed with shops, restaurants, and thousand of pounds of metal rail tracks and thousands of voltage of electricity.

Did I say the word destination? Destined. Destiny. From the Latin word destinare meaning ultimately. But do not I extol the virtues of existentialism in my daily life?

It was an uneventful ride, really. I knew where I was going, what I’m going to do when I get there. But getting there was a whole different story.

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a stranger for a minute or two, then suddenly finding yourself drowning with both feet planted firmly on the ground? All of your instincts are telling you to run away and never look back because if you don’t, you would find yourself in trouble faster than you could say heartbreak and deeper than the Y-incision of an open heart surgery that could kill you if handled by an unskilled surgeon.

That is what my gut feeling told me when I saw you approach while I was waiting for the train to arrive. Did our souls somehow recognize each other, which is why you’re face seemed so familiar? I was so sure that I’ve met you before (I just don’t know when and where) that I knew that I could reach out and trace the contours of your face and kiss you fully on the mouth without any words exchanged. Was it the way your backpack was slung casually over your shoulders or the shy smiles that we bestowed upon each other for what seemed like a million years? I don’t know. I don’t care. All I knew was that I intended to keep on drowning for as long as I could.

You could have chosen to sit not beside me but you did. I could have let other people sit between us but I didn’t.

For 10 stations, we sat beside each other. I was leaning towards you, and your hands lingered on my knee, leaving indentations on my skin as if there were no fabric that bars our skins from meeting. I caught you smelling my hair, lingering on my nape, your warm breath tickling me. I reveled in the feeling. Passengers who sat across us would think that we are lovers, sitting so close to each other that not even the merest sliver of shadow could ever pass through. They would never know that we have exchanged not one word but this connection is better than any words ever uttered. Every station that passed by signals the end of this clandestine encounter. But I knew that if we alighted on the same station, this was fate, spitting at me in the eye and kicking at me in the teeth. And we did.

At the escalator, on the way up, we were again side-by-side, like the stiff groom and bride getting nailed with rice as they were marching on the aisle. That was the last sign I was waiting for. Why I turned away and did not ask for your name or number, I would never know. I’ve reached my destination and so did you. I never knew which one of the numerous exits that you took but as I was crossing the footbridge, I looked back, somehow wishing that you followed me. But you didn’t.

Did someone conspire against me so that my appointment was moved and that I rode the MRT instead of the LRT?

The return journey was the most difficult of all. My usually relaxed and bouncy steps were replaced by the heavy thud of my sneakers. Instead of climbing the stairs (which I usually do for exercise), I took the escalators. I did not want to drag myself, loaded with disappointment and regret. I bumped 9,999 other people but I might as wheel have been in a solitary confinement. Each time the train stops at a station places more and more distance between our bodies, but not our psyche, that much I’m sure of.

Every door that slid open and closes sounded like a death knell. Heavy and unforgiving. No more second chances. Never had I been more sorry to reach the last station of the MRT. The sky was dark and the rain was threatening to fall, but this time I did not mind it. Yes, let it rain. I hope it washes off the acrid bitterness and caustic longing that lingers in my gut.
Thousands of people ride the MRT everyday, and somehow it was so inevitable that I found you. Only to lose you at the end of the line.

Sunday, August 15, 2004


ust came back from Robinson's Place. I'm supposed to be tired, but am not..Have you any idea how difficult it is mobilizing 20 people at once when you're at the mall? Scary. Some relatives of mine are here right now, from California, taking a three week vacation. We haven't seen them for years and years so everybody was eager to play "welcome wagon."

Somebody had this idea that we go bowling (which we did rather horribly) and eat out, then hit the bars of Malate. Can you imagine that with 8 adults and 12 people with ages ranging from 13-50+? I didn't think so. Luckily, it rained so hard so the 'gimik' was out of the question. I'm just so tired playing the Tourism Bureau (playing the human map to everywhere else that they wanna go) these past few days, I just want to hit the sack and sleep for, like, days.

