You should’ve seen it.
Nothing happened,
In fact,
It was just another rainy night in the city,
But there was something about tonight’s ambiance
That you just had to see.
You should’ve seen me tonight.
I moved on.

I walked up and down Queen street with Callum,
looking for some cheap takeaways for dinner.
There’s something about the Business District’s environment
that feels better when you listen to John Coltrane’s music.
I couldn’t tell the difference between the rain and how I felt.
I couldn’t tell the difference between my influences and myself.

Glasses of water and packs of cigarettes,
Arguing about catchin’ the bus back to Callum’s flat
or walking in a quiet storm,
merging and diverging with my friends
across different streets and bars.
Essays to be written,
in a life to be living.

You shouldn’t have been here tonight.
Nothing happened,
It was just another rainy night in the city.
Walking around restlessly for hours
with my headphones, a couple books, and myself,
But you should’ve seen me tonight.
I moved on.
I really did.



Way Back When

I’ve been thinkin’ bout her now and then.
Sadder daze and Saturdays.
I wonder if she’s even seen me goin’ thru it.
I’m hoping everything’s okay.

I’m back to the introvert I always really was.
Listening to old-school R Kelly, and Roberta Flack.
Nobody said I could quit,
You and I know I’m not addicted though,
I wonder what you’d say now.



Violence. I grew up with a love-and-hate relationship with it. I can admit, I’ve had moments where I wanted to commit acts of violence, but I usually kept cool and introverted about it because I have traumatic experiences tied to violence.

Last Saturday night, a fight erupted in a party I was in. It was between two boys from the same school and from the same cultural-background. Some of us in the party tried to stop them, “Please, we’re all friends here”, but another friend there told us “Hey, if we have to settle our arguments physically, then let it be”. We said that thought-process was stupid and unnecessary, but looking back on it now, I can kind-of see what he meant when he said that, and the value of violence in our lives.

Violence is really just another form of arguing and protesting. To have such a strong belief or idea that you’d actually stand-up, fight back, and risk your body, in order to defend that ideology is, fundamentally, the same thing as protesting. I guess that comes back to ideas about war too, when countries are willing to defend their own people and resources against another country as a last-resort type of maneuver. That same idea about violence could go apply to religion too, or even terrorist groups, and freedom-fighters.

Growing up in Cebu though, violence was everywhere. Kids would fight with each other, parents would physically hurt their partners and/or children, gangs were shooting at each other, etc… but in a way, I guess that was just everybody trying to defend their own beliefs and ideologies. They wouldn’t argue with words and logic because education was more scarcely there, it was only available for the higher classes.

Growing up in Auckland, violence was also common for me. Domestic abuse was existent in households I knew, children fought with each other, gangs would fight each other etc… It was no different, really. Maybe violence wasn’t as significant in Auckland as it was in Cebu, because of the availability of education, but it was still existent nonetheless.

My brother and I have a rocky relationship tied to violence. He used to take his anger out on me sometimes, and punch me as hard as he could, to let it be known that he was mad. As the years went over, I started retaliating more and more too, eventually out-strengthening him and forcing him to submit to me. In a way, I guess that was me protesting and standing up for my belief – my belief that what he was doing to me was wrong, and that I’d no longer be treated like that.

Looking back on it now though, I guess his acts of violence to me were also a form of protest and self-expression – an expression that he didn’t like life in New Zealand, an expression that he resented my parents and I for putting up with this life, and an expression that he just wanted to go back home. When he started submitting to me through our violent encounters, I guess that was him accepting things as they were, and admitting his own faults.

When my brother and I would resort to violence between each other, it was just a physical argument of different ideologies between the two of us. Like an argument between his ideology like “why are you fine with living in Auckland?”, and my ideology like “why won’t you just be the brother I need you to be?”.

Dad never liked violence. He grew up around it too, but he told me he never used it unless he had to. He’d much rather use words and logic to drive an argument to his side, and so did Mum. My uncles used to pressure me to learn how to fight, but I stayed away from it because it never really interested me. Maybe they were just trying to teach me about adapting to the street-life that I’d most-certainly face in Cebu. Maybe the heavy existence of violence around Cebu and the Philippines was another reason my family decided to migrate to New Zealand, but if only they knew violence existed universally. I can’t say I’m mad at them for their decision, I’m actually really happy I’m here in Auckland.

Regardless, I think I’m coming to terms with the violence that shaped me. I’ve let go of all the resentment I had towards those who treated me with violence, I’ve accepted that I have to move forward and confront my arguments differently, in a more pacifist approach, if I want to be treated how I want to be, and to make stronger statements such about who I am and what I “fight” for.

Great Day In The Mornin’

There’s been a strong energy surrounding me for the last few weeks (and it’s not Hennessy’s black magic), it’s been passing by here and there in my life before too, but not in the same way it has recently. The energy’s been helping me connect certain points about my life, establishing their relationships, and defining what they truly meant to me. Points like friends, family, music, actions, and influences.

I feel the energy steer me into the directions I should take, more and more each day. It seems like it’s the people I’m around that’s brought this energy into the forefront of my recent memories, more-so their lack of doubt, which has seemingly been the root of their successes and travels.

A social difference I always saw, especially growing up in the lower-classes of Auckland, was that wealthier people always thought they were safe, that no matter what happened, they were going to be fine. Even if they were hit by a huge unpredictable bill that’d hurt their finances, they didn’t despair, because they knew the money would return to them. It always did too. They could crash cars, lose phones, get fired or be unemployed for months, but it wouldn’t phase them as much as it would’ve phased me. It seemed as though somehow this attitude is kept them cool and confident, and so naturally, they’d pick up the pieces much better than the poorer would.

It’s like the wealthier are psychologically conditioned to be optimistic, and of course, that optimism always becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The people in my life don’t have financial advantages like the wealthier do, instead they have strong relationships and understandings about who they are as an individual and collective. Those two elements about them seem to strengthen their mentalities rather than weaken it, or discourage them from putting effort into their crafts.

I guess I was always slightly pessimistic, I don’t know if it’s something to do with my personality-type or if it was just upbringing that made me this way, but I always saw the negatives of a situation to sort-of keep me grounded into reality, and stop myself from making brash decisions. There are, however, times where I do take risks but it’s never seemed to be on my own terms, I tended to need a “catalyst” to sort-of inspire me to take that leap of faith.

The energy surrounding me feels as though it’s trying to tell me to let go of that need for a catalyst. I feel like it’s suggesting a possible change of state-of-mind, maybe a possible change in social groups, or maybe a possible change in daily approaches.

Above everything else though, I just wanna thank this energy for helping me see through my recent hardships. The lonely nights, the lonely nights with friends. The nights I argued with myself, the nights I argued with my friends. The nights I lost myself, the nights I lost my friends. etc…

I guess I’m in a better space now but I really wish I could reflect about these times with some of my closest friends, not just for the sake of it, but to also give our friendship a sense of validation too. It’s so easy for people to follow each other on Instagram or add each other on Facebook, but it’s so much harder for me, personally, to create such a strong connection with someone in real life.

I’ve had one-night stands before, but it just feels so so shallow for me, even if it’s mutually understood as “just for fun” between the other person and I. I’ve tried “appreciating” it as something more significant, but at the end of the day, it’s just sex. It’s just meaningless sex, at that. I could talk about how I feel about it some more, but I’ll probably call up Charlotte or Grace this week and ignore what I’ve said. Although, I still concur: there’s just no emotional relation for me to appreciate one-night stands as something it’s really not.

This year is going by more and more rapidly it seems. Sometimes I can’t believe some stuff even happened earlier this year, some of it feels like lifetimes ago, like watching Tame Impala play in Laneway Festival, or Terry and I chipping in halves for a pack of smokes outside the library.

Let your ambitions carry you, your intuitions will follow. No reason to be sad too, summer will be there in enough time for sure. I’ve loved this year so far anyways.





The warmth of Auckland’s coldest nights
Always talked to me with more enthusiasm in her voice
whenever I finished my night in Karangahape Road and the Niterider bus.
She and I exchanged secrets tonight
As we watched the streetlights of her nearby suburbs still shine brightly for no one.
It reminded me of how I looked down on my hometown
From an international flight back to her flat.
I was the city’s global and generational foster child.
As soon as I got home
I drove all over her streets
On a Japanese car named lust
So I could give her purpose and she could give me mine too.
I used to walk her streets as if I was scared of ghosts and criminals
Cosmic slap across the face
We were both the same
I had to learn the hard way.
I brush my teeth nonchalantly after my drive
My gums started bleeding
With the froth of toothpaste filling the inside of my mouth.
Have I really gone old before my time?
Where’d my immortality go?
You only live the life you create for yourself.

Coup De Grâce

It’s been lingering on in my mind;
the sketches I drew on those stick-it notes were still in your flat.
You kept them for yourself,
stored in the drawers of your study desk,
months after I drunkenly conceived them.

I drew similar things back in a depressing college phase.
Most of them were thrown away though.
I wanted to forget about them and everything attached to ’em.
Yet you kept them.

I fucked you because the feelings were mutual that night.
I hurt you because the feelings were gone in the morning after.
At least I thought so.
I treated you that way because of my past.
I grew some prejudices.
I didn’t mean to.

I didn’t realize you were different.
I just thought you were another one:
Another cancer,
Another brown-haired woman,
Another fair-skinned lady,
Another girl.

Well, here’s another something that I’ve made into nothing
And here’s another nothing that I’ve made into something
Can’t just leave it off this way…
I’m blem.
You’re Grace.

I wonder if you even knew it was mine.
Maybe you kept them so you could ask me about them later
when we came back to your flat last night,
or maybe you’d ask me about them in the morning after,
expecting me to still be in bed with you.

Instead, the same thing happened again.
I didn’t leave stick-it note memorabilia this time though,
just a text message thanking you for the night we had.
I didn’t leave a provocative drawing of you this time neither,
just a blank, ambiguous emoji.

In a way, they were the same things.



Drinking $30 of muddy water
hoping to find clarity when I reek
of my Uncle’s remedy and poison
from a 9-5 job and day-to-day life

Up all night thinking about
what happened between us
as I beat myself up again
and crave more clarity

I told myself to let go
I threw away Bic-lighters
and photos of us on my phone
yet here I am again

I always thought it was
me against the world
until I realized it was
only me vs. me