Dear Lover, Some Little Thing I Owe You

Dear Lover,

I don’t remember saying “We’d see the entire world together”. Or maybe I did, but entirely forgotten because a few memorable places would actually already do.

Remember when I told you I’m taking you to Baguio? In my head I was actually telling you I’m taking you home. And just a month ago, I did. As promised, we took the midnight bus. We did not have the luxury to recline our seats as we missed the bus we’re supposed to take. I would have wanted to keep the curtains open for you to watch the outside pass us by, but I chose that you take rest instead, for mostly, the ride we took were all freeways in sight.

The sun had already declared its might by the time we arrived. I briefed you of my soon-to-be tendency to point out random places and tell stories of what happened then and there. You let out a small laugh because I have already started right before I warned.

We jetted to Tam-Awan Village after that. We were greeted with a massive wall of graffiti my friends did for the village. It looks brighter and a lot less gruesome than it had been. We were welcomed by my old friends, whom to you are new. But at that moment, I knew you knew what I meant how faces become places and how places become faces. Their sanctuary has also become ours.

11402844_10204335230525711_7844687745588666678_n

1

You insisted we take the trek past the view deck before leaving. You loved how the weather afforded us a sweat-free trek up until the borders of the village. We hopped on to museums – of people and works you knew. Might have been because you met them once, or I acquainted you with them as per stories told then and there. We took the road up to meet the Oble of the North. I roamed the halls I used to roam. Some ten years ago, I was here, without any idea we’d exist here at one point.

11267040_10204655835336072_8019861119506057604_n11144463_10204334824355557_1746919072983258485_n11401392_10204334824795568_5481143417007783669_n10511297_10204655835696081_2527600594826086770_n

2

The night has finally put on its veil just as the rain poured, we sought refuge in a cafe because I promised to give you a taste of the best Strawberry Shortcake. I knew you’d find it not sweet enough, you requested for a slice of Apple pie. We felt we needed something to refresh our palette so we crossed Session Road and headed to an artsy vegetarian restaurant. I know I promised you a glimpse of a lesser known road but equally beautiful as Session, but the weather did not afford us – it was washed white from where we stood. Oh, it was that night you took literally The Magnetic Fields’ The Night You Can’t Remember – deluded with alcohol, you forgot how you wounded up in our room the following morning. And I, of course remembered, how you took a cold shower and jumped to the bottom bunker naked.

10450744_10204334925318081_7022615450546511591_n

The next day was a stroll on Baguio’s scariest. I must say, I am one lucky person – to have someone like you who looks at these kinds of places with utter admiration of beauty and history rather than what they are shallowly known for. I love how you marvel and wonder like a kid presented with an idea that aliens exist or something. And of course, you made the same face when confronted with a plate full of meat and protein. We took a cab home that evening. It was a toil getting one along Session Road, but it was along the trip you admired Baguio’s city lights. You struggled to take a photo from the moving vehicle. I laughed a small laugh and slipped into my mind that image of you in awe of Baguio’s lights.

11665_10204335196284855_1929148670525537772_n1604888_10204335197884895_1451178397857350620_n11407217_10204335196884870_5540681377649772711_n11401058_10204335198164902_2364751913774496760_n11108402_10204655862176743_7304481476584204664_n11407058_10204655862336747_2895013807954794909_n10487204_10204655861536727_6609106382159194728_n

I took you out for touristy things the following day. You knew this was not my forte, I hated to do this actually. We strolled Burnham Park, maybe I just had to lend you stories which unfolded there – afternoons at the playground and some moments affront the lake. We judged a few people because it was what I used to do there. We felt a pull towards SM Baguio, you insisted we watch a movie for sixty pesos. But that was then, two hours spent at the cinema now costs a hundred and fifty. Well, still not bad these days. We stayed a little while at Harrison as we did thrift shopping that evening. It was not really your thing, but I got you sniffing around looking for vintage shirts you could parade and be proud of.

10401866_10204655888777408_6178688838168404259_n 11426044_10204655890817459_6011844778704977087_n 11219454_10204655889977438_5410756209350243915_n

We woke up early the next morning to oblige for everyone’s pasalubong requests. I took you to the outskirts of the wet market – not everyone has ever been to where vegetables from La Trinidad or Sagada is dropped off, not everyone sees how vendors wash their goods onsite, and not everyone knows there’s a fifteen peso kilo of carrots there.

