Dear Old Friend,

You said that you are in pain. That on a scale of 1 to 10, it is always a 4. Everyday. It is as if someone stabbed you with a knife, twisted it inside, and left it that way. And only when the pain reaches 9 do you ever call for an ambulance.

You see, you remind me so much of my father. Or should I say, you remind me so much of my father’s cancer. The way it disabled him. The way it made him stay in bed for days because the treatment was too painful it left bruises on his abdomen. The way I could no longer hug him in bed because if I did, I would send him screaming in pain.

Everytime I think about you, I think about my father. How I wish my father was as strong as you. I admire your decision for choosing not to get treatment for your cancer. And I am glad you chose not to get any form of treatment. Because if you did, your 4 would have been an 8. Or a 9. Everyday.

Once in our lifetime we meet people who touch our hearts so deeply without them even knowing it. You’ve always touched my heart eversince we stood on that terrace and asked each other if we are ready and if we are alright.

I wish I can tell you how wonderful it is to meet people like you who truly understand what it means to stop holding on to hopes. May this Universe bless you with an even stronger faith to the joy of being present and unattached.

We are here, and we are here now. Thank you for being present.

Written 29 May 2017


Himig ng Diliman 2016


Centerpiece “Budyong” by Toym Imao from the UP College of Architecture and Maryland Institute of Fine Arts

300+ years


YAP-SANDIEGO ANCESTRAL HOUSE, CEBU CITY. A 17th century house in the Philippine’s oldest city owned by a family of a Chinese merchant that sailed to and settled in the country. In the photo is the Yap family’s boat that they used during floods. It was also said that it was the very same boat that Mr. Yap used to reach the island of Mactan. – 21 October 2015

Thoughts written while on a writing hiatus

  1. There is no point in explaining depression to anyone. The only persons who will truly understand it are those who have been there and have survived it.
  2. There are 2 circumstances that will enable you to know people. One, when you’re left with nothing. Two, when they are left with nothing.
  3. Riding an airplane is like being in a military facility. You are told what to do at what time and at what pace.
  4. Destiny, if put in non-religious wordings, is slavery. You exist and die according to your owner’s wishes.
  5. There are so many emotions that languages will never be able to describe. Sometimes the best way to define them is to not define them at all.
  6. Making a self-sacrificing and self-defeating decision for love does not necessarily make you love yourself any less.

Dear M,

Kuya Andy didn’t ask us to not use camera flashes when we take pictures anymore. Perhaps, the No Flash Photography policy is a common knowledge among art goers now that we need not be reminded. The Museum have expanded. Some buildings have portions awaiting paint; some, with portions being open for public. If the structures have expanded, so too did the collection. Art pieces have been moved closer to one another to give room to newly acquired ones. And there was this installation art that makes you experience nature in all its romanticized yet unexaggerated beauty. You would have loved that one.

A lot of things happened in four years, yes? Remember us being a little clueless about how to get there when the tricycle drivers we asked did not know that such place even existed? The drivers and the locals now finally know where the Museum is that it is a lot easier to visit now. Four years made things a little more expensive, though. The fee already went up from 100 to 180. And the expansion of the organic cafe made us order quite a lot of food. Still worth the money, though. I wonder how much money they make daily. A lot, I guess.

You see, the Mediterranean architecture, the landscape design, the collection, and maybe the movie you told me about might have attracted so many visitors that Pinto Art Museum now opens its doors to hundreds of wanderers daily or weekly, who knows? The flock of visitors may have been the reason for the changes. And if you’ve noticed, too, the place is now called a Museum, rather than a gallery.

Well, if it’s not that obvious yet, let me just say it: I love the place now as much as I loved it the first time. And I thought you would, too. The place demands more than just a second visit. I am quite sure you will agree with me. You once told me to bring you to artsy places so you could see the metro in full color. This was where I first brought you. And I thought we would come back. I thought we could. But never mind. I am guessing that now, you can see things far, far better from up there. Are you enjoying what you’re seeng so far? I hope you are.

Written 20 September 2015.