Chapter 9: Expletive Not Deleted


9.  Expletive Not Deleted

Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements?  Even if it leads to nowhere?

–           Adele  /  Chasing Pavements

The word fuck has become so popular after the 50s, particularly after it has been riotously introduced but partially accepted in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye; as it featured an early use of fuck you in print.  First published in the United States in 1951, the novel remains controversial to this day due to its use of the word, standing at number 13 for the most banned books from 1990–2000 according to the American Library Association. The book offers a blunt portrayal of the main character’s reaction to the existence of the word, and all that it means.  Earlier than that, in 1928, D.H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover gained notoriety for its frequent use of the words fuck, fucked, and fucking.  Of course, it became the candy word for the sub-cultures in the 60s and became the household expression of the valiant and the self-doubting as years went by, both of which, was me in the many facets I have articulated both physically and mentally.  Let’s face it, most of the time; this word is highly used as deportment hypothesis rather than a stanza in one’s personal colloquial speech.   Did you know, by the way that Fuck, as most words in the English language is derived from German …the word fuieken, which means to strike?  There you go.

This highly profane term remains an outlawed word to many people in English-speaking countries, while others feel the word remains inappropriate in social protocol when used by a male in the presence of women. What more can I say?  The F-word is clearly a jargon that came out from copulation.  The word also carries a sacrilegious connotation to some. Many religious people oppose the use of profane, vulgar, and “curse” words which they see as offensive to a deity. It is considered highly offensive to utter the word in the premises of the church.  As a teenager, I would fantasize all the time about giving blowjobs to seminarians and all they can utter was thy blessed word in this order, “Oh fuck yeah . . . oh yes that’s it . . . I am cuuuumming . . . Oh, God . . . oh dear God . . . Fuuuuuuuck !!!”

Non-English-speaking cultures and countries like the Philippines, where people are generally pioneering we have invented Tag-lish (Tagalog and English fused in one language) tend to recognize the word’s vulgarity; however, it is generally not censored as frequently as in English-speaking cultures. In fact, there was a time when saying the word fuck was considered cool.  When I was fourteen, I used to say fuck a lot until I became addicted to Victorian novels to which I carnally told myself that I was not giving credit to the English language, it being, a quaint language that is brazen and wouldn’t have I noticed, full of sexual implications.  I stopped saying the F word for reasons that would ascribe my services to Emily Dickinson and Charlotte Brontë.  Of course, that did not flourish as the years went by.  At seventeen and a full-time servant of the theatre, I have forgotten who Heathcliff is and surrendered to this morning ritual:  Fuck the world, I am a star!  You can suck my fucking dick.

I was born in the mid 70s and growing up in the 80s I knew that that expression, that choky, phlegm-induced banter Fuuuuucccck was not supposed to be used in school, in front of children and of the Paulinian sisters otherwise they will fine you and have your embarrassed parents come to school.  Also, it should not be uttered in the house because my father would slap anyone using such foul and disgraceful language.  It is a sad fact that I came out knowing that saying the word fuck is actually cool.  Had no one stopped me from saying things like, “My fucking baon (snack) today is so boring, can we fucking switch?”  or “That fucking Joseph should have gotten a horse instead of a fucking donkey!  Jesus fucking Christ would have been born in a proper fucking hospital if he and Mary rode on a faster motherfucking animal!  Gaaaawd I looooove fucking Superbook!  It is the best fucking Christian cartoon show in the whole motherfucking world!”  I never would have been me.  Now if that was my language when I was eight, I never would have used the F word when I turned fifteen onwards.  I would have had a FUCK surplus that perhaps, my teenage years would have sounded like, “Oh dear doggy-style of truth!  Jody feathers Foster was luminous in The Silence of the Lambs, dawg!”  And in my 20s, I would have said, “Holy desire, your cock is so brilliantly huge!”