We no longer left the village after that. We strolled back again to the roof deck, but we caught rain. We missed the sunset, which beauty I promised you forevers ago. However, we were presented with a dazed view of the mountains and South China Sea. We stayed there for a little more while, unmindful of the sharp shudders, without need of a coat, a jacket, or a warm cup of coffee. It’s like a cheesy scene in a movie bound to make you cringe and giggle at the same time.

11429800_10204335232125751_4992371416511328048_n1384358_10204335234005798_815376031274195276_n

I thought the trip would be totally over when we set foot at the bus. On the way down Marcos Highway though, you pointed out again how beautiful Baguio’s city lights were and how it kind of reflected the serene night sky. Just when I thought we missed that part on the beginning of our journey, you brought it to me even before it came to an end.

I kind of smiled myself to sleep, knowing those days have been very exhausting, but promising and exciting. We may not have been able to tick off all that was in my Baguio checklist, but I was glad to have brought you to my heart’s home. Now, it’s yours as well.

Love always,

Asteorra

Advertisements

Lover, Here’s An In-Flight Postcard

Dear Lover,

At this point, I may already be somewhere in the clouds snoozing and dreaming we’d spend the flight and days I am away together. I have never told you, but I actually always felt uneasy flying. There’s a certain paranoia to me being up there seeing nothing, doing nothing. You never noticed that, did you? How can you, actually, when all flights spent with you I always feel safe and assured – with just your hand in mine or with my head on your shoulder. I’ll force myself to sleep again, uncomfortable it may be. Or maybe I just have to play your voice records or some relaxation music you have downloaded for me, just to compensate.

As early as now, I am telling you I might not speak as much as we do. As you see, our day has already started and would end maybe when the city lights come to a close. I will make up to you though in the morning, I promise. I will send you photos of our hotel room. I will take snaps of food served (though I get a bit shy when there’s too many people around). I will speak of my evil comparisons between you know what and what. I will tell you stories of people, how they look like, what they do, and how I think about them. I now imagine your chubby face taking over my screen, laughing, making snark comments, and looking at me lovingly like a normal PDA moment back home. Haha!

Just a few reminders: First, get the little rabbits water bottles and look for their shampoo, I can’t remember where I put it, but we need to give them a shower before we send them off for adoption. Second, NBC has cancelled Hannibal and I think they’re airing the entire series in a faster pace than it’s supposed to. Download, do not watch. You have to watch it with me. Lastly, do not miss me yet, there are two more days to go, you might already feel too much longing and anticipation by the last day. I do not want you fuming in anger or crying in frustration when our flight back home gets delayed.

Well, this has become embarrassing, I am too random.

That, and I love you. A million hugs await you.

To my Little Penguin

bobek

I know it embarrasses you to have been called as such now that you’re a grown man. On my part though, it makes me a bit melodramatic.

Everything is vivid. From the little boy bound to piss me off everyday, to a teenager whom I was in charge of looking over aka take cover when school trouble arises, to a yuppie whom I did style consultation for in exchange of free food or a pair of pants, then suddenly to an army official.

You were a bright kid, but you were equally hard-headed and mischievous. Some of your teachers even disliked you for your curious and sometimes sarcastic inquisitions. I was called to office a few times because you were caught throwing pieces of paper at ceiling fans, vandalizing school property, forging our parents’ signature, etc. We kept these our little secrets then. Our parents only knew of a few years ago, they only laughed their heads off, but could have fumed in anger that time.

Everyone knew you as the happy-go-lucky kind. I guess it’s just us, your family, who believed that there’s a grown man underneath your childish antics. Because we listened more than your words, we took notice of your silent sacrifices, we took note of your dreams. But who knew, right? You were sneaky. You never told anybody. There were a few signs, but no hints. I didn’t even know that the reason you borrowed my neck ties was for your application for the army. Still I mull, if I had known, would I let you? Maybe yes, maybe no.

10351012_10200218849909672_3112427130329320600_n
And here you are now, looking mighty and strong, with a respectful stance and assertive but calm demeanor. You’ve come so far from the laid back and annoying guy we all knew. Look how a year has changed you!

