Dear Ninang

You were Pops’ oldest sibling and the one assigned to be my God parent,

I was aware of your presence on the family tree but interactions before elementary remained kinda fuzzy,

Met you for the first time five years after we’d migrated, I was eleven and English had become my first language,

Unrecognisable, maybe, from the kid you once knew, and the language barrier was a minor issue,

Back then you seemed kinda strict, not the type to be trifled with,

A veteran in the field of parenting, seen and heard every excuse and act of mischief,

Yet beneath it all lay a core of warmth and you were generous to a tee,

Granted us lodgings whenever we visited, unfazed about additional mouths to feed,

Cooked us meals during morning, day and night while attending to daily life,

Taking care of Grandma and running the home and family business, tell us, Ninang, how’d you ever do it?

Encountered obstacles growing up yet you knocked ‘em all, no wonder Pops spoke of you in reverential tones,

Clearly admired his big sister, the one who soldiered on even when the years took their toll.

Reunited five years later, another trip home in my mid-teens,

Your façade softened slightly, the disciplinarian replaced by one more grandmotherly,

Yet your generosity remained intact, the passage of time ain’t diluting that,

Still didn’t suffer fools, though, the grandkids found out fast!

I remembered the trip’s conclusion, you and Grandma shed tears,

Wondering, maybe, when we’ll return if ever, no such thing as guarantees,

We’d meet again, Ninang, but not until thirteen years,

Had plenty of growing to do, conquered school and university then joined the workforce, too,

A family reunion was on, 100 years since grandpa was born,

Grandma had passed, me and the grandkids had all grown,

You’d reached septuagenarian status then but remained sharp mentally,

Another surprise lay in store for me, that you’d learned a bit of English,

Also cooked up a generous serve of the dish that pops said I liked best,

Widened our lines of communication and kept me well-fed, tell me, what’d I do to deserve it?

Getting up in age but you remained and elite-level hostess, keeping us housed and comfortable while still maintaining the family business,

Travelled back two years later, this time for Grandma’s 100th

Glad to have spent additional time with you as you traversed through life’s sunset,

Another teary good-bye followed, perhaps more painful than the others,

The years are adding up, time’s forever marching.

Hoped to meet again, that was the plan anyway,

Caught up in life and ambitions, a health scare the icing on the cake,

Fate intervened just when it seemed all was in the clear,

Borders locked up by Covid 19, brought the entire world to its knees,

The beast still out there though significantly weakened, progress made in subtle ways but can’t be hasty when reopening,

Prayed for your continued good health, another meeting was way past due,

Then heard from folks back home, some not-so-great news,

The Lord had started calling, you delayed the inevitable for a time,

Before you earned your wings then ascended towards the sky.

But while we mourn your passing there’s a sense of comfort over the end of your suffering,

That it’s a beautiful world up there to where you are going,

It’s a testament to the way you’d lived, that your deeds would not be soon forgotten,

The kids and grandkids, they are missing you, the next generation, too, are missing you,

Rest In Peace, Ninang, it was your time to go,

Though face-to-face was limited, your love I’ll always remember it, glad it was you whom Mom and Pops chose,

Maybe we can chop it up sometime, catch up like we should have years before,

In a manner with no barriers, for now fly high and soar, happily up there with the Lord.

Energy Wasted

Woke up nice and early, around seven in the morning,

Dusk has settled, here comes the sun, it’s slowly rising,

Stretched out the limbs, grinning from ear-to-ear,

That time of the week again, five days later it’s finally here,

Went through the day’s itinerary, mentally, lots of fun to be had, naturally,

Looking forward to parking in front of a screen, controller in hand,

You might call it boring, lame and uninteresting, but for yours truly it’s a recipe for a perfect weekend,

Messing ‘round with Little Sis and watching some tube, washing away the nasty aftertaste of school,

Typical weekend for nine-year old me, don’t mind staying here forever, where life is simple and carefree,

Then it hits like a Mike Tyson uppercut, the sudden realisation,

Jumped the gun three days too early, Hump Day’s just beginning,

Plans for a day of leisure canned, just like that, still got three days of hard graft, that’s just the facts,

Up and at ‘em, Lad, time to go to school,

Off to the showers then, feeling like a prized fool.

Hocus Pocus Track


Catchphrase coined by Nicholson in The Shining, can’t believe he ad-libbed it,

Spoke volumes of his genius as a thespian but that ain’t what we’re looking at,

Happened to be sampled into some dance track back in ‘96, Hocus Pocus made a killing as it lit up clubs, pubs, amusement parks and roller skating rinks,

Speaking of which, your boy right here was quite the beast in them blades,

Early-day wobbles were inevitable, but with practice and persistence wheeled around for days,

Still swimming and practicing karate, achieved green belt status with the latter,

Though time brought about waning interests that had me looking towards greener pastures,

Same could be said of cartoons once enjoyed in early youth, double-digits bringing changes in tastes,

Still retaining the spirit of a gamer, some habits won’t be abandoned in haste,

Music also invading personal interests, the seeds done been planted,

Gonna take some time, though, before the trees grow and blossom.


Eleventh year on the planet wasn’t half-bad,

Sure, it had its moments, but overall it truly kicked ass,

Learned about The Goldrush at school, the good, bad and the ugly,

Culminated in a field trip to Bathurst, panned for gold but great rewards remained pure fantasy,

Lunchtime hijinks with the boys, playing soccer at the park,

Why they kept putting me as goalie is a mystery, clearly I was nothing short of sucky,

Learned the Macarena as part of the curriculum, not sure for what reason,

To keep us active, I guess, and at least it got us out the classroom,

Tamagotchi craze was on, virtual pets got kids fretting,

Served as class distractions back then like how social media is in the present,

Video gaming sessions on Friday and weekend afternoons were highlights every week,

Mulling over it in class, daily, got me drifting into daydreams,

Even that aspect of life evolved, out with the PC and onto the SNES,

Graphics were sick for its time, now guaranteed to be outdated as hell,

Took some time to watch the Olympic games on TV, two weeks in all,

Remaining oblivious to the magnitude of it all, though felt good whenever our nation won gold.


Also celebrated a friend’s birthday at Intensity,

Had a great time though admittedly that one almost slipped out of memory,

Took a trip back to the motherland, five years after migrating Down Under,

Keen to experience it as a pre-teen, hopped on the plane fit to burst like a fire cracker,

Reunited with extended fam, even some I ain’t met before,

Jolibee never tasted so good, oh what fun it was to explore,

Shame about the language barrier, Tagalog wiped by five years living overseas,

Felt like an alien in my own birthplace, triggering confusion over true identities,

The heat was a motherfucker, don’t recall it being this hot,

All in all it was fun times, always a thrill to travel abroad.


Took a beach trip with friends and fam, frolicked in the waves,

Still time to kill in the afternoon, plenty of time to strap on the blades,

Gliding across concrete following a refreshing swim,

Can’t compare to gaming but all in all a great time, still,

Still took the occasional trips to Wonderland despite interests dipping,

The thrill of it somehow fading, gaps between visits widening,

Growing pains evident, subtle spurts of the not-so-flattering kind,

Voice remained Minnie Mouse-like, body looking as though fuelled by pork rinds,

I’m talking round gut and little boy-titties, so much for the swimming and karate,

How the fuck did we get here? Just five years prior was praying mantis-skinny,

Looking back twenty-plus years later had a sudden realisation,

The page was slowly turning, teen years beckoned, gonna be a hell of a transition,

One year ago was carefree as could be, how can one year make a difference?

It’s still out there in the distance but nevertheless felt its imminence,

This year then the next before childhood’s end,

Gotta make the most of it, it’s rough and choppy seas ahead.

Dear Angry Lonely Man

Here we go again, you’re huffing mad and triggered again,

Over something innocuous, just a couple doing things, still got your noggin steamin’,

He came straight out of a Disney film, the one that gets the princess in the end,

She shared your physical characteristics, their very presence sent you spinning right ‘round the bend,

Your id racing into overdrive, powering the darkest corners of your mind,

Staring at ‘em bitterly, hurling assumptions telephatically, same recycled labels that you play with on the daily,

That he’s led by his fetish, that she’s only after his money, that he’s a creep and a pervert, that she’s drowning in self-hatred,

The media did you dirty, apparently, that’s why she and others like her run towards westerners,

Stereotyping killed your chances, mocked dudes like you for your faces, speech patterns and the size of certain appendages,

From there it’s a slippery slope says you, now all other females are swerving you and your brothers,

It’s a whole new level of rejection, a special type of betrayal,

Castrated by media and popular opinion, cucked by the female of your species,

On some level your resentment’s understandable but truthfully you’re your own worst enemy,

If your assumptions are legit then others like you ain’t shit,

Surprise surprise, many are flying with a co-pilot and some are even swirling,

It’s not just luck and they ain’t the exception, don’t overlook the power of self-confidence,

So much for that crutch you’re carrying, that they with a fairer complexion are stealing all your women,

Ever checked the mirror lately? Therein lies the first of your problems,

When’s the last time you took a shower? You look more doughboy than Adonis,

Electricity bill must be poppin’, total screen time surpassing epic proportions,

What’s it like living on instant noddles? Sleeping less than 2 hours?

Who the fuck are you to demand their time and attention when you ain’t putting in the effort?

Miss ‘em with your entitlement, a one-sided union ain’t worth exploring,

No wonder you ain’t getting any, you need to re-evaluate your priorities,

Sit down, we ain’t done yet, time to hit you with a brutal dose of reality.

Females ain’t checking for an angry lonely man, that’s just real spit,

Got one life to live, Bro, how do you plan on spending it?

While you’re judging and pointing fingers your hypocrisy’s lighting countless embers,

You’re making mad incel losers of yourself and your fellow brothers,

It’s ironic how you rail at being mocked, judged and stereotyped while doing the same to girls and the types of guys they like,

You don’t know their story, not that it’s any of your concern,

Some might corroborate your bullshit accusations, but for the most part they just happen to meet, fall in love and exchange ‘I do’s’ at a park, beach or the altar,

What of girls that are faithful for lack of a better term? Will you lump ‘em with so-called self-haters?

Bet you will anyway, that stems from your defeatist attitude and lack of self-awareness,

And what of the dudes that look like you who are winning, could’ve been held back by the same labels that are haunting ya,

They weren’t hearing it, they defied it, went about their business and came up triumphant,

You could learn something from ‘em rather than mope around dragging leg irons,

You won’t achieve catch of the day status while voluntarily trapped in your self-imposed prison,

Focus on your own damn grass and quit peeking into other peoples’ yards,

Don’t like the hand that which you’d been dealt? Quit bitching and change the motherfucking cards,

And if she ain’t feeling ya due to shallow and prejudiced reasons, forget her and move on, there’s plenty of fish in the ocean,

Each individual is entitled to their choice of partners and yes, you’re included,

You too can be a baller, but there’s only one way to achieve it,

Work on your damn self and polish your game, nothing good comes out of entitlement,

Might have to grind harder than others but suck it up and get on with it,

Acquire new skills, set some goals, improve your vocabulary, fix your habits and be healthy, no rush just move along steadily,

No one said you had to openly compete with others, eyes down and focus on your business, tell ‘em via the noise generated from your successes,

Then before you know it you’re turning heads, what once held you back rendered inconsequential,

Here’s where you’re rewarded for rising above limitations and labels,

Feels good to be with someone with whom you’re compatible, doesn’t it? To go through life with no limits or excuses, never mind needless burdens,

To hell with circumstances and fuck the rules, a better life is waiting,

The sky’s the limit, level up and watch your story unfold as you want it.