Tomorrow, they want to go swimming and i dont even have a decent suit...don't this people ever rest?

- - -
I'm so pathetic. I hate acting like a lovesick fool. I thought I was beyond this crap. Long-distance relationships (even if it was just the pseudo-kind) suck!!! I cannot believe how I'm eating my own words, I'm starting to choke on it. Poor, disillusioned Chel; acting so high-and-mighty, pretending she was in control. It was so big of me, telling people how to run their relationships, when in fact, I'm more clueless than them...maybe even more vulnerable so. Just look at the poem that I posted... Somebody please shoot me!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The Sogo Motel Yahoo Group

I received an invitation to join the Sogo Motel Yahoogroup (ardee! stop laughing!!!), and on a whim I joined. I actually had no idea how that came about...I didn't even know such a group existed. Anyway, I checked out the thing, and god! It was fuck central! I was just laughing and laughing as I was browsing out the site. There were actually members who posted their numbers for SEB's...hoy, I'm not giving anyone an idea...i just find the whole thing hilarious...don't worry, I'm deleting din my membership. I just had to see for myself what's going on in there. LOL!

ayan, for your benefit, dear friends, eto ang URL niya:

feel free to visit, malay niyo, dito niyo nakita true love niyo...ha ha ha! basta ako...masaya na ako.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Extracted (Part 2)

Okay. It is done. Over and done with. Now finally, I can start working and I can now break the monotony that is my life. Funny, this time it didn't hurt as much as the last time and the whole procedure lasted only 30 minutes. Frankly, I think every dentist in the world has somehow memorized all the bull crap in the world because he kept reassuring me that it would not hurt, which of course it did. I was tuning him out, ignoring the lies that roll off his mouth like undulating green snakes. In my mind I was singing Tori Amos' "A Sorta Fairy Tale" while he was slicing my gums open and wrestling my tooth out.

Still waiting for the anaesthesia's effect to subside...mouth still full of blood-soaked cotton. I'm liking the taste of my own blood more and more.

