Horror fantasy dream. 03JAN2016 afternoon, sometime around two pm.

It was my first day as a cub reporter in this newspaper. I was hired because of my connections. My two friends were already working there. In the universe/logic of the dream, before the paper could print, they have to first pay the printer with their own personal money. This is why they always carry a lot of cash. One of the first things given to me was a small bag filled with a bundle of cash, supposedly advance payment for my services which I have yet to render, and spending money for when we are following a story somewhere.

The very day when I arrived and given the small bag, the Editor-in-Chief was in a hurry to the printers to pay them. He didn’t have enough cash so the staff collected valuables – cash and jewellery to give to him. Another thing that is necessary for the printing of the paper was the sacrifice of a body. It turns out this was a tedious and painful process and it was the Editor in Chief’s turn, and the lazy bastard was stalling for time. So one of the established reporters collected the valuables, and went out in place of the lazy bastard Editor in Chief.

We, the three of us friends, found her mutilated body later outside in a cement bench in a nearby plaza. It was slumped unceremoniously and covered in red occult markings. Then we went back to the office and immediately after us, the senior reporter whom we just saw dead entered. She looked exactly like before she was mutilated. She sat down on her desk and said ‘now that wasn’t too hard was it?’ before continuing with her work.

In the logic of the dream, people don’t really die. Their soul just transfers to another body which is already summoned or prepared for them. This body can be made to look exactly like the previous body.

My friends and I were assigned to follow a story together. It was a killing, and not just any killing, but a non-resurrection-type killing. We were outside of a large church, and inside there were a lot of people. Someone has just informed one of the parishioners of the killing. It turns out that the parishioner who was just informed is the aunt of the one who was killed. She broke down crying, but only for a while. She stood up, composed herself, and went out of the church. We followed her as she went out and offered her our services.

It was me who was able to quickly track down the killer. I only managed a glimpse but I knew it was the killer. It or he or she, I didn’t get a long look, vanished into a small wooden shed. The parishioner followed me, then my friends, and we scoured the place but we couldn’t find the killer. He was gone. That was then I noticed something odd. On the corner of the shed were the smoldering embers of a fire. Among the charcoal was a burnt out shell of what looked like a large spider. There were some things, small and red, wriggling inside of it. It turned out to be smaller spiders.

The parishioner approached me and picked up the shell/casing with the small spiders inside. She picked up one and swallowed it. My friends shouted for her to stop, but it was too late.

Then we were transported into this other place. It was dark and cold and had lots of big corridors. It turned out to be some sort of restaurant. The hunt for the killer continues here. The small red spider which the parishioner consumed is a gateway. By eating it, we have followed the trail of the killer. But a side effect of the gateway spider is madness and for the eater to turn into a monster. I was standing in front of the parishioner when she started changing. The right side of her face and body started to morph and bloat into a grotesque form. Her eyes went bloodshot and wide. She grew fangs and her hair became longer. My friends and I ran.

I don’t know if my friends escaped. I managed to run as far away from the monster as possible, until I reached one end of the vast restaurant. There was a free-standing utility room there, made of thick cement and had pipes snaking around and sticking out of it. It looked very secure to me. I entered and locked myself inside.

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Review and Musings Upon Finishing Nick Joaquin’s ‘May Day Eve.’

Review and Musings Upon Finishing Nick Joaquin’s ‘May Day Eve.’

I have just read Nick Joaquin’s ‘May Day Eve.’ It’s a short story written in 1947. I didn’t get much of the plot, as it was deliberately confusing. I only got that there was this mirror and there was this girl, and she was told this urban legend about asking the mirror during midnight about who she’ll marry one day, and then the next moment she’s in front of the mirror, and then she’s old and telling the story to this young boy who is her child, and there was symmetry of events because her husband also asked the mirror when he was younger, or was this another person? I can’t remember, there were a lot of typos on the text which I read, and again the story was deliberately non-linear, and thus confusing. What I really liked was the atmosphere, both the psychology of the characters, and the setting of the story. It was dark and dream-like. There was the use of an urban legend, there were repetition of events and stories. The same urban legend, although in a modified form was told to the young boy who then asked the mirror for the face of the girl whom he would marry someday. Also, I like that there were only snippets of larger things that were presented, hints at some greater events happening at the background. The detail of the crier during the night shouting the hour is interesting. Agueda and the male character both live in the same house? Are they related? What is the connection between them that they both live in the same house with other people. That older lady who told Agueda the urban legend about the mirror also lived with her in that house. There were also other girls who lived in that house. I liked that the story tells that the young men went to Europe, and that the local girls felt they couldn’t compare to the more fiesty Seville girls, or the more classy Parisian girls, stuff like that. It connects the story to Europe, old Europe, where the Gothic trope came from.

