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PHILIPPINES

MAN AT HIS BEST APRIL 2014

BY LOURD DE VEYRA

BY ELLEN ADARNA

9 772 243 845 007

03

ISSN 2243-8459

BY CRISTINA PANTOJA-HIDALGO

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PHILIPPINES

MAN AT HIS BEST APRIL 2014

BY MANUEL L. QUEZON III

BY ELY BUENDIA

BY LAV DIAZ

EDITED BY SARGE LACUESTA

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Esquire, everywhere.

Man at his best. In print and digital, every month.

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CONTENTS
APRIL 2014

VO L . 3 N O. 6

36
MAHB: BOOKS
SASHA MARTINEZ goes
through 55 works mentioned in David Shieldss
How Literature Saved My
Life, and nds she never
liked a book she disagreed
with so much.

38
MAHB: EAT
LIKE A MAN
MARK HIX divulges
two different ways to
cook shellsh.

40
MAHB: DRINKING
DAVID WONDRICH gives
you an update on modernizing Japanese whiskey
culture.

60
GROOMING
They say your eyes are the
windows to your soul. If
your eyes have it all, they
deserve the best pampering.

130
THE RIVER
A run through the
thoughts of a woman
haunted by the memory
of her dead father, and
the tension it brings to
the uncertainties with
her current love.
Fiction by REINE ARCACHE MELVIN.
Art by NIKKI LUNA.

ESQUIRE APRIL 2014

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CONTENTS
APRIL 2014

VO L . 3 N O. 6

65
NOTES & ESSAYS
A special edition featuring
LOURD DE VEYRA on God,
LAV DIAZ on painplus a
song by ELY BUENDIA
on love.

82
COVER STORY
SARGE LACUESTA is dying
to know who the real Ellen
Adarna isaway from the
projected throne of her stardom built on the Internet,
which all began with a
Friendster prole.
Photographs by
JAKE VERZOSA.

90
THE PROPHET
Dr. Eben Alexander becomes brain dead for a week,
and then returns with stories of heaven. LUKE DITTRICH investigates a past
that his cult following may
not know: the mans troubled history and possible
need for reinvention.

108
GUN NOISES,
MADE WITH
MOUTH
PAOLO ENRICO MELENDEZ grew up with
his grandfather in Fort
Bonifacio in the 80s and
90s, and recalls memories of guilt, resilience
and death. Photographs
by TIM SERRANO

10 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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CONTENTS
APRIL 2014

VO L . 3 N O. 6

16
EDITORS NOTE

22
ESQUIRE
CONTRIBUTORS

27
MAN AT HIS BEST
We waited a long time for
the Grammy-award winning French band Phoenix to hit Manila. And
they did not disappoint.

28
ESQ&A
Quezon City mayor
Herbert Bautista talks to
ERWIN ROMULO about
getting advice from Binay, the rst time he met
president Aquino, and
why he thinks hes ready
to settle down.

34
MAHB: MUSIC
BONES FRANKENSTEIN, frontman of the
band Mr. Bones & The
Boneyard Circus, shares
a list of songs that continue to haunt him, and
the memories they
conjure.

118
PUTI
Inspired by Mike de
Leons Itim, a fashion
story starring indie actor
Alex Medina showcasing
a contemporary style
essential: the white shirt.
Photographs by MAAN
PALMIERY.

12 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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CONTENTS
APRIL 2014

VO L . 3 N O. 6

96
FINAL DEGUSTATION
If you could choose the last
meal you would eat in this
life, what would you have?
We asked six people for
their hypothetical nal
feasts. Photographs by
PAUL DEL ROSARIO.

106
WHAT IVE LEARNED
Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue,
Kim Henares, sits down
with KARA ORTIGA and
says that its not like shes
out to be mean, shes just
doing her job.

144
THIS WAY OUT
Previously on Esquire
November 1970.
By LUIS KATIGBAK

45
STYLE
Theres a time for everything, and every kind of
timepiece to go with
that. Photographs by
MAAN PALMIERY.

14 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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BEFORE WE BEGIN
APRIL 2014