No One's A Mystery by Elizabeth Tallent

For my eighteenth birthday Jack gave me a five-year diary with a latch and a little key, light as a dime. I was sitting beside him scratching at the lock, which didn't seem to want to work, when he thought he saw his wife's Cadillac in the distance, coming toward us. He pushed me down onto the dirty floor of the pickup and kept one hand on my head while I inhaled the musk of his cigarettes in the dashboard ashtray and sang along with Rosanne Cash on the tape deck. We'd been drinking tequila and the bottle was between his legs, resting up against his crotch, where the seam of his Levi's was bleached linen-white, though the Levi's were nearly new. I don't know why his Levi's always bleached like that, along the scams and at the knees. In a curve of cloth his zipper glinted, gold.
"It's her," he said. "She keeps the lights on in the daytime. I can't think of a single habit in a woman that irritates me more than that." When he saw that I was going to stay still he took his hand from my head and ran it through his own dark hair.
"Why does she?" I said.
"She thinks it's safer. Why does she need to be safer? She's driving exactly fifty-five miles an hour. She believes in those signs: 'Speed Monitored by Aircraft.' It doesn't matter that you can look up and see that the sky is empty."
"She'll see your lips move, Jack. She'll know you're talking to someone."
"She'll think I'm singing along with the radio."
He didn't lift his hand, just raised the fingers in salute while the pressure of his palm steadied the wheel, and I heard the Cadillac honk twice, musically; he was driving easily eighty miles an hour. I studied his boots, The elk heads stitched into the leather were bearded with frayed thread, the toes were scuffed, and there was a compact wedge of muddy manure between the heel and the sole -the same boots he'd been wearing for the two years I'd known him. On the tape deck Rosanne Cash sang, "Nobody's into me, no one's a mystery."
"Do you think she's getting famous because of who her daddy is or for herself?" Jack said.
"There are about a hundred pop tops on the floor, did you know that? Some little kid could cut a bare foot on one of these, Jack."
"No little kids get into this truck except for you."
"How come you let it get so dirty?"
"'How come,' " he mocked. "You even sound like a kid. You can get back into the seat now, if you want. She's not going to look over her shoulder and see you."
"How do you know?"
"I just know," he said. "Like I know I'm going to get meat loaf for supper. It's in the air. Like I know what you'll be writing in that diary."
"What will I be writing?" I knelt on my side of the seat and craned around to look at the butterfly of dust printed on my jeans. Outside the window Wyoming was dazzling in the heat. The wheat was fawn and yellow and parted smoothly by the thin dirt road. I could smell the water in the irrigation ditches hidden in the wheat.
"Tonight you'll write, 'I love Jack. This is my birthday present from him, I can't imagine anybody loving anybody more than I love Jack.' "
"I can't."
"In a year you'll write, 'I wonder what I ever really saw in Jack. I wonder why I spent so many days just riding around in his pickup. It's true he taught me something about sex. It's true there wasn't ever much else to do in Cheyenne.'
"I won't write that."
"In two years you'll write, 'I wonder what that old guy's name was, the one with the curly hair and the filthy dirty pickup truck and time on his hands.'
"I won't write that."
"Tonight I'll write, 'I love Jack. This is my birthday present from him. I can't imagine anybody loving anybody more than I love Jack.'"
"No, you can't," he said. "You can't imagine it."
"In a year I'll write, 'Jack should be home any minute now. The table's set -my grandmother's linen and her old silver and the yellow candles left over from the wedding -but I don't know if I can wait until after the trout à la Navarra to make love to him.'"
"It must have been a fast divorce."
"In two years I'll write, 'Jack should be home by now, Little Jack is hungry for his supper. He said his first word today besides "Mama" and "Papa." He said "kaka." ' "
Jack laughed. "He was probably trying to finger-paint with kaka on the bathroom wall when you heard him say it."
"In three years I'll write, 'My nipples are a little sore from nursing Eliza Rosamund.'"
"Rosamund. Every little girl should have a middle name she hates."
"'Her breath smells like vanilla and her eyes are just Jack's color of blue.' "
"That's nice," Jack said.
"So, which one do you like?"
"I like yours," he said. "But I believe mine."
"It doesn't matter. I believe mine."
"Not in your heart of hearts, you don't."
"You're wrong."
"I'm not wrong," he said. "And her breath would smell like your milk, and it's kind of a bittersweet smell, if you want to know the truth."
- - -

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Mother Ship

I was back at UST 2 days ago. Meeting some friends. Exchanging stories with former professors who gave me the warmest of hugs and kisses. Stirring up old ghosts. I never actually acknowledged how much I missed the place. How much I missed learning. How much I missed everything that represents being a student.
Strange, the things one miss when deposited in a space so big she does not know what to do with it. Suddenly I long for the cramped spaces. Somewhere I could just curl up in until I die from claustrophobia instead of drowning in this vast and empty cosmos they call freedom. Now I have time on my hands but I know not what to do it. I missed those frenetic moments in my life where my brain could implode any minute from reading too much Fanon and sleep was a luxury that I rarely can afford.
Bottomline: I wanna be a student again.

Monday, August 09, 2004

AWOL lifted

AWOL lifted ha ha! im back! i still have the sniffles though and i still hack every now and then but otherwise, i'm not so nauseous and vomitty anymore!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Break In

hay naku. i kept remembering gelo's poem about the benches that were stolen at Roxas Blvd (remember how indignant i was, ailil? ano nga ba title nun?). anyway. i woke-up at exactly 8 in the morning, then when i was on my way to the john, nasalubong ko yung gf ng utol ko. she asked me if i was aware that something happened at around 2am and i replied that it was pretty unlikely because during that time i was heavily sedated due to the heavy amount of decongestant, cough syrup, paracetamol, and antibiotic that i was simultaneously taking.
it just so happened pala na someone broke into our house and attempted to steal our antique metal patio chairs. buti na lang my kuya had the presence of mind to check it out when he heard one of the chairs they only got one instead of four.
what's wrong with these people?
never mind.
dont answer that.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

When Peter Met Wendy

Fortunately she knew at once what to do.

