Alternate Realities (or Alice Thinks “Deep Thoughts” While Typhoon Odette Rages in Region II)

So suppose this is all a dream, and this life is not really my life but the life inside a dream which is inside a dream ad infinitum. Hey  I watched that movie!  Leo was there and the ending was so groan-inducing, the whole movie-house just expelled a collective “Arrrgh” when the screen faded and that spinning top kept on spinning.

The best reality would be the one where  my father stayed and didn’t marry his white American wife. I think I have 2 siblings but, I barely know them … one of them friended me on Facebook. I will still have to decide what to do about that.

A better reality would be the one where my mother was not such a fragile dimwit that she would die of cancer when I was only 12.

I am not saying this reality is completely shitty. No, of course not. Lola and Auntie Cherry would raise their eyebrows at me if I said that. So, no Lola, Auntie, my alternate-reality-musings have nothing to do with you, not at all. Though, if I were to re-script your life grandma, I would have made it so that Lolo did not consume as much pork fat and beef as he had; since now we know that his cholesterol-bingeing probably was the main reason why he had that stroke.


It’s raining outside; there is actually a typhoon (again) and the winds are literally howling. The weird thing is, sometimes the sun would peek a little and it will all be shiny and warm, but the rain won’t stop.

The tikbalang.  Image from

The tikbalang. Image from

Why is that, I wonder? Lolo said — before he had the stroke — that when it rains while the sun is shining, that means that tikbalangs are getting married. Tikbalangs are local monsters/demons, sort of a cross between horse and human — like centaurs; only, tikbalangs have the head of a horse and the body of a human, something like that.


Last night, he called the house.

Which is crazy because I didn’t give him my home number. Kim most probably is the culprit and she will have to answer to me when I get back to Manila.

So there was chatting, small talk, yada, yada. No … not phone sex, pleeasee! He’s not that type of  guy (ha ha, or so I think!)

He said that, tomorrow is September 21, anniversary of Martial Law. 

martial law decraled

The President, who married a First Lady with an obsession for shoes, put my country under Martial Law in 1972. In fairness to Marcos — and other monsters like Sauron and Hitler — were it not for them, the Fellowship of the Ring, the state of Israel and People Power would probably have been confined to an alternate reality. Or maybe not, who knows?

I said, and so?

There’s going to be this concert in the Folk Arts Theater, around 7. And would I like to go?

With you?

No, with Noel Cabangon. For god’s sake. Of course, with me.

If my alternate self was listening — the one who would willingly drop her panties if Jonas asked her to at  this moment — she would have screamed and shaken me ten times by now for giving him such a hard time. My alternate self doesn’t believe in playing hard to get.  Well, tough shit! She’s not the one in charge.

Okay, I say, I’ll arrive in my apartment this afternoon, hopefully, if there won’t be any flooding.

He said that there is some drizzle and winds in Taft Avenue but the chances of heavy rainfall is just about 20%.

Said who?


I see. And then I decided to be frank. It’s easy to do that when you’re on the phone and several provinces away. Just to be clear here, is this like a 4th date?

Alice, you are the one who is fixated on labels. You can call it anything you want.

I thought I could see him rolling his eyes on the other side of the phone.

And I couldn’t help it, but I had to smile — just when the rusty roof of our kitchen gave in to the rushing winds of the oncoming storm and flew to god-knows-where.


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