The Philippine Curse

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No matter how much you stir, you still can't get chocolate pudding from a tub of shit. No matter how many times we change presidents, political systems, and the hosts of our noontime shows, the Philippines will still suck principle-wise.

If I were to be asked what the root of all our problems are, from corruption to poverty to a very low quality of life, my answer will be very simple.


Asked to use one word, I'd say "culture".

Asked to use two words, I'd say "Wais culture".

Asked to use one sentence, I'd say "It's all about our low regard for other people and our high expectations in return."

We live in a society pervaded by a culture that enshrines the ability of a person to use his creativity to get ahead of others. A "wais" culture. "Wais" is a word that doesn't even have an equivalent in English. By definition, it's being crafty, but only specifically to get ahead of others.

We are part of a nation that raises their young to develop this trait. If a person is "wais" he is a person who will be destined for great things in life. We are taught to smash the mold, go beyond what's expected of us, and ultimately succeed above all else.

In reality, by doing so, all we ever really do is leave behind a lot of shattered molds that nobody will bother to clean up.

At its very core, we are being taught by this culture to cut lines, plain and simple. Cut lines where we can so we can succeed faster. If success is worth fighting for, it's damn worth fighting dirty for.

I'm sure I'm not the only one seeing what's wrong with that.

The basic principle of a properly functioning society is having people who can fall in line. Looking at most industrialized countries, their economies are built not by the coat and tie guys on top, but by a stable base of proletarians who are more than happy to keep in line. They have cultures that reinforce that norm. Ask any Hindi about their prevalent caste system. Ask any Japanese hivemind office worker. Just ask.

Life is a pyramid.

Not everybody can be on top, and that's where the idea of "wais" fails.

If you're in a line and it's wais to cut the line to get ahead, if everybody cuts ahead, then in the end the line will move even slower, or worse, not move at all. The same goes for society and everything that can use "line cutting".

Imagine an entire country filled with line cutters.

Line cutters who will glare at you if you don't let them cut the line.

Yeah, that's us right there.

The curse is in our culture and cultures are a lot harder to kill than bite-size presidents. There is no changing a culture on a small scale. You can't setup a rally that will change that. (When was the last time a rally changed anything anyway? 1984?) No coup will ever remove a culture, unless your goal is to unseat every single person in this country (which is gutter-stupid).

If you can't see this big picture, no matter what you say,

you're part of the problem.

Smart As Shit

Friday, November 28, 2008

I like reading books, but admittedly, I don't love doing that enough that I'd prioritize it over other things like, well, pretty much everything. I can't really find the time to read books, so I try to squeeze that nice activity in together with something else that requires sitting down - taking a shit.


The rate of how fast I can finish a book is directly related to my diet. More roughage equals more pages per day. I can't remember how many indian mangoes and turnips I had to eat to finish V.Hugo's Les Miserables in two weeks.

And I learn a lot from books too. Like just last night, while making shitpudding in the toilet, I learned about the State of Fear and how it's relevant to the hyperboles associated with Global Warming. Not bad. You lose some, you win some. By lose some, I mean corn-dotted chocologs, and by win some, I mean information that will not help me get laid, or become an accepted member or society.

So here's my little theory. The more I shit, the more intelligent I become. Like if I probably survive an ordeal with a bad case of LBM for an entire week, I'd easily surpass Dustin Hoffman in the movie RainMan. Fuck those vitamins, immodium all the way.

I think this is also related to why I tend to get picky when buying second hand books. See, the pages of the books that I read on the porcelain throne tend to turn yellowish brown. So everytime I see books that are a bit too yellowish brown, I think, somebody must've taken this book to the dukers, and its pages are coated with the sticky musk that comes from shit.

No way I'm buying/touching those.

Nobody in the family borrows any of my books for that same reason.

But that's probably why I'm easily the smartest offspring in the family.

Antonio Vivaldi Is The Shit

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This is Antonio Vivaldi.

Today I will tell you more about this man.

Cutting to the chase, Vivaldi is fucking awesome.

Take a good look at this fucking picture. You are now being irradiated by a potentially lethal dosage of awesomeness. If you're pregnant, there's a good chance that your kid will come out of you with a musical instrument. Good fucking luck if he decides he wants to play the contrabass or grand piano.

