All posts by lordapags

A Letter FROM My Future Self

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October 1, 2022

Uy Apags,

Musta ka brader? Kumusta naman diyan sa 2016? Ok ka lang ba? Sa totoo lang, hindi ko na masiyadong maalala ang 2016. Alam ko, maraming mga problema sa bansa natin sa time na yan, pero sa totoo lang,  marami na ang nagbago mula noon.

MARAMI NA ANG NAGBAGO MULA 2016 AT 2022

Anyway, marami akong gustong sabihin sa iyo. First of all, gusto kong sabihin sa’yo na Thank you. Dito sa 2022, ang sinasabi nalang namin “T” (naalala ko lang, diyan sa 2016 hindi na sinasabi ang “Game,” “G” na lang diba?). So isang malaking “T,” dahil hindi ka nag-give up. Tumuloy ka pa rin. Nasa Pinas ka pa rin. Teka, kwento ko lang sa’yo ang buhay mo ngayon. Mamaya, kwento ko kung ano na ang nangyayari sa bansa.

2016 noong nag decide ka na maging isang Life Coach/Motivational speaker. Good News: Gumana bro! Ngayon, isa na tayong Solid na Life Coach. Specialty natin? Resilience, Motivation, Relationships. Di mo maimagine noh? Sino ba namang mag-aakalang magkakaroon tayo ng career dito, complete with mga clients na Artista at mga Politicians LOCAL and ABROAD. Shet lang talaga! Ka text mo nga lang si Lebron James kanina. Si Pia Wurtzbach lagi kang mine-message. Tapos may show ka na rin sa favorite mong radio station, ang Magic 899! Chamba pero ok diba?

NAGING MAGIC 89.9 DJ TAYO!!!

Natupad ang pangarap natin. Marami tayong natulungan. Yung mga plano nating business tulad ng restaurant, financing company, foundation na nagbibigay ng sapatos at public school, nagawa natin! Nakapag direct na tayo ng full length film, nanalo ng cinemalaya at Palanca at naging Forbes Magazine cover. Astig nga, pati si Tita Oprah (TITA OPRAH HAHAHA Parang titas of manila lang), bilib sa atin. Nakakakilig talaga. Actually, kwento ko lang, kakagaling ko lang sa isang TED talk dito sa Paris. Tayo yung Finale Speaker! BRO, 1 MILLION VIEWS IN 2 HOURS. NAG V TAYO!!!! (V pala ibig sabihin viral, hindi virginity) Tapos nakakatuwa kasi nanood yung mga officemates mo sa World Stage International. Nandoon sina Coach Cherry at Coach B, si Gene (na may buhok na ewan ko kung paano) at yung girlfriend niya, Si Alyssa at ang fiancee niyang si Atty. Bob, Sina Coryn, Alex, Inna, Ysa at Jabar,  at siyempre yung the rest of your new cutie new officemates from all three WS branches. OO TATLONG BRANCH NA KAYO. 2016 isa pa lang eh.

TATLO NA ANG BRANCH NG WORLD STAGE INTERNATIONAL!

Pero ang pinakaimportanteng mga tao doon ay ang family mo. Si Mommy at ang mga anak natin. Sobrang cute ng sons natin. 2 palang sila now, pero plano ko dagdagan kahit isa pa. Tingin mo? Sana babae, para tatlo kaming lalaki na gugulpi sa lalaking mag bbreak ng heart niya. Or si Mommy nalang? Scary ng asawa natin brader, pero astig yun. Sweet din siya. Alam niya yung balance.

MAHAL NA MAHAL NATIN ANG #APAGIBIG NATIN BRADER

Sinusulat ko ito ngayon sa flight natin papuntang US. Kakaboard lang natin. Bukas kasi, may tatlong meeting tayo. Sa umaga, sa Nike. Alam ko, favorite natin yun. So matutuwa ka siguro pag binalita ko sa’yo na brand endorser na tayo ng Nike. Hahaha. Funny story to:

Nagpapayat kasi tayo. Buwisit kasing Chris Evans yan, nagpa-life coach sa atin, tapos laging nagyayaya mag-gym. Wala na tayong nagawa eh. Anyway, pumayat tayo, nagka six-pack, at nagka-cameo tayo sa Avengers movie. Mabilis lang, kausap lang natin si Stan Lee. PERO OK LANG. MARVEL MOVIE PA RIN YUN GAGI. Anyway, natuwa naman si Nike sa success story natin sa pagpapapayat! Akalain mo! LIFE COACH, NAGING NIKE ENDORSER?! Lagi silang nagpapadala ng Sapatos. Na Custom Fit. Na personalized. Na LIBRE. LIBRE PARA SHET. May picture tayo kasama si Michael Jordan! Pero group pic tapos medyo blurred. Hassle. Pag nakita ko ulit magpapa retake ako.

NIKE ENDORSER KA NA!!!

Tapos, sa hapon, Apple. Nakachamba ulit tayo. Brand Ambassador din tayo ng Apple. Ito, nag pitch talaga ako para kunin nila tayo. Astig naman, nakakuha tayo ng mga laptop computer at free iCell 4s (oo hindi na iphone ang tawag, iCell nalang). Ang saya sa apple HQ, ang linis lahat. Lahat din Siri Operated. So maraming mga voice command na ganap. Medyo weird lang na sabihin sa urinal na “hey siri, flush”. Pero mas ok naman ang voice command dun kesa urinal na touch screen diba? Anyway, may meeting kasi may i-pitch daw silang idea sa atin. Bagong Ios 25 life coaching app daw. “APPags” daw ang itatawag, sana hindi yun ang itawag, medyo weird marinig yung “update mo yung APPags” or “delete mo na yung APPags.” Ano tingin mo?

APPLE AMBASSADOR KA PA!

Tapos, to cap off your day, may dinner ka with the US President. Actually, marami na tayong na meet na presidente. Medyo naging social transformation Ambassador kasi tayo eh hahaha. Hindi ko sasabihin sayo kung sino yung POTUS, baka ma spoiler ka eh. HAHAHAHA. Sabi dun sa invitation letter, “dinner plus beers daw.” Pero magdadala ako ng wine kung sakaling kailangan mas fancy. Magluto kaya ako ng Kare-Kare para hindi naman nakakahiya sa dinner niya? Or mag-order nalang kaya tayo ng pizza? Maganda kasi may contribution eh Ewan, bahala na. May mga pinaplano kasi tayong program for Environmental Preservation Policies. I’m hoping masaya at productive kasi marami tayong gustong ma-achieve this year bago mag pasko. Siyempre, uuwi na tayo before Christmas, kasi walang tatalo sa Pasko sa Pilipinas.

WALANG TATALO SA PASKO SA PINAS.

Mabalik nga ako sa Pilipinas. Alam mo, malaki na ang pinagbago sa Pilipinas. Alam ko, dismayado ka diyan sa bansa natin ngayon. Pero wag kang susuko. Marami na silang sumuko at umalis. Wala namang problema doon. Pero may naghihintay na magandang kinabukasan. Kapit lang! 6 years, bro, oo hindi pa rin siya perfect. May mga problema pa rin. Pero marami na ang nag-improve. Nabawasan na ang crime. Tumaas na ang disiplina. May mga problema pa rin sa corruption, poverty, at education, pero mukhang mag-iimprove naman. Hindi ka pwedeng sumuko. Sayang naman itong pinaghirapan natin. Hindi naging madali ito, promise, nahirapan tayo talaga. Napagod tayo, umiyak, na-depress, nakipag-away. Pero ganoon talaga, kailangan talaga nating ipaglaban. Kailangan nating i-protect ang mga pangarap natin. Every day, meron diyang pilit tayong pahihirapan. Hindi tayo natalo sa kanila. Bahagi ng buhay natin yun.

Naalala ko, nung 2015, talagang depressed na depressed tayo. Gusto na rin nating mamatay at times diba? Naalala mo yun? Yun ang kasagaran ng pagkalugmok natin; yung hinamak tayo ng buhay diba? Kasi, 2015, dito na deadz si Ate L at si Dad eh diba. So ano naman ang pakiramdam mo 1 year after diyan sa 2016? Masakit pa rin. Actually, brader, hanggang ngayong 2022, masakit pa rin. Dapat kasama pa natin sila today eh. Pero everytime nasasaktan tayo, dahil naiisip natin sila, alam mo kung anong nangyayari? Na-iinspire tayo. Napapasmile tayo. Namimiss natin sila, bro. Pero, sila ang nagpapalakas sa atin.

Anyway, paalis na itong flight. Medyo inaantok na rin ako. Tatapusin ko na ang letter na ito. Pero last message ko lang. Brader, ituloy mo lang ang ginagawa mo diyan na mangangarap ka.

MANGARAP KA PA RIN!

Gumaganda ang buhay ko dito sa 2022 everytime ginagawa mo yan. Sana lahat ng tao, hindi nila makalimutan ‘yon. Ang magpatuloy na mangarap. Kung tama ang memory ko, may mga times diyan ngayon na nagkakawatak-watak ang mga tao. Lilipas yan bro. Dito sa 2022, nagkakaisa na ang Bayan. Marami na ring umuuwi. No joke, bro. Totoo nga yung kasabihang just have a little faith.

Ok. Iyon lang, brader. Sige, see you soon. Very last nalang,

Nice one! Love you pre,

Coach Apags

PS. Cebu Pacific ang flight natin. Hindi na siya nalelate. Sulit bro. First class seats tayo. Pero piso fare pa rin hahaha ang kuripot pa rin natin. Some things never change.

That Entry about Me as a Life Coach and a Pokemon trainer

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I want to be the very best…. Life Coach!

Me trying to Catch a Pidgey in front my girlfriend.

Me trying to Catch a Pidgey in front my girlfriend.

Everyone is buying into the Pokemon Go phenomenon of the past few days — myself included. When it launched last Saturday, I found myself stopping my vehicle (sorry developers, I ignored the fair warning of not using the app while driving) on a busy street beside the Manggahan floodway river, to catch a Magikarp. Three Pokeballs thrown later and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for the small achievement. That’s natural, when we set goals on something, and we achieve it, then you can’t help but feel a bit excited and joyful. In my new work now, I can’t help but feel the same sense of happiness and accomplishment.

Last March 2016, after more than 8 years, I left the Video Production world. For a long time, you’ve seen me post a lot of entries about making videos, selfies with celebrities, or just about plainly having fun with fellow artists. It was a fun and unpredictable life. I did a lot of amazing jobs, and met a bunch of more amazing people. I left with such a heavy heart, but also with a lot of hope as I went into a new field.

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My sindikato family x Bhiboy’s Bday last November

 

I left to pursue something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time — Life Coaching. For those of you that didn’t know, I was a Psychology major in College, and I’ve always had an insatiable interest in people, and in how people work (or not work) together. Most of you are probably wondering at this point what a life coach does, I’m guessing. Well, it’s very hard to answer that question. I mean, how the heck can someone teach life right? How can someone else tell you how to live your life, and why would you listen to them? I know, it’s a challenge, maybe some of your are skeptical. But to tell you the truth, based on my research, it’s a career that’s been helping a lot of people for quite some time now; which is something I’ve always wanted to do — help people. Call it cheesy at best, but I always feel happiest when I know I’ve helped someone in some way. Role Models include Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, Malcolm Gladwell, Nick Vujicic, Bo Sanchez, the list goes on. These people are awesome speakers, and someday, I hope I can be able to move people the way they have.

I’ve always been the helper type, I think. Or maybe more of the entertainer kind. Or maybe a little bit of both. I’m the kind of guy who brings funny stories to an inuman. I’m the kind of guy who likes making fun of myself and my friends (sorry guys). I’m a guy who likes trying to find the positive side to things especially when they’re at their worst. I’m a guy who likes to laugh. I’m a guy who likes to find things to laugh at.

So anyway, life coaching.

Basically, it’s about helping someone reach their highest version by teaching them concepts that enable them to make more choices for themselves. That’s a key concept in what I’m trying to teach — CHOICES. Reminding people that they do have choices, even when their contexts seem like they don’t. It’s about listening to people, and throwing ideas with them and hopefully find a way where they can discover something that will make their life more complete. When people feel down about their lives, more often than not, it’s because it’s incomplete, they’re missing something, or it’s already there, but they don’t completely see or grasp it. That’s how Life Coaches make life better, by helping the clients make choices that complete the puzzle.

Life Coaching borrows from so many fields, most of which, I’ve had the privilege of becoming part of — fields like Psychology, Anthropology, Mass Communication, Economics and Finance, and the Arts. There is no one way to do Life Coaching, and every person you get to talk to is a unique individual. Maybe that’s one of the prime mistakes that one can make in this new field, treating people as a solved previous case.

I’m learning how to be a life coach now. I do it while training people. Perfect match. I was fortunate enough to become part of an awesome Training company, World Stage International Network, a breakthrough and change company. We basically offer corporate trainings on leadership, personal development, peak performance, etc. Maybe you can also call it destiny, the way I joined them.

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Me teaching a module on the learning ladder at one of our recent seminars

After all of the difficulties I experienced last year, I was already thinking of leaving my job in Sindikato Productions. I wanted to spend more time with my mom, and have a more regular job with a more fixed schedule. That’s one of the challenges of being in productions, time is always slipping through your fingers. World Stage gives me that. It’s a regular 8-5 office, and I have a more fixed schedule. With sort of the same variables that I loved in Productions — meeting people, communicating with them, creating something, to name a few.