The story has been described as ‘magic realism’. But another way to understand the story is to say that it is weird and supernatural, or fantastic. Literary academic folks would also use the term ‘speculative’ but these aren’t nothing new. The tone for example of the story is reminiscent of Gothic horror fiction of the type written by the Americans Edgar Allan Poe and Ambrose Bierce. The use of the urban legend superstition ritual is folksy in a way. Gabriel Garcia Marquez also writes like this. I think the term is ‘folkloric.’ Is it folklore when the setting is urban, and not the countryside? rural places? non-city? I think it is. The story could also be understood as some sort of ghost story. What is the ghost here? Maybe something metaphorical, like the ghost of optimism. Optimism and kindness and youth died, replaced by its ghost, it’s mirror image, a mirage, a shadow, an echo something that pales in comparison to the real thing. Agueda as old lady isn’t the same person any more as Agueda the young girl. She is described as mean and hard-hearted. I like the part where within all that hardness and sadness and misery, she told the story to her child about the Devil which appeared to her, and she described the Devil in beautiful terms, like a lover, full of beauty and all things which she seemed to have lost through time until that moment when she is speaking to her child.

I think I may have now discovered a new favorite writer in English – Nick Joaquin. Our interests, I think are more aligned. For the longest time, which is to say, until now since I read his stories more than fifteen years ago, my favorite Filipino writer in English was Carlos Bulosan. I wrote a term paper on the guy. I liked his prose, which was social realist and called for justice to the working class and the poor and the migrants and vagabonds in 1930s United States. Joaquin seems to focus more on the fantastic, something that I feel isn’t discussed much in the literary history of the country. In high school you’re just taught about the ancient epics, then some Tagalog short stories, which are usually social realist, the novels Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, those huge pillars of Philippine literary architecture, are more or less social realist. A lot of the writings in the Philippines seem to be really political and social-realist.

Overall, the reading of the story was spurred on by my desire to read more local stuff. To connect to the literary scene in the country. The main problem is that I have little to no access to these writings.

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Profile of the Girl in Creative Writing Class Back in College

Profile of the Girl in Creative Writing Class Back in College

-She was pale, frail and sweet. She spoke softly and carefully.

-This girl was so shy, she had to stop talking a few times, and was told by the instructor to relax and breathe a little, to continue explaining her story to us.

-Her story was about this girl in a relationship. She’s being abused by this guy, husband? boyfriend? and the story isn’t really a story but more of a scene. It is about this girl, looking at the clock and thinking about what she’s going to do next. The clock is described in detail. It is a big old wooden clock, of the type with a swinging pendulum at the bottom.

-She described the bruises on the body of the girl. She described the girl as frail and pale. There were roses in the story as well, I don’t know how it was incorporated there. Overall the language was descriptive and melodramatic.

-Basically, the character in her story was her. No doubt about it.

-Before class one day, we got to talking. The instructor was late, and the class before us was having a test, and they extended their time. I don’t know how it was that she became so comfortable talking to me. These were real personal stuff she was sharing with me. How she doesn’t like her family, how she feels like an outsider, how they exclude her all the time. She still lives at home, and there is supposedly a lot of drama in the house. Their family, from what I gathered, is rich. Her greatest issue at that time was whether she would go with her family to vacation in Hong Kong.

-She told me growing up she had a lot of physical problems. I think we bonded over the discovery that we both have asthma. She also has allergies, like me. But her biggest physical issue was her scoliosis. It’s no longer that visible, but it was really bad when she was younger. She told me she had to wear this brace for her spine, and that it was awful and made her feel bad.

