Music and Memories

Music and films – they’re the keys to my deepest emotions and buried memories. Every story, every event, every second of my forgotten life comes imprinted with music and films that define that time, that day; the way I felt and how ordinary each event felt back then. If you would look through my life, my life would be a series of films and soundtracks. Nothing demonstrates this more than the film Hackers. This was the watershed moment of my life. No, not the exact moment I watched the film but the entire era of my life encompassed by this one simple film.

It was the 2nd year of high school and I was on the start of a journey that would take me from dreamer to poet to writer. In one age, an age called by some as innocence, I was as naive as the next blue boy on the block. More immature than most and very impressionable, I took to whims and emotions as fast and as erratic as a bee chasing flowers. But I had a guiding hand in my development, one that I’ve never stopped to look up to as my one and only mentor.

Then on this one innocuous day, a day so ordinary you would not think anything of import would happen, a group of us and said mentor decided to go watch a movie. This movie did not forever changed my life. No. In fact, it hardly made a dent into my already predetermined life. But it did burn memories deep into my mind which rises so clearly on occasions I would hear the soundtrack of this film.

This song, and this movie marked a period in my life when I was just developing as a writer. Crash and Burn aren’t just words from a movie for me, Angelina Jolie isn’t just my favorite actress, and Heaven Knows isn’t just some unknown song I only just discovered later in my life. They’re all threads of a memory of me growing up, pangs and all. This is me at my most vulnerable and most pure state. I am a vortex of emotion. A roiling, thundering wave of pure juice. In my most visceral state, music draws out each threads of my life – and rising out of the ashes are hundred of images connected to each thread. Each thread is a memory, and each memory is an emotion I buried.

Have you ever wondered why I never cared a whit for photos? Why I hate posing for the camera? It’s not the resulting image that I abhor, but the interference such posing produces for an otherwise pure moment in my life. If you would capture me in a photo, do it with candid shots. I would rather remember the moment, than all the posing and hassle it took to “capture the moment.” I don’t need pictures to remind me of events. I have my music and my movies to do that for me. Clearer and more indestructible than photos, my burned memories only need a trigger to resurface. With those triggers being music and movies. Though sometimes, I bury things too deeply that a random search wouldn’t be able to access.

In an age, a time most consider mid-life, I am well on my return way home. Less mature than I would like to be, yet wiser in some ways, I bob and weave on the waves like a sailboat. I look for things that I have lost and throw away things that I wouldn’t need. Less naive than when I started, I still am that boy afraid to burn my all. I am still that tempest of emotion, lying untapped and waiting to be sparked to a conflagration. My emotion is the fountain from which my inspiration springs forth. From my heart to my pen spills a thousand and one emotion – all crying out to be free.

Why do I want to lock these away? Fire brings the intensity, the power of my words. Yet that same fire will burn everything I have. Every time I crack open a memory, a gout of flame bursts forth. It will consume me eventually. But for the nonce, I’d like to enjoy what I have and put off the inevitable. The combustible liquid in me can wait for a while longer. For now, I listen to this music and hold off eternity at bay. I’ve made peace with my past, and I’ve connected you to my future. This song isn’t originally yours. I didn’t even know its lyrics much less its tune until I connected it to you. But now this song is yours. For in the gap between that day when I was fifteen and today when I’m 30 spans a bridge of fate that led me to you. And every step of it is worth crossing if only I can sing this song again to you.

Then I would burn myself to cinders, and out of this fire will come out a film. A film, a song, and memories of a lifetime


Philippine Area Codes

National Capital Region (NCR)

Caloocan City                       2
Las Piñas City                       2
Makati City                            2
Malabon City                        2
Mandaluyong City               2
Manila City                            2
Marikina City                        2
Muntinlupa City                   2
Navotas City                          2
Parañaque City                     2
Pasay City                              2
Pasig City                               2
Pateros City                           2
Quezon City                           2
San Juan City                         2
Taguig City                             2
Valenzuela City                     2

Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)

Abra                                        74
Apayao                                    78
Benguet                                  74
Ifugao                                     74
Kalinga                                   74
Mt. Province                          74

Region I – Ilocos Region

Ilocos Norte                            77
Ilocos Sur                                77
La Union                                  72
Pangasinan                             75

