, waiting, to see the world

i remember waiting tables, , , more bread? allow me to get you more butter while i make mine…

stacks never got too high, neither did dad’s.
“I’ll take you to Italy,” he used to promise, , , i saw how worldy
his eyes got, buttery, in the middle of an asphalt parking lot, 110 degrees,

i remember waiting to get out,
and i did, , , never came out with a degree, buttered my name
upon loan papers; who the fuck isn’t in debt? must be nice to eat bread…

what does a warm buttered end piece taste like?
in Italy? burro italiano. amore italiana. soldi,
waiting tables, , , in Italy maybe?

13 waiting to be 30 – supposedly i’m supposed to have
my shit together, , ,
i hate commas, and something they call ‘patience’,
there goes another one!

today, i buttered me a piece of bread
It was delicious: every word of it.
serving myself Italian-style
didn’t realize god was makin’ it rain
manna honey. manna n’ honey
shit’s better than butter

italians visit my store in sf
i speak of bay area manna to them
in Italian; non ho fame
i welcome myself to the world: the Present: where milk and honey flows with each buttered second:
manna burying my feet planted
eyes as dry as an end piece, wide open:

for me and for my dad.mmmmmmmmmmmm


Putik Pin@y: honor my land

im the element of perfection
the earth ready formation
water for unity
fire for rEVOLution,
never a final blow
airing, the breath of life,
living intention
reverberate the sound
of my atomic movements
trip, trap, raining songs
of unity
I mold to the blows of my intentions,
i am a statue of fire,
EVOLved, a growth of massive potential,
my fruit from putik
is sweet,
i fire up digestion
materialize energy,
i am the rEVOLution
Putik Pin@y
the living tree,
burning angels guard
the edges of my dewy foliage,
fruitage from putik,
the chorus of rains
i am the balikbayan of many stars: a god
and my feet, are of the very mud itself

black coffee

im sipping coffee by myself. that is unusual. the usual is a cigarette, and a really good friend. the regular meeting of morning, and lighting up to the lit smell of a newport. and on the other end of that billowing, was a good friend.
today, i woke up knowing i’d make this coffee, no sugar in the pantry. how to live without a little sugar? at least i still know how to sip the need to wake up.
it is unusual to surrender, to something as simple as black coffee. surrender to loneliness, so i’ll know how to wake up without the billowing of a ‘good morning’, from you. but as usual, i’ll wake up. black coffee, and a little voice inside saying, “time to wake up”.
sometimes i dream of a little sugar. like nostalgia, or serendipity, on days i’d never expect you whiffing through my mind, unusually so.
for now, a sip at a time, and a little dreaming, billowing skyward. i never expected freedom to taste so sugar-free…

comma coma. promise,

last sorry. promise,

last hiccup. promise,

last loan. promise,

last puff,

last bowl. promise,

last cigarette, promise,

last distraction…promise,

last word. word,

last time, last time. promise … ,

last cigarette, _______,

last ,. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,promise.

…………miles brave

if you can think of what has never been done before, is your story done by someone else.
you lived it. the story, ah, yes! i bet you won’t have the same outline as mine.
here’s the hypo-watered down version, cliff-notes-esque to mine:

…………miles braver



bulacan – diwa’t dwende



1990 non-immitigration trauma – stockton…

roaches, mold, asthMAMA!

english: jehoyahwehtnesses

lola dolores – tita myrna

near-death lessons. came outAnthony

bye bye stockton.

sf – city college – 40’s sunset-

mission, s.assaulted, h.i.,vIP

trauMAMAture; Victorrrrrrr

dahdee died 2012…closer to Him

health, the best in my—

consciousness: indigenizing

today: still frigh-10’ed-ing, not pre

one inch doing, 12 miles braving


There was a woman

looked at the flame

still [kanyang] body like flame

[Siya] chanted away memories

intention left

future, past, sound


Ba Ka La

[Niya] planted in mind


glass over eyes

the flame split into–


then still like body

the flame became Ka

There was a man…

Behind a Nation: Akbay, Bayan, Anak

2003 was the last time I visited the Philippines. I still speak Tagalog, kumupas na (faded), but still speaking.  A lot of people often say it was because we spoke it at home. But I can tell you right now, we spoke a lot of English. My siblings and I know that it is felt when we speak Tagalog: our link to home.

