An Acoustic Guitar Savant (YUKI MATSUI)

Akosijin

The other week, while I was browsing through Youtube — intently looking for a guitar tutorial of Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World,” I came across this musical genius.  His name is Yuki Matsui. He is a 27-year old acoustic guitarist who proudly hails from Japan. Unlike other Youtube musicians/sensations, who have captured the hearts of millions because of their mind-blowing song covers, this guy showcases his original compositions, minus of course, six covers of some popular songs. All in all, Yuki shared 58 videos in his YT account. As of this writing, I have already finished listening to all his YT uploads. 🙂 ❤

Yuki’s music is absolutely divine! Heaven-sent! His harmonics and fingerstyle (slamming and nail attack) techniques sound as if there are three guitarists who play simultaneously in a band. For me, the melody of his compositions can break through social barriers and can transcend every cultural differences. His music is not only soothing to ears but also warming to the soul. He reminds me so much of Kotaro Oshio – a famous Japanese guitarist who is known for the nail attack fingerstyle although I must say that their techniques differ by miles if looked into more closely.

Amid Yuki’s genius, I felt that his exposure has not yet reached its full potential. Thus, I am giving him this particular space to help him amass a desirable number of viewership on Youtube. Ladies and gents, let us help him infiltrate the international music scene. He very well deserves it!

Honestly, for over three years, I had rooted for Sungha Jung, but after discovering about Yuki, I had sudden change of heart. Sungha’s fingerpicking is perfect but lacks emotion. Yuki, on the other hand, fleshes out each kind of feeling that he wants to relay through his songs.

And oh, he plays harmonica too! Sugoi ne! Aishitemasu! 🙂

Check Yuki Mitsui out on YOUTUBE, people! http://www.youtube.com/user/akogijin. 🙂

Buy his ALBUMS in this link (for overseas only): http://poscadirect.com/index.php?main…

Catch him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YukiMatsuiOfficial.

Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Matsui_Yuki.

Download his songs on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/artist/song-jing-you-gui/id415797744.

 

The “Heal the World” cover that led me to Yuki, LOL! 😀

 

My favorite original composition of him, entitled “RIDER.” ❤

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Kim Hyun Joong – The Flower Boy Debuts as Ruggedly Handsome Shin Jung-Tae

I have always been a fan of the Korean F4, particularly Lee Min Ho and Kim Hyun Joong (KJH). Their stint as main leads of the famous “Boys Over Flowers” (BOF) Korean adaptation of the Japanese manga “Hana Yori Dango” and Taiwanese “Meteor Garden” catapulted them to their superstardom today! Who can ever forget the characters Gu Jun-Pyo, Yoon Ji Hoo and Geum Jan Di?

Don’t get me wrong but let’s face it! Women sometimes tend to look for other varieties of “handsome,” don’t they? Not just the stereotypical Kobe Bryant, Lionel Messi, Justin Timberlake or Tom Cruise! Well, I still got a dozen of Hollywood, World Cup and NBA crushes, though. 😀

So, let’s focus first on Hyun Joong oppa’s destined fame as an ultimate “Flower Boy.”

Well, KJH hit Asian scene with enormous popularity when he became the leader and main rapper of the famous K-Pop boyband SS501 in 2005. Given such stature in the K-Pop music industry and his innocently handsome face, he was selected to play the timid but lovable character of “Yoon Ji Hoo” in BOF. Around this time, SS501 members decided to individually pursue their singing and acting careers, KJH included. When this happened, of course, oppa KJH was quick to say that SS501 did not disband. He said that they just lay low performing as a group. As a matter of fact, they again performed together sometime in 2013 for a Korean event.

Finally becoming a solo singer and a sought-after actor across the globe, this 29-year old heartthrob starred again in another massive hit, the mini-series “Playful Kiss” in 2010. Here, he played the coldhearted boy genius, “Baek Seung-Jo” who will later on realize that his fate is to spend lifetime with the flimsy and clumsy “Oh Ha-Ni.”