Region II – Cagayan Valley

Cagayan                                   78
Batanes                                    78
Isabela                                      78
Nueva Vizcaya                        78
Quirino                                      78

Region III – Central Luzon

Aurora                                       42
Bataan                                       47
Bulacan                                     44 (Abangan Bulacan 4422) (Saint Francis 4463)
Nueva Ecija                               44
Pampanga                                45
Tarlac                                         45

Region IV-A – Calabarzon

Batangas                                   43
Cavite                                         46 (Bacoor 02, 046)
Laguna                                       49 (Majayjay 49305)( Liliw 043)
Quezon                                       42
Rizal                                            2

Region IV-B – Mimaropa

Marinduque                              42
Occidental Mindoro                 43
Oriental Mindoro                      43
Palawan                                     48
Romblon                                    54

Region V – Bicol Region

Albay                                           52
Camarines Norte                      54
Camarines Sur                          54
Catanduanes                             52
Masbate                                     56
Sorsogon                                    56

Region VI – Western Visayas

Aklan                                           36
Antique                                       36
Capiz                                           36
Guimaras                                    33
Iloilo                                             33
Negros Occidental                    34

Region VII – Central Visayas

Bohol                                          38
Cebu                                           32
Negros Oriental                        35
Siquijor                                       35

Region VIII – Eastern Visayas

Biliran                                         53
Eastern Samar                          55
Leyte                                           53
Northern Samar                        55
Samar                                         55
Southern Leyte                          53

Region IX – Zamboanga Peninsula

Zamboanga del Norte               65
Zamboanga del Sur                   62
Zamboanga Sibugay                 62

Region X – Northern Mindanao

Bukidnon                                       88
Camiguin                                      88
Lanao del Norte                           63
Misamis Occidental                    88 (Plaridel 88344)
Misamis Oriental (Cagayan de Oro 8822, Gingoog City 8842, Tagoloan 88)

Region XI – Davao Region

Compostela Valley                      84
Davao del Norte                           84
Davao del Sur                               82
Davao Oriental                              87

Region XII – Soccsksargen

North Cotabato                           64
Sarangani                                     83
South Cotabato                           83
Sultan Kudarat                             64

Region XIII – Caraga

Agusan del Norte                       85
Agusan del Sur                           85
Dinagat Islands                          86
Surigao del Norte                       86
Surigao del Sur                           86

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

Basilan                                         62
Lanao del Sur                              64
Maguindanao                              64
Sulu                                               85
Tawi-tawi                                      68

Important things you need to remember when calling or using a landline phone:

– The international exit code is 00. You use this when you want to dial out of the country. You dial 00 + the Country Code of the country you are trying to reach.
– The country code of the Philippines is 63. This means callers outside the Philippines trying to call a number here in the Philippines need to dial their country’s exit code followed by 63.
– The Subscriber’s Numbers (without an Area Code) are always 7 digits.
– When calling from abroad to the Philippines – dial “00” + 63 + Area Code + Subscriber Number
– When calling a landline within the same Area Code – simply dial the Subscriber Number.
– When calling a landline outside an Area Code – you have to dial “0” + Area Code + Subscriber Number.
– When calling any cell phone number – dial the Philippine Mobile Network Prefix + Subscriber Number.
*Calling cell phones from landlines used to be considered “long distance” because it does not have a geographical location which means you pay per minute. But now, telecommunication companies offer unlimited calls from landline to cellular phones for a particular service provider.
*info taken from:


In the silence of my heart, I heard the Lord speak. Not with words, but with my own voice. I felt His hand behind my back, gently guiding me towards a path laid out for me. In an instant, I understood all that God wanted to say to me.

Do not worry about tomorrow, for I will provide. If I have something planned for you, why would I allow anything to happen to you? I will not cut your life short until you have fulfilled your purpose. Similarly, if I know you will turn against me if I allow anything to happen to those you love, why would I do so? So stop worrying for I have been watching over you since before you were born.


There is no evil without free-will. There is no suffering without free-will. When I gave Man a choice, I allowed evil and suffering to exist. I could take away evil and suffering, but what would become of you, my children? I do not want you to be mindless drones, bound only to my will. I created you so that in the fullness of time, you can return to me, whole and aware. You are, each of you, a part of me. My spirit is with you, and your spirit is me. Could a father be so heartless as to remove choice from his children? I am in you, and in time, all of you would be in me.