-Beyond that, we never talked much again. A few hi’s and hello’s, catching up to the latest assignments before that little sliver of time before class, and that was it. We never met again after that semester. I can’t even remember her name now. Not much of her physical attributes. She was fine-featured, short and petite, really pale, so pale that I could see the blue veins on her wrists, she’s also pale because her parents don’t let her engage in much physical activities outside in the sun, one time she showed up with red blotches on her arms and face because of allergies, she had short black hair.

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Some Thoughts on the Marcos Clandestine Burial Issue

Some Thoughts on the Marcos Clandestine Burial Issue

-Morally speaking, he shouldn’t have been allowed to be buried in Philippine soil.

-But legally speaking, because he was President, and for a very long time too, he deserves to be buried in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

-Morals and law contradict.

-Jose Maria Sison said: it is not a Libingan ng Mga Bayani, it is a Libingan ng Mga Reaksyunaryo.

-I agree with Sison. Most of the state officials buried there followed policies that were anti-democratic and probably themselves were highly involved in the human rights violations that happened, not just during the Martial Law Period, but throughout the history of the country.

-So, this is just the State appropriating for itself the concept of what a ‘hero’ is. Anti-government agitators for example, who were heroic, I doubt would be allowed (and would even want) to be buried there. It’s all military and state bureaucrats. It’s a right-wing cemetery, full of right-wing decaying organic once-alive human matter.

-So what does it matter then that the biggest reactionary and human rights violator of them all would be buried there?

-But there may be actual heroes in that cemetery, ones that did not engage in human rights violations and did not support policies which allowed for the violation of human rights. Who knows.

-A much much bigger issue is the power that the Marcoses and the other political dynasties continue to hold in this country. This has been the the bane of the country for the longest time. The wealth that should have been spent for economic and social development were funneled into the personal coffers of the Marcoses and their cronies. Taxpayer money is still being clandestinely siphoned into the personal coffers of the various political dynasties. These people are still alive. These people should be made to account. These are the ones that the living should be chasing.

-There should be constant updates and news about progress on the recovery of the wealth, which amounted to more than one hundred billion pesos, that were stolen during the Marcos regime.

-People should be shown the luxuries that the Marcoses and their cronies, and the political dynasties enjoyed, or are currently enjoying, while the country mostly remains poor.

-I have often seen how the poor and the middle class defend Marcos, saying that he did all these projects, that the streets were safer then, etc.. The irony of a thief being praised by those whom he stole money from.

-The money used to build these government projects came from the taxpayers, or were borrowed from international banks which would be later on repaid with interest, again of course, by the taxpayers.

-Some of these poor and middle class defenders of the dead multi-billionaire thief say that the streets were safer then. That they felt safe, and that’s all that matters.

-This is a narrow-minded sort of thinking. It’s how sheep and followers think. They think in terms of safety and comfort.

-While they felt safe, others didn’t. The constant poverty and hunger, while the rich and powerful led luxurious lives in their mansions, drove thousands of people to join anti-government movements like the Moro National Liberation Front, and the Communist Party of the Philippines. There were pockets of brutality scattered all throughout the country, but mostly concentrated on Muslim Mindanao and the rural areas.

-It was not a safe time at all.

-The Philippine Constabulary could barge into homes and arrest suspected communist and communist sympathizers. And then what could the families of the accused do? Could they protest, and be further subjected to state terror through the police and the military?

-These people did not feel safe.

-Defenders of Marcos now would then say: these anti-government students and activists deserved it, that these protesters who were tortured and killed deserved it, for what? For their safety of course.

-Again, the mentality of the sheep and follower. Unquestioning obedience, seeker of safety and comfort no matter the cost.

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The First New Apostle

Mother Mary appeared to him in a dream.

She said, ‘Restituto, I want you to fight for women’s reproductive health.”

The mother of our Lord’s clothes were shimmering, like the material was made of some sort of bright colored metal. Her expression wasn’t the usual kindly one depicted in countless paintings and statuettes, but more of what they call a ‘resting bitch face.’ She looked beautiful and grace-filled nonetheless.

