Hello readers. It’s been a while; 2016’s come and gone (thank God) and I’m back with a vengeance.
I survived the Christmas break, and I managed to squeeze some travel plans in between the parties and the ditzy soirees.
Yesterday I visited Valencia for the first time. Valencia’s a small town, a short 20 minutes’ ride from Dumaguete. And it has two of the most amazing waterfalls I’ve seen, namely Casaroro and Pulangbato (literally Red Rock)
Getting to Casaroro was a bit of a challenge. You have to go down a steep flight of stairs. We had to traverse some rocks and streams (and we had to deal with some pretty strong currents too) to get there, but boy was it magical.
Pulangbato was smaller in comparison, but it was just as serene.
Here are some photos from the trek.
Continue reading “Chasing Waterfalls: Casaroro and Pulangbato”
“I tried to change
Closed my mouth more
Tried to be soft, prettier
Fasted for 60 days
Abstained from mirrors
Abstained from sex
Slowly did not speak another word
And that time my hair grew past my ankles
I slept on a mat on the floor
I swallowed a sword
Into the basement
Confessed my sins
And was baptized in a river
Got on my knees and said, “Amen”
And said, “I mean”
I whipped my own back
And asked for dominion at your feet
I threw myself into a volcano
I drank the blood and drank the wine
I sat alone in begged and bent at the waist for God
I crossed myself and thought
I saw the devil
I grew thickened skin on my feet
I bathed in bleach
And plugged my menses with the pages from the holy book
But still inside me coiled deep was the need to know
Are you cheating on me?”
–Denial, Lemonade (Beyoncé)
Photography by Teegee Villanueva.
Photography by Teegee Villanueva, All rights reserved 2016
the cross lingers
high above the confessional
it looms, leering
And beneath it, the cavity
where the voice of the consecrated profligate speaks
with an urgency not immediately divine;
the man speaks with the urgency of a shrew
what is your name, priest?
what are your sins
have you confessed them to the Lord
professed servility to the word?
Did you consume a rosary
plug your arteries, with pages from the Holy Book
apologized to the angels
offered a sacrifice, crucified a child
You are made of the same flesh
infested by the same wiles, marked by the same sins
who are you to judge?
–Poetry and photography by Teegee Villanueva
in between my lips
in hers, the hollow afterglow
a whimper, a song, a sigh of great relief
Billy Idol plays on the radio
Elizabeth lays in bed
her head heavy, bowed down
her body entangled over mine
she emerges from her second baptism,
distraught and yearning for a river
She rises swiftly from the precipice
and dons her favorite yellow dress,
She thanks me for my kindness
I thank her for her service
I call my wife on the telephone
I tell her everything’s alright.
–Poetry by Teegee Villanueva, photography by Teegee Villanueva
I sit at cafes, observing the goings-on of the bored. There’s a woman outside, eating madeleines on the fly; she’s distracted by something on her little magic box; totally unaware of the world. When did people become so mindless, when did a cigarette become a means to escape, a means to forget, to pass time when time drawls on listlessly. I thought smoking was glamorous, something only the really rich enjoyed between gossip and cups of cafe au lait.
Continue reading “The Bored (Photography)”
I summon you now
Not to think of
The ceaseless battle
With pain and ill health,
The frailty and the anguish.
No, today I remember
Continue reading “Mother (Photography)”
Peter old friend
we are only human
we are made of dust
from Adam’s soil: ashes
creatures of chance
unable to cope
unable to see
blind to the world
and the bridges put forth before us,
we are damned
to suffer, one way or another
to rest everlasting, to end.
But we are glorious
even when we come undone
and the world will always remember
the songs we wrote
for Alice, for Emma
for women we do not even know
–Words by Teegee Villanueva
Unravel: as they come
A funeral march
A coffin, a hammer
A nail and a kiss
A sip from a poisoned chalice
Do I put myself through this?
I am trapped and isolated
Four white walls enclose me,
Vibrating with an ever quickening pulse;
The floors catch my menses
And the tear that refuses to fall
I am tired, black death
I am a specter without a name
Floating amongst the living:
Listless among the dead
Painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, words by Teegee Villanueva
I stare at my reflection
in the mirror that you gave me
I cannot forget when you were last inside me
your love was a curse .
And I cannot forget the first night
we spent together–you and me, in the room
in the space we called our home
when you said goodnight
when I gave good head and meant it–
but your youth always alarmed me.
You remind me of my father, a liar
lies all lies, until the angels took his life
his tongue, an instrument
to please a missus who wasn’t his wife;
like my father, you broke my heart
and like my father, I forgave you
but like my mother, I will always remember
the lie you said in September.