"It must be sewn on," she said, just a little patronisingly.
"What's sewn?" he asked.
"You're dreadfully ignorant."
"No, I'm not." But she was exulting in his ignorance.
"I shall sew it on for you, my little man," she said, though he was tall as herself, and she got out her housewife [sewing bag], and sewed the shadow on to Peter's foot.
"I daresay it will hurt a little," she warned him.
"Oh, I shan't cry," said Peter, who was already of the opinion that he had never cried in his life. And he clenched his teeth and did not cry, and soon his shadow was behaving properly, though still a little creased.
"Perhaps I should have ironed it," Wendy said thoughtfully, but Peter, boylike, was indifferent to appearances, and he was now jumping about in the wildest glee. Alas, he had already forgotten that he owed his bliss to Wendy. He thought he had attached the shadow himself.
"How clever I am!" he crowed rapturously,"oh, the cleverness of me!" It is humiliating to have to confess that this conceit of Peter was one of his most fascinating qualities. To put it with brutal frankness, there never was a cockier boy. But for the moment Wendy was shocked.
"You conceit [braggart]," she exclaimed, with frightful sarcasm;"of course I did nothing!"
"You did a little," Peter said carelessly, and continued to dance.
"A little!" she replied with hauteur [pride]; "if I am no use I can at least withdraw," and she sprang in the most dignified way into bed and covered her face with the blankets. To induce her to look up he pretended to be going away, and when this failed he sat on the end of the bed and tapped her gently with his foot.
"Wendy," he said, "don't withdraw. I can't help crowing, Wendy, when I'm pleased with myself." Still she would not look up, though she was listening eagerly.
"Wendy," he continued, in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist,
"Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys." Now Wendy was every inch a woman, though there were not very many inches, and she peeped out of the bed-clothes.
"Do you really think so, Peter?"
", I do." "I think it's perfectly sweet of you," she declared, "and I'll get up again," and she sat with him on the side of the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.
"Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked, aghast.
"I shall know when you give it to me," he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble.
"Now," said he, "shall I give you a kiss?" and she replied with a slight primness,
"If you please." She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him, but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand, so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before, and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain, for it was afterwards to save her life. (From the third chapter of "The Adventures of Peter Pan")

- - -

At this point in the story, I would assume that Peter and Wendy have already looked into each other's eyes...and saw what even the most seasoned and professional fortune tellers could even fail to see sometime...narcissus and the river gazing at each other, seeing themselves reflected like a deck of cards shuffled accordion-like on a table covered with red cloth. Finding their counterpart...their equal, to drown in it, if only for the briefest moment in the liquid pools that stares back at them. It's not easy finding our other half, is it? The person who could complete ourselves like Romeo to Juliet whose tragic union united warring clans or Abelard and Heloise whose affair caused the former's castration and the latter being sent off to the cloister where they would spend the rest of their wretched lives loving each in utter silence for fear of God's punishment. Isn't this the most delusions of all delusions? That we needed someone to complete us. The need to complete the pattern wholeness and integration. But people don't complete us. We complete ourselves because if we do not, then the quest for love becomes the quest for self-annihilation; and then we try convince ourselves that self-destruction is love, which is a lot like mistaking dependency for love.

So what did Wendy do? In order to keep Peter, didn't she gave him up, got married and had kids of her own?

Her brief interlude with Peter (which seemed like forever suspended in heady clarity during that time) passed in time. And it always does, unfortunately. The fresh bruises of a broken heart would feel tender at first; pain would rack it even during the gentlest of touches that one might never let anyone near it again. But eventually, the angry purple bruise would become reddish, then it would yellow like the colors of the rainbow transforming it back to the color it began, and with it, the ache subsides. Then we forget about it. Sometimes, we'd even forget that we ever had hearts; that it is still there in the deepest recess of our body, beating. Until the next time we fall in love, that is. And when we fall in love again, we wondered how we could've forgotten it and then we would realize, that maybe this time, our hearts are stronger, better because we cannot fully remember the time before.

