28.11.05; Netopia Nomad; 11:55

No. of bar rats who inquired if I were lesbian: 1. No. of officemates who asked if I were lesbian: 1. No. of females assumed as my girlfriend: 1. No. of female crushes: 3.

Dear Niwee,

Today, my youngest brother reminded me it would have been his first anniversary with his late girlfriend. As of writing, he must be lighting the candles and sitting next to her slumbering body.

On the eve of their first monthsarry, the girl decided to split up. "Akala ko kasi malilimutan ko yung ex ko," she reasoned out. Upon hearing this from my brother, my left eyebrow reached my scalp in pure fury.

His gesture, plus his daring escape from Mom today (as usual, I’m the accomplice), truly touched me. I thought he has forgotten all about her. Either that or I have forgotten how it feels to love.

– – –

A large number of Badjaos have migrated in Bacoor and converted my town as the newest mecca for soliciting alms. Considering we have mountains of trash ironically positioned in a baranggay called Kalinisan, I was convinced I am prepared for the worst. Seeing young kids making a playground out of the highway and recognizing the sharp contrast of their distinct features with their modern outfit break my heart.

I remember my undergraduate video documentary about Badjaos in Batangas. Their bunch decided to leave the unending atrocities down South for a new life in Batangas. Fortunately, a pastor (forgot his name) developed a community for them. Kids can go to school, the families go to the chapel each Sunday, people have local government to turn to, etc. There were even cases of marriages between Badjaos and Tagalogs. You should see their little paradise.

The incumbent leader that time was aware that there’s a growing number of his people resorting to begging. He was completely against it. He was pushing for them to be able to stop or arrest their fellow Badjaos. I wonder what happened to their pleas.