Seriously, this guy is one crazy motherfucker. See how he manhandle that violin? If that violin were a woman, he'd be playing with its VAGINA. Vivaldi lived in the 16th century but pimps like it's just yesterday. See how he holds its instrument? Yeah, like an electric fucking guitar. If it weren't for historical plausibility, Vivaldi would have invented EVERY FORM OF ROCK EVER. Except Acid Rock. That's not real music. That's hippie garbage that should be forgotten in the dark recesses of history, like the MACARENA.

I was listening to his music earlier and felt like I needed to take a shit because the sausages that I ate in the morning were feeling rotten. I felt Vivaldi's music push the motherfucking sausagebits down my intestines real fast like it was a drill sergeant and my anus was boot camp.

Verily, no other music can do that.

LEstate, III.Presto, Tempo impetuoso destate, Guglielmo - Vivaldi

Fuck what's playing on your PC.
Listen to this shit and watch women
suddenly find you one sexy fucker.

Bobsledding: Laziest Olympic Sport Ever

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I love watching the Olympics. They remind of me of all the exercise I'm not getting by sitting in front of the TV. Winter Olympics is even more awesome, because winter has it's way of playing down the noxious body odours associated with high-octane sports. Also, watching other people do sports with the additional handicap of working under nut-freezing conditions is pretty funny.

Of course, not all winter sports are created equal. Most sports that you watch will make you say "Holy shit, that guy must've lived with animals since childhood to be able to do that sort of thing!" Most sports, anyway. Others, a few selected activities that make you even question their objectives, hardly even qualify as a sport.

Yes, I'm talking about you, Bobsledding.


Bobsledding is a sport where a group of two or four men will ride an unpowered sled down a narrow, banking, twisting ice track that goes downhill. Competitions are based on which team can go down the same set of tracks fastest.

I'm not sure how that sort of activity falls into the classification of sport. Left on its own, a bobsled will be able to finish the ice track anyway since it mostly relies on the athlete called GRAVITY. Sure, the athletes are able to make the sled go faster, but that's only because of their WEIGHT. Now I'm no expert in physical activities, but when a contest depends on the weight of the entry rather than the abilities involved, it's already less a sport and more of an agricultural show. (Biggest squash anyone?)

Sure, there's running at the start, but they don't even have to run all the way. They just have to sit on their asses after the ride gets going. That's about as lazy as it gets. Taking this ideal into other sports, imagine a 500 meter dash where runners just have to run the first 50 meters and then hop on motorcycles the rest of the way.

Automated motorcycles that they just have to sit on til the end of the race.

You know what bobsledding reminds me of? Rollercoasters. Bobsledding is like developing the sport of repeatedly riding rollercoasters and see who screams like a little bitch the least.

I'd probably lose if ever that sort of sport gets invented, but I'm not really bothered. At the rate my stomach is expanding, I might as well be bobsledding champion 5 years from now.

Thank that, Jamaica.

Something is up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wow. Typo. Too lazy to edit. Still in a state of shock.

Thing I Learned From Counterstrike

Playing Counterstrike is one of those things in my list of "shit I did when I was younger" that I'm still unsure if I can share with my kids.

I started playing counter-strike back in 1998, long before playing network games became mainstream, and kept playing until graduating college back in 2004, at a time where even the homeless street kid knows what an "em-pi-payb" looks like. That's six years. A good 1/4 of my life I was playing this game, for at least a couple of hours per session.

I guess it's safe to say I was addicted. Now I'm no parenting genius but I think admitting you got addicted to something and being proud of it isn't a good thing.

But of course, it's not all bad. There were lessons to be learned in that game, if you thought really really hard. (or used hallucinogens). Here's what I can remember:

1. Humiliation is best done with the weakest of tools. Any joe can fuck people up with a magnum sniper rifle, but it takes a really big dick to use a pellet gun to open a sideshow of embarrassment.

2. Good fortune comes to those who wait. With a gun. In a particularly dark corner.

3. People are assholes, even if they're on your side. If there's anything in their inventory that can cause harm to both you and the enemy, expect those to be used where they can produce the most damage to both you and the enemy.

4. Following people is good for the team. It gives snipers from the other team targets while you pick them off.

5. You can't expect everybody to grasp the notion of "tactics". There are just some people in this world whose sole strategy in life is "Find an opening, storm the opening, shoot everything that moves, complain that some douchebag shot them from a nicely concealed spot". These people who don't really get to live long lives.

Corollary: (This are the people lesson #4 is talking about)

6. Nobody gets scared when you're trying hard to sound scary. Names like "darkshadow" and "evilkiller" only work when you're playing with 10 year olds. There's nothing scarier than a guy named PinkBarbie who murders with a pellet gun.

7. If you don't go to the toilet when your bladder is telling you to, basic instinct will start kicking in and you'll suddenly find yourself seating on a very wet seat.

8. There's always a reason to play CS. ALWAYS.

Chemical Manila 6

Friday, November 14, 2008

The fog became thicker as we went higher up the winding road leading to the observatory. I could hear the labored breathing of Toffee running alongside me. My feet were begging to stop, each impact from the asphalt made my entire leg throb. Behind us, I heard the footfalls of our classmates. I didn't understand why we should run away from them, but the whisperings of death in the evening air was enough to trigger my survival instincts.

I remember as a kid, I used to play tag with my friends during lunchbreaks. I was never the fastest kid in class, though I wasn't an easy target either. I would feint, dash, dart with my fancy footwork and I always loved the distracted reaction on the faces of whoever chased me. Eventually, I tired out and had to let myself get caught. Those were good memories.

This time, however, I just didn't feel like I wanted to give up. The footfalls behind us were getting louder and I felt that a hand would pull me back any moment, yelling a blood-curdling "You're it!", but part of me wished it would never happen. I wasn't a child anymore and I knew this wasn't a game.

The road began to curve again, turning towards some taller shrubberies in front of tall canopies of tries. For a second, I thought I saw a glint of light. Then two. I blinked twice and found them gone.

"Get down!" I heard a voice coming from the woods to our right. Were they talking to us? I asked myself. But before I could think any more of it, I felt Toffee's heavy hand pushing behind my head. I tripped my left leg, lost my balance, and felt myself crash into the hard road.

Just as I landed, the woods head lit up with white flashes of light. I spent a second thinking they were beautiful, at least until I heard what sounded like fists punching hollow wood, again and again. The scent of gunpowder started mixing with the mountain fog crept in, and I found it even harder to breath. I tried to push myself up but an arm kept me down the whole time - Toffee's arm. I rolled to my side and saw her. She was looking behind, where I also saw the bodies of those who were chasing us get pushed back, cloth and skin being blown apart each step backward. I watched how one by one they fell, motionless, bodies smoking in the cool evening air. Stench followed, and I would have vomited once again had my stomach not been empty at that time.

"Cease fire!" a feminine voice from the woods echoed around the silenced road. I tried to get up, but Toffee's arm still kept pushing down. It was shaking, and only then did I realize she was no less scared than me. I braced myself for the worst.

Footsteps crunched the soil covering the side of the road. I saw vaguely combat boots and cargo pants, but I couldn't make anything out because I felt blinded by the flashes I saw earlier. "Are you guys okay?" the same voice asked us. I coughed trying to talk; my throat felt really dry. I nodded, even as I lay in the ground.

"You can get up now," I felt strong but delicate hands lift me from by the shoulders. I winced and my vision became slightly clearer. I thought I was hallucinating at the time, but I saw a blonde lady who liked like a foreigner. Her hair was pulled back into a knot and her left ear was missing. I stared at it for a few moments and then saw her smiling at me. I felt ashamed but it didn't seem to bother her.

"That was a really close call you had back there. Almost got me worried, I say," she spoke in accented Engligh. She helped Toffee up, and Toffee, upon seeing her, jumped into her arms. "Madrina!" I heard her cry out.

They knew each other? It certainly looked like it. I looked at my surroundings once again. A team of soldiers had come out of the woods in full camo, seemingly scouting the area for something. One of them poured gasoline on the bodies of our classmates and set them on fire with a match stick - the same thing that they did an afternoon earlier.

I began to recall what had happened the whole day and felt my heart sink. I saw one soldier and he had a nonchalant look about his face. Anger welled up inside me. I tried to hide it, but I just couldn't.

"Murderers! Why did you shoot our classmates!" I screamed. "Why are you burning their bodies! Is it not enough that you killed them?!" There was silence all around, and the soldier who I was addressing did not speak either. Rather, I almost saw a hint of a pained expression he kept on hiding with a poker face. I hated even that. Hypocrisy.

The lady who was with Toffee walked towards me. I waited what she would say, but before I even heard anything I felt my face fly to the side, with the cold sting of a slap landing on my cheek. "Get yourself together! There is a perfectly good reason for everything."

The shock had silenced me, and I felt my world spinning. The lady started talking, but I couldn't make out much of what she had said. "We should get moving," was the last thing that she mentioned, and that part I got. "If you don't want to hang out with murderers, feel free to turn back, kid," she said with a sarcastic, serious tone. Toffee was silent all this time, standing close to the woman. I almost felt betrayed. I couldn't make things make sense, the way I liked it.

Rationality was of scarcity that night.

I moved up the mountain road with them anyway.

At one point we passed through an overlook. A signboard said "San Juanito 23km" was posted by the entrance. We stopped there to rest. The foreign woman walked toward me and grabbed my arm. She dragged me to near the edge of the road where I saw a darkened sea of trees beneath us and bright embers by the distance.

"Do you see those fires?" she asked me. Smoke billowed out from them, and even with the night sky I saw them clearly. "The Infection has gotten that far and what you see is the destruction it leaves in its wake."

Infection. It was the first time I heard of that word that day. What was she talking about? I indulged in my ignorance. "Who cares? How does some weird sickness justify the actions of these murderers today?! And why do I have to see a bunch of forest fires?" I saw surprise in her face, as though I was missing something big. I looked at the other soldiers and they had the same reaction.

"Those used to be the towns of San Juan, San Jose, and De La Peña," the woman said. "Thousands of people used to live in those places."

I looked at the fires burning at the distance. They didn't look so distant anymore. I can almost hear the agonized screams of those people the woman had mentioned.

I felt faint, like I wanted to just fall over and fade away.

The world had ended that night and I didn't even know it had already happened.

Dick Move

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dare ye poke the unpokable? (also, what's with the "i will molest ye with these hands" pose?)

Sent in by FiSHCAKE. Thanks!

Somebody hates His Job

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I was browsing the site for the new Level Up! player content program and saw this:

Greetings, Level Up! Gamers! Level Up! acknowledges the fact that we have a very strong and creative community. We have seen your submitted work in the forums and we would like to reward your hard work and creativity by means of the Level Up! Player Content Program.

By submitting to this program, entrants hereby grant Level Up! a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty free, perpetual, transferable, assignable, sublicensable license to publicly display, publish, copy, reproduce, edit, modify, distort, use, utilize and otherwise exploit the submission in whole or in part in any manner now known or developed in the future, including, but not limited to, exploitation for commercial, business and trade purposes and for marketing, promoting and advertising Level Up! Inc and its related services. You further waive any and all so called “moral rights” or “droit moral” or similar rights that you may have in the submission.

Sounds like somebody's having a bad day at work.


One moment you're being smoothtalked into submitting work for a few freebies and the next thing you know, you're being smacked in the face with corporate bullshit usually reserved for the fineprint, and in the words of my friend Ryan, "usually written with the same color as the page it's written on".

What was that all about?

Subtlety was never a fine point for Level Up! as I remember it, but this - this is just crazy. Who in their right mind would want to submit anything after hearing that? I know who who. Those who can't read and understand English. The clause is one sentence short of asking for your soul, intellectual property-wise anyway.

Now I'm not sure if this is the page author's way of warding off people who are knowledgeable enough in English without turning heads in management, or if the author is just too lazy to make a fine print, the way God intended those things to be revealed (tip: secretly), but the result is just fucking hilarious.

But you know what, I like it. It's honest.

They should start applying that sort of strategy for most of their disclaimers. It'd be a revolution in the corporate world.

Or maybe not.

Japanese Warning

Monday, November 10, 2008

Translation: Beware of child lurers who use hats for bait.
They are not friends of Mary Poppins.

I saw, I came, I had a funny accent

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I finally mustered up enough cojones today to attend the auditions for the second JackTV Laffapalooza. The last time I tried to pull something similar was almost a year ago in the form of a comedy workshop where I basically dicked around, so this is all really new to me.


If you've noticed, I barely put in anything on this blog the past few days. That's because those days (and nights) were dedicated to coming up with, and eventually scrapping my material repeatedly, with the help of my guinea pigs forced volunteers in the form my girlfriend and my sisters.

It's been hell, I tell you. In the end, I settled with something I wrote while idling at work the afternoon of Friday, leaving me with a grand total of 8 hours to memorize things, give or take a few hours of sleep.

Being the amazingly dedicated guy I am, I chose to just sleep it off and use cue cards instead. I know it sounds sleezy, but I figured an few additional hours of sleep will cause less damage than using those hours to memorize (and from my experience with 16 years of schooling, I can't memorize jack shit under pressure).

The following day, I was able to acquaint with three other auditioners, JB, Mike, and Geraldine. Mike was a first timer like me, while JB and Geraldine have done Open Mics in Alchemy already. (I really should have gone with them two days before)

The venue didn't have any audience other than the waiters, JackTV personnel, and the judges. As for my feeling at that time, I felt horrified. There I was, a standup comedy virgin, facing a crowdless run, with a bunch of other people who looked like they'd make a killing even on a catatonic crowd.

I was third to perform, which is kinda cool because I got the time to pump myself up (at the expense of looking like a shit-chucking retarded ape beside the stage). When I got up in front, I introduced myself and took in questions. During the interview, it was awesome to learn that the judge, Tim Tayag used to be a software developer like me. Hurray for nerds who cross stereotypes.

Two things though, I apparently did not clarify enough when I said I was referring to dragqueen comedy as something I'm not gay enough for, and that I may have accidentally implied I'm gay on TV. Not cool.

The rest of the routine went even better than my last rehearsal on Friday night. I got decent laughs too, though I'm sure I could've done much better. Still, not bad for a first time.

One thing I noticed, and one of the judges did to, was that I was talking in singsong already, with a funny accent. Instead of coming off as funny, I looked crazy, which is one gimp clownsuit short of insane.

As for my jokes, one of my jokes was already apparently done more times than Terra Patrick on film, and gave the impression I was hacking (stealing jokes) and it was my first joke to boot. Really bad effect. I should've heeded my girlfriend when she said it sounded to common. I'm a stubborn ass, so there.

All in all, after I convinced myself I don't want to do this to win, and that I just want people to have as much fun as me when I'm talking to myself, everything came quite naturally already. I'm not sure how I'll fare compared to the other competitors but whatever happens, I think I was able to achieve what I set out to do.

Of course, getting a final 12 position would be a boner-inducer too, but I'm not really absolutely wanting it. Much.

Thanks to everybody who supported me, and yes, this blog will go on.

Much Ado "Oba" Nothing

Friday, November 07, 2008

People have been raving the past few days about how they now have a president who's from a different race. Big fucking deal. We Filipinos, we're ahead of them. We've been following an alien president since 2001.

Thank THAT, America.

sauce: Marvel Comics’ “Secret Invasion,”

RIP Michael Crichton

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm taking the time off from my busy schedule to do this post. It seems that the writer whose works of fiction have influenced my story writing the most has finally passed away last November 4 due to cancer.

I still have a two Crichton books that I haven't read (Airframe, Next), and looking at his wikipedia entry, only one book's left unpublished (coming 2009). I've always thought it's okay to indulge myself in reading as many of his books as possible because he's still alive. Now that the previous statement has changed, I'll have to read a bit slower.

Michael Crichton's pioneering way of making Science Fiction as close to reality as possible is simple, yet hard to replicate. He takes theories and interweaves them with actual proven sciences, making the seams between fact and fiction hardly distinguishable even with contemporary observers. Any idiot can say "laser aliens", but it takes a Crichton to say "atmospheric pathogens forced to earth by crashing satellites", as he have in Andromeda Strain.

Rest in Peace, Mike.

Those were fucking awesome stories.

A bit on the nerdy side, but still fucking awesome.

I haven't been updating lately for the following reasons:

- UNO (Hi Pao!)
- Fully Booked GL Awards
- JackTV's Laffapalooza 2
- Work work work

Hopefully, next week will be less busy. (and we can continue with Chemical Manila too)

LayOff Laughs

Monday, November 03, 2008

Laying somebody off isn't easy, but anybody with a low enough level of morals can do it without breaking a sweat. Laying off somebody AND having fun while doing it - now that's what seperates sadists by experience from the naturally creative sonnuvabitches.

Manager: Okay, let's talk about your appraisal this year, Joe.
Joe: Uh, sure. How is it?
Manager: Well, I can break it to you the traditional, straightforward way
Manager: But there's no fun in just doing that now is there?
Joe: Well...
Manager: We're encouraged to innovate around here so let's get rolling.
Joe: Okay.
Manager: Let's play a game. Do you know text twist?
Joe: I've tried it once.
Manager: Yeah, awesome game.
Joe: What about it?
Manager: I'll give you a jumble of letters, and then you shuffle it
Manager: the result should be the result of your appraisal this year.
Joe: Can't I just get my results?
Manager: That'd be cheating. Do we want to employ cheaters Joe?
Joe: No.
Manager: I made it so it shouldn't be so hard. Don't worry.
Joe: If you say so.
Manager: Here are your letters:
Manager: Y-O-U A-R-E F-I-R-E-D
Joe: What the hell. That's not jumbled.
Manager: Wow, you got lucky.
Joe: Lucky!? You're firing me!
Manager: Maybe not lucky enough?
Joe: I'll fucking kill you.

Creativity, boys. Remember how to use it.

Chemical Manila - Part 5

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I couldn't stop running. I felt like running was my punishment and redemption at the same time, the scenes of what had happened at the precinct kept on repeating inside my head. Each time, I felt the humanity of the situation felt lesser. I began to forget the idea that we had shot our own professor. No, to me, we had just protected ourselves from monsters. We did what we had to do. We did the right thing.

I felt like a kid. I didn't want any responsibility from any of it.

So I ran.

The road we traveled on was well lit, and there were signs every now and then pointing to where the observatory was. I felt that the observatory was now our safe haven. We have been trying to go there for many hours already, through many experiences. Deep inside, it was probably my ego that forced me to keep pushing to go to that place.

And then there was Toffee.

She was pale, but hardly from exhaustion. I've always seen her as somebody more athletic than me. She wasn't pale because she was tired. No, her eyes told of a different story. Her eyes were marked with horrified expression. In the end it wasn't "us" who shot a man. It was her.

As it turned out, she was thinking of the very same thing. "When I was younger," she just started speaking as we began to slow down from the increasing incline of the road, "my dad asked me to practice with him in trap shooting. He loved that sport, but I never understood why he had to take me with him."

I stopped to catch my breath for the first time that night by the roadside, between vast sections of trees. I just wanted to hear her out. She was staring out into space, seemingly untired from our running. Toffee continued. "He told me it was for my own protection, but I never thought I'd ever need a gun to protect myself. I thought of it as a game instead. The closer I got to hitting bullseyes, the better."

And it was that lucky hobby of hers that saved us, I thought, but kept to myself. "I never knew that side of you," I told her. Toffee nodded. "Being good with guns isn't something any girl would want to brag about. And after we came back from the States, I've stopped practicing."

It must be wonderful to have something you can get really good on. Unlike her, I've always been mediocre at everything I did. I can do a whole lot of things, but never get really good at any one of them. Toffee on the other hand was good at something, and something very few people can ever get good in.

Toffee turned away and remained silent. "Can I ask you a favor?" she said with a shaky, hushed voice. "What is it?" I asked. "When we meet up with father, can you never tell him that I killed a man with these hands?"

I moved sideways to see her face under the streetlamp. She looked angry, but with tears in her eyes. Was this the frustration that came with guilt? I pumped her hands once. I felt I could offer no more consolations. How many times more must she cry because of what was happening to us? I pelted her chin with my finger and waited for her gaze to turn to me. I smiled. "Okay," I reassured her, "but before worrying about that, we need to head to where your father is."

She didn't reply, but we started moving towards the observatory again, slower this time.

After a while, we finally hit where we had stopped before I was knocked unconscious. My red knapsack was right where I left it, which I slung on my back.

Just as we got moving again, we heard footsteps coming from another road running adjacent to the nearest intersection. I strained my eyes to see if they were people from the military, but as they drew closer, it became evident that they weren't.

They had school uniforms. Our school uniform.

There were five of them but I couldnt recognize their faces because of the play of darkness. I noticed dried blood all over their clothes, nothing else. They didn't shout at us either. I was reminded of Mr. Santos. I wanted to see their eyes to see if they were no different from him. I was far from optimistic. We waited while their walking became a brisk jog, heading for us. Toffee looked ecstatic.

Soon, they were running.

After they got close enough, I noticed their movements were strange, almost convulsive. And then under the streetlamps, I finally saw their eyes. Blacked out, seemingly lusting for blood.

"Toffee," I nervously said as I pulled her by her arm. "We should run."

Toffee gave me one look, disapproving but helpless. She didn't say a word. But when I took that first stride up the ever steeping slope to the observatory, she followed suit immediately.

I knew at that time I couldn't stop running again.

I felt like a kid escaping his problems.

I ran.

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