Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Alliterant Alphabet

or An Existential, Metaphysical, but Utterly Inconsequential Abysmal Alphabet

AB is for Aby
(c. 2014)

Abbot of aberrations (with abs) tried to abandon his abnormalities only to create a bigger abomination, abort now or be absorbed by an abundance (or absence ) of absurdity and ability and self-absorption? welcome to the abyss
there is no absolution for us, fellow aberrant
but it is A Beautiful day

D is for  DOODLE
(c. 2017)

Disquieting Dreams at Dawn Disturb a Dozing Denizen of human Drama, Drawing for him a Diorama of the too Delicate bonds of a family, of the Damning Duality of Displayed morality and of the Drabness of normality, oh Doodle doodle Doodle, to Desecrate or Deteriorate? It's a Debate, can you Dig it? Caan youu dig it?! Then Dig Deep down deep deep down and Discuss with the Dog his life and yours ,Dig Deeper and Discover the Delights of the Dungeon, Dig Deeper still and you will be Delivered to the Dragon,. Start Dancing

R is for RANT
(c. 2013)

Let me Rant and Rave, Remorseful for Rejecting a Romance I now (only) Repetitively Reminisce,
Let me Rant and Rave, Remembering the Ruthless Restrictions that had no Rhyme , no Reason.
Where is the Resolution to this Reluctant Repetition?
The Reclusive Renegade, who couldn't Release the Ruled from heR RulerRs
Is RuptuRed with RegRet.
But ReveRbeRates with Rage.
My Release, Repentance? Relish a more Ruthless Response than Rejection
My Respite, Reunion? (if there be) a Remnant of that Romance
Or my Renaissance? Rebound, Revenge
And Revel as I Raze the Roaches to my Rabid Redemption

Ish! is for Ish!, an expression of exasperation and irritation
(c. 2017)

How do we SHake off the SHadow that SHackles our empty SHell
we continue to SHiver as the truthful SHimmer of the sun
 is SHunned by the SHape of our own SHade
all our SHiznits amounting to SHit
but SHould this daily SHow of our CHarade SHatter,
in SHock
we will forever SHower in SHame.
When we SHed all the SHam, one SHall ask
who am I? Who are you?
SHoo SHoo away from me
SHot, SHot mo ketdi (a special expression)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to Develop a Reading Habit: Read One Page A Day

1) Read one page a day, that's it.

But since you are already here, stay awhile and  read the next 3. It is possible to go further because

2) There is always time to read.
Interspersed in the stretch of 24 hours you will probably have the time to:
wait in line, like this:

or to be stuck in something like this:

to eat somewhere without WIFI probably in a place like this:

or sit waiting for your poop to drop in something like this:

By reading during those times and adding a page before I sleep and sometimes after I wake (to stop myself from logging on to Facebook or Instagram) here's what I read this month of May to the first week of June:

(Books read for May to early June)

Quite a small feat for me who has an 8 hour job(that has nothing necessarily related to Literature) , a girlfriend, a cat, a dog who feels the need to join my jogging, hobbies, Facebook and Instagram accounts, the occasional beer or 2x2.
Yup, like many I am busy doing things that matter and things that don't.

2) There is no pressure- especially the pressure to finish a book.

If we live in a results and profit oriented world, it is important to set a special separate place for the things we do mainly for the process of having fun.

People can wait months for the next season of a hit TV show like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, and when the new season starts showing,  most people don't really feel the need to re-watch everything from the previous seasons. The same is true with your sitcoms, you just watch one episode a day or a week.

With books it is most definitely possible. If a book becomes too dragging you can always pause it, and start a new one, and maybe in another day you might continue the book as you would continue a TV show. Just a short recap will do.

My "currently reading" pile of books- you will need lots of bookmarks.

Or you can always abandon the book altogether because reading, in this case, should not be a chore. there is no pressure to finish a book  you are reading for pleasure. If you just can't or don't want to then you don't have to. The father of the Essay, Montaigne, says this much.

“I am not prepared to bash my brains for anything, not even for learning’s sake however precious it may be. From books all I seek is to give myself pleasure by an honourable pastime… If I come across difficult passages in my reading I never bite my nails over them: after making a charge or two I let them be… If one book wearies me I take up another.”

The right book for you is the book that you are totally interested in and for whatever the reason.
Of the books from the books read for May to early June, one was the inspiration for a 1979 cult movie that became a hit PlayStation game that my brother and I played to death, The Warriors(1965)(no relation to Golden State). Another book, The Spinoza Problem,  is the latest in a series of psycho-philosophical books written by an author I am currently following, Irvin Yalom. Another book, the Jabberwocky, I bought and read simply because I like the drawings.

