Thirteen Reasons Why: Bakit Single Ka Pa Rin? (Reason No. 12)

Happy Valentine’s Day, muna. How was yesterday?


Sa iba, super special ng araw na ito. Sa akin? It’s just an ordinary day.

Pero ngayon, napaisip ako kung sino ba ang taong I have spent Valentine’s Day with. I realized, isang tao lang ang naka-date ko sa Valentine’s, muna nuon, si T.M. lang.

Bakit naman isa lang? Kasi ayoko talagang nakikipagdate pag Araw ng mga Puso. Kasi lahat nakapula at handang handa.

Masyado akong anxious sa pagka-single ko. Siguro ganun talaga pag lahat nalang ng kaibigan at kapitbahay mo, halos kinasal at kinakasal na. Kung ang iba ay problema ang anak, pamilya, ako naman, pinoproblema ko yung real possibility na baka hindi na ako makapag-asawa at baka malungkot ng todo todo ang aking mga magulang at kapatid.

Thirteen Reasons Why: Bakit Single Ka Pa Rin? (Reason No. 12)

People die.

Syempre, pag wala na sila, hindi naman talaga sila para sa iyo. I mean, alangan namang iyon na yun? Finish na agad? Pass your paper, ganyanan? Unfair naman.

Bago pa mamatay recently yung best guy friend ko, I already lost someone in 2016.

Diba lagi kong sinasabi na yung parents ko taga province? Actually, ako rin. Hanggang high school nasa province ako.

This is about T.M.

Uy, hindi ko ito naging boyfriend kahit kelan, baka naman sabihin ng iba, ang kire kire ko, daming boyfriends. On the contrary, masyado nga akong demure to begin with. Late bloomer, I guess. Kaya ayun, lahat might have beens.

Nung Grade 3 kami, humingi si T.M. sakin ng picture ko. Ako naman, mega bigay agad. Besides, I have previously asked my mom to have copies of that photo to spread sa mga friends pang slam book ba. Diba ganun tayo? May dedication pa nga diba? So bakit alam na alam ko ang timeline? My mom kasi is the kind of nanay na nag-jojournal. Lahat ng photos namin, naka print, at may labels. That is why I know, Grade 3 ako nun, TMNT shirt pa nga ang suot ko sa picture.

Fast forward to high school,

Inasar ako ni T.M. about that photo at kung ano man ang sinulat ko sa likod. Sabi nya, he still has it and for some reason, naka frame ito sa kwarto nya pero hindi naman naka display. Pikon na pikon ako kasi it was so embarrassing.

As a classmate, bwiset si T.M. — madalas akong tamaan ng eraser kasi tinatarget sya lagi ng teachers dahil sa daldal, kaso lagi sya tumatabi sakin para bwisitin ako so ako ang parating tinatamaan.

Was he courting me? Kasi diba nung bata tayo ganun? The more ka inaasar, the more ka nya trip. Hindi malinaw eh.

Until nalaman kong hindi. Eventually luminaw rin.

Nalaman kong hindi kasi dinedate na pala nya yung Miss Campus namin. Maganda naman talaga si Ms Campus (F.S.) Parang match made in heaven sila. Si T.M. hindi naman pogi na nakaka starstuck. Pero may appeal sya. Tipong kung Gimik days eh sya si Diet instead of Rico. Pero hindi sya sing pogi ni Diet ha. Malayo hahaha. Tipong si Diether pag nagpaaraw ng sampung taon walang pahinga.

So nakalimutan na ata ako ni friend. Hindi na ako kinukulit. Parang hindi na nga pumapasok always kasi excuse nya yung sports nilang Sepak Takraw. Besides, ang saya na nila eh. Muse and escort. Sagala si F.S. and sya naman lagi ang partner nya. Ganun sa province eh. That’s how the IT crowds were made.

Ako? Wala naman effect din sa akin. Madami akong crushes. Buhay na buhay ako sa crushes back then. I didn’t even think of T.M. that way at that time. Life went on.

Then college happened.