“But Padre Herminigildo said in that seminar that the RH Bill is evil, that …”

“It’s not evil.”

“He said that it’s a way for the New World Order to impose population control on the struggling Third World.”

“Listen -”

“Padre Herminigildo studied this, and read all the books. He not only consulted religious books but scientific and economic books as well.”

“Restituto -”

“Also, God said in Genesis -”

“Shut the fuck up Restituto.” The Lord’s mom’s eyes were glaring at him now. Not even a hint of kindness in them.

She said, “Don’t ever quote scripture on me you little fucker.”

Restituto fell down on his knees, eyes upon her and begged for forgiveness. Is this a dream? But I know that I’m in a dream. Does knowledge of the dream invalidate the dream? Did I drink too much again? Why can’t I wake up?

“I’m not letting you wake up until you agree with me,” Mother Mary said. Then she slowly floated down to where the supplicating man was.

Warmth and joy emanated from his heart and spread throughout his body, to his scalp and the ends of his limbs. Restituto’s tear-filled eyes gazed upon the Mother of Our Lord as she descended.

Mother Mary stood in front of him, laid a callused hand on his shoulder, “Listen to me,” she said, then started punching.

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Ramon Bong Revilla Jr Captured by Bad Guys

The bad guys have managed to capture Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. They tied up his arms then they tied him to a chair. They beat him up several times but he was just too strong mentally. They couldn’t get the information they wanted from him. They asked him all sorts of questions like where the money is, where the girl they have been looking for is, but he would just reply with something witty and insulting at the same time. Then he started talking about how he’s going to kill them all one by one. It was a long boring harangue, completely unbecoming of a main protagonist. The bad guys got bored with this so they gagged him with a dirty piece of rag then left him alone in the dark.

In the darkness of the room, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. thought about the leading lady. She is a mestiza, the daughter of an American businessman father and a Filipina mother. Somehow due to sad circumstances, they had to leave their cushy life in the US and move into the Philippines, in the province. It seems her father was involved in some scheme that went awry, and the problem was that the failed scheme was on borrowed money. The creditors then went after him. Somehow they managed to hide for years in the province. She finished high school and college. She became a kindergarten teacher. The students and her co-workers loved her. She loved eating bananacue after teaching, and it was there in the bananacue stand that they met.

She told him to fuck off. “I’m eating here,” she said.

But Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. was persistent. He sent her flowers through her students. He thought it was cute. She thought it was stupid. He sent her chocolates. She thought it was a waste of money, and could you please stop using my students to do stupid shit for you.

Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.’s friends in the police station commiserated, and they went out one night to drink and sing the karaoke. But then they had an altercation with the guys next to them in the beer house. Shots were fired, punches thrown. In the end, ten people died. Five police, five non-police. The death of several of his ka-barkadas made Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. mopey for a bit. In the shooting range, he’s not the number one sharpshooter anymore. His temper became shorter and he started showing up to the police station disheveled and smelling of hard liquor.

Maybe that’s why the bad guys captured Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. Besides no longer caring about being the number one sharpshooter in the precinct, he also no longer took care of his health. He stopped lifting weights, he began eating more salty and sweet food. He stopped combing his hair and brushing his teeth. Being single and living alone, with not even a pet for company, only the bright screen of his massive LCD TV, he just lapsed into this dark mental state. In six month’s time, he managed to gain five kilograms. No one was there to help him. Not the girl he loves, not his police chief, not the local priest who was his high school buddy.

One of the bad guys enters the room. He turns on the lights. He removes the gag and starts spoon-feeding Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. The bad guy’s name is Jeric. He has just graduated from high school. He is working as a houseboy in the kidnapping house of the bad guys. The pay isn’t bad and the work isn’t that hard. He has day-offs during Sundays. He sends the money he earns to his parents in the province. Last night he wrote to his mother: Mother I am alright, please do not worry about me. How are my younger brothers and sisters? How is our beloved dog Bantay and our beloved carabao Lando? I hope you are all in the best of health. I hope father has stopped drinking Tanduay so much. I worry for his health. Work has been okay. I will be sending money next week. Your beloved son, Jeric.

After writing, he folded the yellowpaper so that it would fit into an envelope. He placed it in one of the drawers of his study table. After praying, he then went to sleep.

