Can a person who was sick get sick again?

For heaven’s sake, enough already! As you can tell, I hate being sick. No one will take care of me, not anymore. So, please, please God, don’t allow the germs to enter here and linger. I’m tired of running noses and aching necks. Of fevers too low to count, but saps you anyway and let your eyes burn in their sockets. I’m tired of the drill they push in my head just beneath the surface of my temple beneath my eye sockets. And the discomfort, Lord, of not being able to breathe! I’m drowning in my sleep! Where is the Vicks? And the Halls? And the garlic in the apple cider vinegar?
The memories of long ago fevers recall the lack of alcohol had my parents wiping me down with a coconut water vinegar. It is a comforting smell now. But not for those that live with me. Ah well! I’ll hie myself to the tub and I’ll slowly drown myself in a tub of Apple Cider vinegar. Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow. That is, if the other sick person next to me would stop hacking and coughing. That one should also drown in Apple Cider vinegar. They will feel better if they did. And so would I, dammit!

Sick and tired of being sick and tired…


The Filipinos – Some Information


     I was asked to interpret for a client a few days ago. My profile at work has it that I was fluent in the Philippine language. I have other languages that I know, but they are not considered my proficient ones. So we go to the client’s house. The client’s granddaughter came. She is third generation born here. Fully American in thought and language. Grandma, the client, was at the hospital. I thought to ask, since it would be helpful, if Grandma spoke Tagalog – the ubiquitous Philippine language that everyone knew of. However, Grandma didn’t. She spoke Ilongo.
     I have met people who spoke Visayan and not a lick of Tagalog. I have met Ilocanos who could not speak Tagalog one whit. But at least, they spoke some English. Ilongo, I have not countered yet.
     This is apparently a little known fact about the Philippines. That there are so many dialects and languages that sometimes communication is difficult. Tagalog is the language of Manilenos. People who are living in Manila. Tagalog is taught throughout the entire country’s school system along with English, that is, if you are able to afford school. But the older generation of Filipinos in America sometimes require some interpretation skills beyond just Tagalog.
     The country had too many tribes with their own influences and cultural mores. The Ilocanos, to which, thankfully, my own family has relations, are more influenced by Malay tongue. Their words are closer to Indonesian than the heavily Spanish influenced Tagalog. Tagalog is infused in Visayan so I can understand some of that dialect and infer some of the lost words. I learned some Gaddang, but not enough to converse. I only know “Mallabbat Kepay!” which means “It’s freezing cold!”
     Even among the Ilocanos, there are those that ‘sing’ the language. Their lilting sing song voices, soft and gentle. The Ilocano I know is hard and drops like hail. It’s like Mexican Spanish to Spain Spanish, if you get what I mean. Tagalog, on the other hand, is smooth, even.  Visayan, is a little of both. Sometimes, though, I have this feeling that it’s a bit…unrefined. There is a certain brashness to Visayan. Tagalog, for the most part, is polite. Well, there is a certain diction that render it an air of politeness. It seems to me, that when Visayans speak, the politeness is discarded. I’m sure there are more dialects than these. We have the Itnegs, Ibanags, Kapangpangan, Negritos, Tauseg, Igorots… Let me stop there.
     Which brings me to the point of this rant. Just because they are Filipino does not mean they all speak the same tongue. It’s probably good to know which one they speak. Ask next time! They might surprise you.
Now then, when someone asks you, “Do you speak Pilipino?” You can counter, “Yes, which dialect do you speak?”

Soul Mates

**** This is a two part poem. But one is in English and the other in Ilocano. They are not translations of each other. I just happened to think in both languages when the muse struck. *****

When your soul calls out to mine
And my soul calls out to yours…
Will we be happy then?
When your eyes meet mine…
Will you be at peace?
When our hands touch
And you feel our hearts beating
One against the other…
When your lips touch mine…
What separates us then?
When one soul finally meets
The other that makes it whole…
Is it you?  I have waited too long…
Come now… Let the bleak night
Lend its shroud to the unspoken
You and I…
We have been here before…

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****This is in Ilocano****


Kuna da nga adda
Singin ti kararwa
Apay nga awan ka
Apay nga ag maymaysa
Nu dapat a duwwa ta?
Kasatnu ka a sapulen kuma
Idtoy nagdakkelan a lubong?
Kasatnu ta nga agkita
Nu awan ka met idtoy ayan ko?
Ay, biag to biag ko!
Nu napugsat tun ti biag ta
Ket adda tan tun diay langit
Diay tan tun nga agkitan…
Ngem inganat sibib-biag tapay,
Ag-ayat ka, ag-biag ka,
Ag-ragsak ka idtoy lubong.
Lagipen nak tu, singin to kararwak…
Lagipen nak tu…

