Chapter 3: The Diary Of The Virgin Not Pure


3.  THE DIARY OF THE VIRGIN NOT PURE

  

 

 

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

–  Starbucks

 

from MY LIFE IN 50 DAYS:  NAKED

I was sexually abused when I was 8.

When you are 8 years old and you are beginning to see sex as something powerfully inviting, you begin to seek someone who can give it to you and will pick an age to give it all away.  I picked the age of 18.  I was too presumptuous and wrongly uncanny because I got it at 8.

He was in his late 20s, my sanctified family member who was vacationing at my grandmother’s house.  It was the summer and I was, at the time, fresh from muddied playoffs with my cousins.  There was no electricity that early evening and so the whole house was lighted with candles.  Family member asked me to bring him candles. I brought it inside his room where I saw him sweaty with no shirt on.  I was illuminated inside by his glistening skin and wished I could peel it.  He asked me to lie in bed for talks.  I did.  Before I knew it, I was smothered by the smell of his sully armpits and as he kissed me full on the lips, I discovered how commanding the tongue can become because before I can even repudiate its foyer-like demands, it was already poking my intestines and cultivating my soul deep deep down.  I liked it.  An hour or so later, I left the room ripened by sexual characteristics I did not know my body had.  Also, I was reborn into someone whose games did not just involve mud throwing and hopscotch but also medianed my fury and sparked my desire.  At 8, I did not understand most of it but through the years nursing what happened that night, I considered variations from bitter to sweet and then finally . . . to calm. From blame to my own version of mutiny and then finally . . . forgiveness.  Understanding something is not easy but as my mother used to say, “Surrender it.”  It took years to understand what happened that summer but it was worth the wait.  It was clearly a blueprint.  Not a tragedy.

The books called it sexual abuse because something was taken from me at an age when I was legally a minor.  It was offensive, unlawful perhaps, but it has awakened me more than a person my age actually did.  When I saw Family Member many years later, when I was in college, I spoke to him.  No, I did not talk about that night.  I looked at him straight in the eye and awkward as it was to him (and difficult to me), I asked him about his kids and he stuttered through his words and told me they were doing OK.  I touched his shoulder, as a grown man would do to a relative that he has not seen in a while, and said, “Give them my hugs.”

 

 

THE CAMP

TAGAYTAY

December 14, 2010

 

 

He was very French in all his poetic essays back in 17oos as Voltaire said , “It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge.”  I have been ignorant many times in my life and I have gone past my virginity on many levels and forms but in more ways than one, I do not think I have learned the value of virtue, the barrier of knowledge and confusing both for redemption until I left the mountains of Tagaytay that day.  I was on alpine grounds. A refuge (not refugee) camp that would remain nameless (until I changed my mind) as appealed by its wonderful parish counsellor.  I clutched my S.T. Dupont travelling bag and secured my laptop inside as I rushed out of the cerise building where I stayed for three days to sift the off-putting memories of late.  I have been writing THE PHILIPPINE DIARIES for about seven weeks now and have programmed its last three chapters inside its quarters. 

Brother Luis (not his real name, I guess), unyieldingly told me not to reveal anything that has transpired during my four-day retreat particularly all the things that we have talked about in the course of my remedial.  Last night, after the last pray over, while the bitter airstream coming from the highlands engulfed lungs, I sat with Brother Luis for the fifth and last time and made a promise to forgive everything that has happened to me in years.  He blessed me, putting his charming little hands over my head and said, “Let the mightiness of the higher power, of the universe and of the Lord Jesus Christ remain in your heart.  May you find peace in your days and may you find freedom in forgiveness.  Both to yourself and the people who hurt you.  Find your way in peace.  Find you way in love.  Find . . . “

“ . . . my way in peace.  Find my way in love.  Find my way in seeing myself again.  Please let me find my way out of here and write my piece (or my peace until I find it) and win my war (or my scars until it nurses its way back to health) the way I want it to be!”  I murmured to myself as the minister’s voice metamorphosed into the many stages of my Philippine occupancy for the past four months.  Back in August, as my brother Mark taunted my spiritualist bearing as we he drove me to Dasmarinas, I told myself that I will clear my head first.  That did not happen.  After I dropped my bags and slept for a good two days straight, one thing led to another; I stayed in Dasmarinas for two weeks and then got a job at Round One Productions, flew to Leyte to pay my last respects to my mother’s brother who passed away, flew back to Manila and attended the October Fashion Week and then a week later, I got a call from P, my boyfriend P from Dubai that he was breaking up with me.  A week after that, in early November, my best friend Norman arrived from Saudi Arabia and we both trekked to Baler, Aurora, where I scuttled out my frustrations, got mad drunk and lighted a candle and talked to the fairies of the century old Balete tree.  Days later, back in Manila, I began writing THE PHILIPPINE DIARIES.

