The Homefront: Six Months and We’ve Only Just Begun

I’m a cyborg that partly runs on a programming language named Sergio.

A lot of things depend on Sergio. In the last five months I sleep depending on an algorithm that will most likely appear hieroglyphic when written and sound-like baby talk when spoken. It’s a strange process given that I occasionally  find myself waking up in the wee hours of the morning, forced to do uncanny stuff like walking in the dark half-awake, and dancing to the tune of a lullaby whose lyrics are reputed to sound like a mash up of all your most favorite nursery rhymes fantastically put together.

In acapella.

With a sleeping audience of two-and-a-half (I count in the half-asleep column).

A few hours after my usual “sing to sleep concert” I wake up as if nothing happened the hours before. Usually my shuteye stops at around six even when my alarm clock is set at 5:30 in the morning. Somehow other algorithms stop making sense in lieu of Sergio’s routines.

And it’s not just time that changed the way it behaves over the last few months. Other regular worldly patterns started making different sense as well. For instance I now know how to find a wellspring of energy whenever I’m almost dead tired. I find myself smiling even when I’m groggy and sleep deprived. I dream even when I’m half-awake.

Sergio turned my world around and upside down like he usually would to any toy he can get his hands on. He’s a cute programming language. A complex one like his dad. A beautiful one like his mom.

Sergio is turning half-a-year-old in a couple of days’ time. The last six months flew so fast that all these haven’t sunk in yet; something this beautiful is never easy to digest for a mortal like me. That, and the fact that I am yet to overthink all the strange phenomenon that has taken over my life in so short a time.

Then again I might never ever need to overthink whatever we have at the moment. I guess that’s something Sergio must have taught me in the process.

All that in six months… and we’ve only just begun.

Something from five months back via Sergio is now a month short of his first birthday and frankly, everyday still feels like a new beginning.



Heartbreak Medicine

School on Saturdays is like home on Sundays. Offbeat. Languid. But perfect for all kinds of reasons.

The hallways are reminiscent of young love and childlike longing. The feeling is heavy. It’s the same feeling that comes with the realization that you won’t be seeing your sweetheart until Monday. The feeling when your appetite is suddenly haywire; the desires of eating and throwing up have become indistinguishable.

The transience of long-distance weekend-love-affairs can make one so restless. You know it will be over soon; but God, two days can mean eternity…  You suddenly wish you’d fall into the deepest of slumbers until the week restarts. It’s the last resort for somebody who doesn’t want to die with a broken heart. Continue reading

Tales from the Countryside: Featuring the Wisdom of Nonoy Legend (2/3)

It wasn’t long before the outskirts of Panabo and Davao merged into one invisible line. Home at last.

Notwithstanding the excitement to finally get that much sought-after bed rest, we had to slow down. Davao City’s urban sprawl involves the omnipresence of pedestrians and vehicles that make the town’s outskirts look and feel like mini-cities in their own right. Thank God it was Sunday. Despite the number of feet and wheels plying the roads, we still had enough opportunities to let fly. Whoever dared keep up with the Legend was sure to eat dust. Continue reading

Tales from the Countryside: Featuring the Wisdom of Nonoy Legend (1/3)

Sunday afternoon. The roads are lonely. I try to glance out of the window to check whether it’s us moving or it’s the earth’s crust rolling beneath us like a giant treadmill.

Silence engulfed the entirety of the van. Sinver, my one-time passenger seat buddy, is now at the last row, preferring a seat beside MG. He took his laughter with him hence the silence up front. Paul, Pearl, and Raissa are in the middle row, all hooked up to their devices; the three of them cruising with their own unique soundtrack. Continue reading

Silk and Substance: What it really takes to become a guidance counselor (part 3/3)

Previously on Silk and Substance…


But even if I gave all my secrets away, I couldn’t possibly give a valuable advice on every phenomenon known to man. In fact, I have no secrets to give away. I’m not an expert at life and I have no garage sale of meaningful and valuable insights. What I have, I’d like to believe, is that faculty of deep thought and thorough listening, and that childish fascination for stories.

What I have is a fanciful mind that loves to cherry-pick on reality; insight that loves to glean out parallels between the ideal and the real. I’ve gotten used to ironing stories and eliciting morals out of them because that’s what I do with my own life. I like rewriting my experiences in the form of parables that feature great epiphanies, heroic deeds, and mistakes that should never be committed again. It’s not about giving out advice; it’s drawing out advice. All about creatively asking someone to give an advice to his or herself. That’s my job.

And where will I be in all of these elaborate trappings? I’m a delicate fabric, the fingers of the air running through me. Silk.

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Silk and Substance: What it really takes to become a guidance counselor (part 2/3)

Previously on Silk and Substance…

Destiny over Design

“How does it feel working with children?” Kristine’s eyes dilated with interest. Her mother used to be a guidance counselor so I could understand her curiosity when asking me about my profession.

I wasn’t far removed from her. Apart from the mother-profession connection, Kristine and I graduated from the same high school and college. That and we also came out of the same grade school. She knew how it was to grow up in the halls of the Ateneo.

“How does it feel to become a guidance counselor now?” Kristine added before I could answer.

“It’s my karma.” I thought to myself.
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Silk and Substance: What it really takes to become a guidance counselor (part 1/3)

“I never imagined you working for the grade school’s guidance office…” Kristine quipped as I sat right in front of her. “I don’t think anybody ever thought of you becoming a guidance counselor.”

“Me neither,” I pondered to myself. This wasn’t my dream.

A few years ago I was in the company of future engineers, scientists, and mathematicians. I spent the best years of my adolescence growing up in a school where minds are tempered to closely follow theory, structure, discipline, and doctrine. Science high schools are made of that, and science high schools make persons out of that. That was the design, at least for the four high school years I spent en route to college. And now only God knows whatever happened to “the design.”
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