Nag-aral ako sa Manila, sa isang school na hindi naguuniform. Si T.M. naman, sa school na malapit sa airport. Bilang malapit lapit na rin kami sa isa’t isa, kahit paano, gumigimik gimik rin kami. That time, di pa uso yung malapit sa current residence ko. Uso pa nun yung malapit sa school ko. Kakalabas namin, dun siguro kami napalapit sa isa’t isa. From group gimiks, it started becoming just the two of us. We were in our late teens that time. One night, both of us had some drinks, we kissed and one thing is about to lead to another. I had a drink but I wasn’t drunk. I stopped. He was okay that I stopped.

The following week was Valentine’s Day. Inaya nya akong lumabas. After not talking about what happened the week before, we thought we’d charge it to the beer. Ignore nalang namin – But then he came, with flowers. I think yun na ang declaration nya nang pagmamahal nya sakin. He was so serious like he was about to cry. I was nervous. Parang masusuka ako sa kaba. Ganun pala yung feeling na ganun (I told myself). It was my first time to experience that level of kaba.

I know him and I know his type of relations. I wasn’t ready for that. My experience the week before was a testament on how I was not ready for that kind of relationship. Of course I felt it too. Of course. But I was not ready for that kind of ride. And I was too scared to get pregnant. Siguro kasi yun talaga ang panakot sa mga dalaga back then. Remember Jolina? Halikan ka lang mabubuntis na?

Paulit ulit kong pineplay yung Let’s Wait Awhile ni Janet Jackson kasi I can’t rush love talaga. I was contemplating about it. Sasagutin ko ba sya? Hindi ako nakipagkita sa kanya ng matagal and I told him that I need time to think about it.

After that Valentine’s date, we tried talking about waiting for me to be ready to be in a relationship.

But he took it negatively. Nagalit sya sakin because he believes that it was the difference in our economic status kaya hindi ko sya sinagot. He’s not poor and we aren’t mega rich. Siguro ganun talaga sa province. Binebase sa apelyido or sa laki ng bahay ang yaman. They had a notion that we were loaded, but we weren’t. We’re normal. Hindi ko alam kung saan galing yung self-pity nyang yun. Hindi nya talaga maalis yung idea na mahirap sila kaya hindi ko sya sinagot.

Hindi na kami nagkita nang kaming dalawa lang. Then eventually, we stopped hanging out.

In 2016

I haven’t seen him since college. I’d visit his house whenever I am home for holidays to see his parents. Lakad lakad lang yun samin kaya inevitable na hindi makita ang lahat ng tao, but I never saw him all those years. He went abroad daw. Nag-Singapore ata siya.

Someone told me that he got sick, had cancer– but became okay eventually.

But then he got sick again.

When he got hospitalized in Manila for his second surgery, I visited him. He didn’t want me to see him like that. He was bald and thin. Could barely speak. He was trying to talk and he said, “lalo mo akong aayawan” — He was crying, and I was crying too. I told him I never disliked him. Everyone around him was crying because they knew that I was his one that got away. His sisters were blaming him for freezing me out because of self-pity.

But at that time in the hospital, parang he went back to those days na mahal nya ako. He was making promises na pag galing nya, he will find me and marry me. I told him that I will patiently wait for that time. Did we get engaged? Parang eh.

But then he died few days later.

Nakakalungkot. Siguro kaya mas ayaw ko na sa Valentine’s. Ito ang isa sa pinaka mahirap isulat na experience.

I still cry whenever I think of him. It’s a chance wasted.

Buhay Pa Rin Ako

Naging busy lang.

Early December, we had a small party; not exclusive to our clique, but a reunion of the people na tambay nang isang sikat na bilyaran (college days). We’ve become extended tropa of one another kahit hindi naman kami talagang magkakaibigan. Nagrent kami ng rooftop, private residence. Dati na namin nirerent yun, college pa lang kami. Mahilig talaga kami sa reunion at parties — iba’t iba na ang buhay namin.

Our mid 30s is the best (so it seems), we have thrived career wise, yung mga mukhang haggard na tambay? Sosyal na at magaganda ang sasakyan ha! We have a dj among us, may tattoo artist, may singer, may caterer, may photographer, may nagbibusiness, may houseband pero mayaman daw ang misis, the rest, office workers. Mukhang walang sumunod sa yapak ni Efren “Bata” Reyes ah. When we were in college, feeling namin lahat kami professional ang galawan.

