She’s coming for me in my dreams again; this time, I ran late for my STS final exam. Eleven to two, I hung out for lunch, made it in by one, and the exam was in its final stretch. Thankfully, she was proctoring; said she didn’t really want to, but she had to on Wednesdays. (I didn’t know too, when my dreams started having accurate dates.)

So I had some making up to do, having missed the first half of the thing. Apparently the last stretch involved some talking, and I did more than my share. She said, “Something tells me I should check if you still write well,” and I said, “I have failed English miserably between your days and today.”

Point one: Yes, I think I am anxious these days; blame it on Day One jitters (which is today. REALLY.)

Point two: Yes, I think I have been failing at writing, too. Hence this exercise.

The alarm went off around 7-ish; I kept on wanting to go back to sleep, so I can see where the rest of the dream would take me. Snippets I remember: A meal in a dim restaurant, the way she asked: “Do you still write well?”

Guess who’s back to square one.

ten years in the making

Or, alternatively — the yearend high school reunion

It was certainly no Romy and Michelle, but only because no one lied about inventing post-its, and there was very little dancing, but still — my high school reunion was, in every way, the perfect way to cap the year.

Last year marked ten years since graduation, and so perhaps it really was just fitting that my high school friends finally got to meet Andrea before the year ended, and that I finally got to meet Day’s husband-to-be, Joel, before their wedding bells start tolling this May.

Whew. In 2001, who would have thought this dinner — ten years in the future, at Crisostomo in Resorts World, plus drinks later in Carlo’s office — would turn out to be anything close to that.

We bumped into Mary first, at the bathroom in Resorts World, and what surprised me, mostly, were her high heels. We checked around the mall for dining options, sadly noting that it was this big airconditioned smoking area, before settling for a table at Crisostomo, a restaurant which serves Filipino fare.

Danica arrived soon after with Day and Joel, followed by Gino and Carlo, who was only briefly popping out from his night work duty.

True to form, Andrea was her usual charming self, talking easily to the girls about nails and lashes, gamely taking photos and putting songs into the videoke queue later that night.

At some point, Andrea slipped out of the restaurant to drop by Serenitea at the top floor, only to return with her nails painted a different color each, courtesy of some generous sales lady at Face Shop.

Danica demanded to know why I had taken this long to introduce Andrea; Day said, “I love her!” I said, “Me too!” Haha.

In summary: Well, I think that went over well.


That night’s strangest moment: Me and Andrea in Carlo’s luxury SUV, on the way to his office for drinks. We were talking about, of all things, the importance (or non-importance) of abs.

“Ok lang na wala akong abs… me pera naman ako.”

True, true words, hahaha. Throughout that short trip I don’t think we even stopped talking, until we arrived at 7-Eleven to buy the requisite booze.

Here’s a true miracle right here: Remember, he used to be that boy, and so to anyone who has ever asked if anything’s ever going to stop feeling like high school, well. Here’s your answer.

waiting in degrees

An hour:
Sitting in the emergency stairwell, heart in throat, phone in hand. I shouldn’t have sent that, in my head. Half past two in the afternoon, and already I am drunk with that heady feeling of want, the buzz still in my fingertips, after. This morning: you and me and the vast expanse of that single bed, untouched. Who had we been trying to fool, apart from ourselves?

A day:
Up all night talking about dreams and tracing constellations of plans on your skin — Yes, this today; then that tomorrow, and all the days after. Everywhere on me the places you’ve touched feel raw and open, the surface picked apart by your hands. How long till you sew the pieces back together? How long until tonight?

A week:
Walking these streets it’s your hand I feel in mine, and your smile I see on everyone’s faces. Would you have liked what we had for lunch? I wish you were in all these photographs. Is that you calling out for me? At night, at the hotel, the single bed feels all too wide and my arms too empty. You would have looked fantastic in this robe (and then out of it, and then–none of this is helping.)

A month:
Perhaps when you get back, your hair is already long — a part of me wishes you’ll go ahead and do as you’d promised, the last time we saw each other. You said your hair would be as long as your stories; I said I’d probably have a grand time, listening in with my fingers running through them, soft like water. On my wall: crossing out the days, one after the other, the second stroke harder than the first; every time knowing each one brings you closer to me.

A year:
What is the measure of the steady heart? Each place I wake up in is like a harbor, like a station, like a room with a window view to an airplane touching land. Every day I am waiting, I am hopeful; every day, I expect you to honk your car horn by the curb, ring the bell at the gate, then throw the door wide open. All I want: you—running into these ready arms, laughing and laughing.

All these years I have been waiting, trying not to look for you in places; trying to stay away from your side of the bed.

Your face in my hands, and the warmth of you around me. You are what these small words cannot possibly contain.

the endless summer


Truth be told, the best part about 2011 was Summer.

And an even truer thing — what I loved most about 2011 was its places.

I loved the places 2011 showed me — the huge rocks of La Luz, Batangas in February; the breathtaking Bencab Museum in Baguio and Sagada‘s mountains in March; the beaches of Calatagan, Nasugbu and San Juan, Batangas, Anvaya in Bataan, the mountains of Anawangin and the pure shores of Nagsasa, Zambales in April and May; the lovely Peacock Garden in Bohol in June — indeed, it’s been quite a ride, 2011.

And what. A. Ride.

(Cut for photos)

Continue reading the endless summer