Saturday, August 22, 2009

On Saying Goodbye When You've Just Found Love (Part 1 of 2)

Life sucks. We all know that.

My 3rd Year High School Economics teacher once said - “Cost is the opportunity forgone in an acquisition.” Whenever we choose something, we also choose to let go of something else.

In my case, I chose stability of life over happiness.

As an undergraduate, I found that your aptitude and attitude alone can’t bring you to the top. I’ve had several odd jobs before I figured out that if I wanted to earn enough money to be able to buy at least a couple of properties, working in the Philippines as an under-paid undergraduate isn’t the best idea. That’s the reason why I grabbed at the opportunity to work in a cruise ship when it presented itself. It might not be the most fun job in the world but it surely beats having to eat a can of sardines a whole week if your budget goes on a sudden nosedive.

I have never had any difficulty leaving the Philippines whenever my 2-month vacation from work ends. It’s not because I don’t care about my family and friends. The Supreme Being knows how much I love them. The fact is, I have always been the “traveling” type. I’m the person who enjoys where the wind blows me and flying off for a 6-month contract has never been a biggie.

Leaving the Philippines this time was a bit difficult. Largely owing to the fact that I felt I met Raymond too late and we haven’t had enough time together. We only had around 3 weeks and I feel like I’m cutting our “Honeymoon” phase quite short.

I was supposed to go to Makati to get my plane ticket from my agent 2 days before my flight. When I told Raymond I was to leave Olongapo the next day, he insisted that he wanted to join me. I didn’t like the idea at first because I’m not comfortable with saying goodbyes. I’m not into the whole “waterworks” gig, but when I do start, you can hook-up me up with a turbine and I can produce enough electricity to light up Las Vegas. I only said yes when he told me he was just going to join me at Cassey’s pad and will not go with me and my family to the airport on the day of my departure.

The next day, he told me he cooked Pesto and baked a blueberry cheesecake for my mom and dad. When I told my Mom and Dad that Raymond cooked something for them, they went into this freakish frenzy and told me they wanted to meet him. I had a gut feeling that they already knew about me and Raymond.

My dad was a secret spy of the highest caliber in his former life. It’s really difficult to hide things from him. My being the paragon of “the absolute gossipmonger“ must have come from the genes. Since he retired from work, my dad has taken researching what me and my siblings are up to as his new hobby. He usually passes the information to my mom as he knows that she can’t turn down a juicy scandal as well. Out of the two, my mom is always the one who has the courage to ask the veracity of their findings and soundness of their hypotheses out in the open.

”When the food gets here, make sure you don’t eat any. Let me and your dad take care of eating the food he brings because your boyfriend might have put a love potion on it.“ said my mom as she was standing behind my Dad, trying to see what he was reading on his laptop.

”Did you just say boyfriend?“ I asked flabbergasted.

My dad looked at me and said ”We saw your relationship status changed in Facebook.“

Dang! I totally forgot that me and my dad are Facebook buddies.

I excused myself because they might start having an uber-late talk about the bird and the bees with me.

When I got to my room, I texted Raymond right away that he shouldn’t come to our house. I told him that I’ll meet him by a street corner near our place instead.

An hour later, Raymond texted me that he was a couple of minutes away from our meeting place. I went downstairs and was about to go out through our main door when my dad asked:

”Is Raymond here already? Let him in and give him something to drink (while we squeeze every small detail of his life from him).“

I guess my cellphone has been bugged by my parents. I’ll have to check on that when I get the free time from my pseudo-hectic schedule.

”No, I’m just going to buy a pack of cigarettes“ was what I told my dad as I went out.

I know my dad has a pair of binoculars which he won’t hesitate to use on us to get his fresh dose of morning gossip. I walked half-running to where Raymond and I were supposed to meet so that if my dad did go to the extent of using binoculars, he would just see me with a bag of Raymond’s cooking and no Raymond.

After giving me the food he made for my parents, Raymond told me to just text him that afternoon when I wanted him to pick me up. He left without kissing me as we were in front of a hotdog stand owned by the Editor-In-Chief of our streets ”Gossip Today Broad-Shit“.

”I can’t believe you didn’t introduce him to us!“ I’m not so sure if that’s how my dad worded it as he was munching on Raymond’s Pesto when he did.