Nakausap ko ng matagal that night si photographer at houseband. Mukhang okay naman si photographer financially kasi malaki ang ambag. Pero wala pa syang house (kung makasalita naman ako kala mo meron ako, eh freeloader lang naman ako). According to him, nagrerent sya ng townhouse but it can get too expensive raw especially that he is alone without a housemate. Okay lang naman daw but he wants to cut his expenses, he wants to save more daw for a permanent home. Sabay singit ni houseband na “ayan oh, magrent ka dyan (sakin daw), laki ng condo nya, sya lang mag-isa”. We laughed because it’s funny. I never had a housemate na regular, puro yung mga transient lang. But then next we know is nagcacalculate na kami ng utility bills.

Ayun na nga, may roommate na ako. Naisip ko, malaking tulong rin yun for gas since kahit gaanong ka ganda ang location ng bahay ko, the fact na anlayo naman nito sa work ko, pang-asar rin so makabawi man lang sa gas at pamasahe.

Sino ba itong photographer na ito sa buhay ko? Wala. Ni hindi nga kami friends if you sum it up.

Pero dati, he’s one of the cutest in our campus. We wondered about him because para syang may sariling mundo. May dalang gitara palagi. Tatambay sa amin, pero hindi mag-eengage, then aalis after 15 minutes. Ganun lang. Wala. That time, we girls used to call him Jay (for Jay Manalo), kamukha nya eh.

So ngayon, mas hot na sya. Malaki na ang katawan, obvious na nagbubuhat. Camera na ang dala parati instead of gitara na meron pa rin sa room nya to be fair. Musikero pa rin pala. Pero like before, may sariling mundo pa rin.

He tries to cook, pero parang breakfast lagi. Tinitirahan nya ako ng food kahit hindi naman kami share sa food and groceries. Then, he asked me 3 weeks ago kung okay lang magbisita. I said yes of course. So may dinala syang super sexy na model (I assumed) kasi katawan model eh tapos halatang early 20s lang. Whatever they did, keber diba? But in me, medyo cringe. First time ko may ka-share ng house na nagdadala ng girls… yes, plural, kasi parang 3 na nakikita ko (minus pa yung during the day na hindi ko inaabot) kung meron man.

Okay, kaya ako napablog bigla is because yesterday, over lunch, since parehas kaming nasa bahay lang at walang lakad, nabore siguro at tinanong ako, “bakit ba hindi tayo lumabas nung college?”

Napaisip ako ha, sa loob ko, hindi ka naman kalabas labas nun kasi may sarili kang mundo. Then naalala ko si Jay Manalo.

I answered him, “because you never asked”.

Nashokt ako sa sagot ko. Hindi ko alam bakit I sounded flirtatious in my head.

Alam kong hindi friendly yung sagot ko at medyo may malice. While sya, siguradong casual question lang. After my answer, he leaned and inayos yung buhok ko kasi it’s all over my face, then he took a photo of me. Ganun talaga ang sequence ng pangyayari.

Sinabi ko, pag di nya dinelete sasaktan ko sya, I chased him around to give me the camera.

It was a playful afternoon.

Nothing strange happened.

But I am kind of scared. I thought about him all night. I cannot lust for my housemate especially if he’s that kind of guy, the kind who will surely give in. I know that one misstep, my body will betray me and I will be in serious trouble.

Shet.

TMI for Breakfast?!

How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

1. What’s for breakfast? – Tocilog. It’s a combination of Tocino (sweet/savory/fried chicken, almost caramelized), Sinangag (fried rice) and Itlog (egg sunny side up)

2. Three words you don’t want to hear during sex.

I can’t really pinpoint three words, but I don’t like too much noise/dramatics

3. Stupid shit you shouldn’t do but do anyway. List two.

  • Buying similar things from Lazada and Shopee
  • Watching too much vlogs

4. One thing you love to hate.

My sister-in-law (my brother’s wife)

5. Today is a great day for _____ .

Relaxation, Spa, and all the girly goodness

Thirteen Reasons Why: Bakit Single Ka Pa Rin? (Reason #10)

Para sa dalawa or tatlong nagbabasa ng blog ko.