INFERNAL
DESIRE
MACHINE
A NOTE FROM ERWIN ROMULO

PORTRAIT BY JAKE VERZOSA

16 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

A few years ago, I stopped believing


in the existence of God. It didnt happen
in an instantthere was no Damascene
light, no burning bush nor did a tongue of
re descend upon me to herald that realization. Rather it was nurtured from niggling doubts, intellectual curiosity, and a
heavy dose of reality. Raised Roman
Catholic and educated at a school run by
the Opus Dei, it took a great leap of faith
for me to accept a position of disbelief
and, though it wasnt easy, I cant say that
it was all that difcult either. In fact, it
didnt bother me as much as I thought it
would. It occurred quietly over a period
of time and without fanfare, but once it
had taken hold, I was utterly convinced
of its truth.
But a funny thing happened. I also realized that as much as I had abandoned
believing in the principle of an all-powerful deity, it wasnt so simple to let go of
religion and its practice, most especially the rituals that I had come to appreciate and cherish most deeply. I was also very enamored of, even enchanted by
the writings of St. Augustine and other
religious thinkers, including a number of
priests whom Im very proud to call my
friends, whose words and thoughts still
resonate with me. I still regularly went
to Holy Mass and recited prayers almost
every day, but I was committed if not devout in my atheism. If I was troubled it
was only because I could not reconcile
the two in my head as much I could in my
heart. If anything, I knew sooner or later
I would have to choose between them.
Eventually I went back to being a Roman Catholic. I needed it if only to provide the structure to make sense of everything in my life. There were too many

things too big for me to grasp, which despite all my efforts to understand I knew
would always remain a mystery. Although I havent given up trying to understand, I have come to revel in the
knowledge that no matter the conclusions I arrive at they will remain incomplete. Im all right with that. I celebrate
it.
As we observe Holy Week and bring
Lent to a close this month, we thought it
would only be appropriate to tackle subjects that have had a profound effect on
the course of our lives. To name but a
few of the authorities we gathered: we
asked Manuel L. Quezon III, the Presidents chief speechwriter, to muse about
power; Lav Diaz, perhaps our most revered lmmaker in the world today and
director of epics like Batang West Side
and NorteHangganan ng Kasaysayan,
to pen a parable about pain; and Lourd
de Veyra, the countrys most conscientious social critic, to issue an open letter
to God. We also asked Michiko Yamamoto, acclaimed screenwriter of Magnico and On The Job, for a scene from
an as-yet-to-be-produced movie, and
Ely Buendia, our most beloved songwriter, to compose a love song especially for the issue. Edited by Esquire editorat-large Sarge Lacuesta, these offerings
make compelling reading for the season,
whether or not you count yourself as a
believer, agnostic, atheist, or any of the
more precise distinctions that have been
used throughout history. This is the gospel according to Esquireand we are
sure you will nd much in here that will
complement your Bible readings, marathon TV viewings or beachside cocktails
this Good Friday.

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BEFORE WE BEGIN
APRIL 2014

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Erwin Romulo
ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Luis Katigbak
M A NAGING EDITOR

Jonty Cruz
SENIOR FEATUR ES EDITOR

Jerome Gomez
FEATURES EDITOR

Audrey N. Carpio
EDITOR IA L ASSISTA NT

Kara Ortiga
ART
ART DIRECTOR

Ces Olondriz
ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR

Edric dela Rosa


FA SH ION
FA SH ION DI R E C T OR

Raymond Gutierrez
FA SH ION F E AT U R E S E DI T OR

Clifford Olanday
EDITORS AT LARGE
FEATURES

Sarge Lacuesta
FA SH ION

Liz Uy
WRITERS AT LARGE

Patricia Evangelista, Gang Badoy, Lourd de Veyra, Oliver X.A. Reyes, Philbert Dy, Yvette Tan
F O O D A N D D R I N K S Erwan Heussaff
B U S I N E S S Roel Landingin
B O O K S Sasha Martinez
CONTRIBUTORS

Norman Crisologo, Tof Zapanta, Nikki Luna, Robert Langenegger, Mideo Cruz
W R I T E R S Mark Hix, Stacey Woods, Luke Dittrich, David Wondrich, Paolo Enrico Melendez, A.R. Samson, Lav
Diaz, Michiko Yamamoto, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Ely Buendia, Manuel L. Quezon III, Joel Tabora, S.J., Reine
Arcache Melvin P H O T O G R A P H E R S Jake Verzosa, Pia Puno, Paul del Rosario, Edric Chen,
Sonny Thakur, Tim Serrano, Maan Palmiery, Veejay Villafranca, Geloy Concepcion
I L L U S T R A T O R S Jo Aguila, Alysse Asilo
ART

HEA RST M AGA ZINES INTER NATIONA L

Duncan Edwards Senior Vice President, CFO and General Manager Simon Horne
Senior Vice President/ Director of Licensing and Business Development Gautam Ranji
Senior Vice President/International Publishing Director Jeannette Chang
Senior Vice President/Editorial Director Kim St. Clair Bodden Creative Director Peter Yates
Executive Editor: Tony Gervino Fashion and Entertainment Director Kristen Ingersoll
Senior International Editions Editor Luis Veronese

PR E SI DE N T/ C E O :

