Seven months into this Manila exile, I can’t help but feel some regret. I hate how noisy this place is, with all the cars and sirens blaring unceasingly even in my sleep. The air has the taste of steel and what passes for wildlife is an army of rats and roaches creeping from the sink and under the doors. In the lowest of times, after dragging myself from work, I simply crawl into bed, play games or masturbate until my dick is raw.
I live in what seems to be a tumor in the heart of Mandaluyong, an unfinished building which according to neighbors has been in construction for almost a decade. Its interiors are unpaved and all angles are fucked up; I doubt there was any architecture plan involved here, as it seems to be designed to fit in as many people as people. Even in one’s bed there is the prickling anxiety of someone watching you from their windows.
The choice to leave Baguio for Manila was not even for ‘better opportunities’ or bigger pay, but simply for some pathetic desire for novelty (for my part at least), a curiosity for what it might feel to be run over what everything that embodied this bustling waste – the speed, the crowd, talk of money and fake enthusiasm. Of course there are the events and gigs which quickly got old as one figures out the formulas and the sheer repetitiveness of it all.
The plans to enter the scenes and introduce my art to others fell face first in the face of a realization of how shallow and commercialized everything is. This pains me deeply since I have always thought of creative practice as a liberating activity, where everyone is passionate with how they feel and what they try to express. Here everything is showbiz or at least reeks of it. There remains quite a few nice people though.
Also for the first time in my life I was sold fake weed by someone who fashioned oneself as a social worker. It ruined my sense of trust. Worse feeling of the year so far.
Last night we talked about the trees in the middle of the road, how they suffocate in the space given to them, and how lucky or unlucky to be alive while their peers have been downed for asphalt and cement. Now there they are lined up neatly with fancy lights as if gifts. They are not even trees; they’re just decoration.