Actually, kinuwento ko sa friend kong si S that I am blogging about our lives here. Sabi nya, okay lang naman daw as long as anonymously kasi baka daw yung chapter nya yung makwento ko eh sumablay bigla kasi may pamilya na sya. I told her na if I were to write about her, I will ask permission muna. And about being anonymous? Panu yun, “I have included my name on the blog.”

She said, “that’s not your full name though, you’re good to go.”

I was watching Something Borrowed yesterday in Netflix. Bigla akong nalungkot kasi birthday nung protagonist in one of the scenes. It was her 30th birthday. Mas matanda ako ng konti lang naman dun sa bida and just like her, medyo malayo pa sa katotohanan na ako’y magsesettledown.

Naalala ko from the story how life is full of what might have beens. Kung tatanga tanga ka ba naman tulad ko, talagang maraming lalampas na pagkakataon.

There’s this guy B who seemed head over heels infatuated with me. I liked him too. So what was the problem then? Ang gwapo nya.

I saw myself less attractive than he was. He was hot and popular and dated more beautiful girls in the past. I felt inadequate and asked myself, “is he serious with me?”

He was so frustrated because I can’t seem to get that his intentions were fine. We dated for some time, but the passion has eventually died because I was stupid and insecure.

Our story was very well similar to that of Ginnifer Goodwin’s character who wasted 6 years of their lives suppressing her real feelings just because she could not believe that a person as handsome as Colin Egglesfield could fall for her and well, thought he only deserved someone like Kate Hudson.

He has moved on with Kate.

Two years after college, I have just stepped out of a store checking out my receipt, inattentively walking and bumping into B who was about to enter the same store. I wasn’t living nearby. I was only there because my cousin was getting tattooed few buildings away and we needed beer while waiting. He was living nearby apparently kasi nakapambahay lang sya, literal parang lumakad lang.

We exchanged numbers. Neither of us initiated a conversation that day until the day after when B texted me and asked me, “musta?”

Halos maloka ako sa kilig sa word na musta kasi antay na antay ako sa text nya (kung magtetext ba sya). For a while there, I forgot na I had a boyfriend. Nagtext kami nang nagtext all day, all night. Same thing the day after. Later on, we decided to meet para mas solid yung catching up diba? I told my bf na may lakad ako with family so ditch ko muna sya but in reality, I was meeting B.

Writing this makes me feel all the feelings.

I don’t know why I lied. I was not planning on cheating on my bf. But I totally lied and even asked not to be fetched from my apartment. I told him I’d meet him in Trinoma. I didn’t bring a car.

We met. Asked me if I wanted to eat and I said I wasn’t hungry. We had coffee. He asked me if I wanted to watch a movie right after, I told him no, because I was scared to be in the dark with him. I can feel all the possibilities. We walked, strolled around the mall. Had dinner and drove me home. The night was young, I felt I had to ask him to stay for a while. It was a bad idea.

I guess it was safer had we chosen to watch a movie.

He went home hours later.

I never called him again. Stopped answering his calls. Felt guilty as hell.

Went on with my life. With my loving boyfriend at that time. Time flew by fast.

My boyfriend and I broke up eventually. It was not meant to last anyway.

Fast forward around 4 years later. Nagkita ulit kami, this time near my house (condo ng parents ko na pinapagamit lang sakin), dun lang ako kumakain sa nearby areas, and of course, lagi akong sa Buddy’s kumakain, andun lahat ng paborito ko eh. So ayun na nga, nandun si B, umoorder, and by the way, may kasama syang girl, naiwan lang sa table nila.

Nung nakita nya ako, I was by the counter, bumibili ng drinks. Andun sya, nakapila. He asked me if I was working around the area, sinabi ko na hindi (wish ko lang para malapit). Sinabi ko how I was nakikitira sa house nila mommy para tipid. We both laughed. He knew na nasa province ang family ko and he find it silly siguro na I was still freeloading. He asked, same number ba? I nodded.