ESQUIRE INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS

China Li Xiang Colombia Francisco J. Escobar S


Czech Republic Jiri Roth Greece Kostas N. Tsitsas Hong Kong Cho Man Wai Indonesia Dwi Sutarjantono
Kazakhstan Andrey Zharkov Korea Heesik Min Latin America Manuel Martnez Torres
Malaysia Sam Coleman Middle East Jeremy Lawrence Netherlands Arno Kantelberg
Philippines Erwin Romulo Romania Radu Coman Russia Dmitry Golubovsky Singapore Sam Coleman
Spain Andrs Rodriguez Taiwan Steve Chen Thailand Panu Burusratanapant Turkey Okan Can Yantir
United Kingdom Alex Bilmes Ukraine Alexey Tarasov Vietnam Nguyen Thanh Nhan United States David Granger
EDITORS IN CHIEF

18 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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BEFORE WE BEGIN
APRIL 2014

President and General Manager

Lisa Y. Gokongwei-Cheng
PUBLISHER Aurora Mangubat-Suarez VP FOR OPER ATIONS Hansel dela Cruz
DEPUTY GROUP PUBLISHER Ichi Apostol-Acosta PUBLISHING ASSIST. Owen Maddela
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jo-Ann Maglipon, Myrza Sison Admin. SERVICES MANAGER Whilma M. Lopez
SR. ADMINISTR ATIVE ASSISTANT Michiel Lumabi, Marlyn Miguel
ADMINISTR ATIVE ASSISTANT Lalaine Bernardo
A DV ERTISING

Group Advertising Director Florence Bienvenido Advertising Director-Key Accounts Group Regie Uy
Key Accounts Specialist Joey Anciano, Joyce Argana, Cha Clarino, Junn De Las Alas,
Alex Revelar, Annie Santos, Suzette Tolentino Advertising Group Manager Torto
Canga Sr. Account Manager Jerry Cabauatan, AR Kuo, Andi Trinidad
Jr. Account Manager Rissa Mesina, Aizza Tajonera Advertising Assistant Kimberley Dula
Advertising Traffic Supervisor Eliziel del Rio Advertising Traffic Assistant Arthur C. Villaflor
PRODUCTION

Production Manager Eliz Rellis Assistant Production Manager Jane Puno


Production Coordinator Bong Carolino Cover Artist Arthur Asturiano
MEDIA R ELATIONS AND PROMOTIONS

Jr. Marketing Associate Mary Princess Derit Media Relations Head Claire Algarme
Media Relations Associate Jieneb Jamin Kho, Nikka Peralta Database Associate Joyce Tamayo
EVENTS

Marketing Director Ramon Manzano III Assistant Marketing Manager Roberlin Rubina
Project Officer Eduardo Almeda, Patricia Cordero, Joey Negrete Sr. Marketing Associate Ana Barretto, Carl Brion,
Rica Lozada, Siena Mirano, Angela Padua Jr. Marketing Assoc. Carol Cruz, Alvin Paronda, Kath Vanguardia
TR ADE MARKETING

Trade Marketing Associate Jamie Jean Islo, Daryl Lincod, Joyce Anne Ramos
Trade Marketing Assistant Hannah Roque, Laline Taguiam Project Coordinator Mark Munoz,
Rachelle Losenada Visual Merchandiser Elmon Villena
CR EATIV E SERVICES

Editor In Chief Dondi Limgenco Creative Director Noel Azcueta Assistant Creative Director Iza Santos
Managing Editor Denise Mallabo, Katrina Vinluan Asst. Managing Editor Janis Gopez, Pia Angelica Suiza,
Diona Valdez Copy Writer Anne Krystle Malinis Art Director Ben Arnold, Cleone Baradas, Consuelo Cabrera,
Jane Kristine Cruz, Cindy Dy, Alona Francisco, Dino de Ocampo Assoc. Art Director Jay Dimayuga
Graphic Artist Clare Felise Magno, Anisa Privado
CIRCULATION

