Placido Penitente

I am a weird organic life form. Not entirely perfect. I walk by the wall.

January 2, 2017


It’s been a while since we last talked. Don’t you think it’s kinda funny how we often start with conversations with recalling how much time has elapsed between the then and the now? Anyway, nothing much has changed with me. I’m still going through the same old things everyday, maybe just with a different perspective. Like I was seeing all blue before; now I’m seeing red; sometimes violet because they mix? I also haven’t been doing that much writing lately (can’t you tell from how much my words seem to be all mechanical tap sounds from my keyboard and not my actual voice because for some reason, my hands leave imprints on the keys really awkwardly, as if I’m talking to somebody I used to be more comfortable with before but it ended up whooshing into the state of being strangers yet it seems so impolite to not post updates with how things are with myself because of the expectant raise of eyebrow for me to keep going and I cannot make myself stop as well anyway). Okay, breathe.

What a huge block of texts to start this talk with. Awesome.

Happy New Year, by the way. It’s 2017. I’m claiming it to be a good year because my favourite number is 17. There are a lot to expect—final demo teaching, graduation, job applications, LET review, the actual LET, work, more future plans. I have no idea how much time I’d have for myself to spend on just relaxing and stuff. It seems already jam-packed with things to do.

But since my current schedule isn’t as hectic as I expected, I just used my time to transport myself to different folds of reality in forms of fiction. Also, do you ever get the feeling that you have too much time in your hands yet you feel like you’re going to regret not using it to do more productive things (than being on bed and reading?) But yeah, since I’m me and I don’t really care much about how I make the most of my free time (sue me, it’s called “free” time for god’s sake, why do I need to worry about anything), I read “The Metamorphosis”, a book long ago recommended by my friend Vhea. She loved it so much that she kept rambling about it whenever the topic of books is opened up. It was very weird. Especially how Gregor sort of succumbed to accepting things as they already were, not even letting the “morphing into a fully different creature than he is” sink in, and just offering himself to the misfortune of the universe. He seemed to be totally oblivious to the fact that he just turned into a fucking vermin, and just went on with his thoughts as if he needed to do his work done, catch up with the morning train, he’s late oh so late and he cannot afford being fired. What the hell. And his family not even giving a second thought about how he is, just worrying about how they’d go on with their lives now that their only source of income is now hidden inside a room they do not even care to visit. It’s pathetic. I cried multiple times.

So yeah. Now, I’m going to read “How to Use your Enemies” a.k.a. How to Use People to Your Advantage.

Oh, and I’m going to the gym today. Time to make myself believe I’m disciplined enough to focus on goals.

See you.



Hello, everyone! *waves from the other side of the screen*

I didn’t do anything but read Shakespeare today. You know how that goes, I spent at least a few minutes trying to decipher lines. Honestly, people. Some of the verses seemed like cryptic messages needed to be decoded. But the word play is still brilliant, I absolutely loved it. Only problem I’m having is trying to grasp the idea of how can someone fall in love with someone after a few minutes of being aware of each other’s existence. Get this: Romeo was madly in love with Rosaline just a few verses away from his meeting with Juliet and afterwards he was like, “Rosaline who?” But the writing— OH MY ACTUAL GOD, THE WRITING! It is beautiful so it makes up for every flawed plot holes. And I don’t think Shakespeare actually meant for this story to be viewed as a love story, IT IS A TRAGEDY. It’s supposed to be teaching us a lesson that *that* kind of love ends in death.

Okay, kidding aside. I haven’t been writing a lot here lately. Blame life. Blame sleep. Sleep is life. So, yep. I decided to do a list of all things that had happened.

  • October 7, 2016

I went to school to submit requirements. That was fun. Not. I spent some time computing my grades and I found out that my general average could actually be a candidate for Latin Honors. Which means my parents are going to be so proud of me that they’re going to pressure me more. Fun.

So to reward myself of my misery, I had a mini adventure. I went to a mall with Ate Jonah with the plan of looking for umbrellas because the current one that I’m using has little holes on them so that defeats the purpose of actually being an umbrella. We didn’t find any. She had to go home early that day so I was left on my own wandering around Manila.

I went to a new bookstore that I was planning on visiting since the first time I saw it (which was around five years ago lol). They have some really great collection. I might return there sometimes with mama. She said she needed to get some books, too sooo yay.

Anyway, that was a tiring day. Because I spent too much of my money on books (I didn’t bring enough with me to school because I thought I’d only be there for a few hours) that I felt guilty spending anymore. So, I walked home! That was an experience haha. I needed to walk as fast as I could because you never could really trust Manila.