Whether he explained the to the girl or not kung sino ako, I would not know for sure.

He called me the next day. He asked if he could bring me dinner joked about not bringing Buddy’s kasi daw iwas sa bad breath. I got his joke, subtle, smooth. He told me na girlfriend nya yung girl na kasama nya. I said he can come kasi for me, friends lang naman kami. Naalala ko tuloy yung “as friends ni Paolo Contis at Yen Santos.”

I was single nung time na yun, sya naman yung hindi but we will just hang out anyway. I thought it was okay.

Of course. We didn’t just hang out. It was the start of everything, us dating again. Contrary to how I felt when we were younger, I have gained confidence over the years and I knew that we are not alangan anymore. I even looked younger than he was. I told him many times that we won’t push through our relationship if hindi nya ibbreak yung ties nya with his other girlfriend. He said he will. But 3 months had passed and he still hasn’t.

I don’t deserve such treatment. I knew I had to let him go.

He wanted to be with me but he wasn’t sure if he didn’t want to be with the other girl naman. Anlabo diba?

I cut him loose.

This is one of the reasons why. Ambwisit lang.

90 Days

Last week, my friends and I got together sa bahay ng pinaka mayaman samin (kasi sa kanila lang kami kasya na hindi masyadong siksikan), medyo hindi na kami social distancing kasi vaccinated naman kaming lahat pero may cringe factor pa rin. I know alam mo yung feeling. So bakit kami nag bonding muli?

It’s because it was our friend, C’s 90th day. It wasn’t though — because we’re unable to gather everyone on the exact 90th day, more on 100th na siguro. Hanggang sa kamatayan, tinatabla sya. I can hear him swear from his grave. Syempre, inuman, reminiscing. Funny things come up when you’re dead.

There was a time when we’re younger when he told me that he thinks he’s in love with me. I totally ignored that moment kasi takot akong masaktan ng friend. Ang drama ko nun, sobrang hurt ako kasi feeling ko, mahal ko rin sya (in retrospect). So andami kong arte that time. Feeling ko, super depressed sya because of me kasi ang ganda ko lang diba? (Feelingera much)

Nun pala, all those times na akala ko is depressed mode sya eh he was hooking up pala sa isa naming kakilala. Bale girlfriend sya ng isang tropa namin. Kaya pala nagbreak yung magjowa na yun is because nakahook up nya si C and our friend found out about it. They hooked up one time na passed out yung boyfriend nya sa kalasingan and si C naman is talagang malandi. So harot + landi = broken relationship.

No one knew about it except the three people involved and nalaman nalang nang iba as we’ve gotten older, yung sa mga one-on-one tsimisan lang. Ako, last to know or baka alam ko na dati, amnesia lang slight.

Sabi nung friend kong si S, stakeholder daw kasi ako that’s why it’s likely na it was deliberately hidden from me. Why is that?

Because the boyfriend of that girl happened to be my first boyfriend in college. Like pagka break nila, after few weeks, I was the one he dated.

So why did I say yes to him? And si C is basted?

It’s because he was just a tropa. Not a friend. Very different from my relationship with C. I don’t care if magbreak kami nito. Unless mainlove ako siguro, which is hindi.

So all this time, yung beef nila, akala ko about me! Tungkol pala sa haliparot na babaeng iyon! Feelingera talaga ako, ano?

Halos mamatay (sorry for the word) kami sa tawa because it’s been ages ago. Para kaming tanga, lalo ako realizing hindi naman pala ako ang rason bakit parang their friendship has turned sour.

Ang funny lang. Things you discover after years of friendship.

Then we were all sad again. Realizing we will no longer be complete, ever. Dati nagagalit yung mga nagtatrabaho sa call center kasi ang OA daw nung mga parents kasi gusto lagi sa mall mag-get-together para kasama ang mga anak. Syempre kami, gusto lang laging nyomo galore. So sa lakad, laging hindi kumpleto either wala ang mga nanay or wala ang mga lasenggo. Very rare talagang makumpleto.

Pero ngayon, hindi na talaga makukumpleto.

Sad.

We looked at each other, someone said, “we really thought cirrhosis will kill him”.

Then we all laughed again.