Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SAM PINTO / June Esquire 2013

June Esquire 2013
The Art Issue

because I know I'd be better, #SOON

I try my best to not fuss about my health. Aside from looking like someone who’s throwing a pity-party, it is not also anyone’s business, so I just keep it to myself, most of the time. I have long learned that in life, nobody really cares. We’re all focused with our personal concerns, own insecurities and problems and personal victories that we really are not capable of truly being there for anyone. It is just another fact of human life; we’d never fully understand anyone unless we step into their shoes.
 (PS. am not jaded with LOVE, lols)

So let me be selfish with this post and allow me to think and talk aloud about myself – and my concerns.

It is hard living differently; it is hard being different per se. Much of my thoughts, since the day I have been redirected into a life way too different from the one I have planned, are covered with fear. Day in, day out. I live and breathe fear. Fear of what getting a worse strain after a medication, fear of loosing entirely my vision, fear of being left unattended (I know that sounded irrational, chuckles), fear of being a burden to my family, fear of going though extreme side effects. I fear, a lot - you got the picture.  

Of course I try to be positive and up for the sunny side, but the fact is that, like most afflicted, there is a silent sad retreat to fear – every time we’re confined to ourselves. There is a sad recollection of the things that used to be, when our health has not yet limited our capacity. Sometimes, there is also that sad revision of dreams forgone – all because things are different now.

I am not going to exhaust the average life expectancy – but that does not sadden me, it’s the thought of being not able to do the things I want to – within the length left of me. Every day I pray for strength – for more of which, so that I’d be at least, be able to take full celebration of what’s granted.

I have not lost the gusto to live – although this post might sound a bit sad and melancholic, my heart actually beams with hope. Gratitude for each day lived and hope, dire hope, for a better tomorrow.






Tuesday, May 28, 2013

bye summer. hello rain.

bye summer. 
hello rain.


though I have no power to bask in the sun anymore, 
the bright sunny days are really my favorite days of the year
now's the time again to put on some warmers and sip hot, hot soups

see you soon again summer
'til we meet again

brent tzu

follow me on my twitter account @pilyongBrentTzu

Thursday, May 23, 2013

When Fiction Paints a Wrong Picture…

(What Dan Brown Should Have Known)

In his recent novel, the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demon author, Dan Brown called Manila,
the Philippines' capital city as the gates of hell.

Manila took the lime light, and so did Inferno, his recent work.

And although it has been written as a fiction, a form of literary entertainment; I can’t help but ask; has it not crossed the line?

Let me think aloud…

Fiction is but another form of literature that seeks to free a person’s point of view. It is a tale-tell of how a person sees the world, wrapped in the assumed and the created world of make belief. Fiction is the adult’s form of fairy-tales. It is our own version of monsters, villains, heroes and happy-ever-afters.

But like all other stories of fairies and dragons and monsters and Prince Charmings; fiction seeks inspiration from real life. It is a dream, inspired by our own realities.

So is the use and depiction of actual cities (take Vatican and Manila) in fiction somewhat a transgression of this make belief and reality?

Thing is, it is not. Reality inspires fiction. We inspire fantasy.

BUT there is a thin line between depicting a real story, a real, tangible character, and a breathing city with depicting a fictional persona or a make-believe city. This is why the likes of Narnia and The Capitol (of Hunger Games) are far more ‘real’ in our minds, because we share a common understanding of what it is.

Our biases taint our view of real and actual persons, places and ideas.

It is also murder to depict a real person or a place in ways below or beyond its worth. It is like painting yet again the beauty of Mona Lisa – in strokes and colors of your choice. It does not and will not give justice to the real thing. It will fail in comparison.

Thus to attempt to tell of a city’s glory (or gore) is to immerse oneself into the depths of its alleys, to experience its noise and music, to bask in its warmth and coldness. To tell of a city’s life is to seek its heart, to KNOW ITS PEOPLE. 

Yes Manila is not a perfect place to be. It has lots of things that even I dread of seeing (or experiencing) but Dan Brown in his Inferno is not able to fully depict Manila the way it is now. It has grown up and moved on from the sex-and-gangs era. The time of Asiong Salonga has long been gone. Yes traffic and pollution is there. But that does not give one the right to call it a gateway to hell.

To describe our beloved Manila
(and I quote from your book)…

 "When the group settled in among the throngs in the city of Manila--the most densely populated city on earth--Sienna could only gape in horror. She had never seen poverty on this scale." 
… I’d say, Sienna has not seen much of the world, huh?

Too much for an adjective, too much Dan.

Fiction is and fiction will be, but the story lacks substance now given the fact that it is based on an exaggerated view of a city he has not even been into.

