Tuesday, October 23, 2012


It’s been so long since I slept through the night.  But I make up for it at work where one can find me passed out in the conference room between 10 to 11 in the morning and/or 3 to 4 in the afternoon with a thread of spit leaking out my mouth.  

My ankles have disappeared completely and there are certain parts of me I have not seen for some time now.  To make up for that, my belly has expanded to the size of a marching band, arriving a destination 5 minutes before I do as if to clear the area to make room for the rest of me.  

Nothing fits.  Not my clothes, not my shoes, and certainly not my once cute little bulbous nose.  It, too, has outgrown my face. 

And the heat that emanates from each and every molecule of my being, OH EM GEE THE FUCKING HEAT, has turned my body into a pyromaniac’s wet dream.  Light a match within three feet of me and I will blow up.

I am irritable and exhausted most of the time.  And to be honest, I probably want to punch you every time I see you.  Yes. You.  Whoever you are. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I wouldn’t trade places with the most comfortable person in the world.  There is nothing I will undo.  Nothing I will do differently.   

I'm only whining because, well, just like Chris Lao, I was sooooo not informed. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

With all due respect to Ebe

It stands,  sure.  Cuida is one of the greatest love songs ever written. 

How could it not be?  To take all the sadness and envy and anger there is in the world just to make sure it never touches me.  To give me, in fact, the whole world, if you could, just to show how much you love me.

How can one not wish, when listening to this song, that it was written, or at least at some point, that it is sung for you.

But on my way to work this morning, the song played and when I closed my eyes to listen to it, I realized how, uhm, empty the song is. 

What married life has made me realize is that love does not, CANNOT, function on hypotheticals.  

Kung akin lang ang mundo... 
kung pagaari ko lang ang lumbay...
 kung hawak ko ang panahon... 

all so very romantic and promising but even the grandest of the these gestures are empty if it will never be put into actual use.

When I am sick, make sure I drink my medicine on time, take my temperature, drive me to the doctor.
When I am drunk, give me water, let me puke if I need to, change me out of my sweat and vomit drenched shirt and please give me coffee the day after.
And until the day comes when you can actually own lumbay and keep it away from me, when I am sad, just hold me and tell me that things are going to be okay even if you don’t know how it will and even if you don’t know that it will

Love, just like the devil, is in the details after all.  It’s in the small gestures that may seem to go unnoticed but actually can mean the world to the other.

Like letting her sleep that extra five minutes even if you are in a hurry to get to work.
Like settling for the chicken breast because you know she prefers the leg and thigh.
Like volunteering to wash your pregnant wife’s feet because she just cannot bend that far down anymore.
Like not kissing her when you’re sick because you don’t want her to get sick too.

This is what love means to me now.  These seemingly insignificant acts that make me feel very significant.   

But sure, sure, if, someday, you will ever find yourself in possession of the world and if you still want to give it to me then, I will take it with open arms.

I’m just not sure where to keep it though.  Hindi kasya sa bahay.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dear Comfort,

huuuuyyyyyyyy kamusta ka na day??? ang tagal tagal na nating hindi nagsasama.  Grabe naman, ang bilis mong makalimot.  Pasyalan mo naman ako paminsan minsan.  Lagi ka nalang sa asawa ko nakadikit eh, halos buong gabi mo kasama.  Ano ba naman ang 10 minutes na ako naman ang samahan mo. 

Ano, mamayang gabi, pwede ka?  Mga 11-ish? 


Friday, October 05, 2012

We are Medinas. And this is how we roll.

My father was an only child.  My mother, on the other hand, comes from a huge family that could easily form a small state.  Our family gatherings are never small and intimate.  Add to our number the fact that we do not ever do anything quietly and maybe you can imagine the chaos of a Medina party.  We eat, laugh, sing, talk and fight loudly and, often times, exaggeratedly.  We are of the hot-blooded, fierce, and highly emotional Spanish descent after all, with a generous share of Arabic blood mixed in which, I imagine, does not help temper our personalities one bit.

