Saturday, September 4, 2010

confessions and chicken adobo

this is supposed to be my answer to theorgy's gauntlet thrown on the ground. however, the three-stepped instructions had me stumped.

i apologize for the emo. i dont usually write about these things but every once in a while we do like our adobo after three straight days of pinakbet, right?

I hope you enjoy it, my one and only but dearly beloved reader.


I awoke to find out that I had slept for just three hours. Three hours! And I was aiming for five, seven or even eternity for that matter. My head jarred with every movement I made and nausea suddenly assaulted me, a rude overwhelming urge to vomit that forced me back to bed. My eyes zombied unerringly to the ceiling, rooted at a spot where an elusive spider had fixed his ephemeral web. And like a dam swollen at the seams, an unbidden torrent of memories flooded back. It was exactly two weeks when I received that damning text. Due to his inability to accept who he was and its implications on his family, he had to let me go. Just. Like. That.

My emotions were raw and throbbed excruciatingly, just like slapping a day-old sunburn with your palm down. God, dumped at 26! And since it was my first relationship and hence my first break up, I didn’t even have the incipient defences to cushion my fall, nor to assuage my broken down ego.  

And I had no one to talk to. Not a soul. I have an intensely reactive personality, me being vocal about everything sans my sexuality. I berated, guffawed, argued, and ballyhooed at times to the utter exhaustion of the people around me. Being unable to talk about it made it more unbearable.

I had to confide to my mother. Or I will go stark, raving mad. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. We are strict Baptists of the severe, uptight kind. My father was President of the Board of Deacons many times over and my mother was the Secretary of the Women’s. I held the title of the longest running President of the Youth Club. Eleven years to be exact. Who in his right mind would want to be damned by his parents to the fiery pits of hell? I could even smell the sulphur emanating from my pores.

For me, it was between the devil and the deep blue sea.

I stood up and walked slowly to the door. I started to raise my hand but I found I couldn’t. I gently coaxed myself to do it.

Hand on door. Twist. Turn. Pull.
Hand on door. Twist. Turn. Pull.
Hand on door. Twist. Turn. Pull.

I started to recite the words silently; each syllable a soft cadence, making a hushed plop plop in my mind.


My breath came in ragged gasps. Do I have the gumption to blurt out a secret that became my Golgotha for 20 plus years? What terrified me was not the act itself, but the repercussions that would ensue. My knees became that of the Tinman’s – creaky and unyielding.

I have to.
I have to.
I have to.

And before my courage fled, I opened the door and walked to the kitchen to where my mother was powdering chicken adobo with black pepper. She was taken aback as I stared at her morosely. 

I was a sorry shell of who I was. This tear-stained, wretched ghost of a man was not her son. Ever since I was a child, I differed from my brothers. They were docile, quiet puppies that hug your every word. I wasn’t. I was the spiky ball of cat fur that hissed every time I was rubbed the wrong way. I spat, I raved and ranted at the injustice of certain rules that governed my childhood meanderings, and at one time, I even brought the hammer down on the main door when my yaya attempted to lock me in the house. 

My parents chalked it up to the Middle Child Syndrome (I was second in a brood of four), an excess of Tang Orange, and in times of desperation, to the evil demon child that must’ve crept in my ear when I was born.

Oh, I was a handful!

I looked at her, ashamed to be seen as a child in my adult age. I tried to speak but my tongue barred every word. What came out were muffled ruminations and chewed-on nonsense. In the end, I stared at the floor.

“Well”, she said, clearing her throat. “Do you want to eat?”

To my mother, the answer to everything was food. It was the panacea that healed bruised egos, bridged relationships that the occasional sibling fracas tore apart and mellowed the big, ugly world down into something quite manageable.

I shook my head.

“Well, what do you want to do then?”

Gusto ko maguwa. (I want to go out.)”, I answered in Ilonggo. This had probably been my most honest answer in my entire life. However, my mouth rusted at the hinges and whatever courage I had retreated and cowered in the deep recesses of my mind.

“Ok, mapa-SM kita.” She said after quite some time. Mama turned her back to finish the chicken adobo, throwing in more salt.

At that point I knew that despite my bravado, I was still the five-year old who plied the hammer not out of anger but out of fear. I headed back to my room, defeated. And with each step, I felt the shackles clicking back in position. When I reached the door of my room, the manacles were bolted firmly in place.

I looked back at the kitchen towards my redemption.

“I want out.”, I whispered, this time more to myself than to her.


  1. How about some updates to this blog of yours.. Sayang e.. Like the short notes pa naman.

    1. Been meaning to. didnt have the time pa. hehe