A Trip to Mariveles’ Five Fingers Cove in Bataan

A short vacation with my buddies took place last weekend, January 13-14, 2018. We have been planning the trip for over a month, and although my friends already gave their yeses prior to the date, I was skeptical about the actualization of the trip. You see, just like any other group of friends, trips tend to die when the set date gets closer. It could be just another “drawing, millennials and xennials call it nowadays, which is a noun that refers figuratively to planned but ultimately canceled outings by friends. To my delight, and surprise, the vacation trip materialized. We decided to go on the last minute to Mariveles’ Five Fingers Cove in Bataan. 

The photos speak for themselves. Five Fingers Cove is breathtaking.

From cliff diving and basking in the scenic views of  rock formations to tiptoeing on isles surrounded by sea hedgehogs and varieties of starfish and sea slaters, this sanctuary in Mariveles is heaven for city dwellers hungry for a relaxing weekend. Laki Beach, which was where we camped is amazing with its fine white sand.

The real star of this trip, however, is the fun moments I shared with friends. Here’s a nine-minute summary of our trip:

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The Hour

The creases in the blanket are proof of our longing

An empty canvass made interesting by the colors of our burning passion and our desire to be loved back

I didn’t have to close my eyes in that dim-lighted room while my tongue examined the edges of your lips

Because you were already looking before I even wished for you to stare back

Pulling your greasy hair was not an establishment of dominance

Not even an attempt to get pleasure from the sheer roughness of it

I was just looking for more ways to wrap myself around you

Because I wanted you to know that I wanted to own you, and how I wish that you pressing your face down my neck hard was you saying you wanted to own me as well

Even if what’s physically left were creases and drops of sweat on that wooden floor, I may still have something to look forward to:

a chance at reliving an almost supernatural experience, if the odds would have it, with you, or with someone else who can also show me that such precious hour can be fucking true

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Stones (Music Video/Short Film)

Video synopsis: A young woman with a broken heart goes to the beach to unwind, but ends up distracted and annoyed when she couldn’t find the other pair of her flip flops.

Song title: Stones
Singer: Sham Kitma
Composition: Sham Kitma
Lyrics: Reynaldo Pagsolingan

Music video/short film written, directed, and edited by Reynaldo Pagsolingan


The stones I buried under the mattress, they creak through the night
I’ve kept them all for a long time, loving and hating them at the same time

Tears wash but misery is amassed
It’s suppose to be lighter, but I’m heavier than ever

I’ll catch a bird and fly w/ it
Away from troubles, away from the wet pages
I’ll throw the stones one by one
I won’t pick them up
My smile is opening up
I’ll sleep soundly tonight

The stones, they’re baggage, they’re nothing but garbage
I knew going out for air is good but I can’t get up, my drive has stopped

Tears wash but my face looked crushed
I thought it doesn’t get better but it’s true it’s not forever

I’ll catch a bird and fly w/ it
Away from troubles, away from the wet pages
I’ll throw the stones one by one
I won’t pick them up
My smile is opening up
I’ll sleep soundly tonight

Don’t pick them up
The days of the past shouldn’t again turn up
Loosen up
The noise of the past
has been put to a stop

I’ll catch a bird and fly w/ it
Away from troubles, away from the wet pages
I’ll throw the stones one by one
I won’t pick them up
I will say goodbye
I will smile
And throw it all away


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The time was eight o’clock in the evening. I took a break from work, left the operations area, and headed to the office lounge where I rested my body on a couch positioned in front of a large window painting before me the city lights 12 floors down below. When I was working the first time here, that seemingly subtle but loud illuminance gave me joy. Hope, even. “Candles lighting my far-reaching vision”, I told myself.

How times have changed four years later. Now, the lights left me tearing up a bit. Not out of delight, unfortunately.

I found myself looking back at the days when I was six years old in the province. The soil where our military duplex house stood was dark and fertile, the mothers in the neighborhood including my Mama did their routinely sweeping of the fallen leaves from huge trees spread across the village in the afternoon, and my first-grade self watched his favorite cartoon with friends while my brother cooked rice that will be served for dinner.

Funny how things change.

Places obscure rise from the dead, living places run out of breath.

A New Year’s Resolution (Holiday Draft)

The December break has given me a lot of motivation to change things up this year. Every aspect of my life was put into a wringer in 2016, and the general consensus seems to echo the same sentiment. Social media friends and semi-funny memes think this year is a huge shitty asshole. That is not nice to look at.

I know how easy it is for anyone to sound dumb when they say shit like “things are gonna be better next year” and “excited for the new me in January.”  While the shallow representation of reinvention and change is easily distinguished among people, I realized that it should not be at all easily dismissed.