But my personal favorite thing about being a Medina is how we come together in heartbreaking situations.  Death, illness, emergencies, these are the times when everyone puts all else aside to share the pain of someone else’s heartbreak.  The most recent incident only happened last Sunday.  

But maybe I should start from the start.

We have three “professional” singers in the family.

My brother Bobby was first to make a living from singing when he became the vocalist of Mexicali Blues Band.  He later had other bands but Flying Rats Ass was, I think, the one that’s truly his.  He plays mostly blues and classic American rock with a little bit of Prince thrown in.  

My cousin Iñigo also became the vocalist of his own band GRIM and then later Addicted to Venus.  I never had the chance to watch his gigs but if I were to guess from the songs he sings at family parties, I think they were a rock-metal-grunge kind of band.

And then there’s Iñigo’s brother, Jeric.  Jeric sang, I think, the most accessible songs.  The ones you could enjoy listening to without thinking “hmmmm… parang my hair is getting longer and dirtier and parang im growing a tattoo while I’m listening to this music.”  Jeric sang songs you can just chillax to.  Pop and RnB, that was his thing.  Oh, and love of course.  He sang love songs that could melt your heart.

So it’s not a surprise that we would always ask Jeric to sing at parties.  Or at wakes and funerals for that matter :)

When he told the family that he was auditioning for X Factor Philippines, we knew instantly he would make it.  He has the looks and the talent and the passion for singing.  More importantly, he had that indefinable X that the show was looking for.

We were behind him 168%.

When he made it to the top 20.  Showbiz-nezz became the family business.  Get-togethers became strategy meetings.  His performances on Saturdays would be the family’s official soundtrack for the week.  We had all become disciples and our mission was to spread the gospel of Jeric.

Everybody pulled in.  Whether it was through votes, skills or prayer that one could contribute, everyone pulled in.  The family was one and solid over one thing:  to help Jeric win.  Not because we wanted him to be famous or to win the money, but because we knew that singing is the only thing he ever wanted to do in this world.  It was his dream.

Sundays became the most nerve-wracking night of the week.  The brave ones would go to Pagcor to watch the results live and the not so brave ones, like myself, would watch it at home.  From the time KC announces that the voting lines are closed to the time she says that Jeric is safe for the week is really the most agonizing time for us all.  I can’t tell you how many contractions I go through during this short period of time.

Last Sunday, that agony was expanded a hundred times over.  Jeric was in the bottom two.  2 judges voted for Jeric to stay and 2 voted for him to go home.  Jeric received the lowest number of votes for the week.  It was one blow after another and my heart felt like it was on pause the entire time.

If it was that heart breaking for me, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how it must have felt for Jeric.  All I wanted to do was rush to Pagcor and be with him.  My husband, God bless his sweet and now medina heart too, immediately agreed to go.

When we got there, it felt like we were attending a wake.  Eyes were red from crying, shoulders were slumped from disappointment, voices were cracking from pain.  It was fitting too that we were at a casino because we all felt cheated that night, like we didn’t stand a chance because the odds were stacked against us and determined to bring us down.  The odds had a name of course.  And badly bleached hair.


After a few minutes, several other Medinas started to arrive to join the others who were already there.  We were all there for one reason and one reason only, to make sure that Jeric wouldn’t feel alone.

This is how it is in this family.  The mission that we seemed to have taken on just by simply being born into this family is to never make anyone feel alone in hard times, that the person whose heart is breaking should never feel that his heart is the only one breaking.  I remember how devastated my family was when my papa died.  We were zombies for days.  And the only reason we survived that time was because the Medinas, our Medinas, made sure that we did.

When new people come into our lives, they are easily intimated by the closeness of the family.  We are clannish.  Sure.  But only because we’ve been through too many things together.  The happy times that brought us closer and the fights that made our bonds stronger.  We may not always like each other 24/7 but we love one another every single minute of every single hour of every single day.

We are Medinas.  And our blood is particular thicker than the regular blood that is already thicker than water.  And should you ever penetrate us, a task that is easier said than done mind you, you can count on us to treat you like one of our very own and we will always have your back.    

As for Jeric, that boy will be singing on a bigger stage to a larger audience soon.  I'm not worried one bit.