Recently, my friends spoke to me about a genre they are into, the  Light Novel- a manga written as a novel.

These are times when there is always something for someone to read. Plus there are a lot of  bookstores selling second hand books you can buy at marked down prices.


3) Always Carry a Book

My brother demonstrated the three taps before leaving the house:
Tap for your phone, tap for your ID, then tap for your  wallet. 
For the fourth one, tap for your book, 

The time spent finishing this article or the time spent scrolling until you saw this is the same amount of time needed to read one page.

as a bonus -

4) Log out. Unplug.

Pick the right book or books and read one page a day.

(thanks to the traffic,Pila and the carenderia)
For the books in the done reading photo : thanks to aunt yoba for her pasalubong all the way from Missouri," The Spinoza Problem " all other books I bought at Bookends Baguio

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Anatomy of An Octopus Woman

We can imprison the body. Can we imprison the mind?

Just got back from watching "Anatomy of an Octopus Woman" at the Baguio Women's Jail Dormitory, I want to give a shout out to my friend, the director and one of the performers Angelo Aurelio. Thanks for inviting me, I was speechless enough to find myself writing this.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Anime Review: One Punch Man
Conflict is at the heart of every good story, even if it is a comedy.

One Punch Man is an anime that makes you laugh about other anime. It is a brilliant parody of all that is trite about other titles.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

First Eulogy for the House of Memories

By Aby K. Weygan

By the time I am done writing this, the old house of my childhood will be reduced to dust and rubble - flattened and paved as parking lot for its new owners' three cars. Moreover, the surrounding lots have been sold and mowed down to give way for more cement. Heavily, I feel that the memories of that place, fragments of my early life will forever vanish. 

Block by block, tree by tree- there is so much to remember, so much to forget.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


By Invictus

Photo grabbed from Flickr

This shortage of pebbles... this hole.
This shortage of patience... this rage. 
This rage... this human combustion... this conflagration.
This sinner... this mirror... this place called Sodom.
These words of God... this damnation... this fire goddess bound to burn in the lake of fire.
This burning feeling but need to be humble... this terrible experience... this humbling experience.
This boiling lava... this explosion... this aftermath... this regret.
This game called Playing God... these balls of fire... this s*** that backfires
These words like tinder... this inferno of a mouth... this pyromania.
These burnable dreams used for bonfire... this ash... this phoenix... this ascension... this mythical magic... this myth... this miss... dismiss!
This smoldering hope... this body... this cremation... this arson.
This titan who stole fire from the gods... this self-entitlement.
This jump from a window of a burning apartment... this escape... this reality… this escape from reality. 
This conviction... this Joan of Arc... this death by burning.
This Dothraki's Khaleesi... this mother of dragons... this Mary Magdalene... this Jezebel... this whore... this strength... this bitch... this resilience... this fiery woman. 
This burned food... this black... this food that stole your bike... these jokes that ignite hate. 
This magnifying glass... this sunlight... these ants... this scorched skin... these cigarette burns... this numb.
This trash... this incineration... this holy. 

This... This!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Children's Literature Review and Reflections: The Phantom Tollbooth

Concepts become characters in this novel where everything is a pun or downright metaphorical. A cross between Alice in Wonderland(with plot) and The Little Prince (with substance), the story is replete with both fantasy and philosophy-two of my favorites. Add some illustrations on the sides and you have perhaps one of the most unique, interesting and informative Children's Literature around.

This, I believe, is what kids, young adults (and kids at heart) should be reading.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Movie Review and Relfections: Minions (2015)

2/5 stars

In a spin-off from Despicable Me, the Minions now star in their own movie which is an attempt to provide a back story about these yellow creatures(while providing their usual slapstick humor) and an attempt to sell children(and adults) more minion products. The latter is sure to be a success. The movie?

Watching it is like watching a comedy duo, without the other half of that duo. Just like the scene in the Incredible Burt Wonderstone when Steve Carell, thinking he was good enough, insisted in performing even without his partner. It was broken act- full of unanswered lines.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Wager

A Wager

Two strangers
by the beach
the waves to crash

a wager if
the sea will reach them
or not

moons have passed
since then
half, quarter and full

the sea has moved on
(as it always does)
high tide and low

two lovers stand on a beach
the man touches
the sea
the woman doesn't

under the
glaring sun -
A spectacle
Of stillness

many more moons
will pass
half, quarter and full

waves will crash

the sea,
Forever moving
high and low

waits and watches

with a wager

Friday, July 3, 2015

Book Review (and some reflections): Cloud of Sparrows - Takashi Matsuoka

Samurais = check
Ninjas = Check
Geisha = Check
Zen monks = check
Cowboy gunslingers? =check

Zen allusions, sword duels, sword vs gun duels, gun vs shuriken, ancient Japanese culture = check!