There is a plan, but the plan is not fixed. The gift of choice is the greatest gift I gave you. The only destiny is the one you make. I can only guide, not force. My omniscience of the future stems from my ability to know all possible futures and all possible permutations of every choice and every consequence of each of those choices interacting with the choices of millions of others. The possibilities are endless – but the ends are all the same. And I await that day when all of you return to me. Fully aware and fully conscious.

Dear Me,

Youth is wasted on the young.

You’ll never imagine just how much you would change in 15 years, but there it is. Your youth is wasted on you. Oh, how I wish I had your vigor, your power, your strength, your passion, your fearlessness. How I wish I could transport my wisdom to you and tell you, “Your whole life is very much ahead of you. Don’t waste it watching it go by thinking you only had one chance at life, and that one chance you lost when you made a bad decision.”

How I wish I could tell you that life doesn’t end at the gravest of mistakes, but merely takes a turn – and that life goes on, giving you so many chances and so many opportunities. You know you were that talented, and you know what you wanted right from the beginning. Oh, maybe you were confused, and maybe you were unsure of yourself – but you knew! You knew right from when Xavier drew it out of you that you only wanted to do one thing in your life. You knew that whatever you do, life would always bring you back to your one passion, your one dream, your one great talent.

But life had other plans for you. And maybe it was just right that you lost your way. For how else could you have found the greatest happiness of your life if you didn’t branched off that unbeaten path. How else could you have gained this insight I’m giving you now if you never experienced so much sorrow and so much heartbreak? Yeah, maybe it was for the best you lost your way. Inside that bleak, dark forest, you found a treasure so much more precious than what joy you could have found raring through life as the fiery, carefree centaur that you were.

Your youth was wasted on you. But I’m glad you did waste that youth. It gave me the chance to enjoy the twilight years of my life surrounded by things you would’ve bucked as you are now. You bristled at responsibility, and you hated being shackled. You wanted nothing to do with family and the only things you thought that could make you happy were sex and wild parties.

Well, maybe the future you still think that too. Except he knows that that happiness is merely fleeting and temporary. He knows that the vagaries of fate could swiftly take away all that he holds dear and that he must therefore cherish the best of them for he knows not when his time will come. And time indeed is so short that everyday of his life he wishes that he could put time in a bottle and put it away, never to let it move past one second. He wishes so much he could have spent more time living life instead of merely enduring it. He wishes he could have held your hand and told you, “Despair not, your whole life is ahead of you. You will give it all up anyway for that one joy you’ll never imagine you’ll have. So stop moping and stop whiling away your days in dark brooding and useless pastimes. You’ll never regret the regrets you have now in the future. Trust me.”

I love you and I hope you realize that the future that’s waiting for you is as sweet and as triumphant than anything you’ll ever dreamed of. So endure those heartaches and those disappointments – for everything is worth their time and their pain, with their weight measured in gold and diamonds. The heavier your heart is, the sweeter the joy that is waiting for you.

And that’s no lie, for I am You, and You are me, and this is Us – this is Us saying goodbye to the fleeting, evanescence joy that life is. Have fun getting to know your son. Be patient with him. Losing your patience with him is the only regret you’ll ever really have in your life. Live life my friend. Live life with your son and never look back. Adieu.

O’ Captain, My Captain!

And with these words, my tears started falling. By the end, when everyone of them were standing, I was bawling like a baby.

Only those who’ve watched the movie (and therefore understood the significance and emotional import of the scene) or had their own “Captain, My Captain” in their lives would feel the burn of this single line that defined the entire movie.

For me, my Captain left me at a juncture in my life when I needed him to guide me. Because I was naturally immature, and naturally indecisive, I needed someone to make my decisions for me.

For a long time, I was angry at him – not for leaving me, but for leaving his profession, which I thought was his calling. I felt angry because he was so good at what he does, of leading students out of a dark place, of showing them their light; of giving them hope, inspiration, kindness — that I thought it was such a tragedy he would stop using these talents to follow another calling. In my mind I was angrily rebutting him, “You’re saying you’re answering God’s call, but don’t you know? This is your calling. This is your life. You don’t need to leave this life to formally offer yourself to Him. You’re already His servant, and this is His job for you.”