I went to the camp three days ago.  It was through my sister Dess that I learned about the retreat house ran by local parishioners.  She signed up last year when she thought she needed some spiritual aeration.  It did her well and after I fell into a deep depression last month, I thought I needed to go and I did. And before I knew it, I was already dining with the in-house priests over cold soup and a warm union with myself and the prayers that bordered the restorative process.  In the successive night, I slept well, wrote and did research, attended the pray overs, sat and talked with my retreat master, Brother Luis, walked to the precipice to smoke and closed my eyes to the chilly November sun in the mornings.  For three days, I walked.  I talked.  I shared.  I filtered my rage.  I have never felt so at peace with what I saw.  Moreover, I have never felt so in tuned with my anger.  I did not just confront it but also challenged it.

I clutched my S.T. DuPont travelling bag and secured my laptop inside as I rushed out of the cerise building where I stayed for three days to sift the off-putting memories of late.  I bid goodbye to the seemingly pitiless faces of the people inside the house.  I bid goodbye to Brother Luis, hugged him and whispered in his ear, “You will never see me again.  Promise yan! (That is a promise!) Thank you so much.  God bless you po.”

As I walked away from the building, I was met by the pebble-stoned lane. It looked so serene.  I looked above and saw the branches of old pine trees making its morning shadow shows on my outstretched silhouette.  I fancied they were welcoming me back to earth.  To face my new fights like an undisturbed statue, lifeless and brawny, undeviating and indomitable.  I took a deep breath and remembered where it all began.

 

 

 

ZAMBALES

August 21, 2010

 

 

Our family moved to Zambales when I was five years old from Vigan, Ilocos Sur after my parents found a suitable job there.  We settled in a quaint town of Iba which was positioned by the South China Sea in the very coastal Zambales territory in northern Luzon.  Iba is at least four hours away from Manila.  It has been known for its autonomous loving people and long stretch of sea, lands with palm shaded shores, rice fields, rolling hills, and range of splendid mountains which comprises its treasures and natural resources.   Of course, the sweetest mango in the whole world is infamous marking its standing in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

The village of Paynauen was spotted by the order of Augustinian Recollect priests in 1611. The early inhabitants of the town consisted of several groups called the Zambals. They were later joined by the Ilocanos who migrated to the town which resulted to intermingling of customs and traditions. A group of natives called “Aetas” settled in the hinterlands and majority of them dwelled in the now famous Mount Pinatubo.  It erratically showed in the multiplicity of its foods, dialects and local peculiarity that Iba, or Zambales in nature is both assorted and prehistoric.  As I was growing up, I learned about rural legends that spoke of its peoples being the oldest tribe in the Philippines.  The “Aetas” are also believed to have been the oldest minority group who travelled to the Philippines as far as the Borneo trench centuries ago when the islands were still separated by islets connecting the land to Indochina.
   
As the town flourished, the administration of the township was turned over to the Dominican priests until the civil government came to power in 1860. There were no available records as to when Paynauen was renamed to Iba, but the old folks believed the town was named Iba after the sour star-shaped fruit called Yba or commonly known as “Balimbing” that were abundant in the place.  It was passed on that Spaniards came to the town one day and asked the “Aetas” the name of the place.   The tribe, ignorant of Spanish, shouted “Yba! Yba!” thinking that the man was asking what they are eating. From then on the place was called Iba.  During the years of President Corazon Aquino, “Balimbing” became a colloquial word that meant a turncoat or a two-faced partisan who is either predisposed or even-handed to any government sector.  A two-faced son of a bitch if you may.  I wondered how that impression held true to the personhood of modern-day Iba because of its rumourmongers and common chauvinism.  Well, the Philippines, in fact, is still a coven of political and social dynasties thus, Zambales is of no exemption.  In truth, I loved growing up there but not living there.  Perhaps it is not really the place, but me.  Well, this is my book, so it is all about me.
   
Iba became permanent Capital of Zambales after Masinloc, because of its strategic location being on the central part of Zambales.  On August 28, 1901, American Civil Governor William Howard Taft held the momentous session of the second Philippine Commission that recognized the Province of Zambales under the American rule held at Iba Roman Catholic Church that still stands to this day.  The same church where I, growing up, attended mass, received my first communion and daydreamed about sex a thousand times over during consolidated celebrations and the Holy Rosary month.  Of course, we all know that Iba became famous in the world as the birthplace of the late President Ramon Magsaysay Sr.

