Monday, September 25, 2017


behind the bikes
are 142 kilometers pumped
for every letter in a Theory of Change
every page in an interim report
and the rainbow colors of a budget proposal
tasteless beer freezing on Saturday
pulled pork and briskets hissing on Sunday  

like the Tuesday night of the 7 days
warm beer chilling in ukelele songs
friends gathering for the rock band
50 birthday songs for the funny man
50 beers for every story told
50 plates for the roasted carabao 
and 50 kilometers to burn all that   

Monday, September 18, 2017


the demons that possess the value chains must be exorcised 

by us sorcerers and dreamers and pretenders

who conjured magic spells in colored post-its and sheets of paper      

we who conversed in skyped voices and emailed letters

charlatans unmasked during a fancy Thai dinner 

in Makkasan where the conspirators gathered

subdued murmurs compete with hushed whispers

conspiracies disguised as dinners and consultations 

until finally the bell chimed for a dose of the elixir

a tavern piercing the sky where happiness spew out of fountains

to toast, to celebrate, and to forget Makkasan

but I am just a conspiracy of one among many

severely infatuated with Manila's old streets

shooting churches [and bicycles], eating noodles [and lechon kawali]  

Monday, September 11, 2017


finally found a hole in the wall on september 3
that wall that stretched from hanoi to jakarta
stretched from august 22 until the 31st

finally bought a new sprocket on september 5
that sprocket that brought me to san beda and mendiola
mendiola where barbed wires encircle a protest camp 

got a grab car to a summit at the marriott
the marriott near resort world casino
that casino jessie carlos burned on june 3 

got back on the saddle on september 8
the saddle that burned the time spent with oskar
oskar who i left in manila for nueva ecija

went on a night out with masons on september 9
masons who would pound the wall after the wife
the wall stretching to bangkok on september 10 

Monday, September 04, 2017


It's not exactly slathered in pink but enough of it in the facade, in the rooms and in the furnishings except that there's no miniature Pink Cadillac or a Pink Panther pillow, and it's right across that Red Hotel that looks nice but actually isn't, room so bare it's almost a prison cell, internet weaker than their anemic coffee, cable TV so limited they dare call it that, and breakfast so so-so I decided to skip it, which spawned an interest in the Pink Hotel across the street where I eventually got booked with no regrets, it's pink-themed rooms are indeed hotel rooms, stable internet, a cable TV with more than 5 English channels, and the breakfast buffet a marked improvement with its iced fruit juice and milk, a choice of coffee or tea, cereals, withering vegetable and fruit slices, vomit-thick rice porridge, and an assortment of local breakfast choices served in the hotel's rooftop restaurant that offers a 360 degree view of the Jakarta skyline, and that can compensate for any downsides in the overall service and at night, the restaurant transforms into a bar with pricey drinks and food, like steaks with +++ added in the price which turned me off after almost giving in to a roasted lamb platter that segued into a wagyu beef burger, not so bad but not so good either, until the next night where I finally got to walk to the Kampung Kemang Food Court and dined on glorious sambal-ed fried duck, and the next night at Food Garden Kemang where I feasted on a sublime piece of sambal-ed beef rib, so delectable and so affordable the wagyu burger is indeed a crime.     

I am tickled pink by my nights in Kemang even if my search for that big satay place Oskar said is supposed to exist remains futile, or I was always too early, perhaps too intimidated, for the street food in the corner that I am still not able to sample its satay ayam or discover what was that in the bowl being shared by a young couple, but there was the seclusion of the Bremer Beer Garden with its candle-lit tables and eternal Beatles music that is anesthesia to the aches of the daily grind, and that for me is enough redress for those aspired but so far remains unrealized.  

But the first two paragraphs should not steal the equal glory of my lunches outside Kemang like that memorable first experience with Indonesian carinderia buffet on Monday which I realized was the origin of the superb fried chicken-veggie-rice wrap from my previous Kemang week, my induction into creamy soto ayam on Tuesday in the orange house where I suppose Oskar also gets his late lunches, and the Manado-inspired spread prepared by KIARA on Wednesday --- chicken, fish, kangkong and papaya flowers, corn fritters --- the fish topping it all in terms of taste although the three other dishes are equally delectable.    

And so this fourth paragraph that was inspired by an old bike hanging in front of the fried duck restaurant at the Kampung Kemang Food Court 700 meters away from the Pink Hotel which is 75 meters away from the Red Hotel which is 2,875 kilometers away from home in Bakal 2 where Ariel Guieb Tangilig is parked idle for 2 weeks until that Sunday morning when we got reunited to burn all that accumulated calories from the bottles of Bintang, the wagyu burger, the fried duck and beef rib, the carinderia buffet lunches, the cups of white wine I drank to bear with the airline meals, and of course the gluttony in Hanoi a week ago.