But one major difference that I’m experiencing now in Life Coaching is that I am being guided by a mentor, the wonderful Coach Cherry Africa (she’s one of the most sought out transformation coaches in Asia). I met her purely by coincidence during the time that I thought of leaving productions. Sure, I had a few production and theater teachers here and there when I was learning how to make videos. They’ve all been influential and inspiring, but working everyday for a training company and a life coach, and getting to talk to my mentor, I am learning so much more. Coach Cherry has been like a guiding mother to me (not because of age ha), but because of the constant advice she has been giving me. She explains to me concepts, and I get to see her do her thing and change lives. Working for her, I get a front row seat to seeing faces light up, to seeing transformations happen in people. She is such an role model in all aspects of her life. I am very privileged to work with her, and to be just around her. During the day, I get to ambush her and ask her questions about how to help people consistently, and I guess that’s really something that’s very important. As an artist, I’m used to being alone and thinking creatively, and learning on my own, but having a wonderful mentor to follow is a great, if not essential step towards becoming better. And maybe, someday, becoming the very best.

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My mentor, the lovely and awesome Coach Cherry Africa

And I can’t thank enough also the awesome people that I share my time and talents with everyday at World Stage: Coach B, the hot momma that keeps us in check. Alyssa, the ever so game daredevil that fixes our systems. Inna, the quietly meticulous teacher/facilitator that makes sure our trainings go smoothly. Coryn, our wonderfully talented graphic artist that always livens up our day with her boisterous and genuine laugh. Ysa, the kind-hearted and hardworking cutie pie who helps organize us behind the scenes. The passionate and energetic Jabar, who never fails to teach us new things. Alex, my amazingly reliable teammate who entertains us with his wit and his sharp attitude. And my brother from another mother, the generous Gene who is always game to help everyone, providing us with our everyday dose of Tito jokes. This is our team, and let me tell you, it’s been a wonderful journey. Almost 6 months into this, and I’ve always gone home from work with a big grin on my face, and an even bigger smile of gratitude in my heart.

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My World Stage Family

Why did I choose this life coaching life?

To be honest, my life has been a rollercoaster ride. Sure, most people would say I have it good, and I’d agree with them. I’ve been so blessed with so many things other than money. I’ve had an awesome set of family and friends, good health, and a good head on my shoulders. But truth be told, in the almost three decades I’ve been alive, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I’ve had difficulties with my career, with relationships, with money, with self-fulfillment.

(I’m not gonna make this overly dramatic, I mean, despite the difficulties, I’ve had a lot of euphoric moments.)

But there have been so many trying times. Imagine, I was a psych major, and I ended up pursuing the arts because of a change of heart. I know I’ve been a headache to my family and friends on certain occasions. I’ve had my heart broken maybe more than most people have. There were times where I didn’t want to get up because I really didn’t know who I was anymore. It was like being on a tightrope balancing act, and falling didn’t seem bad at all because I was juggling too many things and even more thoughts in my head. I constantly questioned my presence and my importance. I ate and breathed insecurities on a daily basis. I would look in the mirror and see a fat, sad, unimportant person. I’m glad that that phase of my life is over. This isn’t the case today.

I see so many of my friends doing so well in life, and I’m disappointed in myself. People are finding their place in the world, and here I was struggling to take a first step. There have been so many thoughts of just leaving, running away to that far away place — in the words of Shakespeare ” the undiscover’d country from whose bourn no traveller returns”.

But I’m still here. I am a semicolon (fist bump to the people who knows what being a semicolon means).

And I’m glad that I can say that today. That I can say it everyday.

“I. AM. STILL. HERE.”

I am still “to be-ing”.

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ursulapags

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me at a gig last year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I want to share that victory I get everyday I am still here. I want to share that with people. When my life coaching clients (actually, they’re not clients, they’re friends) confide their problems with me, I feel an immense sense of happiness, because I get an opportunity to help them. When I was in bad shape, I people helped me too. And I can never be thankful enough for this chance to still “to be” here.

Most people think that they are broken. But the truth is, nobody is born broken. Nobody progresses everyday and becomes more broken everyday. Nobody. I want everybody to know this. I want you to understand this. In 2009, I lost one of my closest friends to suicide. I never want anybody to go through this again. Actually, a bunch of people already talked to me about taking their own lives — for a multitude of reasons. I’m glad that these people are still here. I hope I can help more people like that to still want to be here.

I feel like this is my purpose. I have been doing so for years, informally, giving advice to both younger and older friends. Which most of us do for our friends. But I want to help on a bigger level. On a more educated level. I mean, even before college, I think I’ve always been an encourager. I like being behind people and pushing them forward. Training them to help them be their best.

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When my dad and my sister passed on last year, I guess, this is my biggest take away: Life is such a blessing. I miss them everyday. And as tribute to them, this is what I’ve decided to do. Life coaching. To keep showing everyone that life is a blessing. This is how I honor my dad, my sister, my mom, my friends, my girlfriend. This is how I honor me. This is my rightful place, and I would not want it any other way.

Much like Ash, Brock and Misty, I’m still learning everyday. I understand that. And I’m ready to get on that adventure. I will need all your help. You teach me and I’ll teach you. Let us let “our courage will pull us through.” I might not be your best friend, but I will be your life coach, and your world, I will defend.

So if you need someone to talk to, just shoot me a message.

 

Tara. Usap tayo. Apags Out. 🙂

 

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photo by the wonderful Bryant Garduque

The 90’s and my Dad. A father’s day entry.

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Hey Dad.

 

How are you?

 I’m currently in a coffee shop, and it’s playing some smooth jazz.

It reminds me just how much you love Frank Sinatra.

It’s been a while since we really talked. I remember, back in the 90s, especially on sunny Sundays when you would sit in the garage, and just listen to Frank’s old CD’s (well, they weren’t old for you). You had them in little decks, I think you called those things “Disc Changers”. Disc changers were signs of royalty then, I remember the big kids wanting them in their Toyota Corolla’s and their box type Mitsubishi Lancers and their fancy Hatchback Honda Civics. I know we weren’t that well off, especially since you and mom had to stretch owning our old (but ever so reliable) VW Beetle, even though at times, the engine at the back would cough like a fireworks display on New Year’s eve. Eventually, you guys were able to buy a Nissan Sentra. I really loved that car. I like the gold paint job, even years later when the shade turned into faded cheap bronze.

And on Sunday afternoons liek this, we would take that california-scents-pine-smelling car to Greenhills, even if there was hardly any parking. But we went their for the bargains. I used to hate going there because there were so many people. But you guys wanted to buy cheap stuff, and I made the visits worth it by stuffing my face with DEC Siomai.

I remember you always had a box of tools in the car in case something goes wrong, and you had to get down under the car and magically fix that segunda mano Sentra. Those tools were then, for me, your weapons of mass correction. You were our Batman, and they were the accessories on your utility belt, equipment to battle the evils that lived under the hood and chassis of a car.

I had a set of tools too! Albeit, they were plastic; but they were branded “Stanley”, the epitome of both real and toy tools! The stuff of real men. I remember, I had my own wrench, hammer, saw, and I was always tinkering around with stuff. Not too long after that, I was playing around with the real toys of the big boys. Do you remember? How I sneaked into your tool box, and took out the screwdrivers? I remember how upset you were when I dissected our old trinitron remote, and even angrier when I couldn’t put it back together. You knew we wouldn’t be able to watch TV, which we used to see all the Tyson fights. You were always for Iron Mike, and I was always for the Brunos, the Lewises and the Holyfields. Nor would we be able to watch basketball and YOUR Chicago Bulls versus MY Supersonics, Suns, and Jazz.

My life was really built around TV then, Dad. And even if I was afraid of Vegeta, Megatron, Krang, Shredder and Cobra Commander from those morning cartoons, you still beat them all of them as the scariest man I’ve ever seen. Actually, you were tied with the Undertaker. At any moment, I thought you were gonna Tombstone Piledriver me to the ground because I broke the holy grail otherwise known as remote control.

But that day, after a few grunts, frowns and profane murmurs kept to yourself, you made your way to the hardware store to buy a universal remote (which cost a fortune back then). You always used the PI word, but never to attack anybody. You always blamed yourself. I’m sorry, Dad. But I’m glad that not a single spank was laid that day. No belt snapped. No tombstone was set for me.

I believe I grew up in that way too. I’ve never raised my palm nor fist on a child (even if honestly, at times, I thought I would) And I’m mighty glad to have that record.

A few years passed by, and you had to retire because of circumstances out of your control. Your eyes were giving up on you, and it wasn’t exactly easy for a CPA like you, when you couldn’t tell whether a 1 was a 7 or when a decimal point was a comma. I knew that saddened you, not because you were gonna be bored as hell at home, but because you wouldn’t be able to help Mom provide for us. You were always a hardworker, and you never had idle time. Even when you were free, you’d always spend it reading (which is pretty admirable coz you had bad eyes nga).

I always knew you wanted the best for me and my sister. When you were part of the workforce, you always brought home donuts as pasalubong, and even though it would be cold because you were always working out late, they’d still taste as sweet in the morning because they came from you. I loved the strawberry filled ones, and you always got those and took out the bavarian, because I hate those. I miss those donuts.

But when you retired, even though you were sad and frustrated (and oftentimes you kept it inside) I have to admit, I was a bit happy. I got to see you at home all the time. You managed the house with the same efficiency and passion you did back as an outstanding employee. You even took care of the laundry, the dogs, the dishes, the cleaning. And most importantly, you took care of us. I remember how you would religiously – even when you were sick – wake me up in the morning to go to my classes, and you got angry at me when I fail to do so on time. 5:30am I should be up so that I had enough time to shower, and eat before the school bus honked outside our house at 6am. You attended a cooking class, and you discovered the perfect Sinigang recipe. I can cook now too, dad, but I can never get your Sinigang. You should really show me how you do that. Your Sinigang is still the best, Dad.

The coffee shop is playing a Rivermaya Song now, “You’ll be safe here.”

Ironic, it’s how I feel now. I remember being safe around you.

I remember, and I made friends, which I still have today, you were always the one who picked me up whenever we did school work or hung out. You drove to fetch me in different houses of my friends, even at night, despite your failing eyesight. I should’ve been more thankful for that than I was. I’m sorry if at that time I thought you were being a buzz kill because you didn’t want me to go home so late. I loved going home late and spending a few more extra precious minutes with my friends. Looking back, maybe I should’ve spent more of them with you.

I remember how disappointed you were the first time I came home drunk. What’s more, I drove home drunk. We are both fans of Pale Pilsen (though nowadays, I only drink Light), I know this having shared a couple of beers with you. But you were terribly pissed that night. I remember you not talking to me for days, maybe even weeks. I was acting pretty brave, thinking “Hey, if you don’t wanna talk to me, I won’t talk to you too,” but deep inside, I knew I made a huge mistake and it was all just an act. The rebel kid was just a role I played to keep myself from feeling too down. Eventually, I realized the error of my ways, and I vowed never to drink and drive again. I know I missed that vow a couple of nights, because of things I went through. And I’m sorry.

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There are so many things I want to apologize to you for, and maybe I should’ve been more upfront about that. But more often than not, I just kept those regrets inside, because I never want to burden anybody or make them feel guilty or worse, make them blame themselves coz of my mistakes. I guess I got that sternness and silence from you. You were the same way. You were the typical “man of a few words,” but, I know I never told you, you are an exemplary father; the silent, but a diligent driving force in keeping our family together.

I remember that day you and mom fought. Looking back, I guess you guys could’ve separated that day. But you told me to call mom and ask her to bring something home, a pasalubong like your donuts, so that you were sure she would still come home. And you never split up. Despite everything.

I guess, this was my first lesson on relationships. I still carry it today. People that love each other can have fights, and still not end things with each other.

Truthfully, we all had fights. You-mom, me-you, mom-me, you-ate, me-everybody, etc. etc. etc. It’s just as most families do. Maybe it’s inevitable. But in all the fights, we never made irreparable wounds.

And even if you got so angry with me for picking a job in productions, which consisted of a recipe of things you did not like for me — long hours, late nights, stressful people, drinking, smoking, disappointment — not once did you ever make me feel bad for doing so. You would shrug in disappointment, I guess I got kinda used to it, but you always supported me. You always gave me a slight praise or soft pact on the back whenever I did something of merit, and you criticized me mercilessly when I committed occupational errors. I guess I should’ve been more appreciative of that. Thank you dad. I’m sorry if I could not give you your dreams of me becoming an MD or an Engineer. But I hope you know, that I continue to do my best in my new field. And I put forth the same effort and passion you did in caring for us, at least to my clients and to my co workers.

 

I know you don’t like cheesy stuff Dad.

But it’s father’s day.

Me and My Dad Last year, father's day.

Me and My Dad Last year, father’s day.

And it’s been almost 8 months since I last talked to you. I still remember your voice. I still sometimes look back at the house before I leave, just to silently say goodbye to you. It still brings a tear to my eye remembering that last day you spent with us. I am just hoping that these words are enough to express a lifetime of gratitude for you being a wonderful Dad.

Thank you for being the guy who taught me the difference between using tools, and being a tool for the care of others. Thank you for teaching me how to be steadfast, especially when I am hit by waves of problems. Thank you for teaching me that even something so small as a strawberry donut can mean so much to a person. Thank you for making me see that being angry is okay, so long as it’s for the betterment of another person; more so, that it can coexist with nonviolence. Thank you for the support, even if it is masked as disappointment at times.

There are so many things I wish I can still share with you. A couple of beers. Campagne on my wedding. My future child.

I know it’s not gonna be easy, but I promise to be as committed to being a dad as you were.

The coffee shop is now playing a Rod Stewart Song.

And thank you for the slow Sundays. I am no longer the little boy playing around in the garage. I grew up to be a decent man, and I hope I can be as well of a man as you were when you walked the earth.