Proud as we are, it worries and saddens us even how all of these entail threat upon your life. You may have briefed, acquainted, and had us ready for this, but we never were. Never will we be. If only there’s a way I could make offering to the gods just to have you assigned some part of Luzon or Visayas instead of Mindanao, I swear, I’d roast a thousand suckling pigs!

We have barely three days to spend with you before you proceed to your assigned division. Can tomorrow until Sunday be composed of 48 hours each? I’d cut the drama, just get home safe.

IMG_1983

I look real mean in this photo, but I love you in real life, abnormal penguin brother Bobek!

Prelude to a Mixtape: The Beep Beep Song

Dear Mr. Snooze,

It has been months since your birthday, two to be exact. You are twenty six years and two months old today. But I have not given you anything yet, and by anything, I do not mean brand new shoes or spanking new watch or a treat to some fancy restaurant. “Anything” actually means something carefully created for you.

You know when they say it’s the thought that counts? I think it should go beyond the idea of looking for something readily available and acquiring it monetarily. Or maybe it is just my sentimental self which thinks it is more special (or the thought that should really counts is,) when it has been crafted especially for you.

So here goes my prelude to my annual creation/curation that is your Birthday Mix CD. This is not comparable to Starlord’s Awesome Mix Volume 1 and 2, but I guess it is kind of awesome too since it’s all about me and you, or you to me. This year’s mix will not be too mushy as the previous years, as I acknowledged the tides and turns and the mature and realistic (as how you pertain to it) aspect of our relationship. But you see, even how many, how strong, or how high the waves are coming to our direction, we can always swim and surf along because life and love is one big adventure with you. 🙂

I told you you’d be celebrating your birthday a bit longer!

Love,

Asteorra

 

 

Dear Lover, I am taking you to Baguio

It actually feels like saying, I am taking you home.

People normally beat the five to eight hour travel to Baguio for a glimpse of the Lion, for a walk up Mines View Park, for a stroll around Burnham, for a taste of strawberries, and for a million pictures they could post on Facebook and Instagram. It is a heartless journey; sad to say.

I won’t be taking you to those places. I’d take you on a different travel.

We’ll take the midnight bus. We’ll draw the curtains to the side and watch everything outside pass us by. I’ll ask you to close your eyes as soon as we get into the freeway. No, it won’t give you an infinite feeling as that of Charlie’s; but I’d let you feel what it is like being somewhere and nowhere at the same time. You’re moving, but stuck. You’re lost, but not really.

You have to recline your seat upon arrival at Pangasinan and La Union, I’d like you to look at the stars and how clear the sky is. You’ll notice a great difference when we arrive at Baguio. You may take a nap after the admiration, but I’ll wake you up when we’re already mid-way Marcos Highway. You’d open your eyes to the sunrise overlooking the mountains and the sea. I’d point the direction of South China Sea and watch your face glow, with awe and wonder and a teeny bit of sunshine.

We’d get off the bus and tell you to exhale on your hands and watch your breath become visible. I’d laugh because you’re another of those I asked to do it and did. We’d walk around and get breakfast somewhere. I’d tell you this is where my blockmates lived, this is where I would’ve marched for Graduation, this is where a white lady shows up, this is where I was almost robbed of my phone. We’d rest in a familiar place. I might even request them to have the fireplace set up for a Baguio newbie like you.

We’d walk up and down Session Road. We’d pay a visit to the Cathedral and its chapel. We’d take the stairs at the side so I could show you the tilework which seems to say, This way to the Cathedral. We’d say hello to my friends over at La Azotea. I’d show you their small gallery and sit by the window for a cup of Cordillera coffee. We’d look over a busy, beautiful, but less-known road. Its beauty overshadowed by the famous Session Road. We’d continue walking and stop at thrift shops. We’d wonder at how cute and cheap Japanese toys are, but we’d be disappointed and sad upon finding out they no longer work the same. I’d get you a leather jacket you’d only get to wear here and bury in your closet once we get to Manila. We’d walk farther, to Burnham Park this time. I’d take you to the lake. I won’t tell you the story that existed here. You know it, you’d think about it for a while, and smile.

