in pursuit of happiness

two weeks ago i was chatting with someone who used to be my friend and he said that he wanted to be happy, and that for him meant he had to find the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with. i am insensitively bitter or immune to those things so i told him that happiness is overrated, we all do what we can and it has to be good enough, if it isn’t good enough then it has to do. i mean really, what percentage of the world’s population is actually “happy”. it’s so subjective and fleeting, i can go hug my iPhone and say “wee, i’m happy” and then suddenly weep coz i don’t have it with me right now, or i could eat my favorite ice cream and sigh “happiness in a cup, at last” then whine about all the calories i would have to burn afterwards. it’s absurd to be dependent on others for your own peace of mind. i remember some years ago when i asked that same question to a friend “are you happy?”, and i got this reply: “just contented”. maybe that’s the key – to be contented with what we have but then again i don’t think man was ever created to be content, otherwise we would have not invented the wheel or the microwave. there’s always room to innovate even if everything is working just fine. we are always in search of something better, something more meaningful, a purpose, a reason..

so today i sent this message to yet another friend “life is sad”, only because i’m like a sponge that absorbs all the negative energy around me, and when my cup overflows, i would need someone to remind me of my own words in the first place. he retorted that just days ago i was doing great and loving life then he asked what was bothering me. i couldn’t really say anything. for me, everything is a choice. i could choose to lament all the woes of my life and enumerate every reason i should be grieving but then where would that lead me? pumped up with tequila or contemplating to jump off the roof which is plain silly – i’m done with being angsty, it used to be fahionable in college, to wear your heart out on a sleeve and be an idealist who marches on the streets wanting the world to listen. the world is deaf, its a body of mass revolving around the sun. it is numb and neither will it stop turning when you fall down and hurt yourself. you will have to be strong enough to dust yourself, step back into it and get lost in its blinding speed.

life is too short to waste on melodrama, there’s the tv for that, for everything else there’s mastercard haha

even the best fall down sometimes

Hello again, it’s you and me
Kinda always like it used to be
Sippin’ wine, killing time
Trying to solve life’s mysteries

Been a long time since i last sat here to just write and think about you, i never really go to coffee shops to drink coffee, unless it’s Tim Horton’s iced cap, which by the way I’m trying to cut down on. so why am i here anyway? it’s not like you’ll magically appear out of nowhere and we would be talking about mundane stuff as if no time or distance has passed between us, while we try and fail miserably to extend the tolerance we have for each other.

How’s your life, it’s been a while
God it’s good to see you smile
I see you reaching for your keys
Looking for a reason not to leave

You’re this habit I need to break but I don’t really have the will to, being with you is almost like the age old tradition of sun worship which everybody else forgot the origins of and the reasons for, yet a few old souls like me still follow faithfully down to the last letter. Maybe i just don’t care if it actually means anything anymore; it’s an unexplained compulsion, an addiction, a fatal obsession that has taken away all the light in my world.

If you don’t know if you should stay
If you don’t say what’s on your mind
Baby just breathe
There’s nowhere else tonight we should be

if I could string enough words tonight to conjure you here beside me, then i will not put this pen down till my hand grows blisters and all the paper in the world are filled with stories of your closed eyes, and the laughter from the skies that I hear whenever I see a falling star. It’s those childish fantasies we made that still visit my dreams every night back when I used to sleep. it drove me crazy. Now, I don’t surrender to the night anymore, i stay up and drown those voices in music and letters that knows no end. i fight the darkness until I’m numb and I’m sure that i can finally retire peacefully into a slumber of dreamless sleep.

I dug up this old photograph
Look at all that hair we had.
It’s bittersweet to hear you laugh
Your phone is ringing I don’t wanna ask

Sitting here is like sitting on a church pew on a week day when there’s no mass and all I do is watch the sunlight play shadows on the altar while pigeons find corners to hide in. thinking of you is my way of going home to a sacred place, somewhere safe and untouched, a simple truth reminding me that all is right with the world and i can safely tuck my worries under the bed without fear of it ever coming back to bite me.

If you go now, I’ll understand
If you stay, hey, I’ve got a plan
We’re gonna make a memory
You wanna steal a piece of time
You can sing the melody to me
And I can write a couple of lines

I know you will probably just tell me again that you read too much of my words but understand so little of what I really mean. Well I guess all I wanted to say was..