One man is just a man, until they have a legacy. I hope you know that you had one hell of a legacy. At least for your family. And that’s not bad. Heck, that’s amazing. I don’t think everybody can boast such a record.

I miss you and ate.

For everyone reading this, I hope you can give your dad a hug. Or a high five, or a fist bump, if that’s how you roll. They might not need it, but it’s pretty cool to have that with your dad. I wish I can give mine one last one. The last one was when he breathed last. It still pains me, to be honest.

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But life goes on. Maybe someday we can hug again.

 

Godspeed, Dad. I love you.

 

I will always remember you as the smartest man I know. This is a picture of him with a stray cat named Kevin Durant, as he answers the daily crossword. He never missed a puzzle.

I will always remember you as the smartest man I know. This is a picture of him with a stray cat named Kevin Durant, as he answers the daily crossword. He never missed a puzzle.

 

My 420 high? #apagibig

By | apagsibig | No Comments

Today, I am celebrating two months of being in a relationship with the most awesome girl in the world. A bunch of people have been asking about how we first met, and I think I should write about it. My blog needs a new entry anyway. Hahaha. This is our story. If you’re not the cheesy, sappy type of person, fair warning: CAUTION KINDA CHEESY UP AHEAD. Sorry medyo mahaba.

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WHEN “TO MY SOON TO BAE” GOT REDUCED TO JUST “TO MY BAE”

 

Chapter 1 – How we met.

 

When I changed my facebook status to “in a relationship”, a bunch of people were curious as to what happened. Who she is, how I met her, what lead to the change in relationship status, etc. This is the story. At least from my point of view.

 

I met her randomly, without plan. It was January 20, 2016. 519 days or 12,456 hours after I turned single. Almost two years.

 

It was at an event. The Sud x Words Anonymous Album launch. Route 196 was the venue. I was playing host to an insane crowd of 400 plus sweaty people jumping and dancing and singing to Sud and WA’s awesome set. I was having so much fun! After the bands had played and the poets had spoken, it was DJ Jessica Milner’s awesome set of hits comprised of 90’s, 00’s and current hits. It was crazy fun. Some of the people had already left, and the initial Route mob was reduced to a few friends (and little did I know, future friends).

 

Around past midnight, I saw her.

 

Black dress.

 

Simple sling Bag.

 

Red horse beer in hand.

 

Accesorized with an insanely cute smile.

 

What she was wearing the night we met

What she was wearing the night we met (with her friend Judy)

I immediate think to myself: “This girl is CUTENESS of the highest order.”

 

I watch her for a bit as she grooved with the beat. I was grooving too. I remember something. I realized that I had already drank a few beer bottles, so I should be confident enough to approach her. I wait a bit to see when she approaches the bar to get another drink. Not that I was planning to get her a drink. I was sort of waiting around to see if she was with a boyfriend. I didn’t want trouble. All I wanted (and I think this is also what most guys want when they see a pretty girl in a bar), was to know her name (at least most guys I know). She didn’t seem like she was with anyone, so with my liquor induced courage, I approach her. The music was loud, so I scream whisper to her.

 

My line was:

 

“Hey, ang ganda ng music noh?”

 

She nods in approval, and I see her smile. I semi awkwardly danced beside her (not with her or to her). Few moments later, I extend my quivering hand, a bit nervous, a bit excited, actually a bunch of mixed feelings. I guess I already knew this girl was beyond ordinary. “I’m Apags pala.”

Trudat

Trudat.

“Elise.” she receives my shaking shaky hand.

 

I bump her Red Horse with my almost finished San Mig Light Bottle. I think to myself, “Elise. Pretty name. An even prettier smile.” I turn around and leave. Might say something silly. Good move. Walk away. Pa mysterious. Pa cool. Swabe moves.

 

Joke. IT WAS NONE OF THOSE THINGS.

 

SOBRANG HINDI SWABE. Overly kinabahan lang. I WAS SO SCARED TO SAY SOMETHING TURNOFFING. Was thinking to myself that with a face and smile like that, FOR SURE, MAY BOYFRIEND YAN.

 

I spend the rest of the night not minding her. I was actually kinda flirting with someone else then, too. So no biggie. But I remember going home that night thinking about her smile. and that made me smile.

 

Us recreating the first night we met at Route 196. Roughly this spot.

Us recreating the first night we met at Route 196. Roughly this spot.

 

Chapter 2 – When the meeting became friends.

 

During that night, I posted a picture on my instagram about the event. Little did I know that that post would lead to something else much greater.

 

A few days later, the band Sud reposts one of my pictures. I see a like.

 

“_elisegarcia liked your photo”

 

Click on username. HOLY LORD JESUS CHRIST. ITS THE GIRL WITH THE FANTASTIC SMILE WHO DRINKS RED HORSE BECAUSE SHE’S COOL AND MAANGAS.

 

It was time for Operation “CRUSH KITA KAYA I-AADD KITA SA FACEBOOK PARA MAKITA KO KUNG MAY BOYFRIEND KA KASI CRUSH KITA GIRL.”

 

Open Facebook. Check her profile. No relationship status. Check recent pics both on IG and FB. No recent boy sighted.

 

ADD ON FACEBOOK. GIVE ME ACCESS TO YOUR PICTURES MY CRUSH. YES. YOU DO NOT KNOW ME. I AM WATCHING YOU NOW. PLEASE LORD SANA I-ACCEPT NIYA.

 

“You and Elise are now friends.”

 

Self high-five.

 

Stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk. CRUSH CRUSH CRUSH CRUSH OMG CRUSH KITA TALAGA PHYSICALLY AND PERSONALITY WISE.

 

I almost talk to her, but then again I held back.

 

Subtext: DON’T CHAT WITH HER. BAKA MAY BOYFRIEND, HINDI LANG NAKALAGAY SA SOCIAL MEDIA NIYA.

 

Oh, she likes the beach. Oh she cooks. Oh she’s (insert bunch of other inferences about her personality because I’m too shy to talk to her pa).

 

MAN I AM SO STRESSED CRUSH. I need to unwind. Need to get my mind off of this.

 

Open Tinder.

 

Swipe left. Swipe Left. Swipe Right. HOLY LORD JESUS YOU ARE ON TINDER, MY CRUSH.

 

It was at that point I thought to myself: SINGLE KA NGA.

 

SWIPE RIGHT WITH A LITTLE PRAYER.

 

“You matched with Elise.”

 

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY I LOVE YOU.

 

It was time for operation “PWEDE NA KITANG I CHAT PAREHO TAYONG SINGLE EH.”

 

“Hey! it’s weird, I met you na in person and we’re facebook friends, before we matched here. Usually it’s the other way around diba? Haha.”

 

“Haha yeah,” she replies.

 

“Usap nalang tayo sa facebook. I rarely open this app (this is true though, I rarely opened tinder na noon.”

 

And we started chatting. First we chatted about the usual stuff, work, common friends, and then about more personal stuff, like stuff we enjoyed, 90’s kids moments. I remember, while I was chatting with her, I would feel sleepy because late na, but I never wanted to stop, because she was so much fun to talk to. It was crazy how I had so much in common with this person. Felt like I’ve known her all my life.

 

A couple of days of chatting like that, and I was pretty much hooked on her.

 

How can you not be hooked on a girl as prety and as amazing as this one?

How can you not be hooked on a girl as pretty and as amazing as this one?

 

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. CRUSH HAS NOW TRANSFORMED INTO “LIKE”.

 

Chapter 3 – The first semi date.

 

It was a whirlwind week: Seeing her smile, awkward dancing with her, adding her on social media, and chatting with her.

 

It was a Thursday. We were chatting as usual. She mentions that she was gonna go to a gig the following night. A music video launch for Jensen and the flips. She asked if I was gonna go. I said I didn’t know about the gig. She didn’t ask me to go, but I said I’d drop by anyway.

 

Friday. I was asking my friends if they wanted to go to the gig. Sa Saguijo. Hassle. Sa Ortigas kami nag-wowork. Traffic. Mahal Uber. Hirap pa ng parking.

 

The super fun gig, music video launch of Jensen and the Flips

The super fun pero medyo hassle gig, music video launch of Jensen and the Flips kasi sa Saguijo at Ortigas ako.

LORD I WANNA GO PERO WALA AKONG KASAMA. ANONG GAGAWIN KO OMG. SHET SHET SHET EXPLETIVES. I WANNA SEE MY CRUSH.

 

You know what I did? I went anyway. I commuted via shuttle to Saguijo alone. I wanted to see her. And if she was with other friends (guys), I would just leave after. But I wanted to see if our chats could be as fun in real life. Just to check, really. I didn’t know what was gonna happen.

 

This is us recereating our first hangout since we met. We were wearing these shoes.

This is us recreating our first hangout since we met. We were wearing these shoes.

 

I ended up spending the whole event just talking to her and getting to know her. Man, this girl is really above and beyond my impressions of her. She is just a pleasant surprise. I even got to meet some of her friends, and they were really fun and cool. We went to her friends apartment, and we talked some more.

 

I ended up that night bringing her to her house thru uber. She was a bit sleepy already, so she leaned on my shoulder. Her hair smells really good. Left hook to arm around her shoulder.

 

She leans closer.

 

I hold her hand. Yung serious na holding hands ah. Yung may interlocking fingers. Hindi yung parang pang our father sa church. Yung pang “May nararamdaman ako para sa iyo.”

 

She interlocks her fingers, too.

 

 

Chapter 5 – Nung naging kami.

 

We spend the next few days always seeing each other. Having lunch, or dinner, or drinks, or something. I had already confessed my feelings for her, and hse felt the same way.

 

I was scared. Things were going too fast. But then, I realized that it was ok. We were both taking risks. But there was something there. And the thing about grownups is that, we might have the same fears as young people when it comes to relationships, but based on our experiences, we have a different kind of courage in facing them. Yes, we dated for two weeks before we got together. Hindi matagal, people will say, But I don’t care. We don’t care what you think. We’re cool like that.

 

I told her, I don’t know what I did good for me to meet someone as perfect as her. I don’t know if I deserve her. I don’t know why we met the way we did, and why we fell for each other similarly.  But I’m glad we did. There has to be a reason why we only met now, why we met like this, and why we feel this way about each other. Maybe it was fate. Maybe it’s all luck. But I wanna keep doing this thing with you.

 

On my birthday (Feb 11), I wanted to spend time with her. But she was out of town. We did have a salubong though. So I was kinda sad.

 

Us faceswapping during my bday salubong.

Us face swapping during my birthday salubong.

 

On Valentines Day, she was still away. I woke up early to message her. But that morning, my facebook wall was so full of couple pics, and I got so annoyed! Annoyed at the fact that I couldn’t spend the day with the person who I wanted to be my Valentine.

 

So I drove to her. God, I was just so annoyed. So I surprised her. I just went there to have lunch with her. Then I went home. It was at that point, I knew I was in love with this girl. I was happy I did that. Even if initially I thought it was out of annoyance, I ended up realizing that I did it nga because I loved her.

I surprised her. I asked her to send a selfie, then I sent this selfie with her in the background.

I surprised her. I asked her to send a selfie, then I sent this selfie with her in the background.

I loved her na. I knew I wanted to be with her, and her alone. No point in playing games, keeping it in, or whatever.

 

Yup, I already loved her at this point.

Yup, I already loved her at this point.

February 20. We were hanging out in my house. We were talking. This is the conversation.

 

“Alam mo, mahal na kita, ” I said.

 

“Mahal na rin kita,” she replies

 

“Tara, maging tayo na, ” I reply.

 

“Sige. Tara. Tayo na,” she ends.

 

Walang drama, walang arte. Usapang masinsinan lang.

We decide right then and there to commit to each other. I know it’s not as romantic as big proposals, or whatever. But it worked for us. And we got together. And my life has been so much more.

 

Us with my Niece, Mirka at the beach. I am wearing a tita hat.

Us with my Niece, Mirka at the beach. I am wearing a tita hat.

Two months of being with someone who makes me such a better person, I wish everyone can experience this in some form. You know how awful and tragic my 2015 was, and I don’t know if this little story of mine gives you guys hope. But I hope it does.

 

A saying goes “When you’re going through hell, Just keep walking.” Johnnie Walker ad ba ito. Anyway. My point is, things do work themselves out. I thought they wouldn’t for me, but I’ve never been happier to be wrong.

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There is someone out there who will make us so happy. Someone who will hug us until all the wounds of yesterday start getting healed. Someone who will hold us until all the broken parts of us glue themselves back together. Someone who will remind us that we are meant to be loved. For me, it’s Elise.

 

I’m really happy being with her.

 

You know how much I love you, babe. Chamba nga siguro how we met, especially the timing. But from this day forth, I will love you with all my heart. And that decision to love you everyday and to try and be the best person I can be for you, well, hindi na yon chamba.

#apagibig

 

The two of us voting the same person for werewolves

The two of us voting the same person for werewolves. We are on the same team, now and always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear 2015

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(photo by Pao Peña)

(photo by Pao Peña)

 

Dear 2015,

 

I have mixed feelings about you. Like I’m thankful and angry. Like I love you and I don’t. Kind of like how I feel about dieting. or Chicharon. Allow me to tell you why.

 

I met you at the start of the year. To be perfectly honest, I was pretty excited meeting you and hanging out with you.

 

I had just come from a bad relationship with 2014, and it left me bruised and broken. But I was pretty optimistic. You were offering new possibilities, and a chance to renew myself. So I had to actually start the year with a lot of faith in you. I had to believe that you were gonna help me find a better version of myself. Remember, when 2014 ended, I had just turned single? I was feeling emasculated, insecure, and not really worth anybody’s time. I was trying to reassemble a daily routine that no longer involved texting someone a “good morning” or an “I love you”. I can honestly say that it was one of the lowest points of my life.