What more can I, who grew up watching anime, ask for?

I was so used with the grand number of characters any long novel has (like that of Game of Thrones) that I was unimpressed with the humble number of characters listed in the 400 page book's cast of characters.

That, however, did not matter. Matsuoka offers a league of extraordinary heroes: An enigmatic lord whose plans surprise and baffles those around him(and the reader-myself), a legendary but lunatic swordsman, a gunslinger with an equal reputation and a motley crew of geishas, ninjas, monks who may or may not be what they seem to be.

And this is perhaps the only book that features a unique style in shifting point of views. Time and again, Matsuoka would get into the head of any of the characters. He does this really often, but he does so instantly, without signals, but gracefully without confusion on who was thinking or talking. 

Divided into three books, divided into chapters divided into short sub chapters, the novel is about Lord Genji's rumored prophecies and his clan's struggle to survive despite inner turmoil and battle against outside attacks from century old enemies. This is staged at a turning point in Japanese history where foreigners and their ways of thinking threaten the samurai and their code. Thus differences and similarities are magnified e.g. those between Zen and Christianity or between unequivocal words.

Ending this with some spoilers: quotable quotes and reading comparisons.

"What does 'banzai' mean?

It is an ancient way of saying 'ten thousand years.' The true meaning is more difficult to explain. I suppose you could say it is an expression of deepest sincerity, deepest commitment. The speaker is expressing his willingness to trade eternity for this single moment"

"Kawakami went into the cottage alone. It was not much more than a simple shed in one of the smaller gardens of the vast castle. Yet it provided him with the greatest pleasure in life.


Extended Reading:
The novel is often compared to James Clavell's shogun novels. Having read Shogun, I would say, that while Clavell's offers political intrigue, Matsuoka takes on philosophy, art and religion.

Not to take anything away from Shogun, it still is one of the best and most action packed reads despite bordering on 1300 pages, but I found that Matsuoka offers more details into individual encounters like scenes and dialogues. 

Fast, fun, facts and fallacies?

(bought this book from: Bookends Baguio)

1. Just how am I a junkie into Zen thought/philosophy? If I would be forced to choose any religion, then I would choose Zen(if it can be considered one).

2. What is with the samurai? That many (most men) find the warrior and the code so enticing?
Is it the artful tension between what is barbaric and what is civilized? - the blade and the killing it follows, the patriarchal status quo set against a supposed art of anything, or the supposed minimalism of movement/emotion that what could be beneath is actually an even greater emotion - the emotion to subdue, or an art that is too wasteful or a costly ceremony?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: Desire Provoked

Cliched as it is, remember never to judge a book by its cover.

I found this book from my dad's "To sell" pile as we were cleaning my grandma's workshop. I did not know the author and the book had one of the back covers that usually turn me off- a large picture of the author.

Old, to be sold(rejected), with a bad cover, with low goodreads ratings/readers, and written by an unfamiliar author, this book surprisingly turned out to be one of my best reads this month reminding me never ever to judge a book by its cover or its reviews. 

If you are into literary theory, you will mine this book for its "post"ness - rife with what is postcolonial(seen through his friend Than), postfeminist(through his wife), postmodern( through his neighbor Rosa). 

And through its main character Addams, we get to see how intelligent people do and think weird things, deal with their increasingly fragmented existence and still emerge victorious.

The story is masterfully told through a cycle of dreams, real life, maps, seances, and memories. 

Fast and fun facts:
Got it from: My dad's "To sell" pile of books
Finished: at a beach somewhere in La Union
Quotes: Saussere, Hegel and a whole lot more

ending this review with a quotable quote: 
"Attending one cause to the neglect of others inevitably foreshortens knowledge of the overall effect...the right breast is just as marvelous as the left..."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Review: The Seven Fires of Mademoiselle

By Aby Weygan

"The man must make the first move" so declares the unbelievably beautiful nanny Mademoiselle who finally falls in love not among with her many admirers but with a disinterested, balding fireman. Why with him when there are more handsome, and well off others? More importantly, how do you make a man make the first move?

Written by Buenos Aires born playwright Esther Vilar, The Seven Fires of Mademoiselle is a warm, funny, and instructive tale of a series of fires around Washington D.C and set against the backdrop of figures like JFK and Martin Luther King. Narrated by Carlota whose unique intellectual scrutiny misses nothing like: The hypocrisy of friendship, the hypocrisy of people who call themselves pro-poor or leftist-like her parents, the logic of crime, and the euphoria of arson. 

She is twelve years old. And has much to learn. With her diplomat parent always away, she spends most of her time with her French nanny, who in turn instructs her not only in French, as was commissioned, but also on love, courtship, manliness, and on a topic the Mademoiselle knows best, the arithmetic of beauty.

Fast and Fun Facts:
Got it from: Bookends Baguio
Relate much? I Think I too am balding :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Review: Embers by Sándor Márai

From Hungarian author Sándor Márai comes a meditation on many topics: friendship, betrayal and revenge; old age, with its solitude; music and hunting; and an excursus on love and fidelity.

Two men, friends since their youth, meet again after 42 years of their own self-imposed exiles from each other and from the world. Their last meeting was with a woman, now dead.  So what happened during the last meeting that proved so detrimental it shattered all the lives of those three? why did it happen? and why after 42 years must these two friends, a General and an "Artist", meet again?

These questions were enough to keep me glued with the novel but I was exasperated since (1) while the event should be about two friends who are meeting again for one last talk, we instead get to hear almost all the supposed "talk/dialogue" from only one of them. (2) This is magnified by the fact that no other character is explored save from those mentioned by the one character who does all the talking and reminiscing-often with a matter of-factly tone.

I was not approaching the story properly.

Often, however, novels like these need be read like poems. So instead of looking at poor word choice like how in a segment, the character had to referred to time and again as "the son of the officer of the guards said.. the son of the officer of the guards, the officer of the guards", or why "Embers" in the first place? all of which becomes becomes clearer towards the end. Instead of expecting characters, , scenes, events, descriptions, and resolutions of conflicts, I was now looking at expressions, insights, and be contended with the few but cryptic scenes-especially the one at the end.

Witty, unexpected observations on the human drama, and enough questions on truth makes this 240 page novel interesting enough to finish in almost a day

Fast and Fun Facts:
Got it from: Bookends Baguio
paraphrased quote and unwarranted reflection:
Only men, never women, know true friendship. Which brings to mind the fact of fickle reasons women fight each other, and how long those grudges last. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014


By Invictus

Digital painting by rondeevb posted on

Due to an unexpected turn of events, I am sitting with a middle-aged woman in a cab.
In a language my heart knows so well but my tongue alienates, she asks, “Nalpas mu mo’y ihkul mu?”
With ease, I reply, “Ohm. Mun-ngunowa’ mo, anti.”
Swiftly, I comb through my memory for a name, but I find none.
Embarrassed, I ask, “ngane eh bo’y ngadan mu, anti?”
She mentions her name, and every syllable discharges a hundred memories.
A distant relative, a childhood playmate’s mother, I remember now.
From petty topics, the conversation goes complex, and I find myself drifting away from the discourse.
My tongue, unable to merge meaning with words, resorts to code-switching to make up for my failure to speak my mother tongue fluently.
Ifugao and Ilocano seesaw inside my mouth, and for the first time, I feel ashamed of knowing more than one language.
Along with two official languages and two more regional languages, I have spent twenty-six years using bits and pieces of my mother tongue but have never actually cared to fully master it.
Years of usage has allowed me to wield every consonant and vowel so that I sound “native”.
But perfect articulation alone is never sharp enough to pierce through the natural flow of discourse.
For years, I have equated language learning with survival. But I know I’m not the only one.
Frustrating how the tongue never makes it to adulthood before it gets molested by some foreign language.
We treat our native tongue as if it was a snake’s skin we could carelessly shed after perfectly dressing ourselves with a language that is never ours.
We split our tongue and hiss words that preach self-loathing.
When inferiority complex coils itself around one’s identity, it is convenient to grab the sandpaper and rub the roughness away. And that is why we decide to learn how to speak the English language impeccably.
See, we, humans, tend to stitch pretty wool to our skin to fit in this sad world of commercialism.
But this lion of a body, this tongue so fierce it could summon the spirits of the dead, these feet that have walked mountains and fields, should never serve as a sacrificial animal to appease the pocket.
As I speak my native tongue, every word feels like gravel in my mouth. I taste my own blood, but I’ll never spit it out.
There are no grand metaphors to romanticize the hardship of life, no euphemisms to sugar-coat the gross.
What it has is simplicity, authenticity, and the mysteries of life passed down to us by the gods.
Words are harsh-sounding, and some get stuck in your throat, yet every slur in between syllables resembles the curves of the rice terraces.
A friend, whose first language is Arabic, has once said he feels like a warrior when he tries to speak Kankanaey, his mother’s mother tongue. And I praise him for saying that.
Another friend, whose mother tongue is Ilocano, has just said that Ifugao, and all other local mother tongues, is the language of the gods. And I praise him for saying that.
And so when the cab stops, I look at her and say, “hitu tau mo, anti.”