What had love had ever done for us but disappoint us? Or is it the other way around by looking for it in the wrong persons at the right time and vice versa.

Sometimes, we want to lose ourselves to this one person, that for a glimmer of moment we cease to be ourselves. That we be transported to heaven on borrowed wings. Only the tic-toc of a clock stuck in an alligator's belly would ever remind you that time exists. But borrowed wings can also melt like Icarus' plunging to his death in the sea surrounding the island of Crete.

I guess Wendy would just have to grow her own wings.


hi friends. i'll be gone for a couple of days...weeks, maybe. i've been really weak from battling the flu....i'll just sleep it in for a couple of days. at least.

Leaving the Motel (W. D. Snodgrass)

Outside, the last kids holler

Near the pool: they'll stay the night.
Pick up the towels; fold your collar
Out of sight.

Check: is the second bed
Unrumpled as agreed?
Landlords have to think ahead
In case of need.

Too. Keep things straight: don't take
The matches, the wrong keyrings-
We've nowhere we could keep a keepsake-
Ashtrays, combs, things

That sooner or later others
Would accidentally find.
Check: take nothing of one another's
And leave behind.

Your license number only,
Which they won't care to trace;
We've paid. Still, should such things get lonely,
Leave in their vase

An aspirin to preserve
Our lilacs, this wayside flowers
We've gathered and must leave to serve
A few more hours;

That's all. We can't tell when
We'll come back, can't press claims,
We would no doubt have other rooms then,
Or other names.

- - -

for j

Monday, August 02, 2004

Everybody's Favorite Aunt

flaming peach and the rest of the litter. Posted by Hello

I dont know why I have this aversion to children. well not all children really. the only children that I can tolerate in this lifetime would be my three nephews(see photo above). that's about it. they're the only children i know that can make me give up both of my kidneys to ensure their happiness. otherwise, anything that is below four-feet, drinks milk from a feeding bottle and has a hard time pronouncing my name, i steer clear of.

i used to think that marriage and having kids of my own is the be-all and end-all of my life. as part of the propaganda that my mother and the institution, that i call my high school, instilled in me when i was young, that was my ultimate goal in life: find a good husband, bear and raise his kids and that's it.

but i didn't want to. i know i didn't.

the more i grew up, the more i'm around children, the more i'm certain that i didn't want one. that i would never want one.

call it selfish, call it immature but having children is not an insurance for happiness or security or pain. pregnancy is an arrogant decision. how else would you call undertaking responsibility for something which you're not sure of? it sounded so much like abdicating your control...the usurpance of your life and territory.

i'll never be ready for that. all i can envision myself 10, 20 or 50 years from now includes a red pen for marking papers and a black pen for writing syllabi and lesson plans. maybe i'd still be in love with the same person i would have been in love with when i reach the age of 25.

but for now, i'd settle on being someone's favorite aunt.

- - -

by Erica Mann Jong
Every month,
the reminder of emptiness
so that you are tuned
to your bodyharp,
strung out on the harpsichord
of all your nerves
& hammered bloody blue
as the crushed fingersof the woman pianist
beaten by her jealous lover.
Who is she?
Someone I invented for this poem,
Someone I imagined.....Never mind,
She is me, you~tied to the bodybeat,
fainting on the rack of blood
moving to the metronome~empty, empty, empty.
No use.
The blood is thicker
than the roots of trees,
more persistent than my poetry,
more baroque than her bruised music.
It gilds the sky about the Virgin's head.
It turns the lilies white.
Try to run:the blood still follows you.
Swear off children,
seek a quite roomto practice your preludes & fuges.
Under the piano,the blood accumulates;
eventually it floats you both away.
Give in.
Babies cry & music is your life.
Darling, you were born to bleed
or rock.
& the heart breaks
either way.