Manila would never be understood unless experienced.

A little dare Mr. Brown,
Come and see for yourself, who knows, you might like the gates of hell.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I graduated from Ateneo, and yes am saying that with a proud voice.

But after almost a year of working a day job, with a minimum wage in a city that I, day in and day out, hope am not living in, it has been clear to me, that a college degree (and an affluent and rather sheltered background) does not define the person that we are – more so, the person that we would become.

I stumbled upon GooglePlus a video edition of a commencement speech of a guy am not even so sure who, but is able to make a point so valid and true that I can’t help but share.

Watch the video first before continuing reading…

Knowledge is not everything. 
It is awareness that would turn life into the direction we have always wanted, but fail to reach because of our default ‘my-world-my-needs-my-rules-my-way’ view.

A good educational background, a comfortable and sheltered family live, and yes, even financial security during our younger years might have made us far more ego and self centered, that we fail to see the world the way it should be seen.

It has been and would always be a wonderful place, 
full of colors and possibilities, no matter what 
– so, let’s breathe a while, and see.

And yes, remind ourselves, that #ThisIsWater

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I don’t feel any taboo towards suicide. Sometimes, it is simply a brave surrender, a humble acceptance that things are supposed to end at that very moment. I have been and would always be a fan of Paulo Coelho’s Veronica Decides To Die.

I don’t see death as something that is to fear, especially once you have come at peace with yourself, your world and whoever you conceive your creator to be.

A family member took his own life a number of hours ago, and I went through his facebook account just now, and found his last three statuses quite assuring – and comforting.

Amidst the pain of losing someone, to know that he(she) might have come at peace with himself before his last hours is somehow comforting.

 Last smoke before I go bro!

Smoke almost done in a few seconds it'll be dark

Lights out .. Peace out ... Ian out..#realtalk



Rest well man, ‘til we meet again.

Birthday Cakes and Suicide Letters

There are things in life that, perhaps, we will never really understand – no matter how hard we try. There are things that are never meant to me answered, things never meant to be questioned, to be asked. These are things that we accept – things we hug and dearly take, no matter the pain.

Today is my youngest niece’s 1st birthday. It has been planned that come this Saturday, we’d throw the conventional birthday party that kids turning one would usually get. But baby Hannah won’t this time.

As much as we would like to celebrate life and the joy of having her in ours, it would be improper to raise a Martini and say kampai (cheers) with a grieving heart.

My eldest extended pamangkin (nephew) on my sis-in-law’s side just took his own life. The news came to me just before I tucked myself to sleep last night. It was just a few hours (Canadian time) after he was found – cold and lifeless.


On days like this, it would be improper to ask why. It would even be inappropriate to say everything’s gonna be okay, because things are not. In the coming days the family would be busy and the drag of giving him the last rites he deserves would probably consume most of the time.

And then when things are back to normal, or at least to how it is supposed to be. Only then, questions would be answered – or at least tried to be; only then would tears become really painful.

Was it a brave surrender? Or was it a plain loss of hope? Was it something he has wanted or was it something that life itself has pushed him into? Was he sad in the last breathe he took? Or was he thankful that it would be the last?

You know what is more painful? It’s could we have done a thing to make it not happen?

Thing is, we’ll never know. Everybody dies – some with their own hands. What matters now is the life he has lived; the joy he has imparted, the moments of love he has shared with those special to him and everything sunny he has had. Pain would be there, but I believe in the beauty of every individual – and the life he (had) live(d).

To yet another brave man I know…
… cheers to life! (and yes, death)   



Monday, May 13, 2013

because am going to die…

I do believe that I would die young, well at least younger than my peers. I won’t be throwing a pity-me party on this post, but pardon me for sounding like am. For the record, I am not.
I simply would like to share my thoughts… 

on life – and on death.

I have stumbled upon a blog last week that has an interesting title, because am going to die. 

The sick guy in me assumed that perhaps he might me like those I know, sick and dying, thus are seriously writing in the hope of immortalizing themselves, or at least the memory of the simple short life they have lived – or maybe, just for mere expression.

Turned out he was not, is not.

It is weird actually to hear a guy talking about the possibility of death – without having befriended a life-threatening experience. Or perhaps, he has – and am simply assuming he has none. Bottom line, he sees life in a perspective that’s uncommon – and that’s cool, if not dorkish and weird.

On my way to work today, waking up from a rather dull weekend, I was thinking about how ‘normal’ is. I was wondering how is it to live ‘normal’. I was even pondering on the thought that people could really not understand, unless cancer becomes a part of the family, until death becomes a friend. People would sympathize, but they would never understand the fear guys like me have, they would never understand the profundity of loss – until it is them who have lost. So how would I be understood?