In his letter to me, he told me the things I wrote were one of the reasons why he decided to join the order. I guess that’s kind of ironic. The man whom I looked up to as the best teacher I’ve ever had is leaving teaching because my writings inspired him to do it.

It wasn’t until years later when I learned he never really left teaching, that he just took a detour from his journey, and that his life, and his gift would never be wasted, that I finally took a sigh of relief.

This man, this giant among giants in his field, changed the lives of a lot of young kids for the better. I was one of those kids. And his talent, his gift from God, is the ability to look into a child and see, not a vessel, but a pearl.

I know I’m not the only one in my batch, nor the batch before me, or even the batch before them, who’s had their lives touched by this man. I wouldn’t be writing these words today, or even be waxing eloquently of times gone by, if this man never showed me “my light.”

This movie is the summation of everything that happened during my time as a student of his. Dead Poets is a reminder of a time in my life when I was a little less scared, a little more hopeful, and a lot more inspired. I’ve since then gone on and moved on with my life. But this movie, and those memories will forever live on in my mind as the “time of my life.”

“But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.” – John Keating

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.”

To Robin Williams, a man who burned so bright, his light shone for so many people. (And at the back of my mind, I hear him saying to me: burn Jao, burn! For if you stop burning, someone, somewhere in this world would die of cold).

Here are some of my Captain’s most memorable posts

I’m sorry sir, I failed you. I never burned. I was too afraid of burning myself out like Robin did.

Children Need to be Children for Their Time as Children is Short.

I write this through the prism of one whose childhood was not cut short, but was delayed and acted out later at an inappropriate time in life.

Children should be children. Otherwise, they might act out their childhood at a later date when it is already inappropriate to be a child.

My delayed experience of childhood did not debilitate me much. I was, after all, able to correct it, acting out my childhood through my adolescence and early adulthood years. However, the cause of that delayed childhood did. For ever since after, my drive to be the best never returned. (and I was a pathological perfectionist when I was a child. I would cry if I got a grade lower than A. And I would cry, not because I feared my parents’ reaction, but because I totally hated myself for not being perfect) I was, and still am, a chronic underachiever.

So what changed? What made me a totally laid back guy that is more than content to be average, or even worse, just totally subsist? What made me refuse to grab the greatness that is rightfully mine (and still continue to make me refuse, however this time for a different reason)?

Please understand that I write this not as a condemnation, but as a forgiveness letter. For one of the best things to have happened to me as a parent is seeing through the eyes of a parent.

As a child, one of the things I hated was enforced study time AT HOME. It galled me for a few reasons. One, I was intelligent and sharp enough to learn school work in class. If the teacher taught it, that means I knew it. Studying at home for me meant a waste of time, and an insult. An indirect accusation that I am too slow to learn at school. Doing homework for me was fine. It was after all, required school work. But study time? I spent 8 hours in school! Only a fool would waste 8 hours of his time and then waste another 8 hours of his time doing what he could’ve done at school. And I was not one of those fools.

Another reason why it galled me was that it took away my free time, which I valued most highly because I saw it as a reward for being good in school. I listened to my teachers, did all the class work diligently, and did not waste time in school. Free time is supposed to be my reward for not having wasted my time in school. So I saw enforced study time at home as a punishment for a good deed done. Why are you stealing my time? The reason I behaved at school was so I could have free time at home. If you would take that away, then why the fuck am I working my ass off for work that I would do again later at home?

So when I realized that I would not be allowed to enjoy my free time, I used my time in school as my free time, and did school work at home as the adults wanted. It was a stupid waste of time. But it was also very rewarding. It meant I can live as a kid, instead of an adult with a 9 to 5 job. That to me was more precious than the accolades they gave out to other kids who did as they were told. While I went further and further down the honor roll, I gained more and more friends. My number of friends was inversely proportional to my academic achievement. It’s a terrible cliche, but it held true in my case. Strangely enough, I felt rewarded. Gone was that feeling of self-hate for having underachieved.