The Zambales house, in Iba, is where I spent my last year in elementary school and the whole of my high school years.  Before we had this house, my parents and I lived in Mandaluyong, in Vigan, Ilocos Sur and in my father’s hometown in San Felipe.  Moving  around that much even before I turned eleven turned me into someone who did not need much adjustment to a new place, new disposition and even more so, a brand new life.  Tested and proven, I moved 4 times in the U.A.E.  (in three different cities), twice in Bangkok and around 6 times when I was in Saudi Arabia.  I also once fancied myself as someone who literally lived (and loved) on briefcases.  I can just imagine the quantity of luggage I must have conceded throughout my life.  Pun intended.

And so I stood in our old, peculiar house in Zambales two weeks after I arrived in the Philippines for the second time this year.  It was old because I felt old standing by the covered entrance, smelling the mustiness of dust and deep-rooted flowers in my mother’s garden and it was peculiar because the first thing that came over me as I stood there was to sleep.  Sleep in one of the implicitly mildewed rooms that used to be filled with toys and radio cassette recorders (we were a very musical family) and just have a weighty shut eye for my fatigued body that worked years – eluded relaxation – a heart that have fallen into love interactions and fell out of them as well – and a mind that tumbled with rejection and endured unearthing signs many times over.  I needed my rest.

I went to my old room.  I deemed old ghosts from the past as I opened the timber door, quite sure that the cigarette smoke of the 90s were still there.  There weren’t any trace of nicotine at all.  Instead, it reeked of dampness coming from my scruffy bookshelf that homed some of my unboxed books that I have accumulated through the years of gluttonous reading.   I went there.  I blew gold dust on top of the books and leafed through the old digits of Kierkegaard that sat next to a Jude Deveraux contemporary romance novel.  I have to organize this by genre, I thought, and stood on a chair to examine the top ledge.  More yellowed books and hard bound books that were either robbed off of its main cover or half eaten by termites and time.  No one cleaned this for over a decade, I thought and grabbed my favourite Leaves of Grass by my hero Walt Whitman.  I put the book on my nose and smelled the pages.  I almost came from uncanny outrage because; it was, for me, sheer ecstasy.  It was like biting Walt Whitman’s trousers as he sleeps a few meters away . . . Before I can even reach literary orgasm; I dusted the book with my sleeve and placed it somewhere in the middle.  To be protected.  Leaves of Grass, with all its notoriety and craggy elegance, changed my life at an early age, and somehow, in my field of dreams, I have given Walt Whitman the best times of my virgin life, masturbating over I Sing The Body Electric various times over.

As I jumped down, a yellow box caught my attention on the far left side of the mantelpiece.  I have forgotten about this box but it looked proverbial – a pallid treasure box? – secrets? – old porn? – and it invited me in the middle of my thoughts chunking from organizing my books and keeping them in a box, to my mother who got well three months after that hectic road trip with Mark, to the beach which I wanted to see . . . I need to open that box!

I opened it and to my surprise, there they were:  my old journals!

Nine fat, dirtied notebooks from the nineties who were my proxy friends for years.  And they have been hiding from me all this time.  Inasmuch as the years when it was written, the 90s, both eluded and haunted me through the years living outside the Philippines.  A decade that was filled with screeching sounds and foot spray scent.  A modern Beatnik sound of trumpets and electronic drums.  The time of college hurt and sexual first times – all of them, in fact, were first times – the years when my acne was beginning to merge with my self-reliance.  The years when my hair was in its longest and I wore a beard that tasted like Calvin Klein corned beef.  This was also the stretch of my literary journey to which my words were formed in a typewriter, a long-standing Remington that woke up neighbours at 3 in the morning as the 19 year old me aped every known fiction writer known to man. 

I turned to my journals again, smelling their oldness.  Briefly seeing me writing them years ago with my black Kilometrico pen, sometimes with a blue Pilot tech pen, sometimes pencilled and most of the time, scrawls of an angry, insecure, ugly and impassioned young man who, at an early age, have gotten himself married to the written word.

My words.

The erstwhile attempts to outline my emotions. 

The episodes.  The rage of my youth.  My friends Eldan and Eric.  College.

The relationships I had and lost when I was in my 20s. 

The sex.