Four years fast forward, KJH’s multitude of followers have exponentially became millions stronger. At that, his talent agency decided to take yet again another major leap in his ever flourishing singing and acting career, thereby launching this US$14M-budgeted mini-series – INSPIRING GENERATION.” Here, he portrays the role “Shin Jung Tae.”

From that young and innocent looking Flower Boy, there comes the new image of KJH!

MORE CHISELED and ABS-INFUSED, he rocked his fans’ television sets with so much excitement and fervor. He must have been going to the gym quite often lately, LOL, that he has gotten YUMMIER all of a sudden. Yay! 😀 ❤

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The ABS Evolution, see? 🙂

Hyun Joong Oppa sported a very manly haircut and wow! His punches, kicks and acting prowess stood out overall! Argggh, I just can’t stand seeing him with bruises on his godly face!

Photo credit to the owner. I just got it from Google.

Photo credit to the owner. I just got it from Google.

The Korean drama actually aired sometime in January to March but unluckily, my country, this endearing Philippines, has yet to get a franchise of the series.

Well, I cannot wait any longer so I watched it ahead of any KJH fan in my neighborhood, LOL! 😀

In this drama, I can honestly say without any tinge of bias that KJH never failed to deliver! Now, I love him MOREEEE! Saranghamnida Oppa!

Watch the korean drama starring KJH on this Viki link – Pilot Episode INSPIRING GENERATION (Kim Hyun Joong)!

You can also watch the trailer on Youtube!

Rurouni Kenshin Parts 2 and 3 (The Kyoto Arcs)

The long wait is over, Samurai X fans! Movie producer Warner Bros. announced that two more Kenshin Himura manga live action adaptations, following the blockbuster Rurouni Kenshin 1, will be released this year.

I have been a fan of Samurai X (manga and anime) since 1998 so the experience of having Battousai come to life is truly ecstatic for me!

The first installment of the sequels, which is entitled “The Great Kyoto Fire Arc,” will be shown on cinemas this August 1. The last part of the series,  “The Kyoto Inferno- A Legend Ends Arc,” will be released on September 13.

Tatsuya Fujiwara, whose acting prowess was highlighted in the movies “Death Note” as Light Yagami and in “Battle Royale” as Shuya Nanahara, will play the role of Battousai’s ultimate nemesis, Shishio.

The young and fresh Emi Takei takes the character of Battousai’s apple of the eye, Kaoru.

Meanwhile, Japanese superstar Takeru Sato reprised his role as the mighty Kenshin Himura in both sequels. Yours truly is again fan-girling to death! ❤ 😀

Unleash that Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu, Kenshin!

ORO? TADAIMA DE GOZARU!

ORATORY/ORATION SPEECH

The contents of this speech emanate from actual events in Philippine history. The author/blogger does not have any grudge or hatred against any mentioned nation, race or cultural community. The author/blogger composed this piece for a friend’s high school son, who will be competing in a national oratory contest.

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A NEW DAY FOR A WEEPING NATION

In his daring speech, former President Carlos Romulo once proclaimed, “I am a Filipino.”

A four-word statement that embodies our past, personifies our present and epitomizes the future.

A declaration of hope. An avowal of faith. An affirmation of a celebrated tomorrow.

Today, in behalf of my fellow youth, I stand before you to repeat the words that stirred our nationalism—To enflame once again that dying candlewick of loyalty to our nation.

To fuel again the fading faith that within years not too remote from this day, a new generation of patriots will emerge from the pearl of the Orient to carve our lineage in the archives of mankind.

I am a Filipino.

These words should have new meaning for all of us today.

Tracing the richness of our history through the manifolds of foreign conquerors who tilled, cultivated and exploited our land against our approval, to the blinding promises of globalization, the claws of modern technology, the mayhem of Martial Law, the historic era of Edsa Revolt and presently, the threats of government turmoil brought about by self-greed and corruption, I beg my fellow youth to lend me their ears.

