X: A Fork in the Road

I was so tired after my Friday overtime that I stayed for another hour just to drink more water and take a nap. I did not bother going home right away. And this has been my nth overtime in almost 3 months.

It’s 10:40pm that I logged out of the office. I opened my smartphone and stared at the Uber icon. Should I book a ride? No. I chose to walk for a while and look for a nearby Mercury Drug.

During my walk to the drugstore, my heart started beating hard like a mad gorilla pounding a bass drum. My feet was trembling and almost failing. The quiet and dark streets are whispering somber thoughts I am not supposed to think about.

I need to breathe. I do not need another anxiety attack. God damn it. I need to breathe. I need to close my eyes and take deep breaths. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly. Deeply. Breathe. I will be fine.

After a few minutes of my breathing exercise, my anxious heart calmed down and I opened my eyes. There is red and black smoke, and a deep church bell rang as if The Undertaker will start his slow march. But no. I saw more familiar face—the face of The Character, a dear friend of mine that only gifted eyes can see. Wearing his white mask, black hood and black gloves, he presented me a literal fork in the road.

“I will leave it up to you to interpret the paths.”

In the left, there is a contract. What can I say? I have been working for the same digital production company for 3 years, and the past 2 were assured by that contract I signed out of motivation to earn more money, out of my desire to learn more about UI and graphic design and helping out my colleagues, and out of fear of being unemployment for 6 months before I got my first job. My contract’s end is drawing near as my fear of unemployment is creeping back, so there is this want to extend my stay.

In the right, there is a newly-furnished door. This brand new path could mean many things: a new job that pays better yet still stressful or the total end of my current job. But all I can say about the new door is that it symbolizes, well, new. It symbolizes something I have never done before during my 3-year corporate run.

Two paths, and I feel like I’m running out of time. I need to make a decision. I must make a decision. Or…

“But seriously though,” I asked The Character. “How about a vacation? Can I just go to an excursion to Singapore for the weekend or something? Or just watch Foo Fighters in August there? October is a bit far away for me.”

“Well, then. The clock is ticking still,” The Character warned as he slowly disappears from the fog, and the fork in the road dissolves into dust.

And then I woke up. I found myself in a Family Mart resting. I need to go home. Or probably get some new breakfast pancakes at Starbucks before going home. Whatever.

I want a long vacation. I do. But he is right. I need to make a decision soon.

IX: Gentle Breeze

I rarely have long vacations, let alone having an overnight one. When I do get a break from the busy city, it’s either in Cagayan, Bulacan, Baguio, Boracay (one time), Tagaytay, or Laguna. But never Batangas. Today changed all of that with my family’s annual trip with their badminton clubmates. (Something that has been going on for probably 3-4 years. I barely play badminton, so I have no idea about the actual numbers.)

Honestly, I almost forgot about the trip. But since I had a 5-day overtime streak this week, I just have to join. And I’m glad I did.

“How do you relax, Deranged Writer?”, you asked. Well, I have several ways to relax: listening to music, reading comic books, or watching my favorite TV series, among other methods. But I just found a new form of relaxation: writing while staying at an elevated cottage high enough to feel the coolest of breezes and oversee everything that the resort has to offer: two swimming pools, several apartments and other cottages.

Have I mentioned the cool breeze already? Sleeping, swimming at the sea or at the pool, eating sumptuous food, and doing it over again is a beach person’s dream. But just experiencing the cool breeze is my favorite part of entire weekend break. It’s not only very much welcomed, I truly loved every second of the province’s wind blowing and touching my brown skin. All the air-conditioning units in the world are nothing compared to Mother Nature’s gift of fresh air.

I believe that nature’s gentle winds are their simple and comforting reminders that there will be always be better days, that everything will be fine.

The last time I had a memorable beach trip happened just last year in Boracay. Experiencing vitamins sun, sand and John Cena sea every month would cost me more than a quarter of my Funko Pop collection. But damn it. I want to have more vacations like this. I want to work harder for vacations like this.

I want more gentle breezes.

20-Minute Warning Before 2017

Of all the shitty years I have ever went through, 2016 has been the shittiest. Seriously. But even if I don’t talk about my personal life, a lot of people will agree that 2016 is one very, very bad year. I can list some reasons: More bloodshed from war-stricken countries, the surprise win of Donald Trump as President of the U.S.A., and the meteoric and almost apocalyptic rise of President Rodrigo Duterte and his controversial war against drugs.

But what really hits me the most as I remember and write under time pressure is the demise of people I look up to. David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, and Prince (!!!) all gone on the same year really cut some heartstrings brutally. I may not know them, but to think that we will never get to see more of their brilliance in music, film and the arts is just terrible. Terrible. But yes, they did made use of their brilliance to change the world or at least change the worlds of those who admire them. And with all of the masterpieces they created, we will remember them for years to come. And I will truly remember them.