On second thought, I still would have used the F word.  It is so effortless saying it.  And so therapeutic in many ways.  Where else can you find a word that is both truthful and hyperbolic? Isn’t that experiencing the best of both worlds?  It is, in fact, such miraculous word.   Just by its sound can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love.  As you must realize, there aren’t too many words with the versatility of fuck and most of the time, it does not even correlate to sexual intercourse, as rationalized earlier on.  I mean, look . . .

Fraud:  I got fucked at Greenhills buying that new Ipad.   It was made in China!
Dismay:   Ahhh fuck it.  We all know that the senate hearing on Garcia will finish in 2015!
Trouble:   I guess I’m really fucked now. I haven’t had sex in almost a year.
Aggression:   Don’t fuck with me buddy. Or I’ll fuck you in the head you’ll get nightmares every night.
Difficulty:   I don’t understand this fucking question!
Inquiry:  Who the fuck was that?
Dissatisfaction:  I don’t like what the fuck is going on here.
Incompetence:   He’s a fuck-off.  All he can do is lick ass.  Well, he can fucking lick mine too!
Dismissal:   Why don’t you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself…

I was reminded of the word fuck because it was the only thing that came out of my very busy head after I stepped out of the airplane, after an hour flight from Leyte, and found the entire Metro Manila swamped in rainwater that my sisters and I had to be saturated before actually reaching the airport.  We travelled the skies through Cebu Pacific and since we were on a local flight, we were not sanctified with the expediency of the tube walk that led to our baggage.  Instead, we waited for our aerodrome transportation by the airbus’ nose as sheets of rain washed away, literally, our sins.  The airline provided umbrellas but since we were last to deplane, we ran out.  I noticed the colour of the umbrellas to be yellow and orange – very happy colours – and I wished I had one!  When the bus finally arrived, we were all freshly showered but all smelling like stale bread.  For some, like smoked salmon.

“Fuck talaga itong airport na ito binasa pa tayo sa ulan!”  My sister Noreen cussed beneath her breath, exasperated by how drenched we all were and blaming the national airport for treating us badly.  Case in point, all of our family flew back and forth Manila-Tacloban spending 30 thousand pesos in a group package just to be soaked to the skin.  With clothes on.

I recently told my best friend Norman that losing everything in your twenties is easier than losing something in your thirties because it is not just plain stupidity but it also meant losing your head as well.  Guess what, apart from the airport scene that happened six months ago, writing The Philippine Diaries became a paragon of fuckery that I almost threw it all away one day last January.  In September of 2010, I knew I was writing something enormous, a book about the Philippines.  My reunion to a country I missed and have not lived in for many years.  I kicked off pretty well and successfully dyed the edges with every colourful element of my stay; the tiresome and beautiful, and oftentimes, corporeal and devoted beat of Manila, the Zambales beaches, my 20s reworked through my old diaries, the October Philippine Fashion week and its enticing reeks, stories of Cavite and Tagaytay that re-enacted my heartbreak over a recent breakup and how I celebrated the year 2011 being deprived and sick.  It bored me.  It all became a journey towards self-healing which, disregarding the art in itself being a surplus for realness and rawness, after a while, became so terribly whiny.  Its worth becoming not so worthwhile after all.  And I couldn’t congregate the idea that I used this medium to get myself repaired.  In the middle of my struggle being dumped and realizing how much an asshole my ex was to me, I forgot I actually had readers.  People who I haven’t even met (and perhaps never will) and people who doesn’t give a flying FUCK if I got heartbroken or whether I was even getting myself out of rehabilitation for having a fucking a broken heart syndrome.   So I said, “FUCK THAT!”   In more ways than one, I was known, and literally enjoyed fame, by penning absolutions that factually walked my way.  There were days when indolent accounts became profound and actual fireworks became a message from the universe and I have dared enough to masticate them and have shared them to my (ten loyal) readers.  These people have emailed me and told me how my work validated that there is, indeed,  beauty in the ugly and some have even certified that it actually made them appreciate their own  life.