I may be a child but from my own fair share of library visits, I dug the elaborated records of our humble beginnings. We fought our way from oppression to liberty. We perspired blood to regain our freedom. We upheld our right to love and live.

Shortly after Spanish regime and Japanese occupation, we sought to establish a culture that we can claim as fully ours. However, the Americans came to our rescue in the guise of education and Commonwealth to employ true colors of colonialism. Until now, we savor hamburgers better than our very own adobo.

In the light of globalized and modernized world, where United Nations agrees that they will stand next to another, cultural boundaries can no longer be defined. We lost grip of our traditions, imitating customs of foreign start.

We now iPad and Google our way to learning— forgetting completely that not too long ago, our fountain of knowledge largely stemmed from conventional books and hardbound manuscripts.

In these present times, we kill to survive—butchering animals and consuming thousands of trees to accommodate our needs. We forget that the more we neglect our Mother Earth just so we can give in to our desires, we rob future generations of their right to see the luxury that we now get to exploit from our dear nature.

While we earn education on our sleeves, we grow indifferently towards our brethren.

We no longer care. We only think of ourselves.

For us, to succeed means to go on our own. We do not remember that from a not so distant past, “Bayanihan” was a concept that our race was once known for.

While we gain determination to read, we lose appetite to learn. We forget to help our country for own sake. Our working force continues to take flight to greener pastures, leaving a huge dry portion of brain drain on our own soil.

Love of country now lies miles behind love of self.

Gusty typhoons must have blown away in vain the lessons of Martial Law and Edsa Revolution.

The leaders that we select and elect to the government take away money that are supposed to ensure our brightest future. Our leaders choose the dark path of greediness, money and power— stealing our dreams, shattering our hopes and ruining the happy life that we all ought to have.

With all these events simultaneously happening before our very eyes, I already imagine a different picture of our beloved Philippines. That although it is 100-million strong, it is also 1000-million limp.

Orphaned. Astray. No nursing arm to go home to. Literally struggling to keep up with the world’s pace— alone.

This is not the Philippines that the youth of today is supposed to inculcate in their minds!

This is not the tale that we trailed for hundreds of years!

This is not the pursuit that our ancestors, venerated and unsung heroes alike, had headed to for centuries!

In this country, where the environment is blessed with green and abundance, no one deserves to live in poverty. No one deserves to work in another terrain just so his or her family can eat three full meals a day.

In this State, where promises of justice lie in wait, the laws of the land must see its people standing on equal footing and breathing on similar vein. No one should be detained in the comfort of an air-conditioned room with cable TV while others are imprisoned in hog’s cage.

In this nation, where each person is gifted with talent and intelligence, equal education and employment opportunities must be given to all. No discrimination, no selective recognition, no unequal protection.

In this land, where visions of democracy sit on top of all our political affairs, rights and responsibilities must meet on common end so that nobody will ever cross the line in its people’s expense.

I maybe a child but I take this chance to address my very own state of the nation.

The problems that we face today do not the mark the end. Rather, they signify another beginning.

What our nation bears and wrestles in this pressing time is a battle onward a new dawn. A new start that is enough to plead every citizen to help in continuing to fight and emerge triumphant of. A new unfolding of history that is worth of being retold generation through generation.

Let our voices traverse all boundaries of the Earth, proclaiming that this race will not vanish without a fight! Filipinos will live on. Filipinos will survive.

And yes, I am a child.

I am Filipino.

Truly, I am proud I am.

 

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Short-lived Bliss

Shut your eyes, tight, real tight

Let your skin react to the rhythm of my whispers

Let your lips taste the sweetness of my flesh

Like the hushed deep breathing of the wind caressing my nape.

