Only Lyrically

Tag: Greenbelt

good mall, good notes


Finally found that little notebook in the other nomad bag.

Yep, the handwriting was that of my friend’s.

This was the Greenbelt poem:




Let There Be No More

(Gemino Abad)

Let there be no more

Legends on the  moon.

Why play children’s games

With an explained fact?

The moon is dead, and cold,

As any dragon fact.

To explain is to fix

Even the orbit of change.

The way moonbeams fall

Must respect or discipline;

And as we wake, submit

To interpretation of dreams.





But I will still always love moon legends.

And in my rock of a heart, the moon is never dead.



good trains

Whoever are the people behind the Berso Sa Metro campaign each deserve a –

what do you call those leafy things they put on the heads of poets in ancient times? –

Those leafy things, they should be placed as crowns on the heads of those noble people who thought up the Berso Sa Metro campaign.

Last Sunday, as I was on my way to meet a friend, and since the LRT-MRT route has always been the quickest way to get around, I had another treat of these little masterpieces.

I tried my best to memorize one during the ride but my phone kept ringing and had to be answered.

All I could remember about those four lines that kept me from looking down and kept me looking up instead was that it was one of those double-purpose pieces which you could read as a romantic poem or as a love poem to God.

It didn’t only keep me looking up, it made me look through the window, and at cloud formations. For one brief moment, I felt completely like dear ol’ Amelie again, seeing teddy bears and rabbits in the sky while clicking away at her instamatic.

God, I have to find those four lines somewhere here in the echo chamber… Let me try…

I really can’t find it. But it was really good.

That’s it, next time, I’m taking down notes.

* * *

I do remember one that’s posted somewhere in Greenbelt. It goes, “namumukadkad ng umaga ang pinakamadilim na gabi”.

Did I get that right? Jesus. I should be sharp in retaining things like these.

Ah, wait, one time me and another friend were walking around Greenbelt, she actually made me take down notes on the poems scattered all around the mall. Well, actually, since I was too slow, she borrowed my notebook from me and copied the poems herself.

Let me get that notebook. It’s somewhere here in my nomad bag…

Aw, shit, it’s in the other nomad bag.

Wait, maybe the echo chamber has it somewhere here… Googling…

They were Jimmmy Abad poems, as far as I can remember…

I can’t find it either.

I’m bringing that notebook tomorrow.

* * *

I guess Anne Sexton really got it right when she said that music remembers better. I do not ever have a problem remembering songs and recalling them.

Last week, on my way to work, I happened to ride a pink bus where a song was playing on the radio: “where the moon disappears forever, and the sun shines electric blue”.

I sang it as soon as I sat here on my desk, and one of the kids I work with got it instantly.

See, that kid wasn’t probably even born yet when the song came out. But she knows.

I remember one of my teachers say one time that in Russia, people really took poetry to heart that audiences actually would recite along during public poetry presentations. Yeah, they had those, like concerts. And people knew poems like they knew songs.

We can get there. Well, actually, we’ve been there – I remember my grandmother telling me how balagtasan was such a big thing during her youth, and how those who competed were their stars. It was their age’s rap.

We can get back there again. I really believe that. Poetry and music are kin, afterall, and our nation has always had music in its blood.

I love my train rides. And Greenbelt. And all their poems, reaching out to me.




A Pan De Manila recently opened at the street behind our building. I don’t know the name of the street, but it’s parallel to ADB Avenue and Emerald Avenue. I think.

So, recently too, there’s been a lot of free bread around here. One of our bosses has started calling it ‘bread benefit’. Around here we really laugh at it, whenever he says it.

One time I bought four pieces for only twenty pesos. And a small tin can of liver spread. And I made black coffee. It sustained me the whole day.

* * *

I guess one of my most memorable breakfasts would be that one where my grandmother, the one who raised me, went to school and brought it to me.

It was either February or March. I was six. Kindergarten graduation rehearsals. She had with her a plastic bag with a small bottle of mayonnaise and another bag, a brown paper bag.

The bottle of mayonnaise did not contain mayonnaise – it had good warm milk in it, ready for me to drink. And in the brown paper bag, three pieces of pan de sal, with coco jam spread on them.

No. That’s not one of the most memorable breakfasts I ever had. That’s the best. I should write more about my grandmother, Agatona, in the future. That lady was something.

* * *

So what would I have now? I have two packets of skyflakes in my drawer. And as always, instant coffee is flowing freely in the pantry. ‘Coffee benefit’, if I may borrow from the jokesters.

Only now do I appreciate that replenishing element that is in a skyflake. It used to puzzle me how mechanics or construction workers could do with just these crackers and a Royal, or a Coke.

Besides, it is much healthier to eat these crackers, a little at a time, as even suggested by the healthiest or the most health-conscious people I know.

Back in the courthouse, when I would be offered a cracker, I’d turn it down, because I thought it would be a waste to be given to me, who might not get satisfied from it.

Because back then, I engaged in what I used to call ‘kain bitay’. The one big meal for the entire day, taken in the morning. In older slang, it’s ‘altanghap’ (almusal-tanghalian-hapunan).

* * *

Those one big meals cost no more than twenty five bucks. They’re usually the ‘silog’ type of meals. The ‘silogs’ here at Pasig are a bit more expensive.

But back in Manila, my coffee was never free. Free coffee there, even the instant kind, which is all it would take to perk me up anyway, is a myth.

There were times, though, when there’d be instant coffee, or sausage slices, for free tasting in the supermarket in front of the courthouse building. But the store doesn’t open ‘til ten.

Here, now, it almost is.

I feel like having taho, actually. Best breakfast one could have when without sleep from writing overnight, especially over the weekend, hardly noticing Saturday and Sunday merge, until you hear the yell of ‘taho!’ From where I live now, the taho guy would be far off by the time you get to the ground floor.

Me and a friend posed in front of a Gucci store in Greenbelt once, so very late in the evening, and dressed nicely, while holding up taho cups. Another friend took a picture. “Midnight Snack at Gucci’s”, we call it. It may well have been already breakfast, too, though.

Good morning, Holly!

What was she eating there? And could that be coffee?

I’m downing my last cracker. Now, coffee.