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My bathroom has this huge mirror that spans across the wall over the double vanity. It reflects too much of what I don’t want to see. There are marks on my face that were absent a few years ago. My eyes aren’t as bright anymore. My smile has somehow managed to curve downwards more while I wasn’t looking. The hairs on my head had been turning white here and there. My face has somehow transgressed and lost its dewy youthfulness that just yesterday was there. Somehow or other, my lips had thinned. I once thought I had the lips of a pouty youth. I think I was just pouting then. Where has those robust cheeks gone? And the thick, long eyelashes? They are covered by the thick lenses of my glasses. It’s probably time to get contacts again.
I rub my chin and note that if I bend my head down, jowls had formed beneath them. Too much high living, I dare to justify. My penchant for sushi and kalbi rests their memories there. The unkempt eyebrows somehow cajole me into fixing them with my fingers and nails. And my nose have been deformed by the bridge of glasses worn too long.
It gets worse when I am sick. The haggard, bedraggled stranger staring at me glares, blaming me for our current predicament. It was my fault. I had somehow picked up something that had us rushing to the sink to cough out phlegm. Too weak to talk back, I return glare for glare, through rheumy eyes. What fault is it of mine when that one is stuck to that side of the mirror and I am not? There are pimples on my nose from blowing too many times on tissues that are scattered near the bed where the small garbage can is. I feel them. They have made my nose redder still. The fever makes my reflection that much more pallid, unable to tell if I am one of the living or one of the dead.
There are days I approve of this mirror. When the person looking back seems more elegant than yesterday. With curly hair framing the rounded shape of my face, it looks smaller. Though I long for shorter hair, my face screams “No!” When I have just woken, my eyes take on the exoticness of fairy eyes, upturned and slightly bulging. After a session of kissing, the fullness of my lips return and the redness makes it that much more wanton. The lust reflected in my eyes make us more excited to confront the coming evening. Teasing you as we do our daily routines reflects our happiness here. And sometimes, I think I see those happy memories embedded in the glass, etched in the foggy concoction of glass cleaner I use to clean it. The hot showers we take in the cold winter months fog up this cold glass and lend ethereal effects to our reflections. You and I are almost angelic.
But with a sigh, this mirror also reflects the arguments you and I have had. It is scarred into its surface those angry words and sinister eyes it has reflected for years. It reflects the neglect of its countertop with the myriad concoctions of beauty notions you and I have collected. Some were meant for your seduction and some for mine. Piles of letters unanswered and unnoticed has accumulated attesting to our busy lives. I have since removed the junk mail to the recycle bin. Or was it you? Keys on chains and scattered change reflect the prisons we have built around us and our chosen shackles. This house, too, where this mirror resides is nothing but a cage. I am reflected there, in this prison.
Someday, I hope to break free from this reflected drudgery. But I doubt it will be so. We seem to trade one shackle for another. Our freedom exists only on some ideal plane. Perhaps that other in the mirror is the one who is free and only comes to make mockery of me. Perhaps I am the one trapped in this side of the mirror and not that one. For today, it is enough to clean its reflective glass. Perhaps if I chant incantations in front of it, it will show me new worlds. And one day, I may figure out a way to step into them and explore this newfound freedom.

When Love Comes

I did not think of you
I did not look for you
I was not aware of you
But you came
And slowly stole
Breathe from me
And reason…
There was life before you
Languid and pallid
Easy and stable
It did not compare
To the rainbow delight
Of your embrace
And intoxication
Of your kisses
The brilliant sun
Could not compare
To the warmth
Of your devoted attention
I have smiled more
When I was with you
There is no greener green
Than the moss beside you
As you lay beside me
By the riverbank
No more brilliant blue
Than the circle of your eye
When they twinkle down on me
I haven’t found a redder red
Than the red upon your lips
Sunny day or rainy day
Are blissful occurrences
No storm I cannot weather
While you are next to me
It is indeed my heaven
When love comes…

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I lost a ring tonight
While you put up a fight
On the hospital bed
That people surrounded
They said it may be
Your last night….

Beside me stood a person so slight
A puff of wind could blow her away
Never to see another day
She once was young and lithe
As you were once young and bright…

The waning of this transient life
Becomes a struggle rife
To breathe and live again
This is no sin…

I lost a ring…
I may lose you, too…
In the next breath
I may be gone…
I may go with you
In a cloud of smoke
Like the one he puffed
When we awoke
After the bed felt rough
Against sensitive skin
That glistened in the wind
And glittered like sand…

Don’t misunderstand…
I know full well
Even love wanes….
There is still the shell….
And sometimes…even I…
Go slightly insane…
This is a breathed sigh…

I am relieved to know
That the people go on
Like the boundless snow
And the unending ocean.
In our transiency, I think
You and I are always on the brink
Of being discovered
And being recovered…
And being…

I have not sinned…

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For one that left and those that stayed behind

KPop and me – Jung Joon Young


This newly discovered singer (for me) isn’t like anyone I’ve heard in the world of KPOP. The reason is because he’s a rock singer. And so good at it! But when I first listened to his song SPOTLESS MIND the English translation wasn’t there. It was only the music. But his voice was incredibly powerful to listen to! Lim Jaebum’s voice crossed with Kim Jaejoong’s is the best I can come up with. (CONFESSION/GO HAE & JUST ANOTHER GIRL)

He reminds me of Bruce Springsteen. I can hear this boy singing GLORY DAYS, BORN IN THE USA, and I’M ON FIRE. And just a bit like John Cougar Mellencamp. Especially Joon Young’s song REALLY? The voice reminds me of Mellencamp’s SMALL TOWN.
I’m hoping Korea is ready for rock stars like him. They seem to be, so I hope to hear more from this talented boy. The whole of Asia should be ready for this kind of singing. It’s incredibly captivating!

Ah! And so are his eyes. They remind me of elf eyes. They are mesmerizing.


I did mention he’s a rocker, right? He plays guitar.
And he’s a songwriter as well. I’m assuming he wrote the songs for his album. I will let you know what I find out. He’s relatively new to the scene.

Note: These pictures are from video capture from YouTube. The video is SPOTLESS MIND.