So it was no surprise that when I got home, I immediately slept. And I had the weirdest dream: It started with me in an art gallery (of all places), I was taking pictures of the art pieces that I liked until I started posing them on Instagram. Then the dream shifted to me being on the actual Instagram. The app! Another shift and then I was on my bed, with it shoved against the wall by the window. The view outside was rather the same view as the one I actually have but just… wider, really spacious– I could look as far as I could and I could see only the sky. No buildings or anything, just the endless distance of nothing but purple sky. Yes, the sky was purple. While looking out, I started singing “Part of Your World” from the Little Mermaid. PEOPLE, I don’t even know its lyrics yet I was inventing some of my own while singing.

And then I woke up. The first thing I did? Of course, you guessed it! I listened to that song. And browsed through more of Disney songs until I ended up watching the entire movie of Disney’s Hercules (fave Disney move). That was relaxing. I had lots of fun! I also spent the remaining hours of the day reading Sophie’s World that I immediately finished.

  • October 8, 2016

My mom woke me up, almost dragged me out of bed. She was asking me to accompany her to check out the new superstore (yes, super) nearby. Like, it’s really near, people. And super. It has almost everything (by everything, I meant food). So I had to get up and ate a little breakfast because she was yelling for me to hurry up.

Imagine my growling stomach when I got there. I almost could eat a truck. Also, the place was massive! I didn’t have enough energy to go roaming around, not to mention their pushcarts were huge enough for me to fit into. But that turned out to be quite all right because when we did get to the actual grocery store (passed through the torturous food stalls calling out my grumbling stomach to calm down), every aisle had a free sample. I might have tried out every free sample they had haha. HEY, I WAS HUNGRY. And there was this stall with banana chips. I got at least three of those samples (don’t judge me) but the lady didn’t mind so much because mama bought ELEVEN freaking jars of banana chips. Guys, ELEVEN. It looked like we were going to put up a  banana chips business or something. And one jar was the size of my head.

Anyways, yep. We didn’t end up buying a lot of things because we weren’t really there to shop but just to check out what they have and all that. Mama just got impulsive with those chips. I claimed territory on one of them when we got home and guys, don’t judge me again, but I might have eaten half of them already coz lalala.

So, that was all I did. Not that exciting to read at all. But I had fun, nonetheless. I think I’d end this now before I make you people fall asleep haha.


October 4, 2016

Hello, peeps!

I might have transformed myself into a variety of versions today. I guess that’s what college does? Force you to do something you don’t want to do.


I had an exam today. That I did not study for. Which proved to be the best choice because it was the weirdest possible wtf-is-this-even-are-you-serious-I-did-not-spend-one-entire-semester-for-this-bs exam. You see, we have this subject called Translation and Editing of Texts. Throughout the term, we discussed all about tips and whatnot regarding how one can become a translator; mostly even accompanied by activities we are asked to do translations (LIKE THAT CURSED NOVEL I TRANSLATED *triggered* Okay, Cy, take a chill pill *eats biscuits* There, better) and so it was almost an insult that we were given this for our finals.

Our professor for this class is Ma’am M. Good ol’ Ma’am M. Of course, our meetings with her wouldn’t be complete without a few rants- this time about our class. She complained about how we were taking her for granted blah blah blah. Bottom line, she didn’t want to handle us next semester. Great. Too great. That leaves us two choices: either we’re going to be handed to Dr. H (I do not want to be turned into a Christian, thanks but no thanks [she gives us Bible verses every meeting and consumes an hour of discussion of that verse]) or Dr. G (she’s old, really old). So, help me, God. Or Nature. Or me. Probably the only person who can help me is myself. So, Cyrene, help me.

Okay, back to that exam. Seriously, Ma’am M. How do you expect us to take you seriously if our finals for this course we had with you is this: 1) Write down 5 original jokes in English and translate it into Tagalog. Provide analysis; 2) Write down 5 original jokes in Tagalog and translate it into English. Provide analysis.

What the actual fudge.

You can imagine the horror that rippled through the class. Like, wut. JOKES? Is this an actual joke? But she looked serious about it, so we had no choice but to comply. I stared at the paper for at least five minutes before I came up with the idea to put a bracket on numbers 1 to 5 and write “Cyrene Garcia. Analysis: I’m a joke. This is a joke. Hahaha.”

But I cannot afford to fail, peeps. I cannot. Soooo. I tried thinking of jokes to translate. I failed myself, but not my class. I’ll share with you two of the jokes I wrote. Yes, they’re offensive to human kind:

  1. English → Tagalog


Emcee: Any Chinese people in the house tonight?

Audience: Wooooh!

Emcee: Wow. Look at them yell out their last name.


Emcee: May mga Instik po ba tayong bisita ngayon?

Manonood: Wooooh!

Emcee: Grabe! Ipinagmamalaki talaga nila apelyido nila


Coz I’m cool like that.

2.  Tagalog→ English

I used a lot of the jokes my dad told us when we’re eating dinner so you could say this was inspired by my good old man.Also, I could make an entire book out of dad jokes.


