Giving up the ones you love

I woke up today thinking, it’s going to be a busy day for me. Have a video to finish transcribing and two scripts to write. And I felt thankful because, despite my inner struggles, I could still distract myself with work. And I was thankful for a lot of work, considering.

But noon came and there was a commotion, and I don’t know how it started again but Gray and Marley got into another fight. My mother was yelling, we were trying to pull them apart, Boomer was joining in the fight, and we were panicking even more. We were on the verge of tears, the sound of the dogs crying totally heartbreaking. Then it happened. It lasted for a split second, and I know Gray didn’t mean it. One moment, I was trying to pry him away from Boomer, and the next moment I was grabbing my bleeding leg, my vision slightly blurring, and finding a chair nearby to sit.

He let me go in an instant, probably realizing that I wasn’t his enemy. He ran away to go after Boomer and I couldn’t do anything anymore. I just watched my mother and my brother try to stop the fight. Max came over to me and I grabbed his collar before he could even decide that he wants in on the war.

A few hours, a major loss of blood (I’m sure I’m exaggerating but it felt that way), and four stitches later, I’m alone here in my room and the three dogs involved in the fight are downstairs, tied to different corners of the house. Sometimes I hear Gray crying, probably because my mother left the room for a few minutes and he never wants to be left alone. Unfortunately, my parents have decided that we are going to give up Gray and Marley. They are just deciding to whom they should give the dogs. There was no second thought this time. There was no consideration needed because it happened before and we cannot bear to see them kill each other.

I’m lying on my bed, with my right leg propped up, and everything slowly starts to sink in. And I’m crying. Before I can help myself, I start to cry. I’m crying not because my entire right leg is throbbing from pain or because the bite marks are going to leave huge scars. I’m crying because I’m up in my room and I’m scared to go down near Gray and Marley. I’m crying because as much as we love both of them, we have to give them up for everyone’s sake, and that means we may never see them again. I’m crying because it’s our fault. I know it’s our fault.

And as much as my leg hurts right now (and believe me, it fucking does), the thought of giving them away trumps any form of physical pain I feel. And I’m realizing only now how truly, terribly heartbreaking it is to give up the ones you love.

Gray (left) and Marley (right)

Gray (left) and Marley (right)

Incubus Appreciation Day

Ten years ago, I made the amazing discovery that is Incubus. I remember it was when our TV was busted for a week, I had nothing to do on the Internet (cue sigh of disbelief), and the only option for entertainment was our old radio. I never used to listen to FM stations because I was lame like that. And the only music I used to listen to were the ones my brothers listened to. I didn’t have my own favorite band, someone I could proudly say I discovered and to which I could attest pure greatness.

Until I heard Incubus’ Wish You Were Here on the radio one night. It sounded so different from everything else. It felt like the singer was saying something very important, but he wasn’t saying it bluntly. He was showing me exactly how he felt. This guy was a storyteller.

I dig my toes into the sand
The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds
Strewn across a blue blanket
I lean against the wind
Pretend that I am weightless
And in this moment I am happy

And in that moment, I was, too. Because I knew I finally found my favorite band. Brandon Boyd’s use of metaphors drew me to the band. The sky resembling a back-lit canopy with holes punched in it? Do you realize how beautifully he paints an image? Other singers just say that the sky is full of stars. Not him. He says it the way he sees it, and how he wants you to see it, too.

Then there’s Nice to Know You. Better than Geller watching bending silver spoons? Deeper than the deepest Cousteau would ever go? Seriously, who puts Uri Geller and Jacques Cousteau in song lyrics as a point of reference for something monumental that happened to you? I decided that this band was something else. I was intrigued. I got the album.

Then I heard Echo. Holy shit. I’ve never been captivated by a love song before, which by the way, it totally is. Only he wasn’t saying the same things thousands have said before. The song was quiet, his voice was endearing, and the words were poignant.

There’s something about the look in your eyes
Something I noticed when the light was just right
It reminded me twice that I was alive
And it reminded me that you’re so worth the fight

It was poetry in motion. It was fluid and emotional. I had to know more. I needed to hear more of Incubus. And so began my ten-year appreciation (NOT groupie-like obsession) of the band.

I think it’s amazing that they keep changing their sound. Other people hate that about them. I love it because it’s like listening to different bands but loving all nonetheless and knowing that you will get the same poetic fluidity that you love. At least, for me, that’s how it is.

I love even the noisier stuff because the grittiness of the songs goes perfectly well with the lyrics. “To resist is to piss in the wind!” declares Brandon in Out From Under. “Too bad the things that make you mad are my favorite things,” he taunts in Favorite Things. “Should I apologize if what I say burns your ears and stains your eyes?” he asks, seething, in Glass.

It has been ten years, and although my musical repertoire has significantly broadened, I don’t think there is anything quite like Incubus. I’ve made my choice and I stand by it. I can finally attest to pure greatness that is Incubus’ music.

Live long and prosper, Brandon Boyd. And happy birthday! 🙂

Brandon Boyd's doing the Vulcan salute. Live long and prosper. :)

Brandon Boyd doing the Vulcan salute. Live long and prosper. 🙂

Drowning in words

One look at my blog and I am surprised that people don’t drown in the wordiness of my posts. Because sometimes I feel like I do. So to make up for all the crazy shit I’ve been writing about, I will share random photos of things I love. So here goes:

I curse A LOT when I play video games. So much so that my mother actually yelled at me to stop playing already just so I’ll shut up. I’m not proud of it, but how do you not curse when you play? I’m genuinely curious.

