Day 2: preamblic foundation


“We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.”

– Preamble of the 1987 Philippine Constitution

1: 05 AM

Dubai

Early Wednesday morning

I read an article today called Pinoy Ka Ba? Are you a Filipino?  My mind wandered in this seemingly chilly morning.  I opened my terrace door to let the breeze in and asked myself the same question . . . and then, I remembered my Social Science teacher and how he spitted the Philippine Constitution at us for 6 long months that I, in fact, studied its loquacious content and did my own spittings on paper, thus, garnering a decent grade of 1.5 at the end of the semester.  From there I began reconsidering the study of identity.  Of nationality.  It has been a while since I actually considered myself  “a Filipino”, living abroad for thirteen years,  until recently when former president Corazon Aquino passed away and Typhoon Ondoy rocked its calamitous hands over Manila and wiped out thousands of houses and left the entire city in ruins.  I don’t know.  There might be something about the advent of sadness that makes you grope for origins – for solidified genus.

I am a Filipino.  I was born by Filipino parents, Jun and Nenette.  My roots are both Spanish and Chinese like the rest of the pack or how we Filipinos always claim to be being multicultural or being culturally lame depending on which comes first.  I guess it is clear that in the last century we have been invaded by the Chinese, the Americans, the English, the Spanish, you name it,  thus we belong in an epoch so transparent that it has become “multi”  in a sense and have incidentally transgressed into the term:  Pinoy blood clots.  How I wished I belonged in the more tribal heritage like the Igorots, the Mangyans and the Aetas for which it has been told have been the early settlers of the islands before the more popular Spanish and Chinese came to vent their flock.  I could have introduced myself as someone  whose bloodline condoned ritualized warfare and someone who actually established a plutocratic society before my current self became addicted to Emily Dickinson, cigarettes and McDonald’s . . . but no, I belonged in a generation of Filipinos who proudly acknowledged that being Filipino is being half Spanish and half Chinese.

So where do I go?

My father’s father is a Verzosa.  His family is a second generation full blooded Spanish who settled in Zumarraga, an island northwest of Samar after his cousins found their way up north, in Ilocos Sur, where the Verzosas flourished like ants.  I guess my grandfather’s father liked the sea and as the story went, they became fishermen who became businessmen and who fled the island eventually and went to Manila to score heights of soldierdom during the Japanese occupation in the 40s.  My grandfather was a guerilla – a war rebel.  Now, that is something I am most proud of.

My mother’s mother is third generation Chinese.  They all grew up in the island of Leyte.  Beautiful, fair skinned beauties – my grandmother and her sisters.  They were goddesses with their silk skirts and scented fans.  They laughed timidly and talked murders, bankruptcy, clandestine affairs and sexual conquests behind those fans coming and going to church, walking in the muddy dirtroads of Jaro, their scents swaying along the coconut trees that towered along the salog or the river as they call it, mumbling the gospel – all at the same time.

I grew up in Manila, Ilocos Sur, Leyte and finally, in Zambales, where I spent my bantam days all throughout high school.  A huge green province in central Luzon, the home of  the great Mount Pinatubo, the host to wide open black sanded beaches and noted for its very delectable mangoes.

So, I am a Filipino.  I guess like any other, I belong in a story – an epic of a story – among my forefathers who were both Chinese and Spanish.  A tribe of their own.  And as a quintessential Pinoy blood clot, I walk fiercely in Dubai like any other New Yorker or nap in afternoons like any other European.  I eat Indian food and I simply adore Thai cuisine.  I watch The Filipino Channel every night and have read Franz Kafta and Ayn Rand back in college.  I use my feet to pick up things on the floor and I, more often than not, submit kindly to chick flicks and cry to them too.  I respect people who are older than me and yet I lash back not-so-gently with people who makes me furious.  I speak three major dialects fluently: Iloccano, Waray and Tagalog.  I believe in ghosts and I believe in UFOs.  I believe in my Catholic God.  I believe in common-law marriages.  I smile ferociously towards my enemies and I will kill with glee if anyone hurts my family and the people I love.

I am a Filipino because I can be everything.

2: 23 AM

In my Purple Room

I randomly read The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama.

