Claire grabs the remote
control, a dictator of channels,
away from her brother
who is a Lebron fan.


Disgusted with the NBA-dom
on the screen, she nails her
vision to the television after
switching channels like
changing clothes. It is the State
of the Nation Address. PNoy
must be proud of his achievements
(more of a child bragging about
his new rubber shoes). It must be
too difficult to wear his shoes,

Claire thought.


When her father joins in,

he invites her

with a bowl of popcorn.

They both knew

they would soon be watching

a bestselling drama.


“No, thanks,” Claire said, “I have
to take down notes. Tomorrow
we have a quiz about it.”

“No, thanks,” Claire said, “I have
to take down notes. Tomorrow
we have a quiz about it.”

“Quiz? It is not yet written in
History books, ain’t it?”

Claire shrugged.

PNoy’s litany of achievements
bores them when Claire’s
bestfriend texted, “I’ve lost
my wallet.” She remembers
the demolition last month,
a tug-of-war between the
police and the mob as she
switches to another channel.
Same news.


The booming economy is just
a digit flashed on the screen.
Her father sings, “Politics is such
a lonely world. Everyone is so
untrue.” She hides a smile.


For an hour, she struggles to keep
her eyes open and to digest
the inedible details about
the regime’s triumph
over corruption.


“PNoy must be living in a
different country,” she
found in a Facebook status
as she browses her phone.

Another status update says
that the rhetorics behind
the SONA is impeccable
but we must remember
that rhetorics must be
anchored on the



First published in The Manila Times


The Perfect Taboo Woman

I saw her after 10 years,

My nervousness blew away,

She was still as beautiful as in my fears,

And I really did not know what to say,


She wore a dress that looked the prettiest,

Probably it was pretty because of her,

Her hair made waves despite being the straightest,

Perhaps they were excited to be part of her,


She hugged me lightly,

Her touch was a rhapsody of emotional torment,

I came forward and held her closely,

Not wanting to miss another moment,


The next two days were my happiest in a while,

We talked for two days straight,

I was happy to see her with a smile,

And it was better than my best date,


I realized I am hopelessly in love,

And it was a strange feeling,

I did not believe in such a romantic shove,

But it seemed my exterior was peeling,


The two days seemed short,

I had so much to tell her,

So much to listen to before we abort,

But time got over in a blur,


She is the taboo woman for me,

But she is exactly what I want in my fort,

She should be my bride to be,

But alas blood plays spoil sport,


I am not sure I will love someone this much,

That is what scares me,

Don’t want my affection in a hutch,

But this love is what set me free.