But you changed that immediately. Thank you 2015. You are lovely.

In January, you let me become part of a Tanghalang Ateneo play again, Waiting for Godot. It had been years since I have had the opportunity to be onstage. I was feeling rusty. But I got one of the lead parts, by some weird twist of fate! And I got to work with a stellar cast, crew and director. I was part of the Male Set A for Godot with Xander, Mora, Jerome and Soc. Led by Direk JK. I played Didi! And achieved something I hadn’t previously done in my theater carreer: Cry on cue.

To tell you the truth, I was really happy then. You ever get that feeling that where you were is exactly where you had to be? That was how I felt with that play. Whenever I would be in the theater, it was just me doing what I was meant (destined) to do. Nobody could ever do that at that point in time but me. It gave me a sense of purpose. Thank you 2015. You are generous.

You continued to make me happy in February, despite some betrayals from a few friends who thought badly of me — who misconstrued my good intentions as romantic feelings. Who made it seem like if fell for someone, that it was a bad thing. I easily got over that. After that, you even made me meet Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye! Wowza! Next, you gave me the chance 2015 to launch my poetry shirt line, and to celebrate my birthday with all the important people in my life.

At this point, that category – “all the important people in my life” – was still a complete entity. I’ll go back to that later.

Anyway you, 2015, during the month of february, you kept me in the theater. You gave me a chance to write, and direct a play. Coming from Godot, I was oozing with inspiration. So it came to be, I directed and co-wrote Near Yet Far, Far Yet Near. It wasn’t an easy play, by any stretch of the imagination: Not a lot of time to prepare, not a lot of resources, an actress quitting the week before the show. But you showed me that it was still possible to achieve something special. And you brought in very special people to help make sure that magic was still as real as the stage we put plays on. I had a chance to direct friends Guelan, Tarek, Trency, and discover new talents in Jerome and Tine. You gave me a solid production team with BJ, Pepe, JP, JR, Leyson, and of course the wonderful stage manager Regina. You even got a couple of blogs to write good reviews about us!

I’ll be a bit of a braggart, but honestly, everytime the audience (no matter how few they are) clapped, I felt tingles up my spine. Kilig. Yeah, that’s the word I’m looking for.

We were on a roll 2015, but then things changed.

In March, you got my sister sick. That wasn’t very nice of you. Lo and behold, 3 months later, she’s gone. 3 months later, I’m writing a eulogy for the first time, and I am in tears. A lot of people were able to read that Eulogy, and even if it was perhaps the saddest chapter of my life, at least it made me happy that people were mourning with me. Sorry if that sounds a bit selfish. Anyway.

I don’t wanna dwell on that too much. But I was thinking to myself, that despite all the losses and pains I’ve had and endured over the years, losing my sister was definitely the heaviest burden I’ve ever had to carry. And it didn’t help that I watched everyone else around her carry that same burden. It didn’t help watching my mom and dad cry in front of her casket. It didn’t help watching all the friends my sister had over the years comfort each other with hugs and old stories of her life. It didn’t help that her 3 year old daughter had no clue what was happening. You are a bitch, 2015. Why did you put us through that?

And the months around that, I was really off balanced too, 2015. Constantly worrying about my family and how we were gonna survive, and you added stress from work, and stress from being in love with a young girl. I was literally stuck in a tornado of emotions, literally. I did not know how to feel about things, and how to react based on those feelings. For the first time in my life, I had no clue what I was gonna do.

I think you know 2015, that I’ve always taken pride in being bacteria like. Not in because I’m dirty (I am actually pretty concerned with my hygiene), but in the “I can adapt to anything” kind of sense. Many people have tried to push me around, some have succeeded, but I’ve always found a way to overcome. This wasn’t the case during those months. I was weak, and I felt I was being slammed harshly to the ground until I no longer knew the difference between my face and the cold, hard cement road.

Especially with being in love.

Don’t get me wrong, 2015, I’m not angry that you made me feel love again after a while. I was pretty happy loving that person. But I guess, I too wasn’t ready. With so many things happening, I wasn’t exactly in the best shape to love other people. And I’m at least glad that after it was over, you still stuck with me. You gave me a chance to love myself and to find some form of comfort in that.

And the best way you made me feel that 2015, is with the LIRA poetry workshop. I had never been to a poetry class before in my life. But you made me learn; not just the words to write, or how to write them, but most importantly you made me learn how it was to see things from a bigger perspective. You showed me how to be inspired by letting me meet so many inspiring people: my fellow writers, LIRA officers and members, and of course the mentors: Sir Rio, Sir Mike, Sir Fidel, Sir Marne, Sir Egay, Sir Nanoy, Miss Ergo, Sir Joel, Ma’am Becky, Sir LJ, Sir Gian, and everyone else. You showed me new friendships. At least you softened the blows that I was taking from all of the other sadness I was going through. 6 months of learning poetry were 6 months of learning life.

You also introduced me this year to the wonderful people of Words Anonymous. And they also inspired my poetry. I’m grateful for that 2015, you are swell.

In August, I wanted to thank you 2015, because you gave me new life.

You finally made me let go of her.

At least that was one thorn out of my bludgeoned heart.

From July to September, you were also giving me good projects with Sindikato. And you handed to us good people in Alvin, Lorraine, Mella, and Topher. We were on a roll, and we were doing more things with less fatigue. We were laser locked on to our goals, and it was a great feeling. We even got a new TV show with the fantastic China Cojuangco Gonzales! Thank you 2015. You are a blessing.

I thought the year was pretty much done at this point to be honest. I was already excited for Christmas, because things were in place. The pain from losing my sister wasn’t as strong as before thanks to the comfort and solace that a lot of people kept pouring down on us. And I got to reconnect with an old friend, Danica, too! Randomly at that! She’s been really special, and she’s been nothing but fun. She’s been part of the upside of the year.

But you had to ruin the fun 2015.

October, you took my dad away. Just like that. One day he was telling me to take care going to work, and the next day, I was holding his lifeless hand in the company of my best friends Enzo and Edzon. Why did you do that 2015? Why now? Why him?

October became like my dad. Lifeless.

It wasn’t the same.

My dad has been retired for the past 20 years. So he’s always been at home. He’s always taken care of everything. He always made sure the trash was brought out, and that we always had gas for the stove. Heck, he even made sure that the mail was received, and the bills were attended to. But that’s not the case now. The empty rooms seem emptier. The walls have become much lonelier.

When people ask me, “How are you?” I always have one reply. I’m okay. But the quiet moments are really the worst.

You know, 2015, until today, I can still hear my dad’s voice in my head. I still sometimes check to see if he’s there. Before I leave the house, I still sometimes say goodbye to him and tell him I’m going to work. I still whisper to him what time (I think) I’ll be home. I still see him working on his daily crossword puzzle and watching the discovery channel.

I want to stab you, cut you up to pieces, and let you rot in a swamp somewhere 2015.

November came, and you tried to make it up to me. I appreciate that. You sent me to Japan with my friends for the first time. You gave me some pocket money to spend. You gave me a chance to refresh my weary spirit. Or at least to be distracted.

That trip was fantastic. Just being with my friends, and going on adventures. I really needed that. Thank you 2015. That was mighty sweet of you.

It’s December now, and I’m trying to remember everything. I’m writing this in a coffee shop. And I really look like an idiot. One moment I have a huge smile on my face, and a minute later I’m wiping my eyes from tears.

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(Me earlier at Starbucks Katip photo by Bryant Garduque)

I lost a lot because of you, 2015.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t gain anything from you.

I met random friends. I copped a lot of shoes. I encountered new experiences. I tasted romance, I gained a part of me I never previously had access to.

Like a secret level in Super Mario. Or Final Fantasy. Sorry for the old reference, Millennials. (Yup, I spelled Millennial right).

You are a mystery to me 2015. Right at the time when I was asking a lot of questions about myself, you leave me with more questions. Maybe you did answer some things, too, but I guess that’s okay. Maybe I need to ask these questions and answer them for myself.

I still don’t understand you 2015. I probably never will.

 

But.

 

I am glad we are parting ways today.

 

Maybe when 2016 comes, she will help me answer those questions.

Walt Disney once said, “Keep Moving forward”. I guess I’ll do that. But I will take some part of you 2015. I’ll shrink that part and put it in my pocket; and I’ll bring it as I continue on this journey called life.

We’ve had a wild ride 2015.

And before I say farewell, I wanted to thank all the people that you dragged beside me 2015:

Kenny, Bugs and Mondy (the original badings)

Darling, who won rookie of the year at the Apogator Awards.

And Gelaine who was the runner-up.

Angela.

Gel.

Danica.

Sindikato. And the new badings Kuya Erwin, Teng, Rorotski, Lebron James Dela Cruz

Nicolai.

Abby.

Yel.

My Prod Friends – Prodmadnezz mostly.

Marcee.

Garret.

New Prodhouses I got to work with – Manilaman, and Onmedia

My TA Family – especially Sir Glenn, Ron, Ricky, Rhem, Yaps, Gel, Joenel, Soc, Barth, Banjo, Lia, Gly and all you youngins lalo na ikaw Jessica.

My DITO: Bahay ng Sining Family – Bj, Pepe, Madame Y

My ARPT Family – Pau, King, Chin, Kristoff (and Mian), Carl (and Teril), Carlo not so Big (and Alex), Jongko, Marlo, Diane, et al.

My Poetry friends – LIRA, and Words Anonymous.

My new Intact Students and Student Facilitators.

My HS students in the Ateneo Video Club.

My sneakerhead friends – especially you Mesh Maini.

My bars of the year, Loading Point and Route 196 and all the people who run said joints who have seen me at my worst times.

My crush of the year, Tin Gamboa (Suzy 899). Listening to you almost everyday made me kilig. Legit kilig, not unlike the kilig you get from taking a piss lang. I wish I can take you out to dinner someday. Or kahit coffee. Or kahit breakfast. Or kahit magtawag ka lang ng grab car tapos maghihintay ako katabi mo sa pila.

My musician friends especially peeps from Sud, Autotelic, Mayonnaise, Kai Honasan, Reese Lansangan, Champ and Hale, Spongecola and Saul, Jugs and Itchyworms, and all of you guys who I can’t mention because I have the memory of a 70 year old.

My fans, who make sure I average at least a massive 10 likes per post on Facebook. or at least an overwhelming 4 likes on my instagram, @lordapags.

2015, these people made it easier and much more meaningful to breathe this year. If only for them, thank you 2015 for bringing them beside me.

 

Farewell, 2015.

 

It’s time to say goodbye.

 

Apags

Most Romantic/Craziest Thing I’ve ever done for a Girl

By | apagsibig | No Comments

Warning: Long, emotional, possibly annoying post about my issues. Thank you to everyone who will read. Apologies to those who will read and get annoyed.  #apagsibig

WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?

Some people have asked me what was the most romantic thing I’ve ever done for a girl? What’s the craziest? What’s the most painful memory I’ve had with someone on a romantic level? And those questions aren’t very easy to answer.

I’ve had some really memorable moments. Sometimes memories I want to replay over and over again in all my waking hours. And some memories I wish I didn’t have to remember, but I can’t forget no matter how hard I tried. The following story falls under all those kinds of memories –and by that I mean,  it has both good and bad stuff in it.

This is the last love confession I did. This happened last year. Around this time too. I wrote a letter to a girl I felt strongly for.

SPOILER ALERT: This love confession didn’t really amount to much. She said she wasn’t ready. But I couldn’t help but feel that it meant like she wasn’t ready for me. That she could never feel the same way about me because I wasn’t good enough. It feeds insecurities, you know. And it really made me sad. That and the other saddening factors of 2015 led to many moments where I felt so alone, and unvaluable. Hence the event. This rejection was actually the start of my 2015. Before everything. I was a being run to the ground.

And to be honest, it took me a long time to bounce back from this one. Maybe I’m still trying to bounce back. With 2015 being a difficult year, this “getting over period” didn’t exactly help. For the past year, I really didn’t feel like I was worth much. Moreover, I really didn’t want to be involved with anyone, because I feel like I was just gonna drag them down with my problems.  But something has changed.

SO WHY ARE YOU TELLING US THIS APAGS?

So I’m sharing this with you guys now, because last night, when I posted about our Poetry Workshop Batch Folio, a lot of people messaged me to congratulate me. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was worth something, like what I was doing was important.

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Our Batch folio (Photo by Neto Aedto)

Sure I post a lot of funny shit in my facebook. But it wasn’t because I felt important. The simple reason why I try to be funny (a lot of times) is because IF I couldn’t make myself happy, then at least I can try making a few of my friends happy. And when my friends are happy with a pun/joke I tell, or a picture I share, or a weird/clumsy/sablay thing I do, I’m a little less sad, and a little less lonely.

I hope you guys enjoy reading this letter. To protect the identity of the person this was intended for, I have changed all names to Shoe Brands like “Nike” or “Adidas” and contextual clues to “something”.  If by for some reason you can guess who this is for, please keep it to yourself. This is a thing of the past. I harbor no ill-feelings towards her. I’m happy I got the chance get to know her even for a bit. I understand, I was the problem. And I think I’ve learned my lesson. This entire situation changed me, honestly.

I added a few lines of commentary for you guys in square brackets for better understanding [ ] Ang hirap kayang gumawa ng footnotes sa blog.

At the end of the day, I’m content with believing in the saying “some things aren’t meant to be”, but still, some things are. Maybe I’ll find what’s meant for me too. Maybe.

 

#Heynike – December 17, 2014

December 17, 2014

Hey Nike.