”You can tell Raymond he can put some more garlic next time he does this. You can never go wrong with more garlic on Pesto.“ supplied my mom while twirling her fork on her 2nd plate of Raymond’s now epic pasta dish.

This was really weird for me.

I’ve never had any of my ex-partners introduced to my parents. Well, except one, but they didn’t know he was my partner. My friends threw a surprise party for me at our home that time and there were so many people who went there that I’m pretty sure my parents weren’t able to keep track of everybody. Heck, if they did, they would have noticed that the cake that one of my friends had commissioned to be made of a naked man with a life-size penis standing upright like the Eiffel Tower on top of our dinner table resembled one of the guests.

Why did my parents all of a sudden have this crazy interest in finding out who I was dating?

”So are you going to introduce him to us later?“ my mom unceremoniously broke my flashback.

”Yes mom, Later when he picks me up ....“ I said; deliberately not finishing it off with my intended close ”.... I’ll hide him from both you and dad.“

When I was ready to leave, I texted Raymond that he can pick me up where we rendezvoused earlier.

I was sure my parents were in the garden as I saw them there through my window with our mongrel dogs Megs, Maegan, Brownie, Spot and Tisay. I tried to haul two of my huge luggage down the stairs, through our main door and down the staircase leading to our main gate as silently as humanly possible.


The game plan was, I’ll just text my parents I already left and that we’ll all just see each other at the NAIA when I leave after 3 days. I went back to my room like an experienced ninja to get my Oakley backpack and laptop bag.

Still, there was no sign of my parents. Lady luck must really love me!

I went through the same route as quiet as a snail (if there’s even a loud snail to begin with). As I was going down through the staircase leading to our garage, I looked back quickly to see if my parents were anywhere behind me.

No one! All was going well.

Very slowly, I tip-toed down the steps. I was so nervous in making any type of sound that might alert my parents of my escape.

My heart was beating like the bass drum of a flamboyantly gay cheering squad.

”Will my parents hear it beating wildly?“ I thought as I wiped off the sweat on my forehead. ADDITION TO MY TO-DO LIST IN LIFE: Study yoga so that you can learn how to temporarily stop your heart from beating!

I was a couple of steps away from freedom when I noticed a shadow moving by the landing of our staircase leading to our garage.

”What took you so long?“ said my dad beaming at me like all his missed Christmas gifts came that very day.

( ... to be continued ... Raymond meeting my parents .... our first fight ... and the day I leave ...)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Are You A Gen-X Kid?

I was trying to clean my inbox when I stumbled upon an e-mail that made me smile. It was from a friend from High School. I honestly don’t know how old are my readers, so this to check whether or not you are a part of my generation .... GENERATION X


You’ve had at least one outfit from these labels: Penshoppe, United Colors of Benetton, U.S.E.D., Boy London, Cross Colors, Esprit, and Blowing Bubbles.

You associate Bench with Richard Gomez.

At least one of your tops had shoulder pads if you’re a girl. You own at least one pair of Might Kid shoes if you’re a boy.

You’ve seen the money shaped like a square (diyes) and another shaped like a flower (singko).

You remember the 1 peso coin being HUGE.

The more compartments your pencil case had, the cooler you were. Same went with multi-colored ball point pens.

You made use of “slumbooks” to know who your crush’s crush was.

You used to collect scented stationaries and believed that “KISSES” multiply by itself when left inside a box with loose cotton.


You’ve experienced grinding “gumamela” and mixing it’s extract with water and some soap to make bubbles via loops made from “walis tingting”.

Your mom forces you to sleep during summer afternoons and shoved rice with “Star Margarine” down your throat - all to help make you taller by a few inches.

You know how to play “patintero”, “saksak puso”, “langit-lupa”, “teleber-teleber”, “chato”, “luksong tinik/kalabaw”, “tumbang preso” and “bubuka ang bulaklak” (pre-Viva Hot Babes version).

You used to collect G.I. Joes and Barbie looked more of a human being.

You were considered cool if you had any of these: Atari, Super Family Computer or NES.

You know what this is for: ”up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, a, b, a, b, select, start“.

You know how to get 99 lives for Mario in Mario Bros. 1.