Dad: Ano ulam naten ngayon?

Mama: Sopas.

Dad: Ah, so mabilis pala kainin.

Mama: Bakit naman?

Dad: Sopas.


(Sopas doesn’t have a direct translation in English so I had to change some words here to retain the context of the joke.)

Dad: What’s for dinner?

Mama: Peking Duck.

Dad: Ah, so I’d eat it quickly.

Mama: And why is that?

Dad: It went, “quick quick”.



So, yep. I didn’t even laugh writing those jokes. The fact that Kuya James wouldn’t fit in his chair and was begging to change seats with me made me laugh out loud more. Because our exam area was at a preschool classroom because our actual assigned room was too convenient for exam administrations. But downside of the preschool place, chairs there were of course, designed for kids the age of five. Kuya James is the size of two full-grown men. Also, I ate with friends after the exam. Ate more than I should but I needed to refuel, people!

Anyways. That was my day at school.

I also went pirate mode when I got home. That made me so seasick that I fell into a deep sleep.



October 3, 2016

Hi. Hello. Sup.

Just updating this thing before it sinks deep into the nothingness quicksand. I have nothing to talk to you about but I’m going to force myself, anyway. Because that’s what I do.

Okay. Let’s just make this short and pray it makes sense. Which I’m sensing it probably won’t and would rush towards lalaland.

Since I’ve mentioned about how quickly things are racing up, the semester is almost over! One week of it left. So to celebrate said occasion, I would like to make a toast on the things I have accomplished in so far as my senior year of college is concerned:

  1. I can’t think of anything.

So charming. So fulfilling.

Voice One: How impressive, Cyrene. That would surely help your future application forms. Fill them up with “Screw the system”. They’d definitely hire you.

Voice Two: At least they’d know she’s more than a mindless automaton.

Voice One: Yes. That proves her point. At least they’d also know she’s actually a mindless automaton sent to destroy the enter enterprise.

Voice Two: Shut up.

Voice One: We’re voices in her head, we can’t shut up. You can’t shut down thoughts.

Voice Two: But you can move them in another direction. Say, I’m really hungry.

Voice One: Ooooohhhh. I wonder what mama is making for dinner.

Voice Two: I hope it’s edible.

Voice One: I hope you’re inaudible.

Voice Two: Shut up.

I hope both of them shut up because I’m really trying my best to dig through the things worth telling you about.

Oh, oh, oh. Righhht.

  1. Humanities class happened. It led me to a world of smiles, laughter, invisible tears, perspiration, bad music taste, too many art pieces to look at, not enough humanity, too much requirements, and a whole lot of fun.
  2. I read The Fountainhead. It doesn’t have a fountainhead nor a head. But it has Howard Roark and I think he’s more than enough to cover up for the weird title.
  3. Word Attack happened. After four years in college, this was the first “club” I joined. The idea is to attack people with words, but hopefully not to harm them. But psssshhhh. It’s 2016, we’ve evolved into a species with the special skill of being easily triggered and offended.
  4. I use Tagalog on a daily basis, it’s the language I’m most comfortable speaking. But I came to a realization that there is nothing more cringe-worthy (nothing at all) than reading an entire novel written purely with it as a medium. Oorrr I just really had a traumatic experience with translating it to English. Never again, Victor and Alma–I hereby declare your banishment to lalaland
  5. THESIS DEFENSE HAPPENED. Gladly enough, I didn’t speak in Newspeak. Oh yeah! *pumps fist in the air*

So, there you have it. Snippets from things I did this semester. I hope I live through the next one.

Peace out, peeps.

I almost puked out paintings

Okay. I just gotta say that I’m eternally grateful to my professor for assigning us to visit museums. I have lessened my peasant status and actually made myself a little literate and cultured. So, presented below are the artworks I labeled as my favorites (I hate ranking but meh, what could I do?) with short descriptions:



Artist’s Table, Jaime de Guzman

Walking through the long lines of paintings, this particular one caught my attention and made me stare more than I intended to—I didn’t know whether it was the style or the theme. Blotchy strokes made the images swim before my eyes, painting my own imagination with two words: carpe diem and memento mori. It is supposedly an artist’s table—probably owned by a creator seizing the opportunity to create worlds to conquer minds; but the skull centers everything else, signifying the idea that all creative things would eventually fade away—maybe that is why the images looks a little blurred.


up vargas 2.jpg

The Penitent, Felix Hidalgo

Hidden beneath the shadows, the man tries to call out to someone who may or may not listen. His eyes are blank, his mouth silent, his face suffering in silent agony. With an almost blank expression, he pleads. This painting reminded me so much of Placido Penitente from El Filibusterismo. When one has experienced the lowest of all lows, one grows numb. It’d probably take a thing too vulgar to even shake him. But until then, he succumbs to silence; he succumbs to suffering.                         


