Pepsi. Iyan ang pangalan niya. Uulitin ko
upang ‘di mo malimutan,
ano nga bang nagawa niya’t
‘na-ano’ mo siya?
gan’un lang talaga siguro.

na malinis, na may pangalan
at siya? ‘di man lang Pepsi ang tunay niyang ‘ngalan.

marahil ganid ka lang talaga
o isinilang na walang ina.

Marcos, for me, was the name that was always on the tabloids my father liked to read and then fold into a whipping rod, and the marching hymn “May Bagong Silang” that wafted at exactly 7am through our shack from a public school just a stone’s throw away.


I was too young to be of any use in the fight against Ferdinand Marcos.

Growing up in Baclaran in the 70s, being anti-Marcos was not part of the family mission, especially since my father was an Ilocano and, by association, a Marcos loyalist. We were poor. Our main concern was not politics, but to put food on the table.

Marcos, for me, was the name that was always on the tabloids my father liked to read and then fold into a whipping rod, and the marching hymn “May Bagong Silang” that wafted at exactly 7am through our shack from a public school just a stone’s throw away.

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He closes his eyes, takes them all in, expels them like vomit, and, swaying to the undulating ebb and flow of time and the water incessantly stroking and slapping and licking the hull of his boat, he proceeds to rape the sea.



I think of the Man With The Tapes now, and I think of my own uncles and my father’s father, how their lives, though embalmed in poverty and the cynicism that went with having an often difficult relationship with dry, parched earth, were so much richer and ​more colourful, if not tragic, than I could ever hope for my own.

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you find me
not when the sun is too high and haughty
or too low and uncaring

you are the mid-afternoon
when the day
is less harried
and more thoughtful
breezy. quiet. subtle.
pregnant with –
yellows and oranges and reds and blues,
wine and cheese and bread and vinegar and olive oil,
cherry blossoms,
memories in sephia tones,
of slippers, tin cans, a game of catch,
and slumber, oh sweet slumber

you walk in
with feet as light as a doe’s
neither too soon nor too late

The first time I saw a porn movie, I couldn’t see it at all. I could barely hear it, but I do remember its title because of the clever alliteration: Tracy Takes Tokyo. This was in the mid-80s – long before YouTube, long before Google, an antediluvian decade by today’s tech-obsessed standards when, if you had said we’d one day live out our narcissistic fantasies with 140-letter gibberish sent through wireless telephonic devices, or that Steve Jobs was not an immortal, you’d be branded a nut job. In those days, “home entertainment” meant a 21-inch Sony TV, a videotape that had been played and rewound over and over again that it was as worn down as a forty-ish Mabini hooker, and the Betamax – a device that was as much a conjurer of wholesome family entertainment as a collaborator in a sexual fantasy parade, its indicator perpetually set to a blinking  “12:00”.

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A long and winding yellow brick road.

Sesame Street provided the didactic template that later children’s shows would use with more mesmerising effect, from the dumbed-down expeditions of Dora the Explorer to the pop culture-referencing, values-breaking adventures of Phinneas and Ferb. After over four decades and overwhelming competition from cable fares offering 24-hour preschool fluffs like Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr, however, the show has lost much of its sheen and grit, and the currents of today’s social activism, the demands of political correctness, and the exigencies of commerce have tempered its in-your-face pedagogy, turning the raw and edgy into a colour-fantasy parade.

I was born on the same year Sesame Street premiered on public television
, and  I had always wanted to go there, to that street, where the air was sweet and where everything was a-okay.  It was a magical, yellow bus that appeared every mid-morning at our doorstep to take me to a place far, far away, to a benign, nurturing, fun place, with its inner city charm, its messy graffiti, brownstone and rubbish bins, a place where a drug dealer or a pimp or a murderous cop was not a person in the neighbourhood.

My own neighbourhood was a place politicians would rather ignore until a few months before the elections. It lined a polluted river that cut through shanties east of Baclaran before dumping its payload of garbage and crap onto Manila Bay.  From time to time, a corpse would pop out of the waters, and that would create a mild spectacle.

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In all, 58 percent of all adults said that they use the Internet to pass time or have fun at least occasionally. Of adults who use the Internet, nearly three-quarters surf the Web for no reason.

New York: A new study confirms that many of us – and the majority of young adults – go online for no good reason at all. The report from the Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project found that on any given day, 53 per cent of 18 to 29 year-olds go online just to have fun or pass time.

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Isang tatlong-minutong kwento.