In an instant, I was in Manila, in the 90s, just after Mount Pinatubo erupted.  It was also the time when my I met Jason before the very first calamity of my heart occured.  The 90s was a passionate time, I guess, because I travelled back, I smelled the sweet sheets, CK1 cologne and the sweat of my young, fearless body dancing to Madonna’s I’m Breathless.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsmXBZF4oco

*************

MANILA

August 1991

From The Diary of The Virgin Not Pure

 

I can still smell the semen in my mouth as I prayed, literally, to God five minutes after I gave Jason a blowjob.  He was peeking at me as I closed my eyes and told God how happy I was being with him and this picturesque night of naked, salty bodies and first times.  It was my first time to kiss a man with tongue, the first time I put a man’s penis inside my mouth and my first ever after play.

And my first pray over.

                             Søren Kierkegard once said, “Religion and knowledge are like fire and water.  It is not enough to believe that Christianity is ‘true’.  Having a Christian faith meant following a Christian way of life.”  and if I was going to against it, then who will save my soul?  Does the soul have a life too?  The same life that we just borrowed from God?  I am barely 18 years old today and have read many books since I was ten.  Or have I read enough?  Does my soul have a reading mind too?  Have I sinned?  Is there reckoning in having my mouth divirginized?  Shall I confess this to this to the priest?  I can’t wait to confess this to my best friend Eldan!  The faggot will yelp merrily and I can already see us both holding hands, jumping up and down.  I finally have a boyfriend!  And a real man!  Not just Justin from Honcho magazine or Lestat from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles.  A stud with an actual penis.

Momentarily, I began to see God’s finger pointing down, “To hell!  To the fires of hell!” and my excitement seethed down, but I thought, Prayer would make God empathetic and besides I was a noble Christian for years, not missing mass (well . . .) and doing useful things to my fellow man since time immemorial.  I think God can understand how great it feels (tastes) like having a man’s (dick) love inside my heart (mouth).  And so I prayed shamelessly, “God . . .”

Jason, on the other hand, was smiling as he partial viewed me with one eye, perhaps, pseudo-ostracizing my daftness in bringing Jesus Christ into this corrupt human flaw or maybe, just maybe, he was also praying, gratified of me being there because not only did all my reading of Joan Collins and Harold Robbins in high school paid off from all that methodological fellatio that broke the walls of his apartment, but also because he finally found his Capricorn equal in me, an unfathomable Scorpio that he was.

“What was that?  That is so funny babes.”  teethy smile of travesty from Jason.

“I wanted God to bless what we had.”  I said steadily, wondering what was the “s” in babe.  Babes?  I should pray for his word constitution as well.  Instead, I had myself clasped by his slack Chinese arms that were so waxen I can actually make a canvass out of it and paint from end to end the way we met five hours before, by the patio of our building.  He was in his torn white shirt and tsinelas (flip flops), his pale skin illuminating the sunset, giving an opaque flush towards the silkscreen of my vision, as I walked passed him towards my unit.  We lived six doors apart on the fourth floor and pooled by an adjoining terrace.  I sauntered, no, glided, dispassionately, trying not to meet his eye.  I U-turned and met it anyhow and beamed.  He said, “Hey” and I said, “How are you?”  Fifteen minutes later, we were having iced tea in his legroom.  Two hours passed and we became best friends.  He was four years older that I and so matured.  He actually thinks I am older than 17 because I knew a lot of things.  I said I read a lot.  Another hour past and I excused myself to change as I was still in my school getup.  A few minutes later I was back with food and we had dinner together.  He picked on my smoking.  Being a nurse, it was his advocacy to promote good health.  I said FUCKET in my head and said, “That is sweet.” 

And then we were already making out.  I forgot how it happened.  I remembered asking, “Aren’t we being too fast?”  A supposed virgin’s query.  He mumbled something in a voice of a back masked song that went like, “Pajumdum dum dum jum jum . . .”,   and before I can reduce to analysis, I drank his tongue like water and we went to his crisp bed as the world spun like all the sorrows of the world vanished. There was, indeed, a God!

And so, I ambushed his stiff cock and he came in my mouth five minutes later.

The Day After, 1991

From The Diary of The Virgin Not Pure

The radio, 99.5 RT, is playing Guns and Roses’ tranquil song called Patience http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErvgV4P6Fzc .  And here I am, converted by Axl Rose’s very torpid vocals to yield to endurance. I am going to turn 18 next year and I feel like I am running out of time.  I swore when I graduated from high school that I will only live until I am 30, like Jesus Christ, because I am special and at least a meagre replica of the Saviour, and like Jesus, I will save humanity by giving them face up the countenance of life.  That it is not a gift that we are here.  We are HERE on a journey and I must keep the manuscript looming before my 30th year for the reason that by then, I will be too deadened by its splendour that it would take another 30 years for me to regenerate my desire to save mankind.  Or my own self.  But here I prosper, at 17, to specialise, at least, the rationale that my first full-blown sex with a Filipino-Chinese nurse named Jason was imprinted with Jesus Christ mouthed with the tang of his sweet cum still meditating soundly on my tongue.  It all takes a few baby steps to clinch the discernment of the truth, I guess. Then again, I need to practice on deep throating because that alone, once accurate, would put an astrophysical feat to man’s precipitous sensual advancement.