And don’t get me wrong. I do want to talk more socially-relevant topics on my blog. But that will be done next year. And it’s like 11:14 as I typed this. Time pressure. Tick tock.

10 minutes. 10 minutes is also not enough for me to discuss how hard it is for me to be diagonosed as clinically depressed. I know I can be really emotionally; that I can get sad pretty easily. But 2016 really put that depression under a microscope. And I can’t even expound on how sad that is without feeling relieved after doing so. Maybe that is also the reason for my new Dispatch. I want a clean slate that I can really talk about what I am really going through.

Of course, there are some brighter moments like getting closer with my family and friends because of my diagnosis, getting a lot of new stuff, buying a lot of new stuff (like the new phone I just bought before Christmas!), new discoveries like the eccentric metal band Ghost and indie pop band Autotelic, and enjoying Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (surprising really!) on the big screen. But man, I cannot wait for 2016 to end. This has been one tough year for me and the rest of planet Earth.

And here come the fireworks. Here’s to a funner, less darker 2017! But even if it will not be like that, I just hope everything will be just fine. That’s all.

Happy New Year! Ding!

IV: Day 5 to #27

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I’ve been trying to get out of this writing funk I got stuck in post-birthday (no thanks to my anxiety). But now I’m out of it, thanks to this this lovely coffee place/vinyl shop called Satchmi. No, this is not a paid advertisement. And aside from the dinner treat last Monday (which I’m going to talk about in a bit), writing here this Saturday night is the best idea I’ve had all week.

If I were to have my own place, this place is one of my design pegs-brown and peach brick wall, natural wood, lots of records and lots of coffee. (Perhaps I would want my own cafe, too?) All the vinyl music bouncing through the warm, natural interior while sipping their coffee get me in the zone to write. And with that, I thank Satchmi for getting me out of the funk.

And funk you, writer’s block.


Continue reading IV: Day 5 to #27

III: Before Turning 26

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I’ve been on a blogging roll since last month, and I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going on The Dispatch. I started writing again on the blog, tackled a bit more on pro wrestling, and came up with a new segment in Questions & Exclamations.

Since I started talking more rasslin’, I thought maybe I could write more Qs&Es this week by watching more WWE after going home from work. I spent almost 3 hours for Raw, 2 for SmackDown, 1 for NXT and 1 for the new cruiserweights-exclusive 205 Live. I enjoyed the shows this week (although I am a bit sad about the lack of Shinsuke Nakamura on the NXT episode), and I was able to jot down each episode’s important points. I said, “Oh, this is going to be great!” 

And then I logged on to my WordPress dashboard, started transfering my notes, started expounding on those notes, and… and then… I stopped. I just stopped. I just stopped.

After spending more than 3 hours of watching and reviewing this week’s WWE programming, I felt burned out. Really burned out. It’s like those sugar rush episodes wherein it all ends up with you crashing down—in my case, it’s my mind on full pro wrestling overload that suddenly went BSOD. Maybe this is my mind telling me to slow down and rethink my strategy on how I run things on The Dispatch.

And slow down, I must do. I should just talk about my birth month since it’s now… December! (Yey!)

Listen: Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” (2007)

Soundtrack: Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” (of course)


I don’t remember that exact date in 2008, but I do remember that one fateful afternoon when I was talking to a friend of mine while we were on our usual MRT ride back home.

Mr. Rollins[1], that friend of mine I was talking about, asked me what my favorite Foo Fighters songs are.  Of course I love “All My Life”, the first song I heard from them, and their music video of it was the first I have seen from them. I also love the stage anthem “Best of You” and the motivating-and-feel-good “Learn to Fly”. And take note that I am only a casual fan of the band by then.

Mr. Rollins said, “Awesome! But have you heard of ‘The Pretender’?”

“No. Not yet,” I said.

“No way. You should check it out right now. I think you will like it.”

He gave me his earphones for a while, I plugged in it and after just a few seconds of the song’s gloomy Led Zeppelin-isque guitars and strings, my eyes got wider, my whole surroundings became more vibrant and I can feel the blood flowing all over my arteries and veins. (And for good reason.) That a very day, not only I discovered and liked “The Pretender” very much, I discovered my favorite song of all time. And I have my eternal thanks to Mr. Rollins for that.

Continue reading Listen: Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” (2007)

5 Minute Warning I

Today is the 26th anniversary of The Undertaker in WWE. It’s not even November 22 in the US. Nonetheless, the date is very significant to me. Sometimes I find comfort in the dark, which is weird. But Undertaker makes it not weird. He made it cool actually.

I’m pretty sure I can’t even expound how much I admire the myth that is The Undertaker within 5 minutes. But all I can say is that if it weren’t for him, being in the darkness may be too grueling to handle. And of course, he’s an amazing brawler in pro wrestling and the many legendary matches he was involved in are worth remembering for generations.

Oh, man. I should work on this piece further. This is not enough.