Thursday, March 22, 2012

Have A Piece of This

Near 4 in the morning, and I’m wishing that my MacAir’s clock read 4:20 instead. But these things can’t get lost in thought. After all, we all have experienced that so much can happen in 20 minutes. Even while I’m safe at home, shades on (at 4am), and writing this – apocalyptic things can happen in 20 minutes. Don’t argue just yet, but yes we are on the same page.

You may argue now. Because now I will tell you that I just came from Karl Roy’s tribute gig at B-side, and Karl wants to get loose from his cage to get rabid on things. Why was there no Kapatid song by the former bandmates of the now-so-Twitter-trendy-Hijo, Huh? P.O.T. (peyote, pot, poopy old tamales, papa of troy – uhm there were several meanings listed on the pages of their album if you’ve ever owned one or seen one. )
I digress. Diba yung mga taga P.O.T. yung bumugbog kay…

Hay. Once upon a time, mga Kapatid. Forgive. Let go. Mahirap na Jedi mind trick iyon, pero iyon talaga iyon. Let go. Yung ginawa ni Obi Wan Kinobe para maging Ilaw – Ganoon!

Sabi daw ni Karl naalala niya yung sa Glorietta at bakit di daw gumana ang kanyang Jedi Mind tricks sa isang security guard.

Ang sagot niya sa sairli niya noon tinanong siya kung ano ba paliwanag niya:


Natawa ako. Natawa din siya.

“Pero bakit ba tayo nagpapaliwanag?” tanong niya.

Ayon! Tumpak! Apir!

Liwanag. Ilaw. Light.

Look around these sunflowers.What do sunflowers do? (rhetorical) They follow the sun!

And we’re surrounded by sunflowers just forever staring at us.

We are the sun. We are the light.

Inikot ko mundo niya. (Yes, naka-bakes at naka-shrooms kami, but that’s not the point.)

Pause. Count two seconds ala Karl Roy, (which means two hours)… Sorry, maganda na nga kwento, ginugulo mo pa. Karl – just stand in the corner. Have a…  and then…

He speaks.

We are the Gods of the Sunflowers.

“We are the Gods of the Sunflowers.” -  Karl Roy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who The F*** Are They Anyway?

The greatest freedom I've ever had in my life is to just not really care about what people think anymore. I mean - who the fuck are "they" anyway? I live my life with certain principles and virtues, balanced daily on whatever preoccupies the mind. We make decisions everyday consciously or unconsciously - what we wear, what we eat, when to eat, when to blink, what to say - and we balance these out carefully with our experiences in life. Our decision-making process is balanced like an equalizer. At times, maybe religion, God or some moral foundation takes a priority in the equalizer. Sometimes it may be the law, our parents' rules, a friend's advice, the movie we watched, the book we read, or any kind of experience. At the end of it all, our decisions are made to bring out one thing, which is our own happiness.

And happiness is inherently your own. No one else in the world can understand what the smile on your face means, except you. Only you can fully understand what that smile means, and what happiness there is. And if you're totally happy, then who the f*** are they anyway?

So, do what you want in life to make you happy with only the happiness that you can understand and live. After all, your life is yours. You are the unique occupant of your own time and space, and you are responsible for the happiness in that time and space. Only you!

Learn to love yourself and be happy, and understand the true meaning of your own happiness. If your happiness is to please the people around you, then I sincerely hope you have that smile on your face that no one can take away. If your happiness is to piss people off, then I sincerely hope you have that smile on your face that no one can take away. At the end of the day, what matters most is that YOU are happy. And it's because you know you're happy, and not because someone told you so. So many people can tell you this and that, but it really all boils down to you being happy. And when you're happy, you will have it envelop your entire life and it will glow all around you. And ultimately, you will be free of any care, free of any discouragement or any negativity. Just because you were able to say - Who the F*** are they anyway?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Don't Have A Mohawk Anymore

The picture in the recent post was taken by me at Montemar Beach Resort in Bagac, Bataan. I was there on Jan 2, 2009 to attend the wedding of a poker buddy, business partner & good friend Joey Zamora. I had the mohawk just a few days before New Year's Eve. Ryan Eigenmann, one of my best friends, had given me his old shaving clippers. You know - the shaver used by barbers for shaving off the head.

Anyway, I like the fact that I don't have to go to the barber anymore just to get a haircut. Because of having access to my own clippers, I am now able to shave my head at my own convenience. In one of those sessions, I decided to see what it would be like if I kept a strip of hair to represent a short mohawk. I left it for a photo-op, but decided to keep it to celebrate the New Year's.

I spent New Year's 2009 in Matuod Beach, Batangas, at the family beach house of my dear friend Mikee Carrion and Mika Guiddotti. I drove there on December 31st, toting the family along - Chona (my wife) along with the kids Kaj (my 6 year old son) and Keesha (my 5 year old daughter). At first, I had screwed up the clear directions Mikee gave, and found myself doing laps at the national highway, searching for the exit to Matuod. The last time I had been there was more than a decade ago, and I couldn't find the distinct dirt road that led to the beach. "Dude, the dirt road you're looking for is not a dirt road anymore," Mikee said over the phone. With that made clear - I found the beach in no time.

We had fun wading around the low-tide beach, attempting to make sand castles and just relaxing. Eventually, the kids spent time with the kids of Mika, and Chona and I played some friendly poker with Mika and Mikee. At New Year's Eve, we lit some of the fireworks Mikee got - cool skyrockets that burst into a shower of orange fire. We went to bed shortly, failing to finish the bottle of Glenfiddich we started just after lunch. Not that I didn't enjoy drinking, but I had a leafier hit on my mind - literally.

After spending New Year's Eve, we drove back down home on New Year's Day, and just chilled at home. The next day - the second of January- I left early in the morning and drove to Bagac, Bataan to Montemar. If the drive to Batangas was southbound, this time the drive was northbound. I left Manila around 8:30am and was able to reach Montemar before noon. I had a cap on when I saw Joey, and surprised him with the mohawk when I took off my cap. "Just for your wedding!" The look on Joey's face - priceless.

A quick swim at the beach, a few drinks, and I got dressed to attend Joey's wedding. If everyone was in their formal barongs, I had made the distinction of being clad in all black - black shoes, black socks, black pants, black shirt, black tie, black jacket. "You look like you came out of The Matrix." Well, of course - the mohawk.

After dinner, I was going to change into something more comfortable and get out of the formality of a suit. I could see the reception festivities from the balcony of my room, and I was waiting for the reception to break from assigned seating, so I could join the boys for some serious drinking and partying. While waiting, I had downed a couple shots of Johnnie Walker Black, and had a few bowls of mistletoe. The festivities were taking longer, and everyone was still overdressed for the beach, and I thought it would be rude if I showed up already in shorts. So, I waited.

A fireworks display at the end of the reception signaled the end of the festivities, but there were still a lot of people clamoring in the wedding reception area by the beach. "Later, it's still crowded." An old friend visited my room for 5 minutes, and I promised to go back down. I lay down in bed for a bit, and eventually found myself dozing off, and thus missed the entire after-party altogether. Come to think that's what I came there for.

I got up at 5am, walked the beach and had a swim in the ocean. Nothing like a saltwater swim at sunrise to refresh the spirit. That feeling of being alone at the shore to watch the colors change and see the world come to life.

After breakfast, I waited for Joey to get up so I could apologize and say thank you. I also had to explain myself to the others who were waiting on me that night to bring down the mistletoe to the post-wedding bonfire party. What can I say - I was so 'relaxed' I fell asleep. After a morning beer with Joey and a bid of congratulations to the newlyweds, I made the long drive back home, enjoying the solace of traveling on the light traffic back home. I especially enjoyed being able to go full throttle on the SCTEX. That night, back at home, I got the clippers and shaved off the rest of my mohawk, and kept my head well-rounded.

So there - Nothing But The Truth - I don't have a mohawk anymore.

Hello, My Name is JJ

My name is JJ Duque. The JJ is short for something, and I refrain from giving it out not to make it a big secret, but rather to avoid the quizzical look. Not that it sounds exotic, but maybe because it doesn't. Anyway, everyone just calls me JJ, and I answer to that, so let's leave it at that.

I am 37 years old, born in the Philippines on a rainy day in September 17, 1971. I decided to come up with this blog to have something different to write about rather than what I usually write about for work. Most recently, my writing (and blogging) has been focused on sports - mainly sharing sports betting tips on all kinds of sports ( and a little bit about the wonderful game of poker - texas hold'em to be precise ( I also have a different blog that talks about issues, news and events of the Philippines (

In this blog - Nothing But The Truth ver 1.5 - I want to write something more personal, something more introspective about me and my life rather than just eloquently echoing issues and events going on around the world. This blog is more about my own world, and the people, places and events that find their way in it from time to time. I just want to tell stories of stuff that's happened in my life. Some comment that it's colorful. I've denied that it's colorful, and insisted that it's kaleidescopic. Of course, that's just my version. In a way, that's exactly what I want to put in here - my version of the truth and nothing but the truth - simply because The Truth must be told.