Some of the books I bought in January. Normally, I couldn’t afford to buy these many books in one go, but thanks to the GCs I won from the essay-writing contest, I could. 🙂

Eggs in a basket. Because where’s the fun in serving egg and bread separately?

I don’t have a sweet tooth, but holy mother of fuck, this is one of the best waffles I’ve had, ever.

When I’m bored or having writer’s block, I draw (I’m not good at it, though). Sometimes on paper…

…sometimes on our wall. Also, I love elephants.

The Pumpkins were a significant part of my childhood. I was excited to go to their concert, but typhoon Gener happened, so I wasn’t able to go. It still bums me out sometimes and I keep thinking about the quote, “The biggest risk is the one you didn’t take.”

I discovered The xx last year and they totally changed how I listen to music. I used to listen only to noisier stuff, especially when writing, but they are so unbelievably awesome. I like their first album more than their second.

Last year as a birthday gift, my friend treated me to see Phantom of the Opera at the CCP. Because I was used to working from home for the past year and a half, I felt a little uncomfortable going out in wedge shoes and a dress. If I had a choice, I would’ve worn sneakers. But alas, for the love of the show, I dressed up. My feet hurt like crap after, naturally.

Watching Friends every night is still part of my routine. I don’t consider it as an obsession so much as necessity to keep stress at a minimum.

There is something about Moonrise Kingdom that I cannot get over. Maybe I should watch the movie again to find out exactly what.

Today, I acknowledge defeat

A year ago, you didn’t merely come into my life. You joked and laughed your way into what I can only now call a too-normal existence. I was not ready, but it didn’t matter. There you were. I was instantly smitten. And so a year of internal struggles, denial, and an everyday dose of You’re-Stupid-and-Dense Talk from friends began.

I was winning in the beginning. Someone would throw the Destiny card at me and I would gladly lash back my People-have-a-choice defense. Another would cleverly point out that I have fallen, and she, victorious, for having predicted correctly. But I would rise up to the challenge and say that I have not, in fact, fallen. I was thinking clearly and had a lot of facts to back me up, namely: Time, Distance and Logic. I have not fallen, I would say. I am on top of things. I can see clearly from my point of view and I am nowhere near the bottom. It became a ruthless fight of who liked whom and why, at which point I stopped and reassessed the situation.

Somewhere along the way, it got more and more difficult to justify things on my end. I could feel things inside me shift. I could sense change. Logic began to betray me. I have never felt like this before. I have loved others, and others have claimed they loved me. But I have never had someone sincerely—in his own quiet, perceptive way—figure me out. Not point out obvious things such as, “hey, you write,” or “wow, you really like books. Salinger is great”.  I feel as if those observations take no effort at all. But you. You know things about me I didn’t know you even notice. And why would you, I ask myself more often than I would care to admit. Sometimes, it feels as if you know me more more than I know you. And that’s saying something. I thought I had secrets, but you are reticent extraordinaire. But let me tell you something. If actions speak louder than words, yours are deafening. Others could sing the sweetest songs, while you just stand there and smile—and you would still have my heart.

So, today is a momentous day. I am allowing myself to feel and to fall—for real—and still retain sanity at the same time. I should be clear that I am still not ready to take the long road ahead. I want nothing to do with commitment and that’s just the way it is. I’m not sure if I will be ready tomorrow or the day after that. Maybe I will never be ready again and today will always be all that we have. But that’s okay.

Today, I acknowledge defeat. I admit, I love you.



Look for the girl with the messy hair; it is that way only because she worries more about important things inside her head than outside it. She will engage you in conversations you never thought you will make. You will think nothing of her at first, but you will find yourself thinking about her more and more constantly.

She will get annoyed when you tell her she is beautiful because doesn’t believe in such shallow observations. You will disagree with her silently, resisting the urge to tell her that coming to the conclusion of how beautiful she is doesn’t come from merely looking at her, but from being entirely captivated by her presence.

Be careful about what you say about her, but not about your opinions on certain issues. She will appreciate someone who takes a stand about price hikes, climate change, and other global challenges. She will not, however, appreciate you making hasty judgment about these issues. Realize that she is somewhat difficult, but that this doesn’t bother you any more than knowing Santa doesn’t really exist.


Note that he is never bothered by the fact that you never remember to comb your hair; take this as a positive sign. He will try to figure you out—but not the version of you that most people think you really are. He will look at you with such tenderness, and you will feel that he really wants to get to know you. You will smile when he talks to you, and your heart will beat faster every time he mentions things you both find interesting.

Don’t try to tell him how cute he is, even if by “cute” you mean unaware by how interesting he really is. By now, he is used to girls wanting to marry him immediately after hearing him play his music. He will not care for it. He has more depth than people give him credit for. He doesn’t show it a lot, though, because people—mostly girls—don’t take the time to get to know him. They get one word out of him and they swoon, which he finds more annoying than flattering.

Understand that it is difficult for him to completely trust someone immediately, but that it doesn’t translate to not wanting to trust you. He will take his time and work with a quiet determination to make up his mind. Remind yourself not to worry that he doesn’t rush about these things because, at the end of it all, you appreciate him for it.