We’d walk across Burnham and up the hill leading to the Café by the Ruins. We’d stroll a little back to get a jeepney leading to Tam-Awan. We’d hike up its slopes and rich terrain. We’d enjoy throwing coins at its bamboo wells. We’d cross its hanging bridge. We’d get a massage at one of cottages. We’d stay at the view deck and wait for the sunset. We may not be able to see the South China Sea on a cloudy afternoon, but this is, beyond doubt one of the most breathtaking sunsets you’d ever have. We’d stay here until sundown, after the artists have finished their sketches and are already dancing in the dap-ay. We’d drink with them and eventually stay at their cottage because we’re too tired to travel for the night.

We’d be greeted with Cordillera coffee in the morning, and freshly baked bread, and herby scent of pesto. We’d bid them bye and head on to my then school. I’d tour you around and introduce you to yet another Oble. We’d cross the street and pretend I am marching for my College Graduation.

We’d decide to go to the Botanical Garden next. No, we won’t take photos of the locals in colorful costumes. You know I despise that. We’d walk (again) instead and follow the trail to the Greenhouse and sneak at the ongoing exhibition inside the house made of scrap bottles and plastics. We’d take closer looks at uprooted trees and flora. We’d walk even more until we reach Wright Park. We’d throw coins and make impossible wishes in the rectangular well. We’d take a rest at the hills and take a book out to read because taking photos of with The Mansion as background is too boring and mainstream. We’d take a jeepney ride back to the City proper. I’d point you to this and that, to the haunted Teacher’s Camp, to the haunted White House, to the Pink Sister’s Chapel, to Korean Restaurants, To Diners, and to schools around.

We’d climb the only mall that exists in a hill. We’d drop coins and use the telescope at the top floor. We’d watch a movie because it’s cheap at Php 60 per screening. We’d view the entire city and look at it as if it existed in our palms. We’d stroll a little further for a Pizza and Pasta stop at Volante’s. I’d tell you stories of how I met friends here whenever I visited. We’d consider going to the market by then. We’d get our friends dreamcatchers, and pasalubong because they are suckers for that. I’d tour you around. From where the best Ilocos longganisas are, to where the cheapest vegetables are, to where the biggest and most literal ukay-ukays are. We’d take a cab home because we have too much to carry. We’d give Manong driver no tip because he might get offended and upset, but we’ll reward him with a warm smile instead.

We take a warm bath and spend the rest of the evening preparing dinner then cuddling at the fireplace.

We’d leave with happy and contented hearts the next day. On the way home, treading down Marcos Highway, I’d like you to close your eyes and feel how it is again to being somewhere and nowhere. To feel a sense of affinity and longing to the land you just left. To feel what it feels like to have found and left a home.

That was my home. It has been yours too.

Holiday Hangover Love Letter

Dear Lover,

A few nights ago, I was teasing you about your particularity with dates and days. It was a great pleasure reading the fully detailed narrative of things that has already happened. Remembrance has never been sweetly told as such.

Unfortunately for you, I no longer note down dates. I told you stories of how I used to, but opted not to right before I met you due to certain matters. However, all I keep now are mind photographs of how our days go by. I’m compiling our smiles, our songs, and our laughter.

We’ve practically made a lot of amazing memories this year. Including the first time I’ve spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve with you. It wasn’t that magical but it was utterly surprising to find you at our doorstep in your perkiest and happiest disposition midst the toilsome drive you took from your place to mine. It was a delight when you agreed to have me adopt your adorable little puppy for the holidays. It was joy watching you sing and strum the guitar in front of my entire family, or have my playlist aired in your speakers whenever you let go of your guitar.

These are but the last images of the year, but definitely not our story’s.

2013 holds a lot of promise, and I am more than excited for a lot more mind images of us to compile.

Love,

Asteorra

Signed, Calendar Girl

If I am lost for a day; try to find me
But if I don’t come back, then I won’t look behind me
All of the things that I thought were so easy
Just got harder and harder each day
December is darkest and June is the light but this empty bedroom won’t make anything right
While out on the landing a friend I forgot to send home
Who waits up for me all through the night

Calendar Girl who’s in love with the world Stay alive
Calendar Girl who’s in love with the world Stay alive

I dreamed I was dying; as I so often do
And when I awoke I was sure it was true
I ran to the window; threw my head to the sky
And said whoever is up there,please don’t let me die

But I can’t live forever,I can’t always be
One day I’ll be sand on a beach by a sea
The pages keep turning, I’ll mark off each day with a cross
And I’ll laugh about all that we’ve lost

Calendar Girl who is lost to the world Stay Alive
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world Stay Alive

January, February, March, April, May I’m alive
June, July, August, September,October I’m alive
November, December, you all through the winter, I’m alive
I’m alive

*Because I found this pretty apt for my birthday and for the past year and for the 276 months of existence. Birthday blogs (yes, that came with an S) coming up soon.