The damage was not in taking away my free time. After all, my free time could’ve been taken away and I would still have turned out fine if only that action was not associated with achievement. As it was, as I achieved more, I was restricted more.

I wasn’t always restricted with my time, you see. As a toddler, I played freely. But as I grew up and my latent intelligence became evident, my mother became more stingy with play time. It was a maddening cause and effect situation. The more I achieved, the more I was imprisoned. Until of course, as anyone with intelligence can foresee, there lay only one recourse available.

To be free, I had to stop achieving.

A cautionary tale for parents of gifted children. Do not drive your children so hard that they would look at achieving with hate and scorn. Do not give them cause to be unhappy with excellence. They were born gifted for a reason. Inborn in them is a drive to succeed, to excel, to defeat every opponent. You are only killing that drive if you push them yourselves. Allow them to grow with watchful eyes but not with a heavy hand.

If you’re wondering, I still have that drive. Deep inside me I still wish to excel, to succeed, to defeat every idiot standing on the world stage moving the world with their idiotic policies. But for the nonce, I have stayed my hand. Not for the same reason I had when I was a child. After all, I am free now and achieving for now is not a punishment but a reward. In fact, achieving for me now is at a prime necessity. And yet I still stay my hand.

Why? What is more important to me than self-actualization (for this is the only achievement I am after)?

If you know me, you would know the answer.


I used to be fearless. I used to laugh at death. I used to invite death to come to me. I courted death and dared it to come to me. I was young, and I felt invincible.

I did all the foolish things fearless young people do. I drove like a maniac, drank like a sailor, smoked like a chimney, and partied like crazy. I had no fear. I thought I was going to live forever.

I never feared for myself. I had nothing to live for. Nothing to be afraid of. If I was going to die, I was going to die. I accepted completely that death was out of my control. People afraid of death are people afraid of living. I could spend my whole life cowering in a corner and still be struck by lightning. Or I could dance in the rain and laugh while lightning crashed around me.

And then my son was born. And then I knew fear.

And I was reminded of the protagonist in my unfinished story saying to his wife:

“Look for it in the eye of a storm. In that calm, seek it. I’ve stared death in the face and longed to sleep with it many times. But death is a fickle lover. It’ll sleep with those not in love with it. So if you wanna live, you must love death.”

and years later, the following conversation takes place:

Boy: Mama, how do you become an Empath?

Woman: It’s a long story son – but you’re part of that story. And I hope someday you’ll come to see your father in a good light.

Boy: Why Mama, where is Papa?

Woman: Death has finally fallen in love with him, son. He took one look at you and his heart came to life. He started wanting to live. And that’s the most surefire way to get death to notice you, you see?

Lessons of My Life (Chapter 1)

Whenever I look back at my life, I think of all the times I wanted to kill myself (because I felt so miserable living it) but never did because I wanted a storybook ending to how I died. I’m glad God put that idiotic idiosyncrasy in me. It helped me stay alive this long. The perfect combination of procrastination and poetic complex allowed me to live this long, to breathe this air I’m breathing, to love the people I’m loving now, to learn the lessons I never did when I was young.

It would be an understatement to say that I was grossly immature when I was young. The conditions of my life wasn’t what you would consider “optimal” for helping a child grow emotionally mature. At a young age, I was too smart, and too hardheaded to make things easier. I had a difficult childhood. One that was brought on by circumstances that was no one’s fault but life’s.

At that age, I didn’t understand. But now everything is clear to me – and I blame no one, and forgive everyone, and love everyone who has ever loved me, hurt me, taught me, and made me into who I am today.

You can’t not love someone once you understand them, and you feel their hurt and their wishes, and their longings and heartaches. You can’t not love them once you look through their eyes and see everything as they saw it. We’re all just imperfect beings going through life trying to make the best of what we can. And you can’t fault them for being what you are too – human.

So once you do understand them, everything makes sense. And even if you don’t agree with what they’ve done, you still understand why they did it. And love binds the two of you, even as hurt does.

Once you acquire this view of the world, it’s hard to hate someone. It would be foolish to hate someone you don’t understand, and impossible, for someone you do.

So I go through life now, less angry, more loving, more understanding, more patient. Knowing that everyone, including me, is not perfect. We’re all bound to make mistakes, and that’s all right. Our lives are richer and fuller because of those mistakes.

