High on Halloween Candy

Post-Halloween musings, because I was alternately too busy and too lazy to write during the damned weekend.

Skewed skyscrapers of newly-whitewashed concrete coffin niches, sweaty children browned by the blistering November sun clambering over them, nimble fingers collecting the warm pooled wax of spent candle offerings. White-haired granddames in lacy toile veils intoning olden prayers for the dead, seeking to bring solace to those mournfully trapped in purgatory. Their pious whispering drowned out by the chatter of gossip, the cries of vendors hawking flowers, food, and icy drinks, and the ubiquitous Pinoy penchant for blasting videoke hits. The circus of the public cemetery on All Saints’ Day, where the dead and the living jostle for breathing space, and the Filipino’s curious mix of grimy life, occult-flavored religiosity, and fiesta celebrations come together in one delightfully incongruous holiday.

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On Death, A Short Slug

At the glorious age of ninety-seven, my great-grandmother died yesterday. She outlived a husband who was a little loco in the head and hung himself, survived by ten children, one of whom is my father’s father. I stared at the text message that brought me the news, murmured a polite comment of commiseration, and concentrated on my coding.

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Repost ko lang yung comment ko kay Jenn. About Cory.

Because everybody is saying something, and holy shit, I ain’t getting left by the bandwagon.

I think it took a lot of courage and energy to fight a dictatorship and be swept into a role which was entirely different from what she envisioned. Caught in a nexus, how would a person of her morals act? Accept it with her god’s grace and square her shoulders.

Although if we look at her accomplishments as President, a huge part of it was making Filipinos more confident and giving them a taste of freedom. Otherwise she did make a lot of fuckups too, if we were going to assess her term dispassionately and logically. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, hardly now.

That doesn’t detract from her stature as a person anyway. I’m one of those people who refuse to lionize people when they’re dead, glossing over faults and blemishes. I believe the proper way to remember somebody is to think of him in his entirety, because it reminds us that everyone is human, all equally decaying to a nice humus specially conducive to plants.

Unfortunately people don’t seem to share my sentiments. But hey, what the hell. Good luck Cory, history judges you favorably. But I’m sure the people you touched don’t care what other people think of you, and in this case you stay alive for all of them. I have half the balls that you do, and I would have disowned Kris a long, long time ago.

All I remember are brownouts and coups, talk about a light in the darkness, eh?

of death and anticipation and a living celebration

first of all, peace to francis magalona. a courageous battle indeed… some people never die because they never lived (thanks mick). he wasn’t one of them. he died, a full-throated screaming punctuation of a life well-lived.

i’ll probably slink away quietly, pathetically, dying of some malaise of the soul. blogging on borrowed time helps delay the inevitable. i still wish to be buried in a ferrari, so i have to spend my waking hours slaving away to pay for my extravagant burial. says something about my outlook in (the after)life…

and i just got my copy of sylvia plath’s ariel. the restored version, as differentiated from the supposedly bastardized version that ted hughes masterminded. i have been leafing through it. a reproduction of the original manuscript of lady lazarus was reason enough to buy it.

i almost bought another hp lovecraft compilation, too. i hesitated because the book was in bad condition for something that expensive, and half of the short stories there were already in the two other compilations that i had.

anyway, i have an .html file of all his stories… but dead tree editions are so much more tangible. and easier to read. i’m an old fogey. i like the smell of yellowed books. they print the new ones on acid-free paper. takes the charm of rotting books away.

also managed to acquire a very tattered copy of fables for a hundred bucks. it pains me to see a comic book treated as such, but then i hope it got battered because of the constant, loving, thumbing-thru reading that penniless readers often do in national bookstore. issues 11-18 was about big bad wolf getting snow white preggers.

dammit. wolves.

if it’s any consolation, i still have that temple of the dog CD that i always forgot to give you. and the discount card. and that pack of frenzy.

and that last memory of your artifacts on a table, under the light of a jaundiced lamp: a lighter, a sony ericsson cellphone, a pack of marlboros, a couple of law books, some coins.