My Friend

My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear—a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence.

The “I” in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.

I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what I do—for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and my deeds thy own hopes in action.

When thou sayest, “The wind bloweth eastward,” I say, “Aye it doth blow eastward“; for I would not have thee know that my mind doth not dwell upon the wind but upon the sea.

Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have thee understand. I would be at sea alone.

When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet even then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and of the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thou canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating against the stars—and I fain would not have thee hear or see. I would be with night alone.

When thou ascendest to thy Heaven I descend to my Hell—even then thou callest to me across the unbridgeable gulf, “My companion, my comrade,” and I call back to thee, “My comrade, my companion“—for I would not have thee see my Hell. The flame would burn thy eyesight and the smoke would crowd thy nostrils. And I love my Hell too well to have thee visit it. I would be in Hell alone.

Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and Righteousness; and I for thy sake say it is well and seemly to love these things. But in my heart I laught at thy love. Yet I would not have thee see my laughter. I would laugh alone.”

My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art perfect—and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously. And yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone.

My friend, thou art not my friend, but how shall I make thee understand? My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, hand in hand.

Excerpt From

The Madman

Khalil Gibran

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The Mystery Blogger Award

It’s been a crazy busy week for me and today I finally have a little time to post something, so I’ll take this opportunity to thank Daniele Corbo of https://ormesvelate.com for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award.

Here’s what the Mystery Blogger Award is all about. This is an award created by Okota Enigma. The rules for this award are:

Put the award logo/image on your blog.

List the rules.

Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.

Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

Here are three things about myself:

1. My name is MG and I live in Cebu City, Philippines.

2. I love to travel and I have another blog exclusively for my travels, the smalltimejetsetter.wordpress.com.

3. This blog, cogitoesoterica, is a secret blog that my friends don’t know about.😄

And here are my nominees in no particular order. They are all very interesting blogs.

Floatinggold

Jeanny Lakwatchera

abetterman21

Emmanuel Rockan

Overthehillontheyellowbrickroad

Viola Bleu

Candice, This Made Me Smile Today

Intrepidiam

Srijan

Yuulye

Once again thank you so much Daniele Corbo for the nomination. And thank you as well to all my followers. I’d also like to thank Jeanny Lakwatchera of https://jeannyitgirl.wordpress.com for the Blogger Appreciation Award nomination a few days ago. Please bear with me for not posting about it since I was really busy these past few days. I’m currently preparing for a trip abroad this coming Saturday. So my dear friends, please bear with me if I won’t be able to read your posts in the next few days in case I will have issues connecting to the internet.😄

See you soon!

Change Has Come!

There are three things that are certain in this world: death, change, and taxes. I’ll talk about the last two in this post.

Taxpayers all over the Philippines are now rejoicing over the recently implemented tax reform law by President Rodrigo Duterte. Income taxes have been reduced significantly, and many people will not be paying income taxes anymore. I received my first pay for the year the other day and I was shocked to see how much money I was able to save from taxes, which is more than half of the usual amount. It’s the best thing that ever happened in this country for as long as I can remember. All hail President Duterte.

I don’t mind paying taxes because I know the country needs it. But I can’t help complaining when I’m paying too much and I’m not getting anything out of it. The only government property I’m using are the bad roads with equally bad sidewalks that are sometimes imaginary. Police and traffic enforcers are nowhere to be seen. Police response to a crime is at least 30 minutes, even when the police station is only 200 meters away from the crime scene. And I’m not kidding. My boyfriend, who doesn’t pay taxes because he doesn’t have a job, tells me that I should be grateful to be living in a peaceful country. Easy for him to say since he did not come from Mindanao. For those of you who are not familiar with the island of Mindanao, it’s one of the major islands of the Philippines and it’s located in the south of the country, home to Islamic terrorist groups and insurgents. My hometown is in Northern Mindanao, which is safe compared to the rest of the island. However, my family used to live in a military camp, the largest in Mindanao. My father was in the army and fought terrorists in the jungles of Southern Mindanao for almost twenty years, and so I grew up in the camp. Now he’s retired and lucky to still be alive, but years of jungle warfare had taken its toll on his health. I grew up with friends and neighbors who lost their fathers and brothers in the endless battles of Mindanao, so don’t tell me that I live in a peaceful country.

Going back to the change in taxes, I would like to mention my gratitude to the man who was able to make it happen, President Rodrigo Duterte, the same man who rose to fame and notoriety for his war on drugs and his careless tirades. But I won’t be talking about the war on drugs, it is happening and I’m not a fan of it. However, in my thirty years of existence he was the only president in the country who truly cared for the poor and actually made things happen. He was the only president who won because the people rallied for him and campaigned for free, under the tagline “Change is coming.” His supporters come from all walks of life: young and old, rich and poor, educated and illiterate. Yes, he’s very tactless and foul-mouthed, but unlike many conservative politicians, he truly made a difference in the lives of Filipinos. Now change has finally come.

