it's been so long...

I haven't posted anything in this blog for the longest time... but hey, once i do, i know for a fact that there's something substantial.

So we were asked to do two papers in my English 102 class, one about a personal experience, and the other on any topic we would like to write about. I decided to write on the song, "Sleep," by Rivermaya, and how this song greatly affected my emotions during those trying times. This, while the song plays in my media player on repeat, for inspiration.

Here is what i wrote.

Some people can really tap into one’s inner sanctum without really intending to do so, without even trying to do so, even without meaning to do so. Some people just do. Whether in the form of something as simple as one’s pat on the shoulder to something as big as proposing marriage in the most romantic way possible, people really just have their own ways of being able to touch others’ lives.

In mine, Mark Escueta is one such person.

To the long-time listener/musician/fan, myself being all of the above, one will unflinchingly recognize Mark Escueta as the drummer of the band Rivermaya, completing the lineup comprising of Japs Sergio on bass and vocals, Mike Elgar on lead guitar, vocals and keyboards, and newest member Jayson Fernandez on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. These guys have been writing and performing songs for both the fans and the plain listeners, with one song or another from their colorful discography having different effects on the emotions of each and everyone. And taking this on a more personal level, that one song that made the most impact on my emotional palette was the song, “Sleep,” from the band’s latest album, “Buhay.” The song, written by Mark Escueta, talks about the first night after a couple’s big break up, from the point of view of the male persona. It speaks of the loneliness, the melancholy that he feels, now that he lost the one person he treasures and cherishes the most; no matter where he would go, he would find traces of her.

What’s funny is that the first time I heard this song, I actually liked it; it wasn’t the typical Rivermaya song with all the distorted guitars, or with the pounding bass lines, all those things. Instead, I found a song that was so fresh, so simple but still full of flavor and emotion. As a matter of fact, one would mistake it for a foreign artist’s song if he didn’t know Rivermaya. Little did I know that hearing and loving this song would become a premonition; you see, about two months after hearing the song, I ended a 2-year relationship, the most painful I had to go through. And somewhere down the road I found myself browsing through my vast collection of music CD’s, and, as if there was some strange voice directing me, I took out that Rivermaya CD, and went straight to its last track, and as that familiar acoustic guitar started ringing, I felt shivers down my spine, and eventually, I found myself in tears. I was in immense pain, and I couldn’t bear it; she was my first love, and because even our friendship became so sour, we had to cut everything that bonded us together – saved cellphone and landline numbers, Yahoo Messenger connections, even Friendster and Multiply connections – severing whatever was left of the once-beautiful friendship we shared.

As it may already be evident in my writing, it was this song that got me through all the pain, all the sleepless nights, and most importantly, those lonely hours I would keep to myself and refrain myself from shedding tears, as I constantly said to myself that she’s not worth the crying. I had the chance to tell Mark all this, and in that short meeting I was able to tell him and show him how grateful I am that he wrote this song, and that it made the cut for the record… at least, I’d like to think that I was able to do that.

At the end of all these things, I could only say few words that would completely express the gratitude I feel. And everything else I need to say to him would be greatly reflected in these words:

“Thank you, Mark Escueta! You saved me!”

So there.

Right after typing the last period, I suddenly remembered that one conversation Jamon and I had where he realized not just how much I loved Kim during the time we were together, but that i simply loved her. I'm not even flinching as I say this, because it's the truth. I loved her with all my heart, mind, and soul, but in the end, it became pointless. Everything I - or maybe we - worked so hard for crumbled just like that after 2 years.

But you know what? I'm not even regretting anything. I'm not regretting getting together with her, waiting for her, and only knowing a month too late that I was lied to. I wouldn't have grown this much if all these things didn't happen. It didn't make me any intelligent, but, fuck, it sure made me a stronger person, a better man than what I was 2 years ago.

In the end, one would realize that intelligence isn't everything. Most of the time, it's the heart that gets you through the toughest of times. After all, what use would intelligence serve one if he doesn't have the heart? I know mine got me through, and it took only that conversation, as well as my Eng 102 paper, to remind me that I've got a heart.

And I'd like to think that I have a big heart, just like what Jamon and Kurt told me that one summer afternoon the 3 of us jammed, ate together, and ranted about the loves of our lives at Jamon's house.


a relic from the past.

I wrote this back in senior year...this was the essay I submitted alongside my application form to the Ateneo de Manila University.

There could never be anyone like me.

I just want to make some things clear first. I do not allege to be guided by the 5 C’s that are expected of every Ateneo de Manila High School graduate. Nor do I claim to be an advocate of anything that may seem too theoretical for this world to comprehend.

What I do profess to be, however, is who I am now, because of the things that define my very existence.

All these years, I’ve found myself to be the butt of endless jokes. I would be the one who’d suffer in silence almost everyday, just having to face a whole class, knowing that I would get hounded on endlessly till the day’s end. The jokes played on me… well, they’re not as innocent as they seem. Believe me, it doesn’t feel good to be Claude Dietrich P. Yumul from the class of 4-I at all, considering that from the moment I step on the floors of my classroom, I already am welcomed with endless strings of below-the-belt misdemeanor, which may very well serve as a morning greeting. For once, I’ve found myself shattered to pieces by these because I wasn’t prepared to face them. I was their loser.