I miss you.

music: Bon Jovi, “You Want to Make a Memory”

these small hours

wrapping up my last few hours here in the province of snow storms and heat strokes, i feel both relieved and at a loss. though i’ve learned a lot, there’s still a bunch of unanswered questions and blind curves. it would be nice to stay and be sheltered by these hallowed glass covered walls, but we can never really grow our own roots unless we fall off the vine and find a ground to sink into and bloom; so i guess there’s really not much choice here but to let go. slowly, painfully, we must cut the tethered ropes that bind us to the ground and let those cocoon shells crumble to make way for wings. somehow we’ll find our way through the dark maze of tangled vines and finally fly.

after filling my luggage with stuff that needs to be shipped back, i discovered that there was this one thing that i can never fit into a bag, seal tight and label off as mine. i was reluctant to leave it behind knowing how difficult it is to find something worth keeping only to realize later that there’s just no space for that in your life at the moment. i wish someday i’ll find something that would come close, and hopefully i’ll have enough room for it by then.

the sky is huge here, i noticed that last night while on a cab back to the place i temporarily call home. with the sound of unintelligible radio commentary in some foreign language on the background, and beside the people i have lived with for a hundred days or so, i know for a fact that the road is long and winding and filled with unexpected twists and turns, yet still the future is friendly for those who choose to travel on..

all that you can’t leave behind

halfway done stuffing my clothes back into the suitcase that i brought here 16 weeks ago. somehow, it can’t fit anymore, what with all the useless purchases i’ve accumulated over the past month. packing my things makes me nostalgic. it’s like turning a new page and closing another chapter in my journey. it’s always sad leaving things behind without the certainty of ever running into them again someday nor a flicker of hope that their future would somehow include you in it. this has got to be in my top three down moments, almost as depressing as new years and birthdays.

tonight i tried my best to put everything in but there’s just no more room, it’s either i get a new bag or leave them behind and give them away to someone else who might find them useful and would take care of them the way i would. any which way, the road is long and i’m not even halfway done, i don’t have time to stop and think too much about what could have been had i not crossed the bridge to where i am now..

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

it won’t be soon before long

Lately I’ve been spending too much time at the office, going home late and doing the same things over and over again. This could really take a toll on one’s mental health. I’m now almost certain that this is part of the cause of my current dementia. Well what is there to do when you don’t want to go home and see monsters hiding under the bed or blank walls painted with red stained hands – sounds like Identity, that’s how I know I’ve been watching too many slasher flicks.

All this distraction is actually a great coping mechanism – just go about my merry way and never for a moment give notice to the things which leave holes in me. Empty hollow spaces that remind me of what I don’t have, I don’t need and I don’t miss. What do you do when you have a bunch of white pebbles and all you really want is a shiny black marble? Tough luck eh?

Well, there’s still work, and so I carry on.

“..and it looks like I’m losing this fight
In your world I have no meaning,
though I’m trying hard to understand

And there’s a storm that’s raging
through my frozen heart tonight..”

somewhere i have never travelled

everybody has a happy place, somewhere at the back of their minds, a place where they can retreat to when the world has failed them, a distant memory that gives them comfort and keeps them sane. it may be that time when they were walking hand in hand with someone they love and the worries started to fade out of sight or that childhood moment when all was right with the world and everything seemed to last forever.

my secret corner is that time at the fiesta carnival when i was 4 or 5, my ma and pa at one corner table looking over a bucket of kentucky fried chicken while me and my older brother were busy riding bump cars. i was holding a hotdog on a stick and peeling the skin from it while kuya tried to steer clear of the railings. it was one of those carefree times that i would always go back to now whenever i feel sad or alone or betrayed or hopeless or bitter. i imagine myself riding that bump car and spinning round and round and round till all the troubles float in circles above me and finally disappear into thin air.

everyone needs a happy place, a nook where they can hide and be at peace with everything else.. where time stops hurrying for a while and lets one take a deep breath before rushing out into the fast and blinding world once more..

have you been to your happy place lately?

top of the world

went to cn tower last sunday, 147 stories high with a nice view deck and a 360 degrees revolving restaurant. the tour guide said it was the tallest tower on the planet, so literally we were at the top of the world.. *hum that karen carpenter song on the background* so that’s how it felt like to be on top, alone and empty and not to mention bitter, especially when you’re surrounded by couples smooching each other left and right. you would want to cut the railings and throw them out.

cn has a glass floor and you can look down all you want till gravity pulls your stomach upside down. i discovered i don’t have any fear of heights so i sat and rolled and jumped, wanting to feel the motion sickness that my friend nie was having.. no effects though, i probably left my feelers somewhere. one of the guests asked if it was safe to jump on the glass floor, the guide replied “yes of course, you can jump all you want, you only fall once” =p

riding the subway and going downtown for the first time was quite an experience, we didn’t know where to buy tokens or whether to get transfer tickets. finding our way to the tower was like traversing a maze, we encountered a couple of detours due to police barricades and falling ice. after the sight seeing, we missed the film and the roller coaster simulation and proceeded to dinner and shopping for souvenirs instead. i didn’t get any, i have a feeling i might be going back there sometime soon,.

next stop: niagara falls.