You know how to use WordStar. You had at least one 5.25” floppy disc which made you feel proud whenever you walked holding one because that meant you know how to use the new technological advancement - computers.

When you were in High School, you’re so cool if you had a multi-lined pager.


Have you tasted “aratilis”, “bubot na bayabas”, and “chico”?

Magnolia Chocolait were still in glass bottles.

You read the Bazooka Joe comic strips while chewing on the pink gum.

You witnessed the rise of JUDGE and fall of Bazooka Joe.

You know this jingle: “Nano, nano, nano, nano. Nano, nano, nano, nano, nano, nano. Nano-na-oh Nano-Nano it makes me crazy. I really love, what it does to me. Sweet, Sour and Salty, Nano-nano, Nano-nano, Nano-nanoooooooo”


You were addicted to: Rainbow Brite, Carebears, My LIttle Pony, Thundercats, Bioman, Voltes V, Mazinger Z, Daimos, He-Man, She-Ra and other cartoons in English. The only kids’ show you watched in Tagalog was Batibot.

You know Pong, Kiko, Kuya Bogie, Ate Sienna, Manang Bola, and the Sitsiritsit Girls.

You know how to sing “Tinapang Bangus” and “Alagang Alaga Namin si Puti”

You truly believe that McGyver’s a genius and that Balky from Perfect Strangers is the funniest man on earth.

You can fill in the blank without even thinking hard: “Time-Spacae warp ______!!!”

You thought Aiza was cute, and Lady Lee was a rip-off.

You think a kid lacks proper breeding if he/she preferred “Eh Kasi Bata” over “5 and Up”.

You were in grade school or prep when Bagets and Ninja Kids were big.

You know the song “Tatlong Bentisingko” and know what is the color of pay-phones in general.

Watching Beverly Hills 90210 was the way you were updated in fashion.

You know at least one member of the group Smokey Mountain.

Whether you accept this or not, you know at least one song (with at least half of the lyrics burned into your brain) from Andrew E. and April Boy Regino.

You know that Michael V. used to be a good-looking rapper instead of a comedian.

You can sing along with Francis Magallona’s “Mga Kababayan Ko” while doing the “Running Man”, “Scissors” and ”Roger Rabbit“ (Shout-out to my Yaya Marietta for teaching me the groovy steps).

Ecstasy used to be a song and not a drug. That being said, you know how to sing this: ”Tam-chiki-dam-dum-dang Que-tum-bam-bang-que-tum-bang que-be-que-be que-tam-dum-dang que-tum-bang que-peng. Chicki-tam-chiki-di-dam-dum-dang que-tum-bam-bang-que-tumbang-que-be-que-be-que-dam-dum-dang que tum bang que-peng ... Ecstasy, Extano, esta me gusta mella como yo.“

You believed the gossip about the Spice Girls being cross-dressers..


You’ve got more things to add to my list as a proof that you are from GENERATION X? Then post them as a comment to this entry.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sonnet II - There ... Still

Why start my sonnet with 2 when this is my 1st post of a sonnet? Basically, the 1st sonnet I ever wrote is now “lost”. I wrote it as an assignment during our 3rd year in High School. When I submitted my sonnet to our teacher, Mrs. Arlene Coronado, she marked it with a 100 and stuck a post-it on it which said “See me after class.” When I went to see her, she asked permission if she can include my sonnet in a new Literature textbook she was working on. I signed a release form for my “work’ and went straight to the quad to play volleyball. I don’t know if the book was ever published, or if my sonnet was included. But the mere fact that I was asked though, was very much memorable.

Since I am so happy and inspired right now, I think it’s the best time to recreate my lost sonnet. This new sonnet, like my old one, is in Elizabethan/Shakespearean rhyming scheme but Petrarchan in structure. I’m not sure if this is iambic though because I’ve never gotten the hang of obsessively checking the alteration of my syllabically stresses. I’ve also used the same 1st two lines from my 1st sonnet, as they are the only lines I can distinctly remember.

The original was done out of necessity, this one, I’ve written out of felicity. So here it is ... the remake of my original sonnet ... for “Raymond” and to everybody who hopes of keeping the promises of love for eternity.


by Jhezper Driedfish

Will you still be there when the sun has set,
on the placid waters of life’s joys’ end?