Circulation Manager Alma M. Madelo Deputy National Circulation Manager Glenda Gil
Circulation Manager - GMA Alaine Mae Lozada Provincial Sales Manager Alexis Martinez
International Distribution Sales Specialist Ulyssis Javier Distribution Group Head - GMA Malou Rubinos
Key Accounts - Group Head Noreen Peligro, Vivian Manahan Subscription Group Head Hanna Montecer
Circulation Supervisor Mary Fatima Flores Newsstand Supervisor Joel Valdez Systems Administrator - Interactive
Editons Rico B. Cruz Key Accounts Charlotte Barlis, Jinky Rose Calugtong, Edward Caringal, Arnaldo Lopez,
Hazel Mardo, Jennifer Tolentino Jr. Sales Representatives - GMA John Lakhi Celso, Anjelyn Carino, Ruby Frias,
Edilen Tomas Distribution Specialist Gilbert Caballero, Eric Ferdinand Gasatan, Ricarte Emmanuel Lorejo,
Francis Daryl Molo, Gian Carlo Peralta, Roberto Revilla, Mark Elliott Villola Sales Representative Anjelyn Carino, Ed
Caringal, John Celso Subscription Coordinator Joyce Ramos, Reigine Casido, Annalyn Armbulo Logistics Manager
Norman Campo Distribution Account Analyst May Ann Ayuste Export Sales Assistant Legui Brylle Gonzales
For GMA dealership/distributorship inquiries, contact Malou Rubinos at 451-8888 Local 1094. For Provincial dealership/
distributorship inquiries, contact Glenda Gil at 451-8888 Local 8878. For International Distribution and Digital Edition
inquiries, contact Legui Brylle P. Gonzales and Ulyssis Javier at 451-8888 Local 1092 or Direct Line (+632) 398-80-37.
For back issues, contact Visual Mix (632) 824-09-47, Booksale (632) 824-09-59, and Filbars (632) 584-27-84
Under no circumstances shall ESQUIRE PHILIPPINES content be copied or reproduced in any form
without the written permission of the publisher. ESQUIRE PHILIPPINES editors and publishers
shall not be held liable for unsolicited materials. All prices and specifications published in this
magazine are subject to change by manufacturers and retailers. Printed in the Philippines.

20 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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CONTRIBUTORS
APRIL 2014

1 LAV DIAZ is the director of Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan, which was considered one of the best lms of 2013 by the
British Film Institutes Sight and Sound.
Apart from creating epic visual narratives, Lav is also an accomplished writer,
having won Palanca prizes for his literary pieces. He shares an original story in
this months Notes & Essays.

3 LOURD DE VEYRA is a novelist, poet,


musician, TV personality, radio show
host, and writer-at-large for Esquire. His
books include Super Panalo Sounds,
Insectissimo, and the anthology of his
essays for Spot.ph called This is A Crazy
Planets (which released its second
installment last year). He is the host and
producer of History with Lourd on TV5.

22 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

2 ELY BUENDIA is best known as the lead


vocalist of the rock band Eraserheads.
His music and compositions have not
only gained critical acclaim, but have
been able to shape the culture of a generation. Currently, he is the frontman
and principal songwriter for the bands
Pupil and The Oktaves.

MICHIKO YAMAMOTO is known to possess a


special gift for screen narratives about
children (Magnico, Ang Pagdadalaga ni
Maximo Oliveros) for which shes won
numerous awards. Last year, however,
she showed her versatility via the action
drama On The Job, which she co-wrote
with director Erik Matti. Michiko is
also part of Origin8Media, producer
of the surprise indie hit Zombadings.

4 MANUEL L. QUEZON III is the chief speechwriter of President Aquino and is editorin-chief of the Ofcial Gazette (www.
gov.ph). He continues to blog and write
for publications from time to time to
keep from getting rusty.

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CONTRIBUTORS
APRIL 2014
6

CRISTINA PANTOJA HIDALGO is an awardwinning ctionist, critic, and pioneering writer of creative nonction. She
is currently Professor Emeritus of
English & Comparative Literature at
the University of the Philippines Diliman, and Director of the University of
Santo Tomas (UST) Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies.

PAOLO ENRICO MELENDEZ is helping NGOs


win grants when he isnt writing for
magazines and anthologies. In his free
time, he plays right wingback for a
former companys football club. Eric
will one day adopt a Schnauzer.

5 JAKE VERZOSA s portraits of the last


tattooed women of Kalinga were
exhibited in the Niepce Museums
collection in France. Hes been shooting photographs for 10 years, and his
work has been exhibited in Amsterdam, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan,
Denmark, and most recently Korea.

6 NIKKI LUNA is a celebrated artist living in Manila. Her works often delve
into themes of the female in transit. She
attained a Masters Degree in Women
and Development Studies from the
University of the Philippines, and attended the Cooper Union Art Residency
in New York in 2008. She is founder of
startARTproject, a non-prot organization aimed at making art accessible
to women and youth victims of armed
conict and human rights violations.

7 TIM SERRANO is a young ne art photographer drawn to seeing the drama


and mystery in city- and naturescapes.
He rst worked with Esquire last
December, for our story on the fake
NGOs involved in the pork barrel scam,
and hes back this month to illustrate
Paolo Enrico Melendezs remembrances of days with his grandfather.

