I found out that I wasn't alone in chewing sponge. I mean, I haven't chewed sponges yet, but I really have to admit I fantasize about chewing one. It's relaxing. Chewing gums are good but as long as I have three, four of them inside my mouth and chew them. It may creep you out but they say it's like a stress ball for the jaw.

Phantom Limb

At 3:30 AM I woke up and felt like it was the best time to wake up, like it was morning, ten minutes before my 9AM class. I tried reading handouts from my argument class but thought of the broken ornament on top of the fridge--a gift from a dear friend. I had felt this way before over a deal with two elephants carved out of wood which I didn't buy in an antique shop because I suppose nobody would want it, just like my father had thought of the Twin Towers when my sister had wanted to take a deep breath on its topmost floor a year before it collapsed; "the building stays there," he said. The broken ornament was made of clay with the length of my middle finger when amputated, yet like every longing it is illusory, delusional, but the pain aglow when fanned, as you would a charcoal with dying embers.

Some sort of car wash

I would start this with sometimes, or it seems... but never I hope, or isn't it?

The recent weekend we have had felt like a conversation between dreamers who wanted to express their visions through writing. They were both inside their coupe in some sort of a car wash with the foam and the mist and the bubbles. They both thought it would be apt to say something about their dreams last night, which is:

Man has dreamt a lot of flying. Whether or not Freud lived, this is true. We just wanted to fly.

"Berlin is such a splendid place in my dream."

They waited for the process to end.


730AM: Two heaps of Monster Muesli's Hi-Fiber thing with soya milk, because I want to lose weight. I've had four brands of Muesli in my life, at least here in the Philippines: Simply Cereal's All Swiss was my first; Lowan, my second, was taken out of the shelves of Trinoma last September, since they realized I was the only one buying (they gave me a buy-one take-one deal, though); Carman's; and this time, Monster Muesli.

I really have this craving for something to chew every time--and I'm not talking about gums. I'm talking about a good deal of jaw exercise.

830AM: Smoked a cigarette out of the cold.

10AM: I bought a bottle of mineral water and a revel bar for a quiz. Didn't really help a lot.

1130AM: I ate a single banana.

1230PM: I ate adobo and anchovies-stuffed olives in egg with rice. Side dish: kimchi and grated carrot-and-radish in nuoc mam.

1243PM: I ate another banana.

5PM: Fried chicken from Cadapan's, gravy, munggo, a cup of rice.

749PM: Silindro Ribs from Faustina's, corn and carrots, a cup of rice.

Juxtapositions on my uncle's death

1. It seemed to me that my uncle had died three million miles away from my apartment. The distance had been the same since we left our sinking hometown.

2. Right across my apartment a proprietor hung a HOUSE FOR RENT sign with contact details.

3. This coming saturday marks the christening of a friend's daughter, a halloween party, and a tentative burial.

4. My father would always tell how the Christmas carols irritate everyone in my uncle's house. They were altogether unforgiving. My bedridden uncle vomits at the smell of food, and there were several hamon commercials every now and then, aired at midnight, my cousin turning down the volume.

5. During a visit, my father said he could busy himself all day watching trains pass by.

6. There is an abundance of references of fifty-centavo films and the songs they had lived with in the past.

7. A scene I remember: I was a kid when my uncle gave me an atlas wrapped in those National Bookstore saleslady jobs. I would want to describe at length at how the wrapping did appeal to me: it seemed well-meant, warm, but by the time I brushed my fingers as I would a tombstone with dust, or a foggy windshield, I knew it was someone from National Bookstore who did it. The entire thing--the wrapping, the gift--seemed like a painting only described in words, a painting the painter himself have never seen before, instructed only by a boy three months shy of six years old.

8. At some days, years ago, I would imagine my stoic regard when confronted with my father's death. I would think of his retirement and how I would splurge it on impulsive purchases. I had never been scarred by a death this close (the fact that it was three million miles away); though I wanted to keep it at bay, it still loomed there, at the horizon. Now, at twenty, I realized, I don't want my father to die, let alone tread along the same shore.

9. There is this undeniable convenience about death in terms of fictionalizing things. It's been as easy as making flowcharts when plotting people's deaths, or a murder in a whodunit, but in real life I would rather prolong the story arc, and it would be a line without any downfall, without any pause--

10. (To think that in films, deaths are depicted in lines, heartbeats, whatever that is on screen which beeps death as an eternal one, a horizon perhaps.)