ncca museum 2.jpg

Camo, Edgar Talusan Fernandez

On the 21st of September, the NCCA Gallery held an exhibit to commemorate the Proclamation of Martial Law. Featured in the exhibit are nightmarish visions of the past to haunt viewers of today’s era. This particular piece held my gaze amongst the other ones because I have recently been reading too much of George Orwell’s 1984. There are too many things going on in this picture—one is the TV screen with the artificial smile (forced control), second is the invisible rifle (hidden agenda), third is the Hawaiian shirt with the badges (peaceful camouflage), and fourth is the metal hand (power). One cannot automatically interpret this as a form of atrocity; but the mix of all those four elements begs to argue.


ayala museum.jpg

Icaro, Fernando Zobel

Aside from trying too hard to feel like a Victoria Secret Model in this photo, the wings behind me reminded me of Icarus. They signify a high flight, only to result in a fatal fall. The strokes are all in black, with shadows to illuminate edges—making it look as if the wings are plummeting to the ground. Interestingly enough, they also seem to be melting with the way the light catches uneven spots. Also, forget Victoria Secret Model, I’d prefer to look like Batman here.



Myayy Gdodd Svavae ththhte Filliiie II, Gerecho Iniel Cruz

Ateneo Art Gallery showcased 14 sections of notes on Figuring Filipino Utopia. The last section, “Utopia After Utopia: Filipino Futures” completes the collection, presenting an almost radical view on the past paving ways to perpetuate new beginnings. This particular piece is re-creation of Hidalgo’s classic work Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho in a pixelated puzzle. I think it represents how technology renders the way we view utopia, offering ourselves to the populace.

Okay, to sum up the experience: I almost puked out paintings.

Never Landing in Neverland

Second star to the right, straight on ‘til morning

Looking up, I caught myself reminiscing

Memories of the past, a little rusty and jaded

The past, irrevocable yet a little faded.

I wished for a shower of sparkly fairy dust

To make myself fly amidst the cold dreary dusk

But I realized as I jumped from this height

That gravity would meet instead of the light

Because I may be lost but I am not young

Lived my empty life and now have been hung

Time had written its plotless stories for me

Anecdotes of how much time fades away so quickly

My hopes and dreams disappeared from my hand

A sure sign that I would never land in Neverland.


I felt her broken gaze staring back at me from the other side.
I could taste her suffocation in the air.
I looked into her eyes, they formed dimensions I could never shape myself into.
The sound of broken glass filled the room, the echoes cutting through as response to my silent screams.
The shredded pieces from the canvass painted my skin with blood.
My bleeding fists wish to bring the color back to her blank and empty eyes.
But what to do with a soul that sees but doesn’t recognize?

August 7, 2016

Hi, I went Dora mode earlier. Without the map. Because honestly, how can you call yourself an explorer when you’re limiting yourself to only mapped territories?

Anyways. I don’t have a map. I was too shy to ask the driver for specific directions so I just squinted at the glaring signboards to know if I’m on the right track. Lol, how was I to know that?  Soooo I might have asked the driver to drop me off the wrong stop. GUESS WHO WALKED WAY MORE  DISTANCE THAN SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO? *waves hand in the air like I don’t care*

That one epic fail was a sign sent from the gods of omens.


Yep, anyway.

Guess what!

The person we interviewed was so cool. So chill. So Orwellian. He’s a talking manifesto. But no, seriously, he was chill. His office was in dire need of proper ventilation, though unless he plan on being Hades “Cy, no gods, remember?” “Oh right, sorry sorry.” But he’s got the look for it.

Anyway, blah blah blah. Interview over. I spoke once, only to stutter my way to disaster. It was comparable to stuffing four marshmallows inside my mouth and trying to speak.

“So, sir. Um. Oh. Kuya. Okay, um. Like you said earlier, um a few moments ago if you can remember, news websites are ‘privately-owned’ by big corporations so um aren’t they restricted, meaning limited and caged-in, to being in favor of these sides? Like, sides *tries illustrating two opposite poles with hands* yep, sides. So, being restricted leading to restrictive? *starts waving hands in the air like I don’t care*”

It was a cool thing he was cool. Otherwise, I’d look like an ultimate fool.

That was tiring. Someone was also hit by a train today on our way home. My friends were all excited seeing the body. I think we’ve breathed enough pollution from the streets of Manila that it has taken over our brain.

I’m still high, see.

Peace, yo.

P.S. I ate too much cookies. AND IT WAS EVEN PEANUT BUTTER *horrified gasps*

July 29, 2016

I took the leap of faith and landed in front you

You, the hope I tightly hold on to.

July 17, 2016

I love you.

Please be happy.

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