Friday, November 27, 2015

Ambition... And Lack of It

33 years of my life, most of them wasted. When I turned 16, I told my mother I wanted to become a priest.

A priest? Did you say priest? You? A priest? Get off the high horse, boy, we don’t have money for that kind of ambition. Hear that Tatay your son says he wants to become a kora paroko.

Hhhmmm. He looked up a bit from reading an old newspaper and got back to it. Tatay doesn’t say much, and seemed to have little or no opinion about anything, except when drunk.

And they say I’m lacking ambition, which is true, if you really think about it. A few weeks before the graduation in high school. The priest in our parish took me to the city to take the entrance exam for pre-college seminary admission. When mother learned about it, she was besides herself, what would other people think and all that. We don’t have money and there are four of us siblings, my ate on her second year in college, my sister in high school, a two year old boy crying for milk in the crib, bless him, and  now me, not listening to reason, mother’s reasoning. Where do we get the money to pay for you?

Don’t bother about it mother. You’ve never missed going to church every Sundays and pray the rosary. If you really believe in God, don’t bother about it then. God will provide.


She looked at me as if she saw a stranger.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Short Film Germ

Based on a true story.

First scene:

Norkis Basketball Park. A thug punches the face of a player while making a layup. Player makes a hard fall, blood pouring out of his face. Crowd stunned. Make shots that depict the whole bloody scene.

Scene 2:

Same thug is scene talking at some tambays. You can see kids and some elders playing basketball with a small court, using a small ball. Some people are apparently intimidated by his presence. A friend taller than him tried to make fun of him punching that kid the other day. Guy's actually selling a gun on the street.

Scene 3:

Thug is abducted by unknown people with a black van.

Scene 4:

Something cruel happens.

Scene 5:

Guy's seen stumbling his way to home. He packs his clothes.

Scene 6:

We see him embarking a ship to nowhere.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Barracks Dwellers (First Draft)

Guy and his girlfriend talking about writing, and types of literary writing

styles out there. Discuss about writers and how they write. Writers who write

poetry. Some can't write poems, they write in prose. Others write in short

stories. But some find it difficult to write, so they sit down and write novels.

Guy and gf live in the same small apartment with separate rooms, a toilet and

later on with a large dog named Bronn, after two break ins in their apartment.


The apartment is located in Cebu City, in a squatter area most residents still

called Barracks. Fire here happens often than other areas in the city. It was

once owned by the Government military during the Marcos era. Soldier stationed

here, a strategic place for their operations in the city. After the Martial Law,

the new city government wanted to get rid of the place, which became a symbol of

oppression and torture. Hardened criminals, political activists, anyone the

government wanted to get rid off was said to be brought here, to the center of the

Barracks where they "got exactly what they deserve." People who now live here

tell of haunting stories of people moaning and gnashing of teeth. Barracks later

sold to the rich Ayala Family.


The place where the apartment is looks dismal and stinky, the walls covered in

graffiti that looks like a work of a madman with severe mental diarrhea. There's

also plenty of mosquitoes. But the rent is cheap.


"This is perfect," he said.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A challenge

A challenge. Re-read Bernard Malamud's The Tenants. See how the novel works. Why it works. Retype the whole thing if you like. Brilliant writers from the past did that. Nah. Probably not doing that. But I would like to take the challenge of replicating the story arch, and try to create my own. This is only as a practice, a discipline to keep me going. Love to do that.

Talking about this novel.


Here we go

Here we go. You want to read something you want to read. A story unlike any story you ever heard. Or at least brilliantly told. Ideas oozing with creative juices to nourish your brain, your spirit, dragging you out from a slump, driving you to act and get closer to where you want to be.

Stay around. I may have something for you. Or not.

I know the feeling. I'm like you. I read a lot. The hard part is finding something you really like to read. We're exactly the same. At least in mind and spirit. We want something. Desperately. With time ticking. Getting closer to the finish line.

I should have been doing this long time ago. I tried doing it consistently. But it's not that simple as you think. It really takes courage, passion, discipline, everything you have to do this, every single day. Finding time to be yourself. Leave this world for a better one filled with wonders. Even for moment. A bliss. Clean up. Start pruning. Cultivate the garden. A plan in your head. A palace. Magnificent. The materials are all there. They are almost ready. Put a stop to not doing. We've something special here. Very special. You've got this.