8 ANGELO COMSTI has had his nger in


too many pies. He is a food writer and
stylist. On occasion, he develops recipes for clients as well as holds cooking
demonstrations. He also has a regular radio spot called Radio Brunch on
Manilas Wave 89.1, and co-authored
the book Home-made for the Holidays.

24 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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PROMOTION

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BY INVITATION LY

TRULY GREAT BRITAIN


In October of last year, the British Embassy launched This Is GREAT Britaina campaign that culminated last March 7 to 9 at Bonifacio High
Street with a grand British festival. Of its many attractions were various facets of British culture, business, education, and fashion. It only made
sense that Lee Cooper, one of Europes foremost denim brands, would participate in the event. The best and latest from the brands denim
collection were displayed in a UK-inspired booth designed with British imagery: a brick wall background, the London Tower, a park bench beside
a red telephone booth, and real-life Royal Guards.
The entire installation was brimming with the spirit of British culture, invoking rock and roll and showcasing Lee Coopers British Carnival and
British Seaside collection in a fashion show. Inspiration from Brighton's festivals and architecture was also apparent throughout the event.
With Lee Cooper continuing on its active rise in the local scene, lovers of British culture and fashion will never be without something to look
forward to from this truly great brand of fine British denim.

8
1 Mr. Joseph Tan, General Manager, and Mr. Andrew So,
President with Royal Guards
2 Barbo Martinez, designer of the Lee Cooper booth,
was among the crowd
3 British history was captured in the festival, down to
the costumes.
4 The Lee Cooper Mall Tour set-up at SM Aura
5 Passersby took the opportunity to get their photos
snapped in the telephone booth.
6 The British flag was emblazoned on clothes in the
fashion show.
7 H.E. Asif Anwar Ahmad, British Ambassador to the
Philippines with Royal Guards
8 Mr. Joseph Tan, General Manager, Mr. Bernie Reyes,
Brand Manager, and Ms. Vivian Caparas, Marketing
Manager with Ambassador Ahmad

A MUST IN EVERY HOME


Knowledge of proper wound care management in the Philippines is still at its infancy stage compared to the western world. This is according to the Philippine Wound Care Society (PWCS),
an organization composed of physicians and professionals that specialize in wound care. Their current mandate is to educate people about wound care and elevate the practice at the same
time. The recently-held Wound Care Primer is but one of the many ways they have reached out to the public for wound care education.
One of PWCSs primary tenets is that wound care management entails preparedness at the household level: Always be ready. In turn, the makers of Betadine have made it their own advocacy
to ensure that each household is adequately prepared for emergency incidents that may occur at home. Widely used in hospitals worldwide as an important first line of defense against
topical infection, Betadine is used as first aid to kill germs and help prevent contamination of minor cuts, scrapes and burns. It is a trusted antiseptic agent that helps in the healthy healing of
wounds. It does not only kill bacteria, viruses and fungi but also keeps wounds infection-free thereby helping facilitate healthy healingmaking it a vital household necessity.
Treating wounds and being prepared for emergencies both require simple steps, and Betadine makes it easier for Filipino families to do so.

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APRIL2014

TONIGHT
EVERYTHING IS OVER
We were a throng of sweaty bodies clinging to Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars as he made
his way through the crowd. Screeching fans shoved their cell phones a few inches away from
his face when he towed through the mob to say hello to the people in the back row. Everyone
expected that the French band would put on a good show; that the eclectic, addictive mix
of rock and dance-pop would reverberate and create a moment of heightened energy. It
did. But they surprised Manila with a night that would be remembered in stories, forever
documented in the multitude of cameras ever active that night. We waited a long time for
this Grammy-award winning band to hit Manila, and they did not disappoint. KARA ORTIGA

REDFERNS VIA GETTY IMAGES

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 27

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MAN AT HIS BEST

ESQ+A

HERBERT BAUTISTA

THE QUEZON CITY MAYOR TALKS TO ERWIN ROMULO ABOUT


MARCOS PREDICTION, HIS SIMILARITIES WITH BINAY, AND MAYOR
DATING PROBLEMS.
ESQUIRE: Do people still call you Bistek?
HERBERT BAUTISTA: Marami. And they

call me by different names. For senior


citizens they still call me Reneboy, my
character in a soap opera in the 80s.
Bistek for my contemporaries. But for
the young ones, they call me mayor. And
to think akala ko wala nang nakakakilala
sakin eh.