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Finding Light In Shadow

It is hard to understand why there has to be goodbyes. Oftentimes, we keep finding ourselves in situations where we have to let people, things, beliefs and relationships go, without exactly knowing why we have to do so. We are trapped in circumstances wondering why it has to be that way. Sometimes what is worse than goodbye is when these people who were once in our lives just drift away without explanation or closure, consideration, or care.

I am actually inspired by how we, as individuals, are able to withstand the painstaking process of bidding and accepting farewells. I want to dig deep within the dimness and at the same time, unravel the light that hides behind every parting and leaving through a collection of my writings.

I also want to make readers realize the underlying issues regarding adieus. Why we are allowed to grow so attached? Why we get used to other people and their smells, the sound of their voice, the color of their sweaters and the texture of their hair? Why we need to acclimate ourselves to places and time only to have them taken away, uprooted, extricated from our lives leaving an empty path of emotional wreckage behind? Why we have to be left in an endless search for new things to fill up time, space, and void until we can no longer recognize the truth from a dream?

The conception of my written output relatively takes the long journey. The travel I usually traverse is dark and gloomy. I am trapped, not knowing where to go. As time passes, of course through the help of key people, I gradually find the light that will guide my way outside the dark and be able to compose a literary piece.

The short stories, poems and narratives that I write are sometimes motivated by the experiences shared by my peers, family and friends. Having been subjected to numerous goodbyes myself, most of which are unexpected and excruciating, I incorporate their experiences to my own understanding of the process of coming and parting, loving and hurting, at the same time.

I take pride of my pieces, which are all fruit of my hard work. I hope that through writing, I can cast away darkness and bring light to my readers’ lives.

 Please watch this video. 😥

 

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See related stories in the following links:

The Long Farewell

Farewell Stranger

 

Born or Made Writer: Which One Are You?

                Writers are born, not made.

The world takes as bible truth the connotation that an individual’s aptness in weaving words into literary masterpieces can be traced back from his genetic lineage. It is ironically a very short statement that has stirred many debates.

Well, taking my experience as vantage point, I do not entirely agree with the adage. Whether we are blessed with innate literary skills or we are only refined through years of experience, are questions that directly discard the fact that writers, perhaps, are born and made at the same time.

Some people find it so difficult to convey his ideas in the written form of language. On the other hand, some people find comfort and ease in intertwining words. But that does not automatically entitle anyone to say, Hey, I am a born writer. You are not. I am better than you.

While everyone claims that writing is easy, it is in fact not. Writing is an endeavor imbued with both creative and technical aspects. One cannot write a masterpiece if he does not know the basics of both. In other words, while every person may be able to write, only a few can write really good.

1. CREATIVE ASPECT OF WRITING. Creative in the sense that when one writes, he is tasked not only to merely communicate his ideas through pen and paper, he is also expected to relay it in a catchy, artistic and imaginative manner. For example, a writer cannot plainly say She likes him. That is boring and cliché! Instead, the writer may say, Her heartbeat ebbs and flows whenever he is around.  The lesser the adjectives or adverbs and the more the action words, the better!

  • The advantage of having an inborn talent of mixing words so that they sound interesting is these people already possess the artistic part of writing. Once the talented person sits in front of a computer, words flow freely from his brain to his heart and lastly, to his hand; well, the keyboard is bare witness to how fast and easy he completes the endeavor. He no longer experiences the agony of consuming too much mental fuel just so he can come up with a prolific written composition.
  • People who are not born with innate writing skills may have the disadvantage in this regard, however, passion and practice make the difference. One can always find a specific writing niche through good practice, training and habit.

2. TECHNICAL ASPECT OF WRITING. Technical in the sense that a writer must have good grasp of the language that he intends to employ in his written compositions.

  • Language structure, style and grammar are key in every written or spoken communication. Familiarity with colloquial terms and expressions are also vital in writing. For how can one successfully convey his thoughts if he has flawed control of the medium he is using?
  • Literary pieces have their own forms. Although the organization of ideas is relatively freestyle, each kind of literature follows particular guidelines and formats. For example, when one writes a haiku, he should follow a 5-7-5 framework. Meaning, the first line takes 5 syllables, the second line gets 7 and the last line, 5. A short story, on the other hand, being a short form of narrative prose style, is one-plot, one-setting and one-mood kind of literature.