Saturday, November 8, 2014


By Patrick Puguon

It has been a year since.

I heard the news from her brother when it happened, and it haunted me the days after. It was a cold November evening as I took it all in. My phone fell from my fingertips when I heard his electronic voice speak out those unfortunate words. That day, I felt a stiffness overwhelm my body. I was in disbelief; a large piece of my life has been chipped away from me in an instant.

I have known her since we were younglings. When my parents first drove out to the countryside I met her. Hair like black gold fell lusciously down her shoulders. Those eyes bright with innocence stared thoughtfully when mine caught hers. Lips that always curved to a smile arched upwards as I strode closer to her. She spoke with a tiny timid voice, but it was heavenly for me. She was just as wonderful to behold even when we were children. That first meeting—that first talk, first touch—convinced me that she must be mine. Mine alone.

But she was taken away from me.

I listened to no one. Their words were vague and blurry, but I seemed to recall phrases of apologies, condolences; remarks of enthusiasm, hands clasping my shoulders—as if any of these would make me forget the undeniable fact. I will never be whole again.

So I began to dream of her. It was a recurring trance of sorts every time I see her when I fall asleep. I always try to reach out to her with my arms outstretched, failing to pull her closer to my chest and simply give in to her warmth. I ran after her as the image dims in each and every instance, but I would never reach her or even touch her. All I see is her back turned against me, only the slim silhouette of a lifeless body burned into my head. She looks back at where I was, but she gazes blankly—like the emptiness of the dark.

Then she stops looking back.

As I continued to dream about her, she no longer attempted to look back at where I was—only appeared farther and farther away from me. It pained me that this made it more difficult to remember her face. I could only describe it but I can never see it again.

I forget when the din of the outside world became a shallow whisper. Each day I go to work, I succumb to a screeching chair and a vacant screen. For hours I would look at it, wondering if this was what she saw when she looked back at me. My boss told me I have been laid off from work a week after; the reasons were gibberish to me. I was only scrutinizing the carpeted floor of his office as he spoke. I began to deprive myself of sleep. I did not want to see her leaving me again.

So she visited me while I lay awake.

I began keeping all her things I have in my apartment into a box—remnants of my fondest memories. I stored them in an unused closet never to be reopened for my sake. But they seem to have a life of their own.

On one occasion I find her necklace on my bed. I was startled and terrified, then angered by such a cruel joke played on me. Who would have the nerve to do this to me? On another I pick up torn pieces of her picture on the floor. I cried as I took each one of them from where they rested. Why would anyone wish to tear the only photo I have of her?

Finally, in the middle of the night I see her face on the bathroom mirror—all the hair at my nape rose in horror. A familiar chill ran down my spine. It was only for a second or two, but that same blank stare crept into my very soul. She was sending me a message.

Thus she came closer to me as I lay on my bed. I was petrified and paralyzed. I was screaming in my head, but my voice failed me. She inched even nearer, her hand outward towards my face. Her fingers were cold, but they stroked my cheeks—then my neck. She leaned closer to look at me in the eye. But her face…I saw no face. No eyes, no nose, no lips—only the pale colour of her skin. Mouth-less, she spoke to me the very way she spoke to me when we were young—that tiny timid voice.

She told me I must be whole again.

She visited me again a month before our anniversary. On that same bed I could not bear look at her. She caressed by bare chest, my arms, as I tried to edge away. I felt her begin to lie beside me. As her skin touched mine, my breathing halted—I was disoriented and only panic surfaced. She placed her arms over me and clasped tight. That voice that I once found to love as a child now slithered into my ears like a shrill chorus of dread.

She whispered to me that I must be whole again…with her.

I now see the truth of her words as I stand by the edge of a concrete precipice. I peek below and gape at the dark chasm beneath me. It is the same dark oblivion that she saw as she looks back at me. There is emptiness inside of her that only I can fill. We must both become whole again—and only our bond will make it so.