He was not for romantic love and called it a negative thing.  I threw the book, half frowning and slept.

9:45 AM

 

I was at the Dubai Metro this morning coming to work,  listening to Chris Daughtry and falling in love with Over You, my the song of the season.  I don’t know why I was so drawn to his voice and to the song.  I am not,  in any way, feeling dumped at all, I just like listening to it.  Maybe I like the way his voice heightens and then slows down to a sexy grind in three notes.  It is pure talent I guess.  The way Mariah Carey came out in the early nineties and before she repackaged herself into a shimmering slut.

Then a baby cried from somewhere.  A cry so sharp and shrill it made me frown amid my in love mode with Daughtry.  It cried all the way to my stop.  I turned up the volume of my MP3 but it still did not work.  Apparently the baby was the anti-Christ who did not stop wailing all throughout my train ride and I second the motion: designed to ruin my preamblic foundation to nurture my artistic soul of the day.  I smiled and looked at the sweaty dad rocking the baby back and forth.  He looked at me and winked.  I wanted to tell him, “You are so lucky to have that scandalous child despite the fact that she can derail the train with her demonic hoots . . . You are so lucky you have a demon child that you can call your own . . . ”

metro

I proceeded to work and lazed through it.  I made important phone calls, received important phone calls and made sure my calendar is up to date.  It wasn’t.  To hell with it.  As long as I complete my workshops I will be alright.  I should be up and early tomorrow for Abu Dhabi.  I will be riding with my boss, so, that is good for my reclusive austerity condition.  A free ride always works for me.  Transportation in Dubai can kill the pocket and a bohemian as I am, I chose to be an avid commuter.  I like commuting.  It is basic.

7:17 PM

Home

On my way home, in front of my building, I sniffed my very first wintry air.  I think it is official that Dubai is getting cold.  I know this sounds freaky but when I reached my floor I went directly to the terrace, opened the glass sliding door, went out, put my arms in the air, closed my eyes and welcomed winter.

7:57 PM

Home

I am fat but I refuse to be depressed right now.  I just opened a can of beer, smoking my Marlboros and listening (yet again) to Chris Daughtry: good vibes homing nicely in my very own can of open spaces.

I have been coughing for about a month now and I am beginning to worry about dying young lately.  I have been addicted to cigarette for years and . . .   No no no no no I am not getting depressed.

So here is a thought,  if I died tonight, how would everything be?  Yeah, come to think about it – how would the world be without me?

1.  Nothing.  I am a nobody and no one would actually do a commemorative concert in honor of me a year after I died although the fantasy is so ticklish I can smell renditions of Tori Amos and the like being sang by my friends with my big FAT picture on the tube and my goth fans screaming and weeping at the same time.

2.  My readers will hate me for not complying to my 50 day writing plan of action.  It is preemption and that would absolutely suck !  Well, come to think about it, the cyber universe is my “only” reader at this point so I could care less.

3.  My nephews Joaquin and Jed would end up not knowing the beauty of writing.  Both boys are voracious readers at 10 and 8 respectively and I want them to be writers like myself and my grandfather Gavino. Unless I remind Angeline, their mother, to do it for me, then I will be very much prepared for the pearly gates.

4.  My future theoretical lover will NEVER MEET ME and that would be a shame.  I am so special to be missed.  Imagine having a control freak, a poet, a manager, a mother, a Rasta apostle, a love addict and a whore rolled into one?

5.  The industry will lose a real talent.  Enough said.

6.  My mom will never forgive me.  I mean, she was the one who taught me to thrive on and then I die.  L.O.S.E.R.

7.  Chris Daughtry will never have the privilege to know me.  And to touch my thighs for that matter.

8.  My best friends Elvin and Norman will curse my grave for not being there in the opening of our soon-to-be-built brothel in Baler, Aurora.

9.  The Dalai Lama will never have the audacity to counter my romantic self .  He would’ve missed my thesis on Eros and its “negativity”.

10.  I would’ve met God at a time when He is uncertain of Catholicism and divine intervention.

Too tipsy with beer now I need to stop this.

10: 15 PM

I crawled to bed and slept.

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