I was bugged by these thoughts and I was, am pretty much disturbed.

Dreams are fun, but if you are not assured of yet another day, dreams can sometimes be burdensome. There are times that it is best to stay and lay still – breathe and fall asleep in the comfort that perhaps the next day would be better.

This guy talks about life – and death, like he has been touched by the fear of loss, befriended by death and yes, awakened everyday by the possibility of dying. He can understand my thoughts – am guessing. And that gives me hope – that possibly someone out there would understand. Somebody would relate and see the real story behind my tale-telling.

And so today, I breathe in extra inspiration…

.. cheers to live, or at least to today. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

you would always be my super mom

12 years of celebrating mother's day without you...
and each year, though the pain slowly subsides...
my love for you would always be the same.

I am still your little boy,
and you would always be my super mom.

happy mother's day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

to grow old with...

What I Learned In Life Is //

What I learned in life is
a poem by  by Paulo Coelho


What I learned in life is,
That no matter how good a person is,
sometimes they can hurt you & because of this we must forgive.

It takes years to build trust and only seconds to destroy it ..
We don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change..

The circumstances and the environment influence on our lives,
but we are the one who responsible for ourselves..

That you have to control your acts or they will control you..
That patience requires much practice.. that there are people who love us,
but simply don’t know how to show it..

That sometimes the person you think will hurt you and make you fall..
Is instead one of the few who will help you to get up..

You should never tell a child that dreams are fake, it would be a tragedy if they knew..
It’s not always enough to be forgiven by someone,
in most cases you have to forgive yourself first..

That no matter in how many pieces your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop to fix it ..
May be God wants us to meet all the wrong people first before meeting the right one..
So when we finally meet the right one we are grateful for that gift ..

When the door of happiness closes, another door opens..
but often we look so long at the closed one.. we don’t see what was open for us ..

The best kind of a friend is the kind in which you can sit on a porch and walk…
Without saying a word & when you leave it feels it was the best conversation you ever had.

It’s true we don’t know what we have until we find it, but its also true,
we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives..

It only takes a minute to offend someone, an hour to like someone,
a day to love someone, but it takes a life time to forget someone.

Don’t look for appearances, they can be deceiving, don’t go for wealth even that can fade,
Find someone who makes you smile, because it only takes a smile to make a day better,
find what makes your heart smile..

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much..
that you wish you can take them out of your dream and hug them for real..

Dream what you want, go wherever you want to go.. because you have only one life..
and one change to do the things you want to do ..

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything,
they just make the best of everything that comes their way.

The best future is based on the forgotten past..
You can’t go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

and this poem has made it into my deepest prayers

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


shows off with this oh-lala gown

Well, am out of words. 
What do you think folks?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Passports and Past Lives

We live different lives now, apparently.

Although I am aware that after Ateneo things would change. Have I imagined that it would be like this? No. The two past years have been harsh. I have never expected that my life would turn around – so fast and so drastic, not even tears could appease my wounded soul.

Last weekend, I have been reminded, yet again, of my status. Reminded that, things have changed and the past has passed and our lives have come to the point where we part ways.

My best friend has a life way different with mine now. Although it is not right to ask her to ‘wait’ as I fix myself and prepare to bounce back, the feeling of being left behind is just so hard to bear. Because of my health condition, I had to let go of many things. Work opportunities, travel and getaways, night outs and many others.    


I used to dream of going to Batanes with a very special friend. But since things have changed, I had to let go of that dream. And now, yet again, I have to let go of another. She has to chase her dreams, see more places and yes, stamp more countries on her passport. 

While I, have to recuperate and hope and pray that I totally become better.

Past Lives

If there is something I have picked up from my recent facilitating stint at the Ateneo, that would be, LIFE IS AS EASY AS ABC. Awareness bridges Change. It is only after one becomes aware that change shall occur. The dreams we have made are far gone, those are but parts of my past life. And since things have changed, since my health condition has limited me, so shall my dreams. This should not stop me from dreaming though, only, I should revise my goals and make them work within the situation that I am at – now.

People come and go – and the world turns. So it is not right to cling on the past and hope that everything planned would go our way. Let’s celebrate life, day in, day out. 

Keep dreams in our hearts – but change them as we go along the way. 

The adventure is far more fun, when we stir the wheels out of the road.

Have a great Tuesday guys!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Turn Down

I turned downed a guy days ago...
and, though I wish not to further elaborate,
I'd like to share some of the lines I gave away that night.

( Can you love someone knowing that you will lose him in the end? )

( If you know that you'll get hurt, or hurt someone. Then why still try? Sometimes, He who knows how to surrender is braver. )

have a happy week ahead!
hugs xOx