People are quick to say that writing is easy. They tend to say, Piece of cake!

They do not seem to understand that prolific writers underwent years of training and hard work before they finally claim that they are so. I would like to think that I already belong to the mighty throng of artistic individuals but honestly, I am still light years away from the throne.

Well, writers are of course born and not made. However, no individual is born a complete writer. He is only made to be so.

Typed-Writer

Photo Credits to Cathy Day 

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Another blogger wrote a different viewpoint. Check it out here.

Red Taste

It was one mid-October night. Nature pervaded the senses with the pungent texture of the newly tilled soil at the foot of the mountain.

Manolo and Elena were immediately revived from slumber by successive gun fires. The horrifying sound was very near from where their nipa hut stood. Together with the deafening noise they heard outside were the flashing of lights and howling of people who cried for help. Two choppers appeared in the southeast, roaring and dropping a few flash bombs. A shower of light illuminated the whole area. Then high powered guns began raking at the place again.

Awakened, Manolo rushed through the window to determine what was happening in the vicinity. Bullets were raining and their neighbors were already soaking wet with their own blood. Some carabaos and cows were startled and vaulted over the men’s bodies.

In front of the house facing theirs, Mang Ambo, the jueteng cobrador, was shot from behind with an armalite, as he was among those who were trapped in the encounter. Scenario like this always occurred in the region, only that this was the bloodiest of them all. The bullet came out of Mang Ambo’s temple. His forehead oozed with blood. His left eyeball almost hang from its socket because of the gunshot’s impact. Manolo trembled but he tried to regain his composure. He rushed through the secret pit located under their cabinet. He secretly excavated that pit years ago. He hid something in it. A handgun.

Manolo concealed the gun under his sweatshirt. He did not want his wife to see it because the only device Elena knew he could use was a plough. Then he crawled under the bed where his wife was hiding to avoid the ricocheting cartridges ramming the place. Elena was trembling as she cried so Manolo embraced his wife to pacify her.

“We’re going to die,” Elena wept.

Manolo held his wife tighter, and then he said, “No mahal, we’re not going to die. I’m here. I won’t leave you.”

As more bullets smashed into the area, the couple’s senses started to become immune of the disturbance. The roaring of ammunitions took two more hours. Then, silence.

From the place where they hid themselves, the couple came out. Manolo walked ahead of Elena while they gripped each other’s hands. There, they saw that most of the nearby houses were burnt. Many of their neighbors bathed in their own blood.

“Oh my God,” cried Elena upon seeing carnage.

The couple was ready to run off the place for fear that the encounter would start again when Elena saw Aling Puring, a close friend of her deceased mother, lying on the ground. Impulse checked in so she tried if the old lady was still breathing.

“Aling Puring,” whispered Elena while pressing the palm of the woman as she tried to get some pulsation.

“Mahal, hurry. They might catch us here. We need to hide again,” shouted Manolo as he pulled Elena from where she knelt.

Elena was about to stand up when she felt a cock of a pistol. As if she already surrendered her life, she closed her eyes and waited for the shooter to pull the trigger. But there was no bang. Instead, she heard more footsteps coming her way.

When people rushing towards the couple’s direction finally assembled in a common ground, they were commanded by those armed with weaponry to bend their heads. Then the people in the neighborhood who managed to survive in the encounter were hand cuffed—about twelve of them. Elena thought they would be handcuffed too but they were not. Perplexed, she looked at her husband to ask what was going on but Manolo intentionally did not look back at her.

In the middle of the night, Elena together with the eleven other captives, were commanded by their captors to follow pathways that were unfamiliar to their senses. No matter how scared they felt, they obeyed what they were told. They feared that if they defy their captors, their lives would not be spared.