When I was dumped by my ex last August, I slackly used The Philippine Diaries as a channel to get myself moving again.  It was not easy.  I was juggling loads of stuff from getting a new job, thinking deeply, getting myself adjusted to my new surroundings, reinventing myself from being removed from my comfort zone and of course, getting by, which, in many ways, had become so hard to do because, plain and simple, I have lost everything.   It came to a point when I realized that I was left with nothing but me and my writing.  So, I turned to my laptop, began writing and gave birth to the first eight chapters of The Philippine Diaries.  In January, I stopped and saw beyond the bare bones of my stories.  It was full of heartbreak and self-persecution.  At one time, my editor from Illustrado, where I was once a contributing writer, told me, “You are a mad!”  Well, I didn’t mind being called mad (I have been named a lot worse than that) but staying mad is something that I need to get myself out of.  First of which, I needed to walk away from all that pain.  I guess six long months is enough to get passed a heartbreak.  Today, I say goodbye to the self-indulgence that became so self-throttling I almost eradicated the first eight chapters to oblivion.  After the New Year, I couldn’t help but gag every time I come across anything written for The Philippine Diaries.  It almost felt like I dug a hole to dump myself in to.  From then on, I stopped reading (even for extended proofread) chapters one to eight.   I decided to move on, anyhow, and not push the forevergone button for the first eight chapters, calling this new entry as the overture of The Philippine Diaries’ Book Two.

Everything begins upon wake up call.   FUCK the rest.

I’m a low brow but I rock a little know how
No time for the piggies or the hoosegow
Get smart get down with the pow wow
Never been a better time than right now

–           Red Hot Chili Peppers / Give It Away

Are you on Twitter?  Well, I am. You should be in one, if only to express your fuck yous and the things you can’t say or post on Facebook.  Alright, we are all sociopaths.  Oh FUCK THAT you want to reconnect with old high school friends, believe me, they wouldn’t give a fuck where the hell you have been only how much weight you have gained in ten years or whether your marriage did not work as they thought it wouldn’t, you want the motherfucking attention, admit it or not.  If you wanted to reconnect with your old friends and chat with your current friends, why can’t stay online while browsing through Robert’s new photo album with his ugly wife you wished you made out with him back in college or ogling on Maria’s newly done boobs?  Because you’d rather be in noiseless salivation and greed than to actually say hi to the real people that has gone wearisome and made your life, well, somewhat a downward bore.  So, you say, it is better to Like someone’s gruesome photo, knowing deep down inside that that thumbs up on the icon replicates your hot middle finger, than to be stuck with real-life pain, suffering and empathy. This is the internet anyhow, everything is expeditious and social networking actually means pulling yourself apart from reality, thus, disconnecting yourself with the real you.

When my friend Gracie was still alive, we would take pictures of each other and judge, yes, judge our shots before uploading them on Facebook.  I would say, “Girl, your smile here is perfect but your face looks fat!”

“I should have twisted a bit more so my chin points to the ground not suspended like a hot air balloon, no, wait, I do look like a hot air balloon with that pose!”  Gracie would shriek like a madman.  Later on we would scroll on her PC for some more of these solo shots and critiqued each other as  dorky, too drunk, Dumbo, T.H. (trying hard), too bangag (wasted), masyadong bakla (too gay), mukhang bangkay sa sobrang kapal ng founda (like a carcass from too much facial make-up), halata ang mga lubak lubak sa mukha (the facial blemishes are disgustingly obvious), too old, mukhang tuyot at kaka-Shabu lang (too dry looking fresh from a crystal meth stint) and check this out, too natural.

“I told you!  You should pick that other one, the one where you are wearing that printed shirt.  You had the same shirt on in your last profile picture.  People will think you only have one shirt,” I would say so matter-of-factly like we I just solved the food crisis in Africa.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, Twitter.