How are you? I bet you are wondering what the hell this is all about. I’m writing this letter and I’m actually still not quite sure why. I don’t actually know if you hate me, or if you’re angry at me, or just weirded out. I mean, you’re not talking to me and I don’t really know why. I actually sort of hate you right now, honestly. I don’t know what sort of reaction I want you to feel while reading this. The only thing I know is that it’s Christmas — and at Christmas you tell the truth — and I wanna tell you the truth as to some things that I’ve been feeling. I’ll try not to make this too long, but I’ll have to ask you to bear with me in terms of the length. If you’re busy, by all means, I’m not asking for an immediate response. Don’t take too long though, coz it’ll make me paranoid and shit. Haha #truth To quote Coldplay, This isn’t easy. Apparently, I didn’t think it would be so hard too. Especially not having the slightest idea of how this is going to be understood and interpreted by you. Heck, I’ve written that first paragraph and things still don’t exactly/completely make sense to me.

 

ACT 1 – WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?

 

First of all, I’m sorry if I had said anything that was weird or if I offended you in any way. The truth is, I like you. Let’s get that over with. Like legit like-like-like-like you. When I say I miss you, or that I’m thinking of you, please know that it is genuine, sincere, honest and true. I guess I should tell you the entire story, but you’re the main character, so you probably know how this is going to play out. [I wanted to tell her the series of events that lead to this]

 

I met you last year at the “Something” workshop. I thought you were cute, but not really much after that. I mean, you were cute, but I didn’t really talk to you, so I didn’t think of you after that; but that all changed this year. I met you. I talked to you, and this is perfectly assuming — I felt like I really got to know you. Then there was this period where I was messaging you and you weren’t replying. I told you about this. You said you were just avoiding the world. My thoughts the entire time was that you already knew I liked you and you weren’t interested at all. I can be pretty obvious naman kasi. Sorry, subtlety is not exactly a strength of mine…I guess I was kinda getting over you. Till that day I saw you again in “somewhere” and we had lunch.

When I got to hang out with you this year a few times, I must admit, I did have a crush on you. I’ve always thought you were pretty. But listening to you, that ‘crush’ went to a whole new level. I found you very interesting and intriguing. Interesting because you have this headstrong personality but not intimidating. Despite what you’ve been through. You have this way of making conversations seem pleasant even though they’re sometimes too serious or too madrama. You’re intriguing as well because you’re so different. I mean, the more stuff I discover about you, the more I see how utterly unique and special you are. I honestly know it’s weird coming from someone who had just been in a long-time relationship. [I had just turned single a few months before this] You could be thinking I’m just being malandi or whatever, but it is true.

I think you’re absolutely fantastic as a person.

Then we had that perfect Sunday evening. Emphasis on the word perfect. At least for me. Ramen x Gyuniku Dinner. Milk Tea. Hanging out in “Somewhere”. I still remember it. Eating dessert, Singing Beatles and Maroon 5 songs, Carrying you, Cracking your back, Watching you look at the books (sort of like Belle when Beast gave her a library) and just talking to you. More like listening to you. Making you laugh.

 

When I dropped you home that night to go to my other shoot, it was really sad driving away from you. For that evening was just so enjoyable and I didn’t want it to end. And then we started vibering again and it wasn’t weird. I honestly thought you’d be weirded out, but thankfully you weren’t (or at least you hid it pretty well). I’ve always told myself, I was gonna enjoy your company, and if I start like liking you bahala na. Probably it wasn’t gonna happen. And if it did, it wouldn’t work. We’re two people, too different. Plus the fact that a lot of people like you, may mga nanliligaw na sa’yo, and then there’s Adidas too. Everyday, I would try to talk myself out of liking you. THAT I WAS NOT GONNA GIVE YOU THE POWER TO HURT ME. Na ok lang yan, I should be ok with us just being friends. Even though I really started seriously liking you na. I guess I was also afraid too. You ever get that feeling that some things are too good to be true? Things were too perfect. You were even more than perfect. When I told the story of that perfect night to my best friend he said “That has to be the most romantic evening in the history of two people who are not romantically connected in any shape or form. It could be that she really likes you….. OR ang galing niyang magpa-asa.” [my best friend is a super funny guy HAHAHAH]

 

The last two or three weeks we haven’t been talking. Honestly, I feel as though I’ve been reaching out to you, and you’ve been ignoring me. I hate being ignored. Totally hate it. Also because I don’t know if it’s me or if there’s something bothering you or something you’re going through. Of course, I’m inclined to think it’s me. I’m narcissistic like that. I don’t let a lot of things bring me down. I believe in this saying: If a person doesn’t FFF me, they have no right to make me feel bad. (Triple F stands for FEED, FREAK or FUND) [A great man gave me this piece of advice]. You might think I’m emo with all the sad poetry I write. But I’m really not. I do that for my Emo friends. They enjoy it, it makes them feel like they’re not alone. And I’m actually pretty skilled at writing sad poetry. It’s where I can pour out my creativity. [I write funny emo poetry hahaha]

 

Anyway, going back, usually, when someone ignores me, I’m arrogant enough to just stop caring completely. Which I tried. Apparently I failed. Seriously speaking, it’s a terrible equation: ME LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKING YOU + YOU NOT TALKING TO ME + APAGS NARCISSISM = APAGS KIND OF GOING CRAZY.

 

Partly, that’s why I decided to do this. Truth be told, I feel so crazy for really doing this. For actually just even feeling like this. I’m usually in control of these emotions of mine (that’s one perk of being an actor and a director, you actually understand these feelings), but with you,

that locus of control just doesn’t have its usual potency.

 

So anyway, going back, I decided I was gonna do something to express how I feel about you. #apagsconfession. Ever since that first night we got to hung out at “Somewhere”, I had somewhat of a crush on you. Do you remember that night? We played a game called “I like.” We spent 2 hours talking, and it went by so quickly. It’s also the first time I brought you home. You we’re gonna get a cab in Mcdo, and I said I’d just bring you home since you live very near me (more importantly, also because I didn’t wanna end our conversation just yet). It was that night that we dueted to “Way Back into love.” [great song noh?]

 

Anyway, that night, I decided to keep a list of random things about you. I have quite the dull memory, but I wanted to remember our conversations, so I decided to make this list nga. The reason being crush nga kita. Anyway, the list is called “Random Nike Facts”. Never thought it would come in handy ’till I decided to do this. Initially, I just wanted to keep up with our conversations, so that the next time, I wouldn’t look so Bobo or clueless as to the things we’ve talked about. And maybe go into things we haven’t talked about. Or maybe someday write a character for a movie that resembles you (though that would be difficult, coz I can’t imagine imagining a character that’s as severely complex and complicated as you). You have my permission to feel VERY MUCH CREEPED OR WEIRDED OUT at this point. Not really sure why I kept the list, but not really regretting keeping it as well. At least I got to know you. My best friend comments, “you want to get to know her and you’re cheating? I approve of this list! (and no, I never showed him the list. It’s mine. It’s my kodigo. No sharing.)” #creepyapags #selfishapags [i eventually showed him the list]

 

So with the list as my reference, I made a plan. This is me being totally out of character. NO. I AM NOT A PLANNING KIND OF GUY. I AM SPONTENEOUS AND UNPREDICTABLE. LIKE A TYPHOON. OR A FASHION TREND. I like getting surprised by the twists and turns of life. And if there’s one thing I’m good at, is being able to adapt. That’s my personality. That’s my super power. Being like bacteria and catching up to the ever changing tides of this mortal life. I’m bad-ass like that. Wait.

Shit.

If I can adapt, why the hell did I keep this list? Thinking about it, it’s just really something different about you. Like when I’m talking to you, I’m just at a loss for words. I don’t feel as confident as I normally am. You’re that different, apparently. Anyway, I digress. List in hand, I made a plan. A plan to actually try and impress you. I don’t know if this is too madrama or too OA, but I just don’t care. I made a plan to impress you. And to express how I feel….

Yeah. That’s it….

 

So here’s the plan. I thought I’d give you ten little things that I think will make you smile based on my “Random Nike Facts” List. Being the smart girl, you probably already know that one entry on the “Random Nike Facts” list is your Starbucks drink. “Iced Americano with White Mocha syrup – 3 pumps, Breve, Grande.” I tried it, and it tastes pretty weird for me. Sorry. Hahaha. This was actually what inspired #apagsweirdlists (my buzzfeed like weird funny listings on Facebook, but I’m not sure if you’ve seen those). Though I’ve retired listing those, I’ll do one last list. And this is that list.

 

*throughout this list, I will be using hashtags, not because of their online purpose, but just because I like using hashtags. It’s a challenge to condense feelings and thoughts into as few words as possible. Among hashtags will be #creepyapags and #kiligapags, to name a few. Haha again please bear with it. It amuses me to use these.

 

Anyway, please go through the gifts in order. This letter is divided into parts within the gifts. Kindly open everything to get the full story. I am guessing reading and opening the gifts will probably take you around 40-45 minutes. With a bathroom break, probably 45-50 minutes. So if you’re busy right now, please don’t open them muna until you’re kinda free for an hour. And for my minimal embarassment, please do it in private. Baka naman buksan mo ito sa sala niyo with your family watching or worse with Adidas [Adidas is a guy who she has had a complicated relationship with, yung parang sila pero hindi? Ewan, I don’t exactly remember] hearing every heartfelt word I am saying. My god, I’ll be so embarassed. Hahaha. If you do do this in Public, you will be like the most evil person I know. But you’re not. So let’s continue, shall we? [each gift and the description is on one page. So as she opens the gifts, she opens a new page in the letter.]

 

ACT 2 – THE GIFTS

 

10 Things I want to give to my crush right now. (OBVIOUSLY THAT’S YOU) based on Random Nike Facts.

 

GIFT 1. Flowers

 

Nike Fact: “You like things that smell nice.”

 

Item number 1 on the list are flowers that smell nice. You once said that one of the things that you like are those that smell nice. And it shows, I mean, you smell really nice too. When I drive you home, my car actually smells like you for around 5-10 minutes. Makes the drive home more fun. I drive slower going home because of that, actually. #creepyapags. #apagsconfession. I do try and take an effort to smell nice for you. You actually complimented me and my hair [I had super long hair before] a few times for smelling nice. Honestly, super kinilig ako dun. You actually discovered how to make me kilig. Not everyone knows this. #kiligapags. Plus, medyo romantic yung flowers ‘di ba? I can be romantic sometimes. HAHA.

GIFT 2. A Panda Onesie

 

Nike fact: “You barely sleep and have been having a hard time waking up as of late.”

 

You’ve told me before that you barely sleep and recently you’ve been having problems getting up. I get it. You’re a busy bee. It makes sense. Active ka sa Something and sa Something. I mean, I was once a “something” too. But, for those nights that you can really afford to sleep in, I would completely recommend this fantastic piece of sleepwear. Plus, also, you said you thought Pandas are cute. Which they are. Nobody in the free, modern world would think Pandas are NOT cute. They’re fat vegetarians. They’re fluffy and cuddly but can take your head off with one swipe. They’re oxymoronic. I guess kinda like you. And no, I don’t think you’re fat. Nor a vegetarian. Anyway, apologies, I’m rambling again. Please use this and hopefully it gives you a better sleeping experience. Dream of me too? Maybe that’ll help. #feelingmoapags #apagsconfession. I did dream of you already. So (technically) you’re (one) of my dream girls hahaha. I don’t know how you still look pretty even if you barely sleep. Though I’ve only seen you bagong-gising once, I think I can safely say, your bagong-gising look still looks absolutely amazing. #creepyapags

 GIFT 3. The Strange Library

 

Nike fact: “You’re a Haruki Murakami fan. Just like me.”

 

I’m not sure if you already have this book. This is Murakami’s latest Book. If you do and if you’ve read it, can you let me read this? I have only read the book descriptions. Apparently it’s about a boy who gets trapped in the strange library. He tries to escape. Seems like something I’ve been feeling. #apagsfeels. Maybe something you’ve been feeling with a lot of things in your life too. Anyway, I hope this book is good, and it provides somewhat of the escape/relax you need.

 

GIFT 4. Lion Pencil Case

Nike Fact: “Your Birthday is in August. Which makes you a Leo.”

 

Also. You post on twitter every now and then your horoscope. Leo’s are usually very warm but very firm. Which is so you by the way. I don’t really have a long explanation for this gift other than it’s useful and cute. Still kinda like you. You’re cute (I think we’ve established that). And useful. Which is true because when I’m sad or stressed, just talking to you makes me forget my stresses, even for just a few minutes. So thank you for being who you are. By the way, Leos go with Aquarians. They match. I looked it up. And guess who’s an Aquarian? #apagsisaquarian hahaha. Anyway. Moving on.

 

GIFT 5. Yoga Back Roller

 

Nike Fact: “You like to yoga.”

 

This was actually a pretty difficult gift to think of. I mean, what the hell do yoga people need? A mat (which you probably have), a towel (again I can’t imagine you not having a yoga towel), and flexibility. And then I remembered you saying your back bothers you from time to time. You really enjoyed that back cracking technique we did right? So I thought I’d get you something for your back. This foam roller, I’ve tried a bunch of these and they’re really good. You can just youtube exercises for them. But even just lying down on this and rolling your lower back on it does wonders. Maybe a freaking cheesy explanation for this gift is: “Nike, #apagshasyourback.” Please try it soon!

Did that make you laugh? Yes? Go laugh some more. #apagscanmakeyoulaugh

No? I thought so. Let’s move on nalang shall we? #apagsfailsenseofhumor.

 

GIFT 6. An Instax

 

Nike Fact: “You lost your camera. That totally sucks.”