They already hiked for almost four hours yet huge trees and inclined terrains still surrounded them. Crickets were chirping all over the place. Mosquitoes were biting them so hard. They had also crossed plenty of streams, most of which were only knee deep. They were all catching their breath.

“My knees are already trembling,” complained Elena.

“Don’t give up just now, Mahal. We are already close,” Manolo, told her. “And Mahal, whatever it is that you will find out, always remember that I love you so much. We will go back home soon. I promise,” Manolo held Elena’s hand tightly.

Elena did not answer back. She wrinkled her brows. She was puzzled. She was even more baffled when one of the captors, who walked ahead of them, turned his head to the couple’s direction when he heard what Manolo said. A faint smile arched on his face.

In two more hours of hiking, it was almost daylight. While Manolo thought they were already near the captors’ base, a sharp bombardment coming from above shattered the stillness of the night. A chopper. The enemies had pursued them. Then somebody shouted, “Take cover!”

Some of them immediately rushed into the nearby scrubs and some lay on the ditches of the uneven ground. An explosion flashed in front of the men hiding behind the bushes and their bodies were tossed just like the tree sapling into the sky. Manolo instructed Elena to lie prostrate on the slope of a gully, not daring to lift their heads to the blazing air. They kept their mouths open so that the blasts wouldn’t crack their eardrums. Around them, men shrieked and moaned. Some were twisting on the ground, crying for help. Some of the rebels, dead or unconscious, were still clasping their guns.

The attack lasted only five minutes but it slain almost two-thirds of the total number of the men who hiked. Along the timbered place, flames and smoke were rising from crushed carts and disabled mountain guns. Only two carts of the captors’ food supplies and two baggages of armaments were salvaged.

Two of the rebels helped somebody to his feet and walked him toward a group of hammock bearers who were bringing the wounded back to their camp. Right in front of Elena and Manolo, a skinny boy, about fifteen years old, walked while carrying one end of the hammock, on which a man lie with his face bandaged.

After a few more hours, when the group was assured that nobody was pursuing them anymore, they continued to trek until the captors, together with their captives, finally reached their destination. They arrived at the base when the sun was already rising. They might have survived but one third of the captors’ team was lost during the encounter. All of them could no longer stand on their feet. Elena’s legs were swollen and one of her slippers had a broken sole so Manolo had to accompany her.

Elena noticed as they entered the camp that there were so many troops moving back and forth the front of the base. She thought that as soon as it was nighttime, the passageways would turn hectic, raucous and jammed with artillery pieces, carts drawn by animals, rebel porters carrying supplies of food and ammunition, and lines of stretchers with the wounded. Elena had these speculations drifting in her mind when the captors brought their hostages inside a wooden hut, which was surrounded by guards.

Having walked all night, Manolo helped Elena slouched on the bamboo floor to rest her feet. He sat beside her. She closed her eyes temporarily as she felt nauseated. While taking a rest, she heard some voices speaking from a distance. She slowly opened her eyes. She tried looking beyond the window to see who were talking, but the view was blurred by leaves hanging by the pane. All she can see was a shade of green concealing what was outside.

Frustrated with what she saw, Elena looked around the house instead. Then she remembered Manolo. He was no longer by her side. Heart hastening, she tried to figure out where he was. She looked all over the place. Beside her were their women neighbors. Across the unlocked door at the reverse side of the house were the male hostages. Manolo was nowhere in sight.

At about seven o’clock in the morning, their captors brought them a hearty meal—rice, stewed fish and some fried camote. Elena could barely eat. She was worried about Manolo but she could not do anything.

Right after their meal, the detainees were asked to listen to a meeting called upon by the leader of the organization that captured them. As they waited for the speaker, Aling Simang, who was seated right beside Elena, saw Manolo approaching their way. He was accompanied by two guards. Elena did not notice her husband coming because she was preoccupied in speculating who the rebels’ head was, so Aling Simang tapped Elena on her lap and told her, “Elena, there’s Manolo.”

