Friday, June 28, 2013

Little Talks



"So tell me, what's today going to be like?" I ask him while we were still in bed. Our games are always like this.

He closes his eyes and pretends to look into the future. "I see a rainy day ahead, traffic jams. Lots of work to do," he replies. He opens his eyes, looks at me and smiles. "Then, you will come home to me."

"Will I be rich one day?" I tease him.

"You will come home to me. That is the best I can do. You will come home to me."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gossip Girl: Cock-a-Doodle-Doo

Warning: This story contains (very light) sexual references. Please do not proceed if it may offend you.

Previously on Gossip Girl:
The Inglourious Basterds

"But evolving is a tricky thing. You can't change without changing the world around you.

And not everyone might see your transformation the same way you do. But if you can make it through and truly be reborn, then maybe so can I. 

So beginning today, the past is just a prologue. It all starts from here."

Guess who's back, Upper Eastsiders? I know its been awhile but I'm here now ready to serve you the latest on what's up, and who's going down. Let's start, shall we?

Word is our favorite-it boy A has had more than one rude awakening this week. Could it be ... that someone dared to dump our Queen Bee?

One beautiful bright morning, I sent a text to my friends.

"So .. last night, I made love to a seven-inch cock," I said. "And it ... it loved me back. Happy Monday boys and girls!"

"It must have been some cock, eh? So do you think it's clever and wise?" Arlan replied.

"Honey, it was just a one-night affair! Or ... perhaps two. But it was quite something, I must say."

"Well, I fell in love with one cock until he got too cocky. He's been laying it a bit thick so I told him, 'You cockroach! You forget yourself!'" A said.

Wow, he's really angry, I thought to myself laughing. "What the fuck! You called him a cockroach?? Hahaha."

"Now I regret it. Anyway, as Vackie told me I'm only twenty-one and I'm allowed to make mistakes," he said. "(Groans) I just miss him."

"You really like this guy?" I asked him, turning serious. "I mean, seriously?"

"Honey ... Huwag kang magulat ha (Please don't be surprised)."


"I am in love with him."

This just in. It looks like the Ice Queen has finally met her match. And she's all lit up. But careful A. You know what they say, one day you're the muse, the next you're old news.

Ten days ago, I witnessed A and Cockroach Boy smile at each other coyly, hold hands, until the night ended with a big bang inside a rolling, rocking vehicle parked outside a restaurant as the sun crept up. Needless to say, I thought it was spectacular!

Bravo, I whispered to myself as I slowly munched on a breakfast of fried rice, scrambled eggs, longganisa, and adobo, waiting for the car to explode. This ... this is how you do it.

"And so ... how is Friday boy?" I asked Arlan the next day.

"Please please please please! Let us not call boys Friday guy or moment ago boy. It is so nasty," he said, as we both laughed. "But seriously, wish me luck honey. I like him."

"Oh come on," I replied grinning. "You and I both know how this story will end."

"You're so judgmental, bitch," A quickly replied. "Between the two of us, you are the real Ice Queen."

"Hahaha. What can I do? When your history is filled with decapitated corpses with their hearts torn out."

"Seriously ... sumeryoso ka gaga ka talaga! (Be serious and stop it!)," A said. "Haaaay ... it tends to get lonely up here. I need a permanent consort!"

But days later, Cockroach Boy suddenly stopped responding to A's messages. Guess who didn't like that very much?

"Honey, does he really like the guy?" I asked Vackie.

"Well .. maybe. But I think, naiinis siya kasi naisahan siya (he's upset because someone pulled one over him)!" V said as we both laughed.

"Who would have thought?" I said. "The player gets played."

A few days later ...

"You feel better?" I asked Arlan, checking up on him.

"I miss him up to now so I guess I haven't recovered; I'm still ill. This disease called love. Haaaay. So you .. you'd better not fall in love!"

Note to self: don't fall in love.

"Anyway," he continues, "I've been working out. Later, I'll trim my hair. The best way is not to win him back when he sees me; just get a new cock. A better one."

I could feel his voice hardening. Uh,oh. Looks like the Ice Queen is back.

