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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

entry arrow5:29 AM | You've Been Warned

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." 

 ~ Anne Lamott

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entry arrow3:18 AM | Unlike

One of the most awkward things one does, in a struggle for sheer survival after breaking-up with someone, is the unliking of the many things he has taught you to, well, like. These are things beyond your usual orbits of interests, which suddenly take on some paramount importance simply because they are things -- songs, films, books, quirks -- that your Beloved loves. You figure, how else to show one's love for this Beloved, except in learning to love the things he loves? Because when the heart is at stake, it is too easy to develop an interest. You feign when you have to, and it is all too easy to fool oneself. Gardening, for example. I have no green thumb. All the potted plants I've bought died within days of purchase. But there I was, trying to learn about the design of leaves, the cultivation of herbs, the intricacies of flowers, the many kinds of begonias. My first boyfriend taught me all these. I was a sponge, and for two years, all I thought about were plants. I knew how to make him happy. On special days, I'd go to a special shop, and buy him packets of seeds. I lived for the delight on his face every time he would get those seeds. It was uncanny, and I was in love. Everyday, after school, we would walk all the way to the makeshift "greenhouse" near City Hall, where we would spend hours upon hours looking at plants, trying to decide what to buy. And then, all that was gone. And I went back to knowing nothing about botany. Pageants and plastic surgery, my second boyfriend taught me these. (Pets, too. Fish, hamsters, mice.) I had to learn all the names of the states of Venezuela -- and their capitals -- simply because Venezuela churned out Miss Universe winners like a beauty factory. What is the capital of Carabobo? Valencia. Not everybody knows who Osmel Sousa is. I do. I know this pageant magician's life story like the back of my hand. Almost six years later, when it all ended, I couldn't bring myself to watch another Bb. Pilipinas telecast. I simply didn't care. Then there's Keane and BritRock and the intricacies of biology, which the third person I loved taught me. The fourth person I loved taught me genealogy. I began to read about the intricacies of family trees.

And then when the love went away, or when the heart has been blasted to pieces once and again, I learned that the first bars of an India Arie song chilled me like a hateful tune. I learned I couldn't care less with the trivia that the first Miss Universe married a Filipino. I learned I couldn't care less about the proper ways of planting a begonia. And was life any better because I knew how one family connected with another through marriage? No, life remained the same: a chronicle of hurt and hurting. I still loved Keane. But to listen to Hopes & Fears was to invite demons and remembered pain. So I don't.

So you learn to unlike.

You force yourself to.

And it breaks you nonetheless. Makes you question who you are. Were you simply an empty vessel that took in the passions of someone else? Was that life you led with each one of them even an authentic one, or was it a mask you felt you had to wear, simply because you loved? Does love eradicate who you truly are? I don't know.

Then you tell yourself they learned from you, too. They learned to like certain things, too. And perhaps those same things also give them pause and pain.

But no matter. Nothing matters. You learn that nothing matters at all. And perhaps, of all things in the world, this is a shattering truth you like the most.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

entry arrow3:32 PM | In the Name of the Father

My father, who died when I was 21, made many sacrifices in his life in the name of integrity. When I was young, and quite stupid, I never understood that, and I think he died a sad, misunderstood man. And now it’s too late for me to tell him I love him. (Love. In the present tense, as it should always be.)

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entry arrow2:13 PM | When Dumaguete Saw Daniel Day-Lewis Kiss Gordon Warnecke

I remember when, in the days before cable and HBO, People’s Television (PTV), now the National Broadcasting Network, first came to town when I was a boy. The whole of Dumaguete City would wait for the young Alex Rey Pal to deliver and finish the evening news, and then the movies began, two movies every night. I remember the excited rush ripping through the city when one night they showed The Sound of Music, everybody’s favorite musical. A year or so earlier, they had showed the film in Park Theater for its 25th anniversary, and the whole theater was packed during the film’s entire run. This film is perfectly reflective of the city’s outward show of character, especially in the 1980s: genteel, unruffled, with a penchant for the conservative this side of Peyton’s Place. One night, they showed Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette [1985]. I’m not sure PTV-10 knew what film it was showing, but that certainly shocked everybody.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

entry arrow12:06 AM | Truth be told...

I miss you.

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