The wife hoped that Manolo would be sitting next to her but she was wrong. Manolo was carried by his lookouts on the opposite side of the group where the male captives were assembled. Elena was about to rush where Manolo was, when a loud, coarse voice reverberated.

“I’m sorry you were caught in the middle of a fight you should have not gotten into. They were pursuing us so we had no choice but to hostage you.” Ka Nilo said.

Ka Nilo had something else to say when somebody disrupted his litany. “As soon as ceasefire will be communicated, you will be brought home.”

Elena was stunned upon witnessing who talked. Although still baffled, she caught Manolo taking a glance at her. She looked back and stared at him. He smiled. Then, she realized that they would no longer return to their barrio and that this was the home he pertained.

 

cordillera-NPA

Photo Credits to Bulatlat.com

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ATTENTION: THIS LITERARY PIECE IS COVERED BY INT’L INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS.

 This short story is an excerpt in the thesis presented to the College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines in Los Baños, April 2008.

Continue reading

The Fallen Leaf

 

That night of Milenyo, the lovers were alone again under a common roof—lying on bed. As the wind screamed all its might outside, Ruel slowly freed his left arm and put it behind Catherine’s shoulders to appease her.

The lady thought her man was initiating a move, so she answered back by positioning her upper body above his and then, she rested her head on his torso.

“Hon, I hope time will come that I can already have your heart,” Catherine told Ruel. But his sole reply was just a sigh.

 Catherine felt Ruel’s chest rise and fall under her head when the latter exhaled deeply. She felt the blowing of his breath on her hair. Bothered by her man’s action, she asked, “Are you thinking about them again?”

Ruel smiled a bit and then, he slightly nodded. Catherine saw honesty in Ruel’s eyes that she felt perturbed by it. So she let out an intentional quiver to divert their conversation. Her shudder caught the man’s attention.

“Do you want another blanket,” he asked.

“Just embrace me tighter, hon. Please,” she replied.

Ruel obliged. He hugged Catherine closer and tighter. For a while, they both silently stared at the orange light while it swung on the ceiling.

“Shiela called me yesterday. She said that Junior was always looking for me,” Ruel interrupted. But Catherine seemed not to hear him.

“She wants to reconsider things in between us,” he continued.

Catherine blankly looked at Ruel.

“I thought that the only time you can hurt me is when you hug me too tight like this but you’re hurting me more than that right now,” she said as she continued to look at her boyfriend, who, this time, was already the one not looking back at her.

Catherine rested her head on the man’s chest once more. As she leaned her head back on his torso and felt the warmth of his body next to hers, she became more conscious that the whole length of their legs were touching and that her hip dug into the hard muscles at the side of his stomach. An impish thought settled in her mind. Although she new she might accidentally touch Ruel’s genitals if she straightens her hand because she was lying sideways, she still flattened it on top of Ruel’s body. The man jolted. Catherine, on the other hand, played as if she did not do it on purpose.

“Are you okay, hon,” she asked.

“Yes, of course,” replied Ruel.

Then, in the middle of the angry night, both of them lied together in silence. Catherine broke their stillness first.

“Have you always loved them more than you loved me,” she said.

Ruel turned his head towards Catherine. He was about to answer her question when he found out that the woman was also directly gazing at him. He accidentally put his hand on top of her head and twisted a finger around a strand of her hair. Catherine smiled. She exactly knew what that action implied. When she was about to reach for Ruel’s face to kiss him, the man got his nerves back that he withdrew twisting some strands of Catherine’s hair.

“I need to go back to them. I know you already understand that right from the start,” Ruel said. “Honey,” Ruel felt a constriction inside his mouth. His nostrils almost clogged inside. “I already need to…”

“I know,” Catherine nodded.

Noticing that her boyfriend was turning his body away from her, she asked Ruel, “Just continue playing with my hair please.”