"Let's go out this Saturday, Republiq / Cabana. Reserve the day," he said in a commanding voice. "Guys will fall and we'll just fuck them all."

They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Nowhere is this truer than in the Upper East. Buckle up ladies, looks like we're in for a rough ride.

I may have been gone a long time, but it seems some things are forever. A broken heart. The threat of war. And the fall of the mighty.

And just because I've seen it all, doesn't mean I've seen everything. And I must admit, even I didn't see this one coming. You may think my best days are behind me, but this old girl still has some new tricks.

It feels good to be back. And try as you might to fight it, you know you missed me.


Monday, June 10, 2013



It was late Saturday night and I was on my way home from the theater. I had just seen the French film Rust and Bones, which starred Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts. I thought it was brilliant in the way it portrayed people who inhabit the edges of life, their "sinewy determination, their guile, and above all,their recklessness," as Rachel Cooke wrote in her review for The Guardian.

So there I was ... driving home, listening to music and pondering the film when my friend Brian texted. He was partying at club Haze where Cosmic Gate was performing.

"Hay ... I'm so stupid Kane," he said. "I've already spend 4,300 bucks. I'm with my crush kasi."

"Honey, it's okay," I said. "These are the stuff memories are made of."

"That's what I'm thinking. Haayyy! For the great memories!!!" Brian replied. "Thank you K, I'm glad you understand me."

"Of course. You know me. What do we treasure when we're older if not moments like these," I told him.  Things one cannot hold on to, I thought to myself.

"The price we pay for great memories," he said. "Hay ... things like these were free when we were young."

Oh ... but we did pay a price Brian. We paid for it dearly. With our youth.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Labor of Love

Ship Ahoy

"It was magnificent. It was like New Year's eve, it was like the fourth of July, it was one of the best moments of my life as a journalist. I was overwhelmed. Feelings of joy, of wonder, of inexplicable emotions got me teary-eyed and I thought to myself, 'Wow, am I a lucky bastard or what.' I actually got to see this."

Originally written in February

My teammates from India to New Zealand and I were all gathered for our annual meeting via video conferencing. It was a big day, with the VIPs (Very Important People) flying in from New York and Washington to Asia to join us.

I was excited to see my teammates and to hear from our managing and executive editors whom we rarely interact with. I belong to the South Asia economy team, and we write economic reports for the region. These  are typically stories about central banks, finance ministries as well as the regular economic data such as inflation, exports, etc.

During the meeting, the editors announced the winner for the story of the year. Each year, they choose from among the works produced by my team. It's a sort of recognition for the best reporting we've done in the past 12 months.

And then they announced that I won.

"It was a very tough call," Chris, a managing editor explained. "We had a lot of very good stories last year." He enumerated some of them which included a story about fruit and vegetable sellers in Australia, Ferrari deaths in Singapore, and cobweb-covered crates in Vietnam.

"But we all think that this story about the changing demographics in Asia was the most compelling, the most visionary and agenda setting," he said. "In many way, this is the kind of reporting that characterizes what we do. It doesn't only tell you what's happening now, but also what's going to happen in the future. It was a unanimous decision."

I was stunned. I didn't even nominate anything I wrote. You're supposed to nominate your best work, but I did not nominate anything since I didn't expect to win. I know I'm good, but as I keep telling my friends, I work with some of the best minds in the world and the stories they write are the kinds of news reporting that prompt governments to take action, change policies, create laws.

I could feel a silly grin growing on my face before I realized I was on a video call and they could all see my reaction. I tried to be calm but inside, all I really wanted to do was scream and shout. My God, I won. Me.

It was one of the happiest moments of my life. That night as I slept, I suddenly thought of the strange journeys we take that lead us to unexpected places. I never planned to be a journalist. It was one of those things that I accidentally fell into. I thought of the years I've spent being a reporter, dreaming of writing stories that one day can change the world.

Maybe, I thought as sleep slowly settled in, that day is not so far away.

"Now I'm just chasing time
With a thousand dreams I'm holding heavy
And as we cross the line these fading beats have all been severed
Don't tell me our youth is running out
It's only just begun."
---Foxes, "Youth"