This short life that we have is too short to be spent in anger or in hatred. And shorter still, to be spent in love. Don’t let your days be spent on the wrong side of life.

A Pool on the Roof

Once upon a time, when I was just 15 years old, I dreamt of having a pool on the roof that does not have a leak. I’ve forgotten that. I’ve forgotten so many things. Crash Override, Acid Burn, the language of the meek. Burn, burn! ‘Coz somewhere, someone dies of cold if you stop burning. A dream of a world when I was young and very stupid…

15 years later, I’m on that same roof overlooking the city when I hear this soft thumping, guitars slowly building, and a techno voice droning on…


and I realize, I’m standing on the roof, with a pool that has no leak, watching the city lights blink CRASH, BURN and tears sting my eyes ‘coz now I know…

I don’t care what the world has to say. You should know, I love you, I loved you that day.

Even when we haven’t met yet, it was fate that’s brought us to this gate

Listen closely and feel this song
It’s in my heart, what’s always been here for so long

You’re no Dame I’m no Duke, somehow love is a fluke
We’ve survived thick and thin, taking knocks on the chin
In the eyes of the sad, we may be barking mad
But the truth has been ceased, we are like chalk and cheese
You wind me up and I drive you mad, it’s a fact of life it goes hand in hand
And I know that look, it’s read like a book

Listen closely, hear this again

When the boat starts to rock, then my ears start to block
All the words that you say, through the night through the day
Where there’s muck there is brass, and the storm soon will pass
Then it’s back to the norm, all the cold turns to warm
Sometimes I think life crawls like a snail, and all our dreams become the wind in your sails
Without wealth it’s true, who cares what you do

This bears repeating so listen close

I don’t care what the world has to say
I love you, I love you today

They’re electric memories, imprinted on my mind, to remind me that in the past was our future and what it was is what it was. And this song, this song triggers everything. A million miles, a million years – we’ve always fought time haven’t we? still, we’ve never gotten out of the loop.

And all the time we always end up marrying each other. It’s funny. I wrote this song to remind me when I forgot. Put in codes too that only I would recognize. You know, snails stopped raining on our house the moment I pointed it out after Inception.

My life is littered with codes dropped and forgotten. What was it were we fighting for? Whatever it was, I don’t care. For this moment, this time, I only know one thing

♫ i love you, i love you today ♫

Happy Valentines Day

Philippine Cell Phone Number Prefixes

SMART, TNT, Addict or Red Mobile

0813 Smart
0907 Smart or Talk N Text
0908 Smart or Talk N Text
0909 Smart or Talk N Text
0910 Smart or Talk N Text
0912 Smart or Talk n Text
0918 Smart
0919 Smart or Talk n Text
0920 Smart, Talk N Text, Addict Mobile
0921 Smart or Talk N Text
0928 Smart or Talk N Text
0929 Smart or Talk N Text
0930 Smart, Talk N Text, Red Mobile
0938 Smart, Talk N Text, Red Mobile
0939 Smart, Talk N Text, Red Mobile
0946 Talk N Text
0947 Smart
0948 Smart or Talk N Text
0949 Smart or Talk N Text
0950 Smart
0989 Smart or Talk N Text
0998 Smart
0999 Smart (old Umobile prefix)


0817 Globe
0905 Globe or Touch Mobile
0906 Globe or Touch Mobile
0915 Globe or Touch Mobile
0916 Globe or Touch Mobile
0917 Globe
09178 Globe postpaid
0926 Globe or Touch Mobile
0927 Globe or Touch Mobile
0935 Globe or Touch Mobile
0936 Globe or Touch Mobile
0937 Globe or Touch Mobile
0975 Globe
0977 Globe
0994 Globe
0995 Globe
0996 Globe or Touch Mobile
0997 Globe or Touch Mobile


0922 Sun Cellular
0923 Sun Cellular
0925 Sun Cellular
0931 Sun Cellular
0932 Sun Cellular
0933 Sun Cellular
0934 Sun Cellular
0942 Sun Cellular
0943 Sun Cellular


0973 Extelcom
0974 Extelcom
0977 Next Mobile
0979 Next Mobile