I’m well aware that the tax reform will result to an increase in prices for some commodities. I think it’s better because most of those affected commodities are luxury goods, and in this country it is very easy to evade taxes. It’s better to put taxes on goods so that those who don’t pay taxes will be affected. There are those who earn a lot from online jobs and freelance projects but don’t pay taxes at all. It’s very unfair for those of us who work in companies that deduct taxes as soon as we get our pay.

In order to survive in this world we must learn to embrace change. It would be great if the change is for the better, like a decrease in income tax.

Sunsets and 2018

The sun had set for 2017. Another year has passed. Just like sunsets that soon will bring a new day, the end of a year will bring a brand new year. It’s a cycle that never fails. For me, however, this new year will bring a major change to my life, which I expect is a crossroad that might lead to a huge turning point. I don’t know what 2018 has in store for me, and right now my head is whirling with possibilities and plans on how to tackle them. Doom is looming in my horizon and threatening to shatter the peaceful little world I have worked so hard to build for myself, so I need to prepare myself. But right now I don’t have all the answers. And so I can’t help feeling sad. Just like the Little Prince, I love looking at sunsets when I’m sad.

Image: Pinterest

Here are some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen:

Sunset in Ha Long Bay

Sunset in Bali

Sunset in Cebu, viewed from my bedroom window

My bedroom window has a beautiful view of the sunset. And no matter how busy I am, I always stop for a few minutes everyday to look at the sunset. It doesn’t mean I feel sad everyday, I just keep getting amazed by the beauty of the sunset. It never looks the same.

There is something reassuring about the sunset, the promise of a new day. No matter what the new year will bring, I will live on with my head held high.

How a Gloomy Sky and a Crooked Reflection Led to Counting My Blessings

It’s a gloomy day in Cebu. My mood mirrorred the skies. It’s one of those days when I feel so tired without knowing why and I don’t feel like working at all. Six hours after my shift started and I haven’t gotten any work done. I was very sleepy and so I took a coffee break. Then I look out my office window and here’s what I saw:

My office window has one of the best views in the building and I look out of it everyday. The building across the street almost finished construction. I was thinking to myself that the reflection on the glass of the new building was very crooked, then I saw the people hanging in front of the building. Then my thoughts changed and I was suddenly asking myself if these people have medical insurance, or even life insurance at the very least. Do they have retirement plans? Most likely not. Construction workers in the Philippines are paid very little, and yet they work so much harder than office workers. I work in front of a computer all day, in a clean and comfortable office, without any threat to my safety except for an earthquake that might take the building down, which is very unlikely. And yet I have medical insurance, life insurance, and even retirement plans from my company. I also have my own personal life insurance and retirement plans because someone needs money when I die, who knows it might be my dog.

Consumed with guilt, I quickly finished my coffee and started working on my spreadsheets. My job might seem easy, but I didn’t get to this point out of pure luck. I didn’t get the job by doing politics and kissing anyone’s ass. Two years ago when I took the post nobody else wanted it because they don’t know what the job was about. There were no directives. I established processes and guidelines, and at the same time established a good working relationship with operations and clients. Two years ago I could barely take a break. I was so busy making trackers and reporting systems. Now I’m only reaping what I sowed, everything has been laid out and my job has become very easy. Now that there aren’t any challenges anymore, I tend to get bored and slack off. But seeing laborers outside my office window reminds me how lucky I am to be standing there.

Whenever I don’t feel like getting up and going to work, I think about those construction workers from the building across the street, the peddlers selling goods under the scorching sun, the garbage collectors that collect garbage in the middle of the night. They all work very hard and earn very little. Suddenly all my problems become very small. Sometimes I complain that my job doesn’t make me rich, but countless other people out there are struggling to make ends meet. And so I stop complaining, and count my blessings instead.

A Tale of Three Songs

Over the years I have acquired the habit of making stories out of songs. But compared to songs released decades ago, most of the songs nowadays don’t make any sense. I can’t even tell when I stopped listening to “modern music.” I don’t even know 90% of the song artists these days. I stopped at Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. But who doesn’t know Britney, right?

My friends say I’m an old soul, because I love songs that were released long before I was born. They may be right, but it was probably my parents’ fault.