To All The Profs I’ve Loved Before

A little more than ten years ago, when asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. I cheerfully say “I want to be a teacher”. It was in the late years of elementary I decided not to be one because realized I will never ever possess the required patience of the job.

I remember not having a favorite person from the faculty in grade school and high school. Though I must thank my Language and Phoenix, and Reading Comprehension teachers in grade school. They made a mean grammarnazi out of me. They pre-arranged my love for books and the creepy silence of the library. They made reading and writing a leisure – from which I decided to quit Language and Literature in college, fearing I won’t be reading and writing the same way again.

I owe “Thank you” to my Values teacher in high school who required the entire class to read Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince and made me read aloud my analysis of each chapter. Those were the earliest Barthes exercises, I guess. And to my fourth year English teacher who made me speak of 19th century literature. I felt amazing presenting in class that George Elliot was actually Mary Ann Evans and so other literary trivia. It felt like disclosing Illuminati secrets in national TV. I was an awesome geek. And I owe another word of gratitude to my fourth year adviser who gave our class daily dosage of the chill pill. She taught us to let loose and be fun midst the stress and pressure of finding a good college.

Then came college, which was a lot different. Spending it in UP made it complicated. I had to juggle academics and extra curricular activities. Not to mention, UP is a microcosm of society. There are different communities and you get to interact and deal with them one way or another. My professors made the whole journey more than bearable. The varied approaches of learning made learning itself interesting. Along the way, what I initially found complicated, I eventually deemed enthralling. UP paved the way for the real world. My professors did.

Yes, UP profs, They laid out facts, opened possibilities. They taught me that matters should be viewed like a a kaleidoscope. It should be seen in different perspectives to get a better understanding. And you take everything and every angle with it – the bad and the good, the beautiful and the ugly. They taught me that it’s the same thing with life. You can look at it whichever way you desire, but you have to accept it with all its positive and negative aspects. Use whatever is too much to make up for the less. Balance what makes you feel bad with what makes you feel better. Seek knowledge for that you lack understanding of. Take challenges as lessons.

With this, I certainly owe them more than thank you’s.

*This post makes me want to go back to school. Seriously.

Signs

Maybe the problem is that you are a Gemini. I do not have plenty of friends from your sign and I am not in good terms with another Gemini at this very moment. I really hate it when I compare you with this person. You know that.

I don’t know if Scorpios go well with Geminis, vice versa. I don’t have a single clue.

I don’t really believe in Zodiac signs. Don’t make me believe. Prove my speculation wrong.

Letters from the Lunchbox

I usually come to the grocery with a list of things to buy. At the end of the day however, your heart was one of the random goodies I carried home.

***

I think I fell in love with you at the grocery. I can’t actually determine when and where it was exactly, but it must be at the dairy when we battled over what to get – milk or yoghurt, but decided to get both instead. Or was it at the deli, we feasted over ham and sausages and bacon. Or maybe at the baking goods section where we got both pancake and brownie mixes because we’re the awesome twosome in baking. Was it perhaps in the cellar? When we acted drunk in front of a hundred bottled spirits. Perhaps it was in the fresh produce, when you tossed eggplants and zucchinis to our cart, thinking I’d learn to eat them.

Or maybe, there ‘s really no way of knowing because I was too happy riding the cart, both hands clasping the cold metal front like a koala bear hugging the trunk of a gum tree. You were a captain in control of a cruise ship.You pushed the cart with my weight added, maneuvering from one side to the other. People looked and stared at us, while they took sidesteps to let us pass. The corridors, the aisles, the gondolas – they were ports, stopovers of goodies.

Or I guess it’s because you made me feel grocery shopping is no chore at all. You actually made me want to live there. But I can’t, so I took our bags, and the memory, and you of course, back home with me – with the thought of falling further in love with you in the kitchen.