When the fog creeps in, whence Life and Death met,

will you still walk me to the unknown bend?

Will you still be there when the laughter’s gone,
replaced with cries from the depths of your soul.
When triumphs you fancied cannot be won,
will your taxing troth not burden your crawl?

When the clock strikes deeper into the night,
and the nightingales sing their odes and praise;
your hands, in mine, in any fated plight -
is what I see, through my heart filled with grace.

Confident I am, your love will be there,
like mine, to you, as perennial as air.


This sonnet came form the depths of my shallow mind and unfathomable heart. Please don’t plagiarize. Stealing poems is like stealing the author’s heart and soul. Feel free to give it away to the people you love, just don’t forget to put my pen name - Jhezper Driedfish. If I get good comments, I’d probably try to write more poems in Haiku and Free Verse since they are easier. ;-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Love Found (Part 4 - The Beginning from an End)

His reply to my first attempt at telling him that I love him?

“I didn’t even get a kiss from you when you left. :-( I’m here at the bus already. Get some more sleep, I’ll see you later.”

Hummm ... Didn’t he realize I’ve just said the “L” word? Maybe I received part 1 of his 25-part reply and his “I Love You Too” was still floating around wherever it is text messages float around before we receive it on our cellphones. Or maybe, he did read it and was just diverting the topic because he didn’t have a polite reply to my message.

This last thought, I thought, was the most probable.

IF I texted him the same message, I might come off as desperate (though it was the perfect word to describe me). With 3 years past the quarter-of-a-century-mark spent it in this dimension, I’ve learned one thing - nobody is interested in desperate people, except maybe if you’re either a housewife from Wisteria Lane or an heir-less billionaire.

I decided that I should keep my fake cool and play nonchalant like Mariah Carrey.

Raymond went to Manila to do something during this time. I mustered all the self-control I had NOT to text him. Thank heavens I read from Robert Green’s “The Art of Seduction”, that playing “hard to get” is better than being a raging cannibal who’s ready to pounce on Bambi. Instead of staring at my cellphone while thinking of what to text him, I busied myself in downloading some more apps from iTunes.

Night came and and we had the following text conversation:

RAYMOND: I’m here in Olongapo already. What are your plans for the evening?

ME: Nothing special, will probably just watch some DVD’s. You?

RAYMOND: Will watch TV. What are you watching?

ME: Queer as Folk. Then will play Restaurant CIty on Facebook when I start getting bored.

RAYMOND: Which season of QAF are you watching?

ME: Season 4. Go ahead watching your TV show, I won’t disturb you anymore. Just text me before you go to sleep.

The next day ... or 3 hours later ....

RAYMOND: I’ll sleep now. Go to sleep as well. You and your dad are going to Pampanga later. Right? Goodnight. Muah!

One score for the Driedfish! I got my first “text kiss” from him!

ME: Muah!

RAYMOND: Just wish you were here so that I can hug you while sleeping. :-( I’m sorry if I’m not sweet.

ME: You never really hug me when we sleep together. I’m the one who always hugs you hahahah And you already told me you’re not sweet by nature so I guess I have to get used to it. :-) Cheer up already

RAYMOND: I have my own ways of showing my feelings. It’s just how I want to sleep, to feel somebody hugging me. Is that selfish? hehehe

ME: A little? hahaha I know you’re a brat, so it comes with the package. I think I already told you I’m still learning your full character spectrum. I’ll just ask something - Where do you think our dating is headed? Or better put, where do you want it to go?

I waited.

... Then waited some more ...

... Then waited even some more ....

... Then woke up as my iPhone went vibrating as the Tomato Girls belted out “Choopeta”.

It was 7am already. My dad and I had a 10am schedule so I’ve put an extra early alarm (yes, I consider waking up at 7am extra early).

I checked my phone for his reply.


I thought then that my last question might have been too much. Maybe this guy was just enjoying my company and didn’t want it to go any further. If I have become pushy and clingy at the same time, should I resort to shoving the “L” word down his throat and using Super-Glue to permanently affix us? Or should I just follow his lead and neither think nor talk about “commitment” while we’re dating?