So the man turned his face to Catherine and played with her hair again.

Although she was already filled with agony, Catherine was now conscious of her partner’s smell, a mixture of the same musky aftershave that he had been wearing since the day they met. Will this really be the last time she would lay this close to Ruel, she thought. Was Ruel trying to tell her that this would be the last time she would feel his touch in that proximity? Thrill and anxiety engulfed her as different thoughts continued to drift in her head. She palpitated every time she breathed in the pungency of Ruel’s musky smell. Her breathing started to ebb and flow.

“Hon, are you okay?” Ruel asked but Catherine did not pay him a reply.

Consciously, she brought her hand under the blanket and undid the buttons of her shirt. She took hold of Ruel’s hand and slowly pulled it down under the blanket, then, slipping it under her bra, she guided him to her right breast. She was teasing him. She felt his body tighten beside her.

“Honey, you don’t want—,”Ruel confusedly said but Catherine placed her index finger on his lips. “You always told me Shiela isn’t this good,” she said.

Ruel was silent, and she could hear his heart pounding like a mallet. As if mesmerized, his fingers began to move slowly, now on her left chest, and the crown on top of it responded immediately to his touch. He gradually moved his position, and she felt his arm below her back as it lifted her sideways on the bed. Catherine, on the other hand, clung her arms on Ruel’s neck. After their eyes had met, their lips slowly but fervently locked until he was above her.

When he finally positioned himself on top of Catherine’s body, obscuring the orange light on the ceiling from her sight, he remained motionless for a moment, staring down at her face.

“I am so—,” Ruel was about to tell Catherine but she kissed him again instead, interrupting what the man was trying to say.

Then, the lights flickered. Rainfall was now hitting the rooftop so hard. Wind whistled as if it hankered to pierce the window glass. Typhoon Milenyo blazed with anger. But the lovers seemed not to care.

Ruel slowly went down on Catherine’s body, kissing every inch of her flesh until she felt his lips kiss hers. Down there.

The electricity finally blacked out. Catherine reached for Ruel and put her arms around his neck to bring him back to her.

And when their mouths met and their legs entwined, Catherine, for the last time, felt the energy of a man flood her being while the gusty wind and heavy pouring of rain smashed into their whole place. She knew that Ruel would be with his family when Milenyo stops.

 

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Photo Credits to Lamono Magazine and Amanda Zackem

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ATTENTION: THIS LITERARY PIECE IS COVERED BY INT’L INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS.

 This short story is an excerpt in the thesis presented to the College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines in Los Baños, April 2008.

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Passing

Last night,
I gazed upon her sleeping—
Cuddled by twilight breeze,
Surrounded by fireflies
whose tails flickered around the dark.
With the tip of her twigs bowed,
She can almost kiss the ground
Like a loving mother who,
After giving birth,
Succumbs to the hunger
Of cuddling her child for the first time.

On daybreak,
I rose on my bed;
Bathed in shafts of light
that shifted inside and around
Her branches and leaves.
As she waltzed to the cadence of the wind,
And meekly sang with the voices
Of birds that hid under her shade,
She sheltered the Earth
From the blazing heat that hit the ground.
Her fruits,
Whose bodies are contoured alike to a human heart—
I imagined their golden sweetness
Nurturing my veins.

Again,
Tonight,
Her hands veined like mine,
Limbs wrinkled by age,
Roots creeping under the soil—
Rocks Earth with her lullaby,
And,
Sets the world into stillness.
As time turns around like her leaves
Rolling over worn-out roofs on evenings,
I know I will wake up every morning
Sheltered from the sun,
As she,
Untiringly welcomes me
Within her embrace.

mango_tree-oldest1

Photo credits to this site.

Written on July 25, 2006, UPLB

I bleed. Words.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

Ernest Hemingway

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Inspired by Ernest Hemingway quote and writing style, allow this humble author to jumpstart her humble beginnings on WordPress.