When my family speaks to each other, we all dissect the degree of ‘fading’ our Tagalog has undergone. These days, we don’t criticize each other verbally, but we still do it mentally. Tacit knowing, because it is not to pick each other apart that we do it. It is to keep the link alive…remembering the provincial accent of Bulacan, our unique familial tone and linguistic prosody, and the laughter always associated with remembering.

I remember the last time I was back, my cousin put his arms upon my shoulders as we walked down the street. I felt a certain discomfort, because the ‘personal space’ issue the Western world had conditioned in me told me that two males walking down the street, shoulder to shoulder, was out of code. Nonetheless, I put my right arm around his nape, onto his right shoulder, and we walked…

If there is something I most lack is academic credentials. It is not, however, a ‘fake it ’til you make it’ scenario. But intuition, I’ve learned, refined through the kapwa, has given me freedom to stand as some authority on what I say. Because when something is this compelling, you must leave yourself open to anything, like the kinship act of akbay, with just one arm over brother’s shoulders, center openly vulnerable, legs walking forward to the rhythm of another set of steps.

I often use site Baybayin Alive as reference to things. In the following analyses, I use the same ‘framework’, or paradigm, to explore and process the deeper meanings of our native writing system, Baybayin. Thank you Baybayin Alive for your contribution. It has given me an opportunity to explore and trust my own intuition as a guiding source.

The practice of akbay can be described as a gesture of close friendship. You’ll see little boys, shoulder to shoulder, walking down the street, expressing their closeness. As one gets older, one gets conditioned to the Western ideals of individualism and a concept of masculinity via personal space. However, you’ll still see this practice among adults in provincial areas of the Philippines, as well as many Southeast Asian countries. The Baybayin symbols that make up akbay are “A”, “KA”, “BA”, and a silent “YA” when written in Baybayin (the “y” is pronounced verbally). It is up to the reader to discern the word based on the context.

The “A” can be interpreted as made up of half “KA”, with a continuing body, ‘ending’ with a hook, or in medical terms, a neurotransmitter, looking for a receptor. The way “A” is pronounced indicates an openness, open mouth, tongue in rest, and a steady, pushing breath. The Baybayin Oracle Cards (created by Rhodora “Bing” Veloso) interprets that is the “spirit” shaped by Divine wisdom.

Baybayin Alive describes “Ka” in this way:

KA is two wavy lines laid parellel with a line joining the two of them at their center. KA means “connection.”

The two wavy lines are also the same size, indicating equal status.
In the Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication, this stage of “contact” would take place in the “channel” stage, after encoding has taken place, and before decoding takes place.

“BA” is a symbol of the feminine principle, which is also the root of many expressions (Raymund Cosare). Baybayin Alive also makes parallels of “BA” to the Alphabet Gematria symbol, “B”. It signifies “fertility”, “new beginnings”, or “birth”. The shape of “BA” is likened to a circle, starting from a point, descending, ascending into a loop, descending down, and ascending once again to meet at the point. It would indicate that after “contact”, there is a reproducing that takes place, or the result of understanding. In essence, the symbol indicates a certain completion, or coming full circle.

“YA” is far from a forgotten part of the word. Interestingly, “A” and “YA” are written similarly. Exempt from the “YA” is an extra ‘stroke’, which to me, indicates a particular function or purpose. The act of akbay begins with an openness to express a closeness with someone else. It ends with the cradling of the tongue, after “Ba”, to a soft “Y’, an invitation to trust, a soft place to be unconditionally loved. The person “Yaya” comes to mind, a hired help who becomes a nursemaid, who becomes, an extension of parental nurturing, trust bestowed upon her to care for the young children while the mother and father are working.