Having gone through partly self-inflicted difficult situations more than ever this year, it is always a one step forward when one is attempting to be better. I see no reason to channel hate and assholeness. You don’t kick someone down when they attempt to stand up after an embarrassing fall.

I was sharing the dining table with my parents and siblings a few days ago when I got a hold of a thought that triggered a decision to reestablish my ideologies, behavior, and goals that I project onto the world. Last year, because of an awful breakup, and personality clashes among the people I work with, my life has become more complicated. I barely had any reason to get off my bed and smell the coffee because I was filled with so much negativity.

Now back to dinner with the fam, the conversations about ironing out the messy atittudes among us and the unspoken “we will always have each other’s backs” as we feel everyone’s spirits (in silence found between eating, talking, and laughing) fueled my passion that I have to admit was nearing its death.

I can’t let the fuckups of the world lure me into missing out my true purpose in this life.

I can’t let these wonderful people down because they make me more than my struggles and heartaches.

I have to be better because making my loved ones, especially my dear parents, proud of seeing me do good is a payback for their love, understanding, and sacrifices even if they are not asking for anything in return.

I was reminded that it always feels good when you are not just living for yourself. So, yeah. Let’s do some changes, shall we.

“Caché”, “Aliens”, and “The Witch” Quick Reviews

It is the holidays, and what better way to relax than review the backlog of movies I wasn’t able to see because of a hectic schedule all year. I usually rank the movies I watch in a marathon from my most fave to the least (because I’m a stupid idiot), but the ones listed below are really great in their own different ways, so no ranking. The three I’ve seen so far are below (and up there in the title lol).

Caché (2005), or Hidden in English, is a perfectly-paced quiet thriller that uses ‘colonial guilt’ as subtext to the intriguing storyline. It dethroned The White Ribbon as my third favorite Michael Haneke film. My first and second are Funny Games and Amour.

Aliens (1986) is an action-packed horror that IMO is so much better than its predecessor. While at times a bit loud because of the action scenes, it still managed to be more frightening than the low-key Alien because of the proper use of editing, and the scary showmanship of the ‘Queen.’

The Witch (2016) is a horror mystery that thrives in its ability to scare your wits not by cheap shocks and gore, but by  its suggestive power found underneath its enigmatic symbolism and the script’s subtlety.

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Mamayang Gabi

Sa pagbaba ng dilim sa lupa, ang ilaw ng mga bituin ay magmumukhang diwata sa paningin, ang liwanag ng buwan ay magiging kaibigan, at ang huni ng mga kulisap ay magiging hele sa pandinig

Pero sa paglipas din ng mga oras ay mapagtatanto na ang lahat ay disensyo lang sa paligid na walang hatid na sagot sa ingay ng pag-iisip

Ang mga mata ay mapapagod sa tingkad ng kutitap at ang dalawang tainga ay mangangati sa tono ng kawalang kahulugan

Sa gitna ng madaling araw ay lamig na lamang ang susuot sa kaibuturan -dahan-dahang kakainin ang natitirang apoy na sinindihan ng nakaraang hapon

Ang mga buto naman ay pigil na magtatanggol sa nanginginig na laman, at sa muling pagsilip sa kawalan para manlaban sa kahinaan ay makikitang patay na ang liwanag at pagod na ang ingay ng mga insekto

Kaya sa umaga ay maghihintay ng kasagutan sa nakakagising na mga tanong at kaguluhan ng isipan, umaasang may matitira pang lakas mula sa pagkain ng gabi sa kamalayan

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Freedom X

I’m a victim of my freedom
Without remorse,
I’ve wasted people’s time
I broke promises and hearts
I only listen to myself

In wanting too much of it,
its power has overtaken me

I go home too late
Watching people
Validating myself
Drinking too much
Filling my lungs
with smoke and fun

Crossing lines & boundaries,
I’m digging myself
an early grave
The scythe is coming
for my neck

I have forgotten
where I came from
I have lost people who
once set my soul on fire
I thought I only needed
myself to survive

Well, I still believe that
sometimes half, sometimes wholeheartedly

And this writing, by the way,
isn’t a cry for help

I just want to say
I’m probably dead

When I’m seen
being terrible,
or even soulless

It’s my freedom,
not me

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Love II

I threw lit cigarettes
where trash
and fire should be
Leaving fear behind
I am seeing the sun

I’ve wrapped my arms
around someone new
No googly eyes
No stink of drunken past

I’m hearing a sweet voice
whispering across the room
Clueless of where it
would lead me
A sad story or a party

But I’m cutting
my heart open
to see it bleed
to see it burst
to see it jump

To see it
alive and
just singing

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