This latest person his bosses have brought to the house seems familiar to Jeric. Has he seen him somewhere? Maybe he’s somebody famous? He is eating a lot though, and Jeric could barely keep up spooning food into the person’s mouth. Jeric was taught how to cook by his mother who runs a small eatery back home in the province. As a young boy he was always at his mother’s side. So much so that the children his age called him names like ‘gay’ or ‘faggot’ and other similar hurtful words. Oftentimes he would come home crying and covered in bruises. His mother would then comfort him and tell him that those other children are just envious of how conscientious, kind and loving he is.

All the time that he’s being fed by Jeric, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. has been biding his time. He has earlier managed to free his hands. It is a testament to how careless this bad guy is that he did not check his restraints, he thinks to himself. After having had his fill he decides to act.

Jeric finishes spoon-feeding Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. As he turns around to proceed to the kitchen to then wash the dishes, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. wraps his huge powerful hands around Jeric’s neck. Jeric struggles, he tries to breathe, he tries to prise the hands of Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. but fails. His last thoughts were about home and his mother, his younger siblings and his drunkard father.

His feet still tied to the chair’s legs, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. has fallen over the dead body of Jeric. The exertion has left him covered in sweat. He is breathing heavily. He looks at the bad guy he has just killed and smiles. One down several more to go, he says to himself. Just then a couple of guards enter the room. Unable to free his legs in time, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. is beaten into a hamburger meat consistency and is then left unconscious with the body of Jeric in the dark room.

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Laptop Review: Lenovo Ideapad 100S 14IBR 80R9002KMJ

— Lenovo Ideapad 100S 14IBR 80R9002KMJ —


128 GB SSD

CPU: Intel Celeron CPU N3050 @ 2.16GHz

GPU: Mesa DRI Intel(R) HD Graphics (Cherryview)

Price: 16,995 PHP (364.118 USD)

Location: Philippines

Date purchased: July 2016

— review —

It’s made of plastic. It’s thin and light. It’s colored red. Screen is 14 inch HD. Plays 720p and 1080p videos great.

On Windows, the battery, with simple usage of browsing and word processing and watching movies etc. came to around four hours.

Speakers are located at the bottom front of the laptop. It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t listen to music for pleasure with it. For basic listening purposes, it’s fine. It’s loud, voices come out clear.

Ports: one HDMI, three USB ports, one audio output.

It has an SSD, but only 128 Gigs. But it’s more than enough for my needs. This is my very first SSD laptop, so very excited and real satisfied with the performance. It’s really fast.

I am not a fan of the keyboard. It’s a chiclet/island-type, flexes a bit in the middle when you type too hard and too fast. Which is why I’m typing this using a USB Keyboard (some old A4 tech I’ve had for four or more years).

Laptop came with Windows 10. Had Kingsoft instead of Microsoft Office in it. Lots of pre-installed unnecessary software. Windows 10 used a lot of data. Even with the tweaks and configurations I followed from googled articles and how-to’s, I still couldn’t stop it using so much. Used the laptop for two weeks before deciding to dual-boot with Linux.

I used a Live CD to test Linux in it. Everything worked fine except for the wifi which I learned I had to download some more stuff for it to work.

I disabled the UEFI and enabled Legacy settings in the BIOS.

When I finally decided to install, the installer wouldn’t ‘see’ the already installed Windows OS. Mulled this over for three days, until the shittiness of the Windows OS experience propelled me to just single-boot Linux Mint.

Installation was fast. Curiously, when the installed Linux Mint OS booted up, wifi worked out of the box.

Installed Linux Mint Sarah with Mate as Desktop Environment in it, and it is the fastest laptop I’ve used so far. 1080p videos do not lag, Chromium can open like fifteen or so tabs before slowing down. Libreoffice loads in a snap.

Tried Cinnamon in it, but it feels sluggish compared to Mate.

— conclusion —

Overall very satisfied with this laptop. I was surprised at how cheap it was for its specs (128 Gigs SSD, 4 Gigs RAM). I think I lucked out when I came upon this. Laptops here (Philippines) that have the same specs cost around twice or three times as much.

— references —





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