I decided that shoving would be best. If he didn’t want a relationship, my texting him again would irritate him enough to drop me like a hot potato instead of leading me on like the white rabbit, sans the rabbit hole to my future wonderland.

ME: Good Morning!

RAYMOND: I just woke up. I’m sorry I fell asleep on you last night. Regarding your question, can we date exclusively as of the moment, and see where it leads us? Let’s make the most of what we do, enjoy each moment we’re together. I know you are going to leave me next week. :-(

And I felt a bucket of water, one fahrenheit shy of being ice, was dumped on me and my morning woody.

I’m 7 years older than Raymond and he was more mature at handling what we have. Some people might have taken offense at what he said but as usual, I took it differently. I thought then that he was taking this pensively, because if he didn’t, he would have just said “I love you too” right away without batting a false eyelash to just go along the ride. The phrase “date exclusively” is a big deal. That would mean he is considering me for a real relationship as he won’t see other people while we’re dating and he doesn’t want me to see other people either. It was then I concluded that “This guy is really serious because it looks like he is seriously thinking about it ... seriously!”

After a couple of more dates, the day that I was waiting for came ...


I was sleeping when he woke me up with a kiss; saying “Good Morning, I have a bad news, Michael Jackson just died.”

He looked really sad. I didn’t want to burst his EMO bubble so I feigned I was also affected by the King of Pop’s early demise. He then said he was going off to cook lunch for us.

I sat up so fast I thought I slipped a disc. This was the first time anybody I dated was actually going to cook something for dainty old me that wasn’t from a can rich in preservatives.

“What are you going to cook?” I asked.

He said “Do you like pasta?”

Ok, this guy is my soulmate. I love pasta! Especially any type that has Pesto in it.

I nodded and concentrated on keeping myself from drooling like a starved street dog.

“Go back to sleep, I know you’re a sleepy-head. I’ll wake you up when lunch is ready, and I hope you like Pesto with grilled chicken breast on Angel Hair.” was what he said before closing his room’s door behind him.

Was he psychic? Or was he an alien who picked on my brains while I was asleep to get the info he needed? Whichever he was, I wasn’t able to sleep again because of the excitement. Out of the thousands of ways to cook pasta, why did he choose Pesto when fresh basil isn’t an easy find in the Philippines? Especially here in Olongapo! This is a sign from San Rio saying ... “MARRY HIM FOR MORE PESTO!!!”.

Eating his pasta was like eating Ambrosia prepared by Aphrodite while in the dining halls of a Gay-Themed Olympus in gold and periwinkle curtains.

It was perfect!

It wasn’t just because he cooked it perfectly, but it was cooked for me! I felt like smothering him with pesto-cum-parmesan-kisses, but knew better not to, because his nanny, brother and friend (Ivory) were there.

I finished 3 hefty servings and retired back to Raymond’s room for a nap (yes, I do sleep a lot).

Before closing my eyes, it was then that Raymond said the words that would change everything around me. The words that would put back the colors on my sepia world. The words that would put back the myriad flavors of chocolate in my empty heart-shaped chocolate box. The words that I will remember coming from him for the rest of our lives (hopefully) together.

He said “I Love You” and kissed me.


... June 26, 2009 ... 2:47 P.M. ...


... With the King of Pop’s death ...


... came my new and wonderful life in Wonderland ....



EPILOGUE: I know the end didn’t come with the “big bang” you were expecting (like a meteor falling down on Olongapo to annihilate us as we held each other tight and pledged our eternal love until the after-life). But, hey! Though I exaggerate things a bit and rearrange the chronological order of events to maintain the continuity of my work’s tempo - I still base MOST (like 97%) of what I write on what really happened. The text messages here, for example, are the real messages we’ve sent to each other. Thanks to iPhone’s threaded SMS, I still have all his texts and my replies. All of you know that I have written this blog to chronicle my life and my search around the globe for my “this is it”. It looks like it has been cut short as I feel that I have already found him. Don’t worry though, the blog won’t stop as long as all of you keep on reading and commenting on my posts. So wish us luck, because if not, I curse you with 7 years of bad luck.

(Next .... When you’ve just found the Love you’ve been looking for, how do you say goodbye?)

(Header Pic: Love is Like a Heart-shaped-Box of Chocolates - made by no other than moi!)