I asked you if you were on Twitter because after being sucked up with Facebook’s promise of connection, I found myself, after a couple of years being available for everyone’s advantage, disconnected with the people I added as, well, friends.  On Twitter, however, I was “freer” to post whatever not-one-word-omitted shoutie that can be as riveting as “The times they are a-changing; God bless Japan!” or as off-putting as “I haven’t had sex in centuries.  Anyone?”   and there will no waiting box to thread on comments from people that will eventually flood your status and torture your middle sanctum like they do in Facebook.  Come to think about it, Facebook should be subtitled as Burn Book from the classic teen movie, Mean Girls.  Think about it, Facebook are like the characters in Mean Girls only you get to be both the Plastics and the Wanna Bes depending on a day in a life of your digital mood.  No, your digital life.

I took off again.  Aren’t we on Twitter?

Well, FUCK THAT, this segment was chomped by Facebook as usual.  That’s how powerful it is – it can just take the centre stage without you knowing it – it is the new evil I guess.   Now, Twitter, presently considered as the devil in the making, is the best possible solution to ease the fuck yous in your brain without Facebook’s maddening fuss.  Of course, it is widely used in the Philippines because it is friendlier to cellular phones and like an SMS message, you can collectively send a message to all your followers in one hit.  Tweeting has become the new texting.   So, all I can say is, get a Twitter account.  That will both scratch your fixation on getting noticed and at the same time would feebly sustain your remaining privacy, that is if it still exists in your overly-Facebooked lifestyle.  Have you asked yourself lately what means more shit to you?  What Facebook tells you or what you tell yourself?  In two years time, Twitter, being the more brooding and self-inflicted social network, would perhaps dictate you to slash your wrists.  Let’s just wait one day if any of your followers would respond to your

What’s Happening:  Killing myself today. Just gave up on life.  Tweet with me?

Facebook made us aware that people are out there.  And then a year later, we stopped wondering how these people are and began thinking about deactivating our accounts.  Twitter may have given us the same thing introspection and the art of being me only it allows 150 characters to characterize your status that sometimes LOL  (laugh out loud) can be considered a master of its own outlining depending where it came from.  LOL from James Franco would swoon the female population.  LOL from President Noynoy Aquino would embarrass an entire nation.  Also, we all know that the worst enemy a man can have is himself.  Let’s see what Twitter can do about that because as far as I am concerned, I am beginning to realize that I can now digitalize my self-conversations through Twitter.  It is becoming ungainly because I may stop talking to myself one day and that might be the end of me.

What’s Happening:  I am dead.  I can’t even talk to myself anymore.  So FUCK you too!

There’s a fruitcake for everybody
There’s a fruitcake for everyone
There are b-sides to every story
If you decide to have some fun

Take a bite
It’s alright
There’s some brandy and star margarine to make it bright
Take a bite
It’s alright
A little lovin’ and some fruit to bake
Life is a piece of cake


–          Eraserheads / Fruitcake


Welcome can sometimes mean, well, come!  And no, it won’t be Miss Universe-Fourth Runner-Up Maria Venus Raj who would utter such sweet, convivial phrase; it will be the formidable and wraithlike Miss Bella Flores, the nation’s all-time favourite villainess, who would.  Imagine Dame Bella Flores standing at every tarmacadam of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with her Copacabana headdress, red red lips along with her blood red lipstick-stained unfiltered cigarettes and those heavily-lidded, eye-lashed eyes, monologueing to the inward bound tourists and our dear balikbayans the following:

“Dearly punyeteras, well, come!  Come to the Philippines if you dare, mga hayuuuuuup kayo! (you animals!).  The country couldn’t wait to see you all enjoy its island beaches and its weighty Manila traffic you’d wish you’d have lobotomy instead.  Here, all of its 7,107 islands are not really being run by President Noynoy Aquino but by its television networks.  Who cares about the senate hearing on whistle blowers and the Philippines’ biggest graft case?  Every Filipino must be abreast with the current evil doings of Clara in ABS-CBN’s revival of the 90s Mara Clara.  Who cares about how many people were buried alive in the recent Tacloban City mudslide?  We all had to see John Estrada’s supposed best man in his wedding, the devil incarnate, Willy Revillame, stepped down as best man on national television!  Apparently, Estrada signed a contract at ABS-CBN which is a rival station where Revillame, who is in ABC-5, is currently assigned.  What can I say; station choice is definitely more important than friendship.  Lintik na mga hinayupak yan!  As you drive along the city streets, be wary of being carnapped.  Or worse, carjacked.  This is a country that still buys cigarettes by the stick and people can sell anything from third-hand cars to your three-year-old underwear.  Ever heard of the word sungkit?  Well, it has been advised that you stupidos should not leave your washed garments out overnight otherwise it will be gone by sungkit or by fishing rod who fishes clothes rather than fish.  In fact, do not leave your leftover fish on the dining table while sleeping.  Someone might pilfer the viand.  Don’t tell me you have not been warned.  You can try the taxi cab but be careful.  90 per cent of the cabbies in the metropolis almost always overcharged, so unless you are renting it for a day, do not, by any means, pay 1,000 buck and pay them in lose bills.  They do not return the change.  Call that forced tipping.  Please do not even try walking too, especially, somewhere in the Visayas.  Wakwaks, our local vampires are pretty much waiting for some new blood to get drunk on.  No, gaga! they are not as cute as the guys from The Vampire Diaries.  They are revolting, they stink and they are flesh eaters too.  And please, do not leave your things unattended especially in trains, restaurants, grocery stores, cinemas, public transportations and hotel rooms.  Fact is, it is better to carry everything everywhere you go.  Of course, I am exaggerating but do not come to me and tell me that I didn’t forewarn you.  Gago!  Eh tatanga tanga ka pala eh!  Do you know who I am?  I am Bella Flores!  I am the country’s silver screen evil diva!  I have slapped every single heroine in the Philippine cinema from Susan Roces to Maricel Soriano to Sheryl Cruz to all the new dimwits who called themselves actresses after appearing on television once, stupidasGung-gong!  Do you know Nestor Torre?  He raved me as someone who ‘has been making life miserable for many generations of hapless stars—all the way back to little Tessie Agana and Boy Alano in ‘Roberta’ in the early 1950s, to her fresh batch of victims in the New Millennium… doing it without skipping a beat—and without aging (much) to boot.’    Come, ano ba!  I said, Come to Philippines if you dare!

Do you know Carlos Celdran?  Look him up.  He gives fabulous histrionic tours around Intramuros, in old Manila.  I myself was a part of his uninhibited and seemingly over-theatrical excursion until one day he told me I am too old to do the Madame parts.  He would only allow me to stay if I played Sisa, the round the bend woman who was eternally looking for her sons Basilio and Crispin in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tángere .  Of course I declined.  How dare Carlos Celdran extricate my contribution to his marvellous show? Anyway, you will love Carlos Celdran as much as I did.  He is not just a tour guide but also a performing artist and a cultural activist.  In September of last year, Carlos Celdran staged a protest action against Church opposition to the reproductive health bill.  Dressed as José Rizal, Celdran entered Manila Cathedral during a mass with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Edward Adams, and other bishops present, standing before the altar with a sign bearing the word “DAMASO” – a reference to the villainous, power-wielding clergyman from Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tángere, which touches on the abuses of the Spanish friars during the 19th century.   He shouted “Stop getting involved in politics!” before he was taken away by the police.  Don’t you just love him?  He is also openly bisexual too and advocates for family planning, fights for HIV/AIDS awareness and since 2003 have routinely distributed condoms and birth control pills to residents of squatter communities when leading tour groups past them.  So to all you horny foreigners who is sliming for our dear tight-assed shemales and prostitutes, think again.  No, think twice.  This country may be full of easy fuck but this is also a country full of people who are felons of the advantageous.  We eat dogs as pulutan over San Miguel beer for heaven’s sakes!  So, watch it. Understood?

Well, come!

Enjoy the Philippines.

What?  AnoTarandato!  Learn to speak our language.  PAK youuuuuuu !”

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