The Beauty of Ugly.

Oftentimes, we only see the most obvious… what is apparent.

When regarding beauty, for example, we normally (stress on the “normally”) stop at appreciating what is in front of us without considering the hows, the whys and the what ifs connected to it.

In short, our view of things — of people, of events, and even of opinions — is usually (again, stress on the “usually”) one-dimensional and incomplete.

Halimbawa, beautiful things often hide an ugly side; a side that, nevertheless, is integral to the beauty of the thing being considered. Meaning, were it possible to remove that ugly element, the beauty of the thing will be diminished, maybe irreversibly.

So we may just need to accept both beauty and ugliness at the same time.

Consider this scene (a recent photograph I took of the Manila skyline from atop Antipolo). The diffused light and blended shades of orange, red, grey, black and white only happens because of the air pollution that permanently blankets the metropolis. Sweep away that haze of toxic and noxious fumes and you are left with a harsh vista, a palette of clashing colors, and a migraine-inducing view where severe contrasts is the order of the day.

Only views like these — where beauty and ugliness are blended into one indistinguishable mesh — can evoke love, song and art in the hearts of people.

I choose Beauty and Ugliness, both at the same time.

The Beauty of Ugly.

Gary Granada’s Last Album

I still can’t believe that Gary Granada is going to stop making music.

Graduation” album na daw niya ang Basurero ng Luneta.

Pero mukhang totoo nga.

Hindi naman kasi bolerong tao si Gary.

Kaya, salamat for the more than 30 years and the more than 300 Songs that you have given to the Filipino People, Gary!

At salamat din pala for the complimentary Album.


Sa mga nais lumangoy sa dagat ng musika ni Gary Granada, pwedeng mag-download (ng LIBRE) sa kanyang official website.

Gary Granada’s Last Album


Sa isang banda’y tama ka kaibigan
nang iyong sabihin na ako’y may diperensiya
na ako’y may sakit
na ako’y may problema

Marahil ay napansin mong ako’y nahihirapan.
nahihirapang makitungo sa di ko katulad
nahihirapang makisama sa di ko kapalad
Ilag sa ilang mas malabo sa sarili
Ilag sa karamihang puro walang sinabi

Tama ka kaibigan, gayon nga ako
Ngunit isang bagay lang ang dapat liwanagin
nang ang di-pagkakaintindiha’y wag mamagitan sa atin
Ako nga’y may diperensiya, ngunit kontento sa sarili
Ako nga’y may sakit, ngunit ayokong gumaling

MALAYA ako kaibigan, mamamatay akong may ngiti sa mga labi.


No more.

No more gnashing of teeth I say

To my poor, rent soul

No more.


No more shedding of tears I pray

For past things

Gone things

For “can’t fix anymore” things

No more.


No more crying for spilt milk I tell

My pitiful, doleful, pain-filled self

No more.


No more sad things

Bad things

I’m sorry about that, dad” things

No more.


Start living now, you

Mad thing

I hope you were a little more glad” thing, you.


No more.

how did it feel?

How did it feel, friend, when your open palm struck across his face and scattered his streaming, salty tears across the pavement?

Was it as good for you the way it wasn’t for him?

How did it feel, brother, when your righteous wrath drove your arms to smash his head through your car’s windshield and onto the backseat?

Were you ecstatic in your triumph the way he was reduced to nothingness by his fear and the piss running down his legs?

How did it feel, comrade, when your anger and hate allowed you to smash his head in with a rock oblivious to his cries for mercy and groans of pain?

Did the anger go away?

How does it feel now, tols, after the rush is gone and the damage already done?

Are you as relieved now as you were that fateful night when you saw him stagger away from you, bloodied and broken, but still alive?

I envy you. I envy you the way the way a weakling envies someone of power and strength.

I pity you. I pity you the way a friend pities a troubled friend.

I understand you. I understand you the way someone who has felt the same anger and hate understands himself.

I, too, sometimes crave the rush of the kill.

(1999, March)

how did it feel?