*Though the symbol “Ya” is not included in the spelling of “akbay” in baybayin, the oral aspect of the word sheds light on the non-visual implications “akbay” has on practice. This helps us to appreciate the cyclical paradigm of the indigenous Filipin@, that one aspect of life is only understood through another aspect. The framework for deciphering the writing system of Baybayin cannot thrive only through a linear understanding of its written progressions. Social practices and oral traditions passed down are also essential puzzle pieces.

After "A" takes place, from "Ka", "Ba", "Ya", to "Na", a self-sufficient cycle of "offspring" (Anak) and "nation" (Bayan) takes place. In each symbol of the cycle, "A" is always referenced.

Last, and certainly not least, we come to “Na”. Baybayin Alive posted that it  “ is the symbol to indicate ‘now‘ or ‘being present.’ The downward line represents the present moment in a progression of time” Please read the post on the Filipino expression/attitude of “Bahala Na“. The Baybayin Oracle Cards interprets the symbol “Na” as “a woman’s vagina, a closed door, an opening to a cave”. The reading continues to describe this symbol as ‘something new and mysterious’, and to “take great care if you wish to take on its challenge”.

When “Na” is pronounced, it begins tight mouthed, tongue pushing the roof of the mouth, and pushes through to an open mouth, open breath of “ah”. The story of “anak” comes to mind, with “Na” as the birthing process, a mysterious challenge needing great care. When a mother finally gets to hold her newborn in her arms, “Ka”, the connection takes place, a sacred decoding of feeling, seeing, smelling a new relationship.

With the context of the interpretations, each word paints a story, a labyrinth of meaning, a satisfying foundation for our unique heritage, even in the age of modernization. Baybayin now allows us to tell the progressive story behind nation-building, that it is signified from an act of close and nurturing kinship, to a nation, and from that nation, offspring that carries on the very attitude of openness and a “kapwa” paradigm, that there is no ‘other’, only a single stream with many connections. And this cycle continues: akbayanakbayanak…it is a cyclical framework. The story of the collectivistic socialization of Filipinos can be told through the secrets of Baybayin.

dream in Pangarap

***this was something I wrote after having a dream about my siblings and I; my father had just passed. in Tagalog, there are two words for dream: panaginip (when sleeping), and pangarap (aspirations). more and more, i believe that there are no separations between the realities of our dream-state and conscious-awake state; in essence, it is through <single/collective> consciousness that we exist. in knowing that, we can aspire to do anything, anywhere, anytime, with anyone – even with dahdee. Habbeeburday dahdee…***



i had a dream

that the four of us were talking…


ka’wa’wa, shock grinding at faces,

i look into the eyes of my brothers,

my glassiness meeting with theirs

my sister, hair over face, chin meeting


hair extending heavenward…

bulky tear-swallowing throats,

heaviness grounding our spaces

and our feet

in this dream, tacitness numbing,

and melting our parts together.

ate in boston

kuya, sa Pinas

little brother, whose not so little, in Stockton

and me, in san francisco…

Dah-dee had a pangarap

because his children were everywhere

and he, He was never here…

every road trip,

plane ride,

balikbayan box, kept him home,

where we all met, glassy eyes

in a dream

of his dream, to die

Where his children were born

Perpetual Victor…

I remember things were very different two years ago…

I was convinced that I was a victor of some sort…when in fact I was one perpetual victim.

Then someone named “Victor” came into my life. He was the biggest bitch I’d ever met (and he became my bf)…

Through our many perpetual hurdles together not having a job failing classes pills daily dose of fist fighting crystal meth ensakurrity victim I have learned to be very careful about what words I put out there in the universe; I have realized how powerful verbalizing (spoken/written) something is.

<Recently> I discovered that even what we process inside our minds manifests in ways we don’t realize. According to Filipino Indigenous principles, it is essential that one develops their kagandahang loob (wholeness of being), of which the root word of the adjective kagandahang means “beauty”.

Seeingseekingseeing our whole state, the power of possibility, as positive responses to any environment will createshapefulfill the visionrealities we marinate over, even before it reaches our dirtylittlemouths.

Victor and I will always be/are no longer together. From our relationship, I learned how to choose to put weight on the shit that will make me

I’m even getting post-racial – that’s some heavy radical shit…