 

 

But then Jason told me that I was good.  That it did not feel like it was my first time at all.  I told him that it is called imbedded flair when in fact, it was a hoard of adolescent passion for Harold Robbins and his soft pornography that brought the house down for me – in all candour – thus I learned that breathing in when his entire shaft was inside of me was vital and breathing out equals trouncing the balls when you get fatigued from all those ins and outs.  So yes, it was all a deception.  A good one at that because my first time was done adeptly. 

The virgin not pure.

 

 

 I am a virgin in a sense that I have not been in bed with someone I really liked the way I did with Jason.  I am not a virgin because I had a thing or two when I was younger with a cousin and that unforeseen occurrence with an uncle when I was eight.  Also, I am not a virgin because I knew from all those inclusive encounters that I mentally failed to remember, that my physiological viscera felt at one with my head, at 17, consequently with all the good things that came thereafter.  There are certain things that we intentionally disregard because we chose to.  And things we glue forever because it appealed to our golden shoes.  Jason Lee, for one is someone I deemed to be the earliest in my catalogue because I elected him to be the one. 

 

 

I miss his lips.  It was sweet.  As sweet as I see us walking hand in hand one day, on a date at McDonald’s, talking about marriage, living in Zamboanga  (where he is from) and I will teach in an elementary school as he worked as a nurse in the nearby provincial hospital.  We will have lunch every day of our lives.  We will drink wine every night of our lives.  We would be in the translucent blue beaches every weekend, with our pale bodies under the bitter sun as we soothe life with our love and our contagious flamboyance with hard laughter.  I miss his smile.  I miss his arms that put me to sleep.  He will love me.

 

 

Jason will love me.

 Jason will love me.

 

I want to love and be in love with Jason.

 

 

 

 

Four months later, 1991

I stood in front our building.  By the maroon gate holding a letter that was stashed in my mailbox a few days earlier. 

Jason told me he needed to go home to Zamboanga.  That it was crucial that he goes home.

Jason did love me for four months.  I guess. 

Perhaps I knew he loved me because   I    told    myself   that.

But Jason left me for good by the maroon gate as I held the letter that was stashed in my mailbox a few days earlier. 

I did not pray as I stood in front of our building. 

 

 

THE CAMP

 

 

TAGAYTAY

December 14, 2010

As I walked away from the building, I was met by the pebble-stoned lane. It looked so serene.  I looked above and saw the branches of old pine trees making its morning shadow shows on my outstretched silhouette.  I fancied they were welcoming me back to earth.  To face my new fights like an undisturbed statue, lifeless and brawny, undeviating and indomitable.  I clutched my bag and secured my laptop where THE PHILIPPINE DIARIES slept, waiting to be let loose because it knows that my journey has just began.

Kept in my bag were the diaries of 1990s as well, just waiting to be reread and perhaps, rewritten too.  After a few babysteps to the main road, I suddenly felt new.  Like I was divirginized.  Or perhaps, I have become a virgin all over again as I felt the warmth of my breath from my lips.  Feeling my entire body gradually warming itself from all beauty and truth that I have seen for the past three days.

I beamed, looked back at the Unnamed Tagaytay Retreat House and took a bus that brought me back to Dasmarinas, Cavite.  Suddenly, my article NAKED rushed to my head again. When I said;  My words are cataleptic once born out of realization.  It dies on paper as much as it does once it starts coming out of my mouth.  People think I mean what I say.  I don’t.  At least, not all the time. I meant to be heard and I long to be understood but more than ever, I just want to say it. I can be quite inconsistent, especially when it comes to me.  There have been numerous times when I give advice when the truth is, I am the one who needs one.  There were days when I stand on my own and cry in bed once a friend sends me an SMS saying, “Thanks for the guidance, Jon.  I feel much much better.”  because I should have taken that counsel instead.  Had I been a god, as my good friend Joon Tacio professed in my numerology and color readings, I would have been a flighty god with Alzeimer’s Disease because I do not usually remember everything I say.  I reread my published works and curse myself, “Why the hell did I write that?!?”

“Watch me pen my war”  I told myself as the bus sped on, cutting through the twisted road,   ” . . . because this is how I move on.”

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