 

So I thought I’d give you an Instax. I was hoping this will do for now while you’re waiting to get a new Camera. It could be fun for you. Plus, it’s a different experience actually having printed pictures. I actually don’t know how much of a photography fan you are, but I’m really hoping this is something you’ll enjoy and really put to use. #printsaremorevaluable. If you can, can you take a picture of yourself and give it to me? I’d like that very much. #apagsrequests

 

GIFT 7. An Inflatable Globe

 

Nike Fact: “You dream of seeing the world.”

 

Well, I can’t exactly give you the world right now. But… what I can give you is a smaller scale replica of it. It’s inflatable. And you can draw or write on it with a whiteboard marker too. And you really LITERALLY get to SEE AND PLAY with the world.

Well, other than this gift being fun, because you can throw it around and such, I really don’t have much of an explanation for it. #apagscheesyexplanations maybe I…. #wanttobepartofyourworld? Ok that was pretty lame. #sharemyworldwithyou? Still pretty lame. I’ll let you know if I think of a non-lame ass explanation.

You mentioned to me before that your ideal life would be walking around New York in your trench coat, coffee in hand, living the good life. So I think you should start by marking New York on this globe. Yeah. And I have no doubt you’ll go places. Ikaw pa. You’re driven, you’re smart, those two traits alone will get you pretty far. So there’s no reason to believe you won’t make it out there. Just don’t try to rush it I guess? #unwarrantedadvice

 

GIFT 8. Watercolor Paint Brushes

 

Nike Fact: “You Watercolor.”

 

So I got you Watercolor Paint Brushes. I don’t know anything about painting, much less about watercoloring. So I just got you a small, medium, and Large brush. If this was about sports, fashion, or video games, then I would be more of an expert. And well, you seem to enjoy talking about watercolor. Anyway, No further explanation. Let’s move on.

 

GIFT 9. Spices and Onions (which isn’t technically a spice).

 

Nike Fact: “The oddest thing in the world is you don’t like sauce. Like seriously, EVERYBODY FANCIES SOME SORT OF SAUCE AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER.”

 

I thought I’d get you something for your house. But I was stumped, because I don’t know what you already have in the house. I don’t know if you need anything for your room, or your bathroom. or your sala. So I thought, ” Giving a gift for the Kitchen might be a good idea.” And since you don’t like sauce, I thought I’d give you this. They’re different spices. I use them for cooking. You cook too; with a lot of Onions! (that’s also on the Random Nike Facts list). So I got you Onions. You also mentioned that you only eat once a day. THAT’S IN-FREAKING-SANE. You’re basically on perpetual Ramadan. And that’s not very healthy. So I thought maybe if you had more spices to cook with, you’ll be inspired to eat more frequently. And when you eat, you’ll feel happier, and when you feel happier you’ll think of me. Because I want you to be happy. When I hear you say that you’ve had a good day, and you have time to rest, it never ever fails to put a smile on my face. Please use this gift. Also, this is very much shareable with the people in your house. Bon Apetit!

 

GIFT 10. A Colorful Watch

 

Nike Fact: “I’ve never seen you wear a watch.”

 

I’ve actually always seen you only in black and white. And never with a watch. So I thought I’d get you a colorful watch. For someone as ambitious as you with all your Grand Life Plans, you’ll need a watch. Not only because you need to tell the time, but because having a watch really expresses a lot of personality. #cheesyexplanation I want to spend more time with you.

(that was actually a pretty ok line, because it’s based on the solid truth of how I feel about you) #apagslines

 

ACT 3 – THE CONCLUSION

 

By this time, you are probably tired from reading. Apologies. I guess I have a lot to say. But I’ll make the ending as short as possible.

 

Let me change my previous statement. No. I don’t think I Like like like like you. Listen carefully. You once said that “I like things clear and simple”. You don’t like guessing. You don’t like mind games. That’s actually a bit difficult. To be utterly and completely honest with you. It’s just that, I feel like you can be so guarded at times. It really brings out a lot of fear. And if I say the truth, I’m not exactly sure if you’ll trust or believe me. But Screw it. So here I go, making it as clear as I can possibly make it.

 

 

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This is what the next page looked like (p17)

So now, I guess, you’re asking: “What does this guy want?” Well, the way I see it, you’ve got three options right now.

 

Option 1 (recommended). You’ll let me court you and you’ll be open to the process of us getting to know each other. I mean, I’m fine with waiting, I’m fine with the process. Then we can go from there. Demanding ba? And maybe, no matter how much of a long shot it is, maybe you can fall for me too? Hahaha. Or eventually reject me. Your Loss. Joke. Super joke. If you reject me after courting you, then it’ll be ok. You don’t have to return how I feel for you, at least not yet. Rejection…hmm. Which brings me to…

 

Option 2 (not recommended, but still ok). Reject me now. Say to me that you can’t fall for me, and we can just be friends. This will hurt my enormously proportioned ego, as well as my tender heart hahaha. I will probably not talk to you for a few days or weeks, as I wallow in my sadness, but I’ll be ok eventually. You don’t even have to tell me the reason. You don’t even have to say those cliché lines like “It’s not you, it’s me.” or if there’s someone else (Adidas). You just have to tell me you’d only want to be friends and you don’t feel the way I do. That’s a much better scenario than not knowing. At least I’m not guessing. I’m very bad at guessing too. Let’s keep things simple, if you don’t mind.

 

Option 3 (understandable). You’re not sure. You’ll think about it. So you won’t say anything and keep me guessing. This would suck totally. I am usually a positive thinker, that there is nothing that comes my way that I can’t handle. So I’ll probably just make asa. And if you eventually decide to reject me, then I’ll probably be mega depressed that I might not talk to you for months. Note that I am not rushing you to respond if you’re not sure. But please, for my sake, if you really respect me and if you have a good heart, don’t take too long. But thanks for thinking about it at least.

 

Whatever option you pick though, I want you to know one thing. On my end, I’m NOT gonna be treating our friendship differently. I don’t want us to be awkward, and I’ll do everything in my power as an amazing actor to make it as such. No awkwardness, whatever happens. That you can be sure of. I’m not gonna be bitter or whatever.

 

So anyway, this letter is done. The deed, and my grand expression of how I feel is finished. I won’t linger on it any longer. I did what I wanted to do. I now have to stop worrying about whether I want to do this. I did it na.

Now, I’ll have to wait. And more importantly, I’ll have to hope. This is a big gamble. I don’t know if after this you’ll walk away from me forever. That I never get to see you again. That I will be known in the history book of your life as just some “older guy who fell for you.” So was this gamble worth it?

Honestly, I’m not one to gamble, it’s not my thing, but I guess I’m making a huge gamble nga with this gesture. I finally understand why people make gambles like this. Why they spend countless hours, countless resources, countless heartaches on such gambles. Because they hope that they win BIG. I don’t know my chances with you, but I stopped caring the moment this box left my hands.

 

I’ve made my move.

 

And I’m not afraid. I’m actually pretty relaxed right now.

 

I’ve made my move, so please, make yours. Buti nga ikaw may options. Hahaha. See you soon (hopefully) and take care Nike!

 

Sincerely,

Apags

 

Time finished Dec 21 11:58 pm

Starbucks, Katipunan Ave., QC

 

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What the Gift Looked Like

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I picked up these flowers that day

There is actually a part 2 to this letter. But I don’t think I’ll ever post that.

 

I guess I’m ending this post with three reflections:

  1. Never be afraid to let people how you feel – Especially if it’s a good thing. It’s so sad sometimes when you want to tell people how much they mean to you but you’re afraid that they won’t believe you, that they’ll be awkward of whatever. With what I did, I did not necessarily get the results that I wanted, and that’s ok. At least, I never had to wonder about what would happen if I never go to do it. I’m sure more often than not, things will end up better. You’ll surprise yourself. And even if they don’t, I think you still end up being a better person. Like me Hihihihih
  2. It’s ok to be alone – A year after this heartbreak, I think I’m ok. Sometimes, I wish I had someone who I can call at the end of the day, to just tell me I’ll be okay. And more importantly, I want someone I can call at the end of the day, and tell her that everything will be fine. Even if it seems that they aren’t. But you know what guys, even if there’s nobody like that in my life right now, I can still do that. For friends, for family. Especially my pamangkin, who is my life right now. And my mom, who I love very much. I realized that you’re never fully alone. Ang dami kayang tao sa mundo. And you are important to a bunch of them. Even if you feel alone sometimes, remember you can always find a friend.  Kung wala, I offer my friendship. Let’s friends.
  3. And lastly, time passes. Time always moves forward. Unless you’ve invented a freaking time machine. Life was designed to move forward. So, really, it doesn’t make sense that you don’t. Sure you can linger from time to time, but always keep moving forward. Pauso ka naman masiyado kung nag ooverstay ka sa isang time period. Everything will move, everything will change, don’t let yourself get caught up in the past.

That’s it. Thank you for reading this. And Thank you to everyone who made me feel a little less like a basura. You guys are so panalo. I am fortunate to be in your company.

And Now, Onward!

PS. Hi Suzy 899 <3!!!

 

“Sometimes walking away has a nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with Strength”

– from Trylife

 

EXTREME LIFESTYLE CHANGE – #apaghs

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The past few weeks I have been thinking about doing an EXTREME LIFESTYLE CHANGE. To be honest, I have been feeling pretty sad and tired. Perhaps sad because I’m tired? Or maybe tired because I’m sad. Whatever the relationship of those two are, one thing is for sure. I’m not completely happy, and I’m not completely energized. But I’m glad that I have the best groups of friends around, that even if I’m not exactly at an optimum level, I still feel ok. Even when I’m really not. For everyone who knows what I’ve been going through, this shouldn’t be a surprise. For those people that don’t, well basically I have been on an emotional rollercoaster, where most of the turns are going downward. Really, sadness, being lethargic and off-balanced-ness, these were principles I lived on these past few weeks and months.

 

Another confession: I have been trying to amuse myself when I write my poems, and when I write funny stuff on facebook, And it really helps me feel a bit better every time someone enjoys something I post.

 

A friend of mine once asked, “Do you consider yourself an artist, Apags?” Truth is, I can’t say that about myself all the time. Sometimes, I don’t feel like an artist. But I really try to be the best entertainer I can be. And entertaining people has always been something I enjoy doing. So when I post something, and it entertains you, I’m very happy with that.

 

Speaking of entertaining, that’s one of the reasons I am doing this lifestyle change, but it’s not the main reason. I want to entertain myself. I want a change of pace, I want a change of scenery. Kind of like when you get entertained with something on TV or on Youtube. You watch it because it entertains you, and it’s something out of the ordinary course of your life. It disrupts the same old routine we’ve become so used to living. I do have several other reasons, maybe you’ll see them as this article progresses.

 

So what is this EXTREME LIFESTYLE CHANGE I am talking about? I call it “Apags Buhay High School” and henceforth will be know as #apaghs. Which basically means, I will try to live my lifestyle back when I was in High School. And I guess, for that to make sense, then I sort of have to describe my lifestyle now.

 

MY LIFESTYLE NOW

 

If there is one word I can use to describe my lifestyle now, I would pick the word HARSH. I am a producer, director, writer, teacher, and a few other things that I’d rather not mention (there may be kids reading this — ie my students). I leave the house early or semi early, go to work, get home late (some days I don’t go home), and then do it all over again. I don’t have the luxury of time. Nor do I have the luxury of control. I live on shortages. To compensate, I drink, I smoke, I read buzzfeed, I pinterest, I 9gag like most people. Hahaha! I find all sorts of ways to try and cope with stress, which is perhaps the one thing my life does not have a shortage of. It’s really no way for anyone to live. Granted that it is fun because I get to work with the best people I can wish for, but it’s still difficult. And it really isn’t a way to live.

 

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MY PLANNED LIFESTYLE

 

My high school lifestyle, was pretty much the same in terms of amount of stuff I was doing, and the sheer stress and pressure that I had to juggle between my hands and feet. But I was a different person. I was full of energy, at a time when I should’ve been drained, vulnerably sprawled on the floor. And I loved every second of it. I was a student leader, I was a boyfriend, I was a brother and a son, I was the drummer of a band, I was an actor, I was defensive player of the year in my basketball team, and many more things I wish I can do again. And I want that energy again. I want that lifestyle again.

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For some of us (I would think for more than a few), high school was the best time of our lives. We probably got bored with school, but that was ok, because we were building relationships with people that we still hold close to our hearts today. So why not try living it again? Maybe it will be a nice #throwback lifestyle.

 

WHAT I’M GONNA DO

 

#apaghs is built on three premises. Time. Health. and Finance. And let me tell you a few stories.

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TIME

 

When I was in high school, I always woke up at 530 am, because I rode a school bus, and it picke dme up at 6am. I tried to sleep before 12. My friends will tell you that I stopped replying or I put the landline down at around 12. In cases where I needed to stay up later than 12, I still would wake up at 5am. I would get to school at 715 am, and have enough time to chill at the cafeteria before the bell rang at 7:45am. And no matter how tired I was, my day started when that bell rang. I was ready. I was prepared for a full day of learning. I also studied in spurts of 45 mins — the time a class ran. I had a five minute break, and a 1 minute silence bell. That was a regular schedule. And that regularity of a schedule helped me become as productive as I can be. Which isn’t the case now.

 

I spend more time working, sometimes too little sleep. And sometimes (and I’m sure so many people will relate to this), since time isn’t as regular, we put off things that we should be doing. We procrastinate, and we end up being less than our ideal selves. And that sort of destroys even the best of us.

 

HEALTH

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When I graduated high school, I was 141 pounds. Slightly underweight, but I felt invincible. There was a point when I could tap the ring in basketball; I have short arms (and immense insecurity of mine), so I was never able to dunk the ball. I was pretty close though! I could run a mile easily, I could lift heavy siz without breaking a sweat. I had no vices. Never had a drop, never had a hit. The only vice I had was watching cartoons, and overplaying video games.