There is always something to chronicle when there’s absolutely nothing going on in your life. You can ramble on about the mundanity of everyday existence, the lack of things to do, places to go, or people to talk to. The void of not being in a relationship or the nuance in belonging to one, the absence of time or money or energy to accomplish something – these are but a few of the subjects one can use as an excuse to fill up space with more nonsense, as if the world listens or notices. But it doesn’t matter, it’s just a release. Writing something down behind the anonymity of blogs fills this need of expressing yourself and being heard. It deceives you into believing that someone somewhere actually cares.

I’ve read and seen a lot of ways on how to cope up with building frustration, Paulo Coelho suggests that you write it down on paper then let it be swept away by the waves of the River Piedra. I can just imagine the tons of trash filling that site if all people follow his advice. Nicholas Sparks offers that throwing a letter inside an empty wine bottle to the vast ocean would do the trick, this could be a romantic way of finding true love and yet that’s sacrilege to the marine ecosystem. Wong Kar Wai proposes finding a tree with a big hole and shouting all your secrets in there. This sounds like a plan, very environment friendly and all it entails is a map of the hundred acre wood and a pair of trusty hiking boots. But being the lazy lump of lard that I am, I prefer Lilo’s way of screaming everything on a pillow. All my huggable fluffy headrest are now certified deaf from this activity. My throat also aches and all I can do is drink hot tea and whisper to make it more bearable. Why do we punish ourselves like this? Are we addicted to pain?
On and on
She just keeps on trying
And she smiles when she feels like crying
On and on,
– On and On, Stephen Bishop –

Back to reality, I have job interviews left and right, something to stimulate the logic in me. thank God!


if there was a year in your life that you could go back to, what would it be? i would always say, 1997. it was a year of grand opportunities and missed chances. so many things i could have done and yet i chose to do otherwise. if regret was a word in my vocabulary, i could have said, without any hesitation, that i regret how that moment in time has affected the rest of my life. but regret is for losers, and no matter how bruised and bitter i may have become, i can’t just bow my head and accept defeat.

it’s not that i don’t like where i am right now, contentment has never been my best virtue so that’s not the issue, it’s just that that year is one of the biggest crossroad in my life. it’s like the choose your own adventure pocket book where you get to have different endings depending on your decisions: to fight it out with the big bad wolf or to run away and hide in the woods? i chose to hide in the woods, stay in my comfort zone, deny that i could ever be anything outside the little bubble that i invented and enclosed myself in.

now, eight years past i recall that little coin i flipped, what if i fought the wolf instead? yeah, i wouldn’t have met all those interesting creatures but hey, those kind of trees also grow in this part of the hundred acre land. i was just too much of a coward. i’ve always feared the unknown.

it’s really no fun to look back and think of all the has been and what could have been in your life, it get’s you all melodramatic and guilty but the good thing is, you get to contemplate on how you got here in the first place, that is especially helpful if you’re like me who just wakes up with a start every day and wonder: where am i? how did i get here? where am i headed?

why do we settle?

my friend is settling down. no, she’s not getting married. she’s going back to the guy she dumped sometime ago. no, not because she realized she loved him after all but more because her prospective quasi-perfect could-have-been guy left her high and dry. she’s exhausted of all the bad dates that her friends and family line up for her. she’s tired of all the nagging “you still don’t have a boy friend?” questions. she’s weary and jaded and i believe a tiny drop of rain could actually shatter her to pieces. tough luck for her, the rainy month of june is right around the corner. i don’t really blame her, she just can’t go through another emotional investment into some unknown enterprise that promises to be the best thing that ever happened to you, only to wake up one day that it has closed shop and filed for bankruptcy. so, anyway, that’s why she’s going back to her ex. because at least she already knows his moods, his ins and outs. she won’t be nastily surprised anymore. she’s been acquainted with his good and bad sides already, and she knows how to deal with it, how to make it work.

my friend is settling down. somehow saying it over and over again still doesn’t sound right. i can’t believe that the same girl with unruffled feathers who i met way back then is finally accepting defeat. she has conceded that there are no more good guys out there. why do we settle? maybe it just comes with age. maybe we are walking time bombs or grocery items with expiry dates. we go out into the world with dignity and purpose and dreams of belonging to nice homes. but once our expiry dates loom over, we throw away all that we once lived for, or fought for, or believed in, and we just concentrate on that one thing — to be sold, to belong.. to anywhere, to anyone. it doesn’t matter what we were made for or what we think we deserve. we are commodities with deadlines. the only thing that matters now is that we don’t get left out in the shelf alone, unsold, unloved.

why do we settle? because being alone is much more frightening than being with someone whom we don’t truly love. because we believe that love like any other language can be learned over time, with enough patience and perseverance. the rest can be endured. everything else except loneliness and the frightful weariness of solitude.



a quote like this is only good as forwarded sms, it is rarely applied in real life:

“it’s better to be alone for the right reasons than to be with someone for the wrong ones”