So what’s the significance of these jokes that I really have to type it all down here, when all that these have caused me are pain, suffering, and a near-loss of self-respect? Well, I may have had to learn the hard way, but it sure made a stronger, wiser, more resolved person out of me. I once had none of these things that I claim to possess, but because of all the pain I had to endure every single day, I learned to discern between the true friends and those who think of me as a friend with benefits, be more opinionated, and keep a stronger temperament.

Admittedly I have been tempted to surrender and give up the fight one time too many to recall, but deep inside me is a fire burning, burdening me to go on, lifting me up in my sorrow. And the very things that keep that fire ablaze are what keep me from losing myself in the fight: the faith I live up to, the passion I carry around my shoulders, and the integrity that keeps my feet planted on solid ground.

I don’t think I need to elaborate as to how important faith is to me. It is a sad fact that none, if not few, really take it seriously. I may stumble a lot like most of us all do every now and then, but it is what keeps me going on and trying with all efforts to stay alive and kicking. I’m nothing without His love sustaining me.

If there’s anything I’m most passionate about, it would be rising up to the challenges of a leader. When no one would step up to take on the pressures of leading a team, especially in class projects, it would seem as if it’s of second nature to me, a reflex if one wishes, to take the reins and steer the wheel, giving direction to my team’s progress.

It is a must for me to always keep my feet planted on solid ground. Ever since after grade school I made it my goal to keep my integrity intact, correcting every wrong thing done, gaining and not losing any of the values which my parents have instilled in me all these years. The friends I keep, the songs I write, the music my soul adheres to speak of the values I claim to have and carry on.

My mind simply cannot comprehend how I would have been able to survive without these three essentials in my life. Without my faith I would have sunken deeper into a whirlpool which I know I may not be able to surpass. Without passion I wouldn’t have accomplished anything, from honing my musical inclinations to finding my true friends. Without integrity I would have lost both my own identity and my self-respect so long ago. An idea too perfect like the 5 C’s could never define the imperfect soul that I am. I may be only human, but I too yearn to strive, to live, to love life in all its simplicity.

I am all of me."

I just took a look at it again after a long time, and along with it came this realization: shit, man, I'm still bitter towards my high school classmates. Tangina mehn!


Rivermaya: Bagong Liwanag

I think it's high time that I break the silence this blog has been having for the longest time. To say that I've been doing a lot of soul-searching might be a good excuse, but nevertheless it won't be accepted. After all, it is still schoolwork here.

Things have been rather different and quite the same ever since Rivermaya started holding auditions for their new member/s. The usual "go for it!" and "kaya mo yan!" have been filling my ears from everywhere - family, friends, blockmates, heck, even professors...not that I mind, though. It's just that, all of a sudden people here and there gave me 5 minutes of their time to wish me luck.

It's a totally competitive field. This, I felt even before the August. 24 audition began. As early as 8:30am I was already lined up to et my number and registration form. Dad told me that I should expect detractors and people who'd say lots of crap, but, instead of that, I found a great environment, with great people and great talent, all willing to gather, not just to be handpicked as the next bandmate of Mike Elgar, Japs Sergio and Mark Escueta, but simply, in the name of music and all things creative.

Let's keep the story brief. I made it in the top 75 (I was given the 11th vocalist finalist pass by Francis Reyes of The Dawn and NU107.=D) in the first audition days, but didn't make it to the final 12 in the semifinals. Still, something to be thankful for would be that I made it to the semis. After all, it is Rivermaya, and there were 400+ who auditioned during the UP auditions. There's no reason for me to be bitter (like some of my co-finalists felt after they weren't picked for the 24 to be skinned alive as the final 12), because I know there's a reason why. And that reason, I gladly acknowledge, and accept with arms wide open. On top of it all, I know that I have a family to come home to and celebrate with, and a love who never left my side whenever it mattered the most.

"I'll kiss you if you make it, and I'll kiss you even if you don't."


Sarap Ka-Greenwich, up to sawa.

Pretty senseless for a philo blog post huh? well, here's a video that could spice things up, so everyone could understand why the title of my post for this week is such.


Yes, I know, it's a commercial for some fast food joint. It's not with the commercial, however; it's with the song. It talks about a way of life that's predominant among us youth - barkadahan, bonding, tambayan, what ever name you may wish to call it. It's something we all get to have a taste of not just once in a while, but everyday. Sa school na nga lang eh. Doon pa lang makikita na kung paano magbarkadahan ang mga tao eh..


Bakit ganun? Sabi ni Ser Brazal...

...kapag barado ang puso, barado rin ang utak.

Tulad ngayon...hindi ko alam kung bakit ganito nararamdaman ko, kaya mabigat pakiramdam ng puso ko. Hindi ako tuloy makapag-isip nang kung anong matinong pwede kong maisulat dito.

"It does not have to be pretentious..." ang sabi ng aming butihing propesor sa pilosopiya.

Kaya ngayon, nagpapakatotoo ako.

Oo, namimiss ko sya, sobra sobra na nga eh, pero wala rin naman akong magawa, kasi malayo siya sa akin. Hindi ko alam kung walang katuturan ang pagdadahilan ko na nangungulila ako sa kanya, na hinahanap-hanap ko siya sa tuwina, kaya wala akong maisip na maisulat.

Ay...may nasulat ako. Magaling.