28 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

ESQ: 2016 is coming up, I know you have


one more term as mayor. But are you
thinking of higher ofce?
HB: Ive been inquiring, you know, I
talked to Vice President Binay at the
Edsa Revolution anniversary. He asked
me, Ano plano mo? Tapusin mo na yang
last term mo. I got to talk to former
President Erap also. I asked him, if an

opportunity is there for me to run


for higher public ofce, ano po ang
advice niyo sakin? Sabi niya, Pasurvey
ka. Kelangan scientic ang decision mo
diyan. Now dahil may isang term ka pa,
I would advice tapusin mo yung third
term mo, and then pagtakbo mo may
model ka pa rin. So make sure you do
good in QC.
ESQ: Youve been so focused on QC, it
might be hard for you to let the city go
just like that.
HB: Whats really stopping me from not
running for the senate is, personally, I
still have several programs or projects
that I have to launch rst. And Id like to
see them fullled in my third term. These
are all long-term projects or programs
that one way or another would be controversial along the way. Like in the case of
the environment, we are working closely
with a private company on a feasibility
study on waste-to-energy. Currently we
have a waste-to-energy program in QC, in
Payatas, extracting methane and producing electricity for surrounding communities. But its not enough. What were
looking for is a 54-megawatt power plant
for QC. Maraming masosolve yun. For
example instead of building or coming up
with new landlls, wala nang magtatapon sa landlls. I remember one of the
documents that I was reading during my
school days, there was a part about environment is local. Because of that, no
local authority will allow people outside
of his area to be thrown garbage. In the
initial study made, QC is generating about
2,400 metric tons of waste per day, which
can generate about 50-52 megawatts.
Today, QC government spends about a
billion pesos just to collect our garbage
and manage it.
ESQ: And youre nding resistance to
this?
HB: Siyempre incineration yun eh. But the
Supreme Court said that incineration is
not bad. That you reach a certain burning, basta point zero zero something.
Pero ang point ko naman, the law was
made in the year 2000 or 1999. Its 2014,
CONTD
ang cellphone, dati analogue

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PHOTOGRAPHS PIA PUNO

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BAUTISTA CONTINUED

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lang nung araw. Ngayon digital na.


And every six months nagbabago yung
technology. Baka ganun din naman yung
incineration. Baka yung technology nung
araw ay iba na ngayon. A plant in Japan
can prove that type of burning, wala
nang usok and malinis na yung particles.
ESQ: Whos going to oppose this initiative of yours?
HB: I think Greenpeace would denitely
oppose. I can see that already.
ESQ: How do you deal with people you
cant negotiate with?
HB: Siguro yung unang training na
maganda, I listen. Tapos explain your
points. But if you really dont reach a
particular agreement, kahit prinsipyo
man lang, eh di okey lang. Ganun talaga
eh. You cannot really convince everyone.
But as far as Im concerned, it solves
a lot of things. And thats just simple
waste management. If you produce electricity, you gain something from it. Yung
mase-save mong 200 million pwede ka
magtayo ng eskwelahan for K-12. Daming
magagawa dun. But there will always
be some opposition. Pag dumating yung
point na yun, wala na talaga akong
magagawa.
ESQ: Youve been a public servant for
how many years now?
HB: Since 85. Im 45 now. More than
my teenage life. Another exciting thing
is the 75th anniversary of QC. Im gaga
over it, tuwang tuwa ako diyan. Its a
milestone of course and Im very thankful that its happening in my incumbent
year as mayor of QC. There have been 10
mayors in QC and Im the tenth.
ESQ: Do you have a favorite former
mayor of QC?
HB: I got in the QC government in 1985. I
took some good points from the different mayors that I worked with. Like the
only lady is Adelina Rodriguez. Shes the
mother type, shes more social, meaning
cultural, pagtulong sa kababaihan, kabataan, I got some points there. Jun Simon was more, ano gusto niyo?, more
people-centered type of government. I
got that also, which Im still doing. And
then the late Mel Mathay, astute politician. But also a good administrator. It
just so happened sa time niya, the rst
10 years of the local government code,
iniimplement pa lang, so yung mga best
practiceshindi pa lumalabas yun. What
I got from Speaker Sonny Belmonte was
really how to administer local government just like a corporation.
ESQ: Is it difcult being a mayor and a

30 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

BASTA SINABI NI MARCOS


SAKIN, WAG KA MAG-ALALA
BALANG ARAW MAGIGING
PRESIDENTE KA RIN.
career politician? Sometimes you might
do something good for your political
career, but it would be bad for your
HB: Thats Public Administration 101.
The dichotomy of a public administrator slash politician. Mahirap siya kasi
babalansehin mo.
ESQ: How long have you been in the
Liberal Party?
HB: Only when I transferred in 2010. So
thats about four years.
ESQ: Are you already planning ahead? Of
course in 2016 the race is already on. Do
you know already whom you will be carrying? Will you tow the party line?
HB: I think the party really is democratic
enough to choose who they want.
ESQ: Yeah but its been said that its
already going to be Mar Roxas.
HB: Hindi pa sinabi siya di ba?
ESQ: Well sabi ni Senate President Drilon.
HB: Yeah, sabi niya. But remember for
the longest time it used to be Mar until
P-Noy came along. So baka may mga
ganun pa rin, di natin alam.
ESQ: But the frontrunner is of course the
vice president.
HB: Yeah, of course.
ESQ: And youve known him for a long
time.
HB: Yeah, I worked with him when I was
vice mayor. Im working closely with
him because of the housing projects.
ESQ: How would you describe the vice
president?