I was around 10 years old when I learned the story of the song Don’t Cry Joni. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t born yet when this song was released. My parents loved to listen to old songs on the radio every Sunday, and since they don’t want me and my brothers to watch TV, I had nothing else to do. For those who don’t know the song, here’s the lyrics:

Jimmy please say you’ll wait for me

I’ll grow up someday you’ll see

Savin’ all my kisses just for you

Signed with love forever true

Joni was the girl who lived next door

I’ve known her I guess 10 years or more

Joni wrote me a note one day

And this is what she had to say

Jimmy please say you’ll wait for me

I’ll grow up someday you’ll see

Savin’ all my kisses just for you

Signed with love forever true

Slowly I read her note once more

Then I went over to the house next door

Her teardrops fell like rain that day

When I told Joni what I had to say

Joni, Joni, please don’t cry

You’ll forget me by and by

You’re just fifteen I’m twenty two

Joni I just can’t wait for you

Soon I left our little home town

Got me a job and tried to settle down

But her words kept haunting my memory

The words that Joni said to me

Jimmy please say you’ll wait for me

I’ll grow up someday you’ll see

Savin’ all my kisses just for you

Signed with love forever true

I packed my clothes and I caught a plane

I had to see Joni, I had to explain

How my heart was filled with her memory

And ask my Joni if she’d marry me

I ran all the way to the house next door

But things weren’t like they were before

My teardrops fell like rain that day

When I heard what Joni had to say

Jimmy Jimmy please don’t cry

You’ll forget me by and by

It’s been five years since you’ve been gone

Jimmy I married your best friend John.

Lovely, isn’t it? The song tells a beautiful but sad love story.

Here’s another old song with a lovely story.

I’m comin’ home, I’ve done my time

Now I’ve got to know what is and isn’t mine

If you received my letter telling you I’d soon be free

Then you’ll know just what to do

If you still want me, if you still want me

Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree

It’s been three long years, do you still want me?

If I don’t see a ribbon round the ole oak tree

I’ll stay on the bus, forget about us, put the blame on me

If I don’t see a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree

Bus driver, please look for me

‘Cause I couldn’t bear to see what I might see

I’m really still in prison and my love, she holds the key

A simple yellow ribbon’s what I need to set me free

And I wrote and told her please

Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree

It’s been three long years, do you still want me?

If I don’t see a ribbon round the ole oak tree

I’ll stay on the bus, forget about us, put the blame on me

If I don’t see a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree

Now the whole damned bus is cheerin’

And I can’t believe I see

A hundred yellow ribbons round the ole oak tree

I’m comin’ home

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

Tie a ribbon round the ole oak tree

I’ve read a story in a magazine years ago that said this song tells a story of a man who just came out of prison and was going home to his wife. I’m not sure if it’s a true story but it would be a very beautiful story if it is. The story says that the man was riding a bus on the way home to his wife and he was telling his fellow passengers about his story. He was in prison for four years and his wife wrote him letters during his first year in prison. He wrote a letter to his wife telling her to forget about him and not to write him anymore. So his wife stopped sending him letters. When he was about to be released from prison he wrote to his wife and gave her instructions on what to do if she still wants him to come back. He told his wife to tie a yellow handkerchief around the big oak tree that people would see upon entering town. His bus would pass by the tree and if he sees the yellow handkerchief he would get off the bus and go home to his wife, if not then he would stay on the bus and go somewhere else. And as the song goes, as soon as the bus enters the town he sees a hundred yellow ribbons tied around the oak tree.

Very lovely, isn’t it?

Now there’s a song I’ve been trying to understand the meaning of but to no avail. I’d like to use this song on my wedding (if I ever get married which won’t be anytime soon) but it might not be a love song. I heard the song from Twilight. I can’t remember which one it is, but don’t get me wrong I’m not a fan. It just happened that HR from my company gave us free tickets to the movies along with free snacks so I can’t help watching it.

I was a quick wet boy

Diving too deep for coins

All of your streetlight eyes

Wide on my plastic toys

Then when the cops closed the fair

I cut my long baby hair

Stole me a dog eared map

And called for you everywhere

Have I found you?

Flightless bird, jealous, weeping

Or lost you?

American mouth

Big pill looming

Now I’m a fat house cat

Cursing my sore blunt tongue

Watching the warm poison rats

Curl through the wide white fence cracks

Pissing on magazine photos

Those fishing lures thrown in the cold and clean

Blood of Christ mountain stream

Have I found you?

Flightless bird, brown hair bleeding

Or lost you?

American mouth

Big pill, stuck going down

I only know one person who can help me decipher this song, my high school English teacher who taught me Shakespeare. Too bad he’s already dead, may he rest in peace. If anyone knows the meaning of the song please do tell me in the comments section below. It would be a great help to my wedding that most likely may not happen.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated!☺️