 

Fast forward to the end of college – 200 pounds. I had set records for most beer bottles drank in a night. I had smoked more than a few cigarettes. Not proud of it. Pic for Reference.

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Faster forward to today – I did lose some weight. Did reduce drinking. Slightly bringing back some of the sportiness and athleticism I once had.

 

So the goal is to eliminate everything that damages my health: vices and stress (to the best of my ability). At the end of this lifestyle change, I plan to be that 141 — or maybe slightly heavier, my perfect BMI should be 160 pounds — guy, who can dunk the ball. Muscles, I hope you are still down there hidden in the fat.

 

So if you ask me to drink, or smoke, I might say no to you. I will probably be less fun that you are used to. Please understand. It’s not you. It’s me. Hahahaha.

 

FINANCE

 

Hahaha this will be a fun story. When I was in high school, I did not have the biggest baon in my class. I remember I had a girlfriend who lived in the super close to Ateneo place called FARVIEW (no typo there). Hahaha. And I made it a point to always try and bring her home. With my allowance, I could only do it for twice a week. I had to save every peso of that allowance (which was designed for my own survival alone). I invented this method called the 5 peso lunch. A few of my friends know this. I would spend 5 pesos during my lunch period just so I could have enough money to get a cab for my girlfriend — to FARVIEW — and for me to be able to get home to Pasig/Marikina on a jeep.

 

What in the bloody blue blazes is the 5 peso lunch, you’re probably wondering. How can someone eat on 5 pesos for lunch? Well, it’s easy. You buy 5 pieces of judge chewing gum for lunch, mix it with some happy thoughts, and you’re good until dismissal. And what the stomach lacked in content, the heart overflowed with love and romance and all that cheesy hulabaloo.

 

Hahaha. Fast forward to today – Money is not really a problem. Sometimes it is, but I wish I could save more. So it makes sense. Granted, I don’t exactly have a girl now that I have to eat a 5 peso lunch for, but I still think I need to save. For myself. For my shoes. Hahaha!

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?

 

I am writing and finishing this tonight at home. I am ready for this. I am sure a lot of people also are looking to change their lives. I hope that with this effort of mine, I can at least inspire someone, even though it’s only one person. I ask you guys to support me in this thing I am doing. It’s not gonna be easy. The cigarette wuitting alone I think will make me so angry and sensitive. I apologize in advance.

 

I shaved my head today, as the first step in #apaghs. So if you see me, I will look clean. A bunch of people that saw me said I looked weird. I had really long hair for quite some time, so this is a big change for them. It is for me. And no, I did not shave it because I want Duterte to run. Nor am I going through some life/emotional crisis, and I’m doing an extreme solution. It’s just a new thing, a first step. Really hoping this works this time.

 

So anyway.

 

The last beer has been drunk.

 

The last cigarette has been smoked.

 

I’m ready for a lifestyle change.

 

Maybe I’ll go back someday. Maybe I’ll have moments where I forget. But I promise every single one of you, that I will try my hardest to keep this lifestyle change going for as long as I can. And as some of you may know, I don’t shy away from trying something new. Something extreme.

 

Pray for me guys.

 

Wish me luck.

 

WHY I’M REALLY DOING THIS.

 

I am doing this for you Ate. I miss you. It was your birthday yesterday. I wish I could give you a gift, the way I used to. But I can’t now. So this will be my gift to you.

 

I miss you terribly.

 

I love you.

 

I am doing this lifestyle change to be a better person.

 

I aim for you to be proud of me, as much as I’m proud of you. I want to be in a better state, so I can be around longer.

 

I will try my very best to always be around for Mirka. For our parents.

 

This is me. I’m about to change.

 

Please help me through this, Ate.

 

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Eulogy for Ate Lora

By | apagspoetry, apagstheater | 5 Comments
Today is the one month death anniversary of my sister. To be honest, it has been very hard. And it has been harder to be okay, especially when I have to pretend to not be affected. I know a lot of people have been concerned, and I’m very thankful for that. But I also don’t want people to worry too much. I don’t want people to be sad when they see me or talk to me, so I try to stay as cheerful as can be. I am trying to be ok.
But honestly, there are days when it feels harder to sleep, and there’s nothing else to get your mind off things.
So tonight, let me share with you my Eulogy for my sister last June 26, 2015. I have edited this for easier reading. As you read this, please remember my sister. How happy she was. How much she meant to all of us.
me and ate hs grad
ATE LORA – June 23, 2015
(a Eulogy by Paolo Apagalang)
Good evening po sa inyong lahat.
Ako po ang baby brother ng napakagandang babae sa picture na ito.
Hindi katulad ng nga naunang magsalita, ako naman po ay sanay sa ganitong pagsasalita in public. In fact, medyo magaling po akong magsalita sa ganito bilang teacher ako at isang theater actor. Pero sa totoo lang, hindi madali itong gagawin ko ngayon.
Paano ko pagkakasiyahin ang buhay ng ate ko sa loob ng iilang minuto? Medyo imposible. Kumbaga yung buhay ni ate, sobrang siksik. At napakaraming bahagi nito ang nasaksihan ko.
Lahat kayo kilala niyo siguro si ate sa isang part ng buhay niya: kapamilya, kaibigan, katrabaho, ka-church, kasabay kumain etc; pero para sa akin, nakilala ko ang ate ko by default. Hindi kagaya ng karamihan sa inyo na pinili maging friend ng ate ko, ako, ika nga nila “wala na akong no choice”. Walang part sa buhay ko na wala siya. Except ngayon malamang.
Maiintindihan siguro ang pinagdadaanan ko ng lahat sa inyo na may kapatid. Yung kapatid na iyon older man o younger — hindi niyo maipagkakaila — na hindi talaga kayo lagi magkakasundo. Ganoon talaga eh. Hindi pwede. Kahit sa mga simpleng bagay tulad ng hatian ng cake, o distribution ng pamasko. Siyempre mas matanda si ate, so mas malaki ang binibigay sa kanyang pera noon. Sa akin 20 lang, sa kanya 50 na. Siyempre maiinggit ako. May nalulugi talaga. Off-balance kumbaga.
At minsan pag napapagalitan si ate, pati ako napapagalitan kahit wala akong ginagawa. Ganoon din naman, pag pinagalitan ako, siya din mapapagalitan sasabihin pa nga sa kanya, “hindi mo binantayan ang kapatid mo”. Kaya hindi pwedeng magkasundo kayo lagi. Eventually, pag pareho na kayong matanda, magkakasundo na kayo. Pag pareho na kayong adult at nag-mature na kayo.
Pero hindi kami nag-mature. Na ok lang naman. Minsan, sa mga pagka-immature namin ay may mga memories kaming nabubuo na sobrang nakakatawa.
The other night, binabasa ko ang mga text messages namin. Sure merong mga lambing-lambing-sweet-sweet-cheesy-cheesy, pero maraming away-away. Ganoon eh.
Pero kahit gaano karaming away-away, close pa rin kami. Isipin niyo, lahat ng mga taong pinaka-kayang niyong awayin, malamang, yun ang mga taong pinaka-close niyo. Di ba? Mga best friend, boyfriend, girfriend, kabiyak, asawa — ito ang mga tao na hindi tayo nag-sesecond guess o nagdadalawang-isip kung hindi tayo sang-ayon sa kanila. Ok lang sa atin na awayin sila. Kami ni ate, forced kaming magbati. Kailangan kaming hindi magkasundo, pero kailangan din kaming magbati agad. Ang ironic noh? Isipin niyo nag-away kami habang nakasakay sa likod ng kotse. Bago kami dumating sa pupuntahan namin, bati na kami. Haha.
Noong magkatumor si ate, ako ang isa sa mga taong hindi nag worry. Iniisip ko, “ok lang yan. Lets worry about it after your checkup.” Iniisip ko, “bata pa si ate, hindi siya umiinom at nagyoyosi.” Ang tanging bisyo namin ay maging mean. Pinag-uusapan namin kung sino mga artista yung panget, walang talent, masama ang ugali. Magaling kaming manlait. Tapos tatawa kami. Iyon lang naman ang isa sa mga trip namin sa buhay.
And then lumala yung sakit ni ate. Honestly, hindi ako masiyadong nagpupunta noon sa hospital for 3 reasons:
1. Nalulungkot ako – feeling ko powerless ako. Hindi naman ako crucial sa paggawa ng mga medical decisions, dahil mas parents ko iyong gumagawa noon at si Laurence (asawa ng ate ko).
2. Babawi nalang ako – iniisip ko na babawi nalang ako pag nakauwi ka na sa bahay ate. Na manlalait uli tayo. Na magkakakain tayo ulit. At pag nasa bahay, aalagaan kita ng wagas.
3. At higit sa lahat, hindi ko talaga matanggap – Iniisip ko noon, na sa tuwing pumupunta ako sa ospital, tinatanggap ko na may sakit ka. Na hindi ko magawa. Kahit ngayong wala ka, hindi ko pa rin matanggap. Napahirap ate.
Hindi ko talaga matanggap eh. Hanggang ngayon umaasa pa rin ako na gigising ako mula sa panaginip na ito at nasa bahay lang ako at pagkagising ko ay mag-uusap tayo. na magkwe-kwentuhan tayo ng mga buhay natin. Pero hindi. Ano ba itong nangyari? Bakit ganito? Bakit napakabilis ng lahat ng mga pangyayaring ito?
Kapag may nangyari na hindi dapat mangyari, kina classify natin sila into two things: chamba at malas. Chamba pag maganda, malas pag pangit. Pero ibig sabihin noon, may mga pwersa na beyond our control. Sa totoo lang, hindi ko maintindihan. Hindi ko maunawaan.
Hindi dapat nangyari to eh. Walang bisyo si ate, may anak siya, and a whole life ahead of her.
Ang nararamdaman ko talaga sa puntong ito ay nadaya kami. Kung anuman yung mga pwersang nagpapaikot ng mundo, nadaya kami. Kung sino man ang naglalagay ng mga baraha ng buhay sa palad namin ay dinaya kami. Ang daya na wala ka na sa mga bagay sa buhay ko. Sa buhay namin.
Wala ka sa kasal ko, pero nandun ako sa kasal mo. Nag drive pa ako para sa mg bisita. Ang daya.
Pag ako nagkaanak, hindi ka peperwesiyuhin. Hindi mo so-spoil. Hindi ka niya makakasama in the same way na kasama ko si Mirka. Ang daya.
Ang daya talaga.
Madaming mga gabi na nag-ddrive ako pauwi tapos umiiyak lang ako. Nag ro-rosary ako pag traffic.  Umiiyak ako kasi tingin ko nadaya talaga kami eh. Ilang gabi kong hinihiling sabi ko kay Lord, “sana ako nalang”. Kung hindi mo kayang pagalingin si ate, ako nalang ang kunin mo. Kung may nakalaang himala para sa bawat isang tao, yung akin, kukunin ko na, mabuhay lang yung ate ko. Kahit wala na akong ibang makuha pa sa buhay ko.
Sa dami ng kalokohan ko sa buhay, mas deserve ng ate kong mabuhay kaysa sa akin. And to think pa, ang daming walang hiya sa mundo. Araw-araw kaya kong magturo sa’yo ng tao sa diyaryo — na walang hiya na mas less deserving mabuhay sa ate ko siguro. Dapat buhay pa yung ate ko eh. Hindi nga para sa akin, pero para sa pamilya niya at anak. Sa totoo lang, natatakot ako para kay Mirka. Alam ng Diyos, kung gaano ako katakot para sa magiging buhay ni Mirka. Kami ni ate, lumaki kaming pareho na kasama namin ang parents namin. At hindi lang kasama ng parents, lumaki kaming naaalagaan, namamahal, at kung anu-ano pa.
Hindi ko maimagine ang buhay na walang nanay. Kaya ang taas ng respeto ko sa mga taong nabuhay ng walang nanay o tatay o magulang. Nabawasan si Mirka ng nanay. Ang daya. Malas.
Madalas pinag-uusapan sa ganitong sitwasyon kung gaano kasakit maglibing ng anak para sa magulang. Pero ang hindi masiyadong pinag uusapan eh yung kapatid na maglilibing sa ate. Ang sakit guys.
Sabi nila, “ang sugat pag handa kang tanggapin, hindi masakit, yung mga biglaan lang ang masakit.” Biglaan itong nangyaring ito. Sabihin na nating oo, two months nga rin siguro kaming na prepare dahil two months and coma ni ate, pero biglaan pa rin. At kahit alam kong may darating na sugat,  sa tingin ko, walang preparasyon ang magagawa ko para tanggapin ito ng maluwag. Ang sakit talaga.
Pero siguro kailangan ko ngang tanggapin. Hindi man today, kailangan balang araw magawa ko.
Isang bagay na pinagsisisihan ko ate is I never wrote you a poem. I always thought you’d be around.
So I wrote you this short one. This wont be the last.
ATE
Minamahal kong kapatid
Pisi man ng buhay mo’y biglang napatid,
Sana’y iyong nababatid
Na minamahal ka ng lahat ng tao sa iyong paligid.
Siguro tatapusin ko ito by saying some memories with my ate.
Ilang beses na naming napag-usapan ng mga friends ko, na pag magbaon ka ng ate sa suntukan, sure panalo ka. Pag kuya yung dalhin mo, may pag-asang matalo ka eh. Pero pag ate mo yung dinala mo, walang kayang gumalaw sa iyo. Buti never ko naman inabala yung ate ko na samahan ako sa suntukan. Pero from this point on, sa tingin ko, dahil alam kong katabi lang kita ate, kahit anong away, hindi ako matatakot matalo.
Maraming araw kaming nagbonding sa harapan ng TV. May time na kumanta lang kami bigla ng “Beat it” ni Michael Jackson. May araw na pareho kaming umiyak habang nanonood ng “A walk to Remember”. Maraming araw na umuwi ako ng early morning at nakatulog sa kama niya habang nanonood ng “The Soup”. Maraming Sunday kaming gumising ng maaga para magpaligo ng aso. Maraming hapon ang sinayang namin kakaisip ng kung saan mag-oorder, at kung anong oorderin, at mag-eendup na hindi kami oorder. Hindi maubos ang mga alaala.
Pero ang mga memories na ito ay hindi kayang i-summarize ang buhay ng ate ko.
Kung may isang bagay o quality na pwede kong gamitin para isummarize ang buhay ni ate, is that she was never afraid to matter. Hindi siya takot maging mahalaga sa buhay mo.
Anong ibig sabihin noon?
Ang daming taong natatakot maging mahalaga sa buhay ng ibang tao. Takot silang purihin ang ibang tao, kasi baka isipin mahina sila. Takot silang sumunod sa mga ibang tao, kasi takot silang abusuhin sila. Takot silang maging close sa ibang tao dahil takot silang masaktan. Yung iba, takot magsalita nang masakit sa ibang tao dahil baka iwanan sila.
Ang ate ko hindi ganoon. Makatotohanan siya. Kung may maganda kang gawin, asahan mong magiging proud siya sa iyo. Pag may gawin kang tama, magiging masaya siya para sa iyo.
Kung may mali kang gawin, hindi siya takot na maging diretsahan sa iyo. Hindi siya takot na awayin ka, o pagsabihan ka. Hindi naman siya perfect, pero honest siya. Kasi kung mahalaga ang mga tao sa iyo, at gusto mong maging mahalaga sa kanila, ang tanging sandata mo ay honesty.
Kaya kung may mga taong mahalaga sa buhay ninyo ngayon, wag kayong matakot na maging mahalaga sa kanila. Wag kayong matakot na i-encourage sila, at mas lalong wag kayong matakot pulisin sila pag may mali silang ginagawa.
Mas masama ang pinalampas mo lang ang isang tao sa buhay mo, pero ang totoo, ay napakahalaga pala nila. Don’t be afraid to matter. Don’t be afraid to be important. Yan ang buhay ng ate ko. Sana kaya nating siyang gawing ehemplo.
Alam ko, miss na miss niyo na siya. Ako rin. Miss na miss ko na siya.
Pero sana, lagi natin siyang ilagay sa ating mga alaala.
Mahal ka namin Ate Lora, we love you very much.
Your Baby Brother/ Tito Pao.

Courtship in the Year 2000 vs. Courtship in the Year 2015

By | apagsibig | 2 Comments

 

This is the first entry in my blog’s category of #apagsibig, or love reflections from Apags.

 

And no, I’m not trying to be an advice giver, or a love hater or any sort of way. I’m merely writing some reflections I’ll have about courtship. Which has been a lot in the past few months. Which has changed in the past few years. Maybe this can be a healthy discussion. Or maybe magkaka haters ako. Ok lang. Hahaha. Haters gonna hate.

Anyway, this piece will be a comparison between courtship in the early 2000’s (when I was in high school and college) and today (that I have a job). I’m also incorporating some things that I’ve learned from listening to my students today who have much more experience with this entire concept of courtship hulabaloo. I’m hoping this brings out a few memories, and some new reflections about love and courtship today. Hope you guys have fun with this! I will be discussing certain categories of comparison. If you can relate, gimme a shout out, and I’ll definitely read your comment. (Here is me in my hs class and me a few years ago – and a recent photo by the awesome Gracie Vergara, with Pong Ignacio’s camera hahaha!)

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Target Market of this article: 16-30 years old, Male and Female, who are interested in the concept of courtship. (Sorry this will be a lengthy piece)

 

COURTSHIP IN THE YEAR 2000 vs COURTSHIP IN THE YEAR 2015

 

I. TELECOMMUNICATIONS
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There is a major difference in the channels of communication from back then to now. I think this is a major difference. Does anybody remember the non smart phone texting age? We used old nokia phones. That was limited in terms of txt chrctrs. And we used to press zero twice because it was a faster “0”. And we had to delete messages when that envelope icon would flash at the top right of our nokia phones. When there was no unli text or call. When we had to make graphics using characters like /#&*(%(#? Kids nowadays will never experience that lack of resources in terms of texting. Speaking of kids never experiencing something communications related, do you guys remember the landline? When was the last time you used the term “telebabad”? When was the last time you used a “fonkard” or a pay phone for that matter?

Kids today will never experience the “mini heart attack” that was calling their love interest in the landline. I remember calling one girl I was really into back in high school. I would always wish that her dad or kuya doesn’t answer the phone. Today, wala nang ganoon. May unli text na eh! Kung trip kita, tatawagan kita sa cellphone. Para sure na ikaw sasagot. Today is the age of the FB chat, the emoticon, the whatsapp and viber, the hyperlink, etc. Which I feel has made people less expressive, more lazy. Want to tell a story about what you’re doing in the 2000’s? you had to use words, metaphors, very detailed descriptions, etc. Today, that is reduced to sending a picture. Sending a link to your instagram. Sending a youtube link. Dati, when you wanted to tell a story about your weekend, hand gestures at body language lang meron ka. Ngayon, “check mo instagram ko pre. Ganda nung beach na pinuntahan ko. No filter pare.”

I was talking to my friend, Kristoff, and he said something very interesting. “Ang landline ang nagtuturo sa iyong makipag usap sa tao. Kasi hindi siya parang chat na pwede mong pag-isipan at magdelay ng response. Pag olats ka makipag-usap, ‘di ka papansinin nung girl. Dead air is death.” Kailan niyo last ginamit ang salitang dead air? Wala ng ganyan ngayon. It’s lazy talk.

Wala ng kayang mag present sa class nila ngayon with an Overhead projector or with a piece of information filled big manila paper. Kailangan powerpoint, para madali. Madali sa nag ppresent at umiintindi. No one uses the blackboard. Can you imagine the time when there was no powerpoint? You had to rely on your own words, body language, etc. You think you can present that report on political systems without diagrams? That was a much bigger challenge.

II. COURAGE, THE INFORMATION AGE and SOCIAL MEDIA

Do you remember MIRC? I guess it was the first social media I remember. Yun ang mga unang hashtag. #boo #tops #mchs #obmc. Channels pa ang tawag sa kanila noon. Pag mapasama mo ang crush mo noon sa channel mo, alam mong you’ve made it na.

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“Social Media has made people braver.” I once said that. Then a breath later I said, “But it also made people more cowardly.” Let me explain.

How does the information age make us braver? Simple lang. It gives us information that prepares us for possible difficulties and challenges. Let’s say you like this person. What do you do? Of course, you talk to them, attempt to spend time with them. Then in your private time, you check out their facebook profile. “Oh she likes the Beatles!”. Boom. Social Media fueled courage. Of course, you’re gonna post something Beatles related, and hope she notices. Actions now have reason. What are their like pages? Oh she likes the illuminati. “Punyemas ano ba yung illuminati?” Kung ikaw si kuya, “wiggle” ka hanggang magka knowledge ka (wiggle is a term i made up for wikipedia-ing and googling). Then present yourself to ate girl as someone with the same interests as her. Information age equals bala na pwedeng gamitin para lumandi.

But how does social media make us cowardly? For the same reason. Because we find out things. You kuya, you hate the Cleveland Cavaliers, kasi nandoon si Lebron. Eh si Ate girl sobrang Lebron fan. So mag-baback out ka na. Magkaiba kayo eh! I’ve seen a lot of these. Because of social media incongruence, aatras na.

Ikaw, ate girl, marami kang nababasang facebook articles about how being single is ok. And then comes kuya guy, who you really like, but you won’t give him a chance because of all those stories you read on facebook about girls who gave guys a chance, and got hurt. So you ignore kuya guy because iniisip mo he’s just the same as other guys you’ve read about. Na he’s just after one thing. So you practice self-preservation. Ok lang naman! Trulaloo. It’s a bad thing to be hurt, that’s true. But maybe, missing out hurts more.

Before, when we didn’t have social media, how did people find out about their love interests? Well, the simplest thing is they ask. I remember my girlfriend before, when I met her, I was playing counterstrike. Then this one player was creaming one player after another. I’m angry. I say “WHO THE HELL IS THAT COUNTER TERRORIST SNIPER? BAKIT AYAW GUMALAW. LAGYAN KO NG BOMBA SA TUMBONG YAN EH.” This happened while I was buying buko juice right outside the computer shop. A voice says from behind me, “Ah, ako yon. Bakit?” I turn my head and see the most beautiful girl I’ve seen. And you know how I courted her? I walked her home every time we played in the computer shop. Walang facebook. Walang twitter. Walang IG. When I wanted to know stuff about her, I’d ask her while walking home. I guess that doesn’t seem too common nowadays.

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III. Summary

It’s true, much has changed since before. But what is the one thing that hasn’t changed. Courtship is still about knowing another person. Courtship is still about letting another person know about you.

Telebabads might have transformed into immensely long chat logs.

Threeway calls might have turned to Chat groups. (Dati YM conference call yan!)

Walking a person home might have changed into “I’ll instagram this S**t”

Love notes passed by mga taong “naglalakad” might have turned to “selfie tayo!”.

Dates have turned into “Hohol.” Yuck. Ang safe masiyado.

But one thing will never change. People still look for other people to connect with. And that’s the important thing I guess. Always connect with other people. No matter what the means. Because there is no greater tragedy than loneliness. Everyone deserves to feel connected to someone else. And whatever fears or problems we have, if we have someone to hold our hand during those times, then maybe, life won’t be as difficult as what we feel it to be.

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#apagsibig

(almost all images are from google search. But you know that already.)

NEAR YET FAR, FAR YET NEAR

By | apagspoetry, apagstheater | No Comments
Cover image

Cover image

 

(this is a part of my Director’s notes for DITO:Bahay ng Sining’s upcoming play, directed by me)

NEAR YET FAR, FAR YET NEAR – SILENCE REFLECTIONS

Director’s Notes

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written Director’s notes. So I’m not exactly sure how to do this. But here goes. Funny guy naman ako eh, so I think ok lang yan.

 

UNA sa lahat, thank you audience member, dahil nanood ka (or kung excited kang bumili nitong souvenir program na ito at intermission palang, na nanonood ka) ng palabas namin. Kung binabasa mo ito sa blog ko, salamat na baka manonood ka ng play namin. Kung friend kita or nakaka inuman regularly, i-eexpect kita sa mga show namin ha? Kung hindi kita kilala, i eexpect ko na maging friend or kainuman kita sa mga show namin ha? Or after the shows.

 

SECONDLY, you might be asking kung bakit “Near Yet Far, Far Yet Near” Ang title ng production. Nung nabuo namin ang materials nito (Hi Yaps Estagle my fellow writer), it wasn’t exactly easy to come up with a theme. Ok, sige given na, love plays ang mga ito. Pero, ang dami daming pwedeng sabihin about love, anong masayang pag-usapan? So after some thought, we figured out na one aspect of love na interesting gawin at i-intertwine sa plays ay ang concept ng SILENCE.

 

Sa panahon ngayon, usong uso, or prevalent ang self censorship. Marami tayong gustong sabihin pero ang daming factors na pumipigil sa ating gawin iyon. Pag may sabihin tayo or gawin na hindi kaaya aya, lalabas na agad sa facebook yan or twitter o kung ano mang social media mo. Ako din mismo guilty dito. Ayan tuloy nagpapaka overly safe tayo. At pag lumabas sa social media yun, nag susuffer ang identity natin. Na iinsecure tayo, natatakot. Yung older generations, mas bad-ass kaysa sa mga tao ngayon palagay ko. Just imagine, pag nanliligaw sila dati, or nakikipag landian, diretsahan. Ngayon, may mga concept ng “thing lang yan”, or “happy crush”, “sawi”. Dati walang ganun. Or baka meron pero hindi masiyadong napapansin, or hindi masiyadong nababalita. Pag may trip ka, attack. Eh ngayon? Kailangan stalk mo muna sa facebook or twitter, tapos pag match ang mga like pages niyo, or pag marami kayong mutual friends, or pag pareho kayong naglalaro ng COC, etc, doon ka palang mag-iisip na mag go. At pag mag fail, rekta na mag rarant ka sa facebook, or mag popost ng mga cryptic song lyrics to complain about why the world isn’t fair blah blah blah. The older generations? Bad-ass. Wala silang paki sa judgments ng mga tao. Malamang, nung time nila konting tao lang ang nakaka judge sa kanila. Pero sa panahon ngayon, mas na jujudge tayo on a wider scale. And sadly, at the end of the day, when we are unable to express a lot of who we truly are, slowly, little parts of us disappear or die. And a lot of people nowadays find it so harder to cope with heartache. Naturally may mga mag didisagree sa akin sa mga previous statements ko. Tama lang, may mga exceptions naman to my observations. Pero isipin niyo. Ang dami talagang whiny biatches today. Tapos false courage lang ang meron.

 

The plays talk about 2 kinds of silences. One Rainy Evening in April talks about not saying anything, despite having so many things to say. 10 Questions naman talks about saying so many things, but not saying what we truly want to say. Misdirection kumbaga.

 

So ayun, SILENCE makes us feel either near yet far or far yet near to certain people depending on the way you look at it.

 

Feel free to view the following pictures taken by Christine Chung:

Jerome Actor

Jerome Actor

Tarek Actor

Tarek Actor

Trency Actress

Trency Actress

Guelan Actor

Guelan Actor