HB: Very soft-spoken person. We belong


to the same school, the National Defense
College, and UP.
ESQ: Would you describe him as an astute politician?
HB: I think he is an astute politician. But
I think hes also an astute administrator
because of what happened in Makati. Of
course in Makati, very strong ang private
sector. But if you do not have a good relationship with the private sector, it also
reects on your output as the administrator or mayor of that particular city.
Funny guy, ibang klase mag-punchline.
Tsaka may haplos, in all levels of society.
Ia-aside ka niya, magbibilin. Ibang klase
siya.
ESQ: Are those characteristics you share
with him?
HB: Di ko alam.
ESQ: Yeah, sense of humor, soft spoken
you are soft spoken.
HB: Medyo may konting pasaway din. Sa
bagay pasaway din siya nung paalisin
siya as mayor, nag-Rambo costume siya.
ESQ: You mentioned Mayor Erap. My
own opinion was that he was never
comfortable in the senate. I think he was
bored.
HB: Oo nga. Hes not a legislator. Hes
actually an executive.
ESQ: After one term he wanted to go for
vice president already.
HB: Kasi mas gusto niya mag-execute.
ESQ: So lets say if you do seek the senate,
or perhaps higher
HB: Well sanay na ko sa legislation. And
now this is my fourth year as an executive, youre the chief executive of the
legislative department, which is like
what the senate president is or the
speaker. If I run for higher ofce like the
senate, Ill be comfortable because I was
trained in school to do research. I was
trained also to deliver speeches backed
up by statistics. I can do that and I can
actually legislate.
ESQ: And of course maybe the best would
be building consensus.
HB: Oo naman, I was also trained that
way. Just like in League of Cities of the
Philippines you cannot decide without
getting the consensus of all the other
mayors. Mga mayors matitigas ulo ng
mga yun. (Laughs.)
ESQ: How do you achieve a consensus?
HB: Kwentuhan lang siyempre.
ESQ: It doesnt happen on the oor?
HB: No, you build on it. Unang-una is
relationship. Second, pick each others
brains out. Kung ano view niya C O N T D

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BAUTISTA CONTINUED

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sa ganitongAnd makikita mo yan sa


kwentuhan, not on the oor. Not on committees, sa kwentuhan talaga.
ESQ: Have you ever red anyone?
HB: No, as much as possible, medyo
malambot puso ko eh. As much as possible hinihintay ko na lang sila magretire.
ESQ: It seems that as a politician you
have the ability to communicate especially with everyone.
HB: Maybe its because of the entertainment industry. Youre exposed to a lot
of people. Sabi nila nakakatawa nga eh,
Naku showbiz lang yan! Parang teka
muna, ang hirap sa entertainment industry kasi ang nakikita lang ng tao eh yung
glamour niya. Yung pinanood mo sa sine,
wow ganda niya, gwapo niya. Pero yung
technical nun ang hirap ah. Its a highly
technical thing. And as an actor, you
have to understand the technicalities of
doing a lm.
ESQ: Were you part of KBL?
HB: Not KBL, I belong to Kabataan
Barangay, the youth movement of the
Marcos regime.
ESQ: So you did support Marcos.
HB: Yes, and I remember this incident,
sa Aristocrat restaurant along Quezon
Boulevard. Kumain kami dun, and then
dumating sila P-Noy, puro nakadilaw
naman, kami naka Marcos Forever. Ako
naman as the president of Metro Manila,
what I did was lumapit ako kay P-Noy
tapos sabi ko, Ser kain lang muna po

