About this site

Tumbang Preso (meaning, knock down the jail) is a game of arrests and escapes where each player's life
chances depends on the toppling of a tin can watched by a tag who plays guard.

Saturday, September 27, 2014




Thank you, Russia.

Sunday, August 17, 2014



There’s a blackened patch of earth in the landscape of my mind as far as home is concerned. When I think of it, I don’t even want to see anyone from high school. I guess I have lived for so long in Kerala I could not tell people anymore what I think of high school reunions. But that the smartest should be sitting in the town council is a piece of glad news, and I would have been gladder if they made it to the mayoralty and vice mayoralty. Conversation always wind up to high school reunion, and our jolly batch of 1980 graduates, my cousin who lives in town, reported to me, topped the bill in the fund-raising. Your batch is the richest, with the guys in America contributing thirty thousand pesos each and an engineer now in Cebu donating another thirty. And as the class treasurer reported to me, the hundred thousands in donation went to benches in the school gymnasium and scholarships. Lord oh Lord, the donors’ names etched on benches and fences. See. I am really Arch Meanie and don’t deserve a peso in donation for my causes, and still Boyet, nicest guy in high school now in the town council, showed me around. They took me to lunch and to my surprise and delight, they did not ask me any questions, and the one who did ask, asked one question that matters. “Happy ka didto sa Jolo, Sheilf?” 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014



This is a major maladjustment. The loss of privacy. The invasion of the other world. Now my day revolves around alimentation and the spirit world. This can’t be.

On the other hand I should feel privileged. The world of Gabriel Garcia Marquez Isabel Allende and Toni Morisson, maybe less, now at my feet. But where is literature. I am with conmen.

The spectre of couples they disgust me so. Zero credit for la causa everybody looking forward to their first decent pay. Ness leaving everything to the girlfriend to do all the performing. The world and all its problems, tuition, boarding house brawls, everything petty bourgeois, now toppling my book case and account notebooks. Water is scarce, and they finish what I haul inside, not even considering if I need a bath, too. Someone is stepping on the toilet seat and not flushing the bowl. I’m sick. Sick to death.

Yesterday Maher came, a swagger of self-importance. Suwerte nyo, he said, kapag ipinagluto ko kayo, when asked to do the cooking. Took two pieces from the egg tray to mix with the sauteed cabbage, which is no vegetables to me. He did clean the fish though, a little grudgingly, telling me this should serve the three of us until tomorrow. Of course he counts every cent I spend on the girls. Then Chinchin volunteered to do the cooking while he watched Boys Don’t Cry which he could not appreciate. Haram, he said, when Brandon started making love with the girlfriend with a rubber penis bought from a store. Then stood up and left.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Unu kaw?



“Unu kaw, usug kaw? Babai kaw? Di ko maunu…” That is to say, What are you, are you a man? A woman? I could not tell, thus said a 50-year old woman occupying the cot next to mine. I am always surprised. I have this imaging of myself as female walking, a pair of lumps on my chest, girl’s doe eyes, girl’s thick mouth, but happens all the time, people in the street and marketplace addressing me as Utuh. So I said, “tomboy ako, Inah.” She nodded in total comprehension, “Ah tomboy huun,” like she gotit right the first time.