Almost I rushed from home to tell you this
the burst I felt, the eyeglasses you left
that night when you couldn't see beyond the fog

18th Century

As what this Turkish culture site says, this is a "caftan with short sleeves associated with Mahmut I (1730-54)." It's a "thick satin with brackets of ivory satin triangle decorations". I am willing to wear this the way a wizard would, because the pattern is beautiful.

Yesterday I was very much interested with cloths/fabrics. I found out that the curtain I liked the most is not canvas, but calico. I noticed that some writers are very particular with what their characters wear, though it may not be helping some readers in picturing them because of their inadequate knowledge about damasks and seersuckers and garibaldis. It all started with this Joan Didion article.


When I read Didion's writing, I imagine her folding newly-laundered clothes, the ones fresh from an American dryer, and segregating them according to their color. It is fastidious in every aspect. She does this on a white, king-sized bed, and it's always morning.

Batanes Plans

For years I've been trying to swerve from my father's fate in budgeting. It runs in the blood--my eldest sister is known for her shopping sprees, that gastadora in her every time her payroll arrives. The three of us are lousy budgeters, a habit inculcated by materialistic one-time big-time purchases. I usually buy shirts and food and books from Powerbooks (the last book I bought was Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close--then I convinced myself, after the Ondoy incident which left my Powercard tampered, that Booksale is so much better), but now I end up buying brewed coffee at the nearby Cafe La Bonne Vie.

It would be an achievement since I've never saved something so long--saved money would only last for two weeks in my pocket. This semester I'm trying to stay away from expensive restaurants and instead, save up for a trip to Batanes this coming January.

I believe Batanes is a place worth saving up, probably because of cold water and the Scottish countryside feel. Cliffs and islands. The greenery. The solitude even Vigan couldn't provide.


One of the most commendable posts in The Paris Review is their article about Google Street View, embedded with layers of Lewis Carroll and Jorge Luis Borges about the idea of a "grand map". There seems to be a lot of hyperrealism going on in Google Street View, both the construction of a "reality" and its glaring similarity with ours, and its being "reality" itself, only rendered in pixels. Either way, I perused my way to my sister's house in New Jersey, my niece's playground, or Bleecker Street. It really is deceiving, in many ways.

At Monocle Magazine they featured 192 Books at Chelsea. I spent an hour perusing graffiti books.

I lit my first cigarette stick in New York in this intersection--in front of the New York Times office, at Port Authority. The entire pack cost me $12, plus a stringent inspection of my passport (maybe I look like--or dressed like--a minor).

The very intersection in Ridgefield Park where I wait for the bus to New York. I used to fetch my Mom here. I've taken pictures of this intersection, but in many ways, Google Street View is a different picture: it's much more interactive, much more touching. The blurring, the digital glitches and limitations (for Google hasn't recorded every other street in America--more so, it has never attempted to roam around third-world countries like ours), the slow Internet speed I have in my college apartment is a tale of archiving memories: sometimes distant, but all the same--a sensorium.

It looks like a version of Sims, though a distant version with real-life images. It still lacks movements--no sensory accompaniments other than the visual. These are snapshots of what our future can be, of what has passed, of how we reconstruct places, memories, reality.


Trains. I would rather board a train than any other transport there is simply because of the view. I'm referring to trains in Manila. (New York subways doesn't have much to offer.) It's a little above the buildings, so you see a whole new terrain of dismantled mannequins on abandoned stores, lots of clotheslines, closed windows, opened windows, people with empty faces, people who liked afternoons. It's the solitude of transience which takes you to another city with endless possibilities only the fictional world can accommodate.

Of course, the songs I listened to:

Marching Song by Esben and the Witch

Family Romance by Department of Eagles 

Reader #1

Around 2PM yesterday. HM Bus, Cubao-Sta. Cruz. Probably bought at Booksale, in Robinson's Galleria (shown by the nondescript white plastic bag). A fifty-year old man reading this with his glasses. He seemed to want to kill the time by just doing something familiar, like reading a book. Black watch.

I have no idea what this book is, but it has a floor plan before the first chapter. I eavesdropped, alright.

/edit: It's a book entitled The Poison Place by Mary E. Lyons.