32 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

kami dito ah. That was the rst time I


met P-Noy.
ESQ: Did you meet the former president
Marcos?
HB: I was 10 years old. I remember I was
tasked to ask the question, mahirap ba
maging presidente ng Pilipinas? I cant
remember his answer. Basta sinabi niya,
wag ka mag alala balang araw magiging
presidente ka rin.
ESQ: How old are you, Mayor?
HB: Im turning 46 this May.
ESQ: And you have two children?
HB: I have four children. Two by two different women.
ESQ: Are you in good terms with their
mothers?
HB: Yes I am. I am very thankful that
they raised our children quite well. I
respect them as individuals kahit di kami
nagkatuluyan.
ESQ: But of course a politician, they say,
needs a wife.
HB: Kelangan nga ng wife.
ESQ: So wala bang rst lady of QC? Of
course your predecessor didnt have one.
HB: Well, the president has no wife.
ESQ: Yes, but he is dating. Are you?
HB: No, Im not seeing anyone at this
point.
ESQ: When was your last relationship?
HB: 2003.
ESQ: Well, being a politicians wife or at
least a girlfriend is never a happy job.
HB: Para sa akin, kelangan yung tao may

sarili siyang ginagawa. Di siya pwedeng


walang ginagawa.
ESQ: So thats what youll look for when
you meet someone?
HB: Yeah that shes independent enough.
Matibay din. In fact dapat mas matibay
siya kesa sakin. Siya magsasabi na, mali
yan. Or go for it. Masarap din kausap.
Maganda yung pagkagising mo sa umaga
may kausap ka. Pag uwi mo, may kausap
ka rin. Yung nagsasabi sayo ng totoo,
alam mo yun. Those are the ideals but I
dont know if theres an ideal out there.
ESQ: Of course you have to say that its
also difcult to date a mayor.
HB: Hindi naman. Panahon lang talaga
problema diyan. Timing lang. But if both
of you are willing to give each other
enough time to be together or to understand each other at the end of the day,
walang problema yan.
ESQ: Do you want to get married?
HB: Oo, ayaw nila maniwala that Im the
marrying type eh.
ESQ: Since you mentioned it, President
Marcos told you youd be president one
day. Do you want to be president one
day?
HB: No, I dont think so. I thought of it
in 1998. It was in my mind that I wanted
to become the president then I lost the
mayorship.
ESQ: Because they say all politicians
want to be president.
HB: Yeah, thats true. But in 1998 when I
ran and lost to the late mayor Mathay, I
realized na hindi pwede eh, kahit anong
plano mo gawin sa buhay na gusto mo
marating yun, madadapa ka. Tapos babangon ka ulit, pero pagbangon mo, di mo
na siya pwedeng planuhin na makakarating ka dun.
ESQ: But you did run for mayor again and
you won.
HB: Yes, I did. But becoming the mayor
for the second time or third time, does
not mean you eventually make you a senator, the vice president or the president.
ESQ: But of course you could contend
that you are more of a national gure
than a local gure.
HB: Yes, may nagpapapicture pa pala
sakin sa cellphone.
ESQ: But a national positionmaybe
president at the moment, no. But a national position perhaps?
HB: Yes, could be, its an option going
into my third term running for the vice
pressenate.
ESQ: Did you just slip there, Mayor?
HB: (Laughs) Hindi no.

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CRADLE TO THE GRAVE

RANDY DANDY OH

BY FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

FROM THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK OF ASSASSINS CREED:


THE BLACK FLAG

This song really resembles


what Im facing now with
other listeners/critics. The
lyric: Ive been called a
monster, called a demon,
called a fake Touching
and true. Heard the song live
when I went to Singapore for
the rock festival, and became
an even grander fan. I relate
to it more because of the
challenges we face from not
being mainstream and typical
(middle nger!).

MAN AT HIS BEST

MUSIC

Im a sucker when it comes


to shanties, FULL STOP. Every time I hear this song I feel
like an air pirate and it helps.
This shanty is actually helping
me write the third album,
which Im working on right
now. So heave ho, heave ho
Enjoy Thats my gamer side.
DEVILS BACKBONE

BY THE CIVIL WARS


From a guys perspective all
I can say is I was a devil on
her backbone. Feeling, seeking, loving and torn down.
Begging to change; the futures bright. I married her
CLOWN BY KORN

ME AND THE DEVIL


BLUES BY ROBERT JOHNSON

WHAT IM
LISTENING TO

THE MR. BONES & THE BONEYARD CIRCUS FRONTMAN


SHARES THE SONGS THAT HAVE BEEN HAUNTING HIM

THIS IS HALLOWEEN

BY DANNY ELFMAN, A COVER


BY CAIT LIN

BY BONES FRANKENSTEIN

Songs Im listening to at the


moment? Here we go

MANTRA BY THE TEA PARTY

Melodies to rhymes, and


a mantra when combined.
Something I wish I would
have written, but they stole

34 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

They say selling your soul


to the devil gets you big and
out there with the music, but
thats a lie. I look up to Robert
Johnson; Black Cat Bone, God
bless his soul. That track gets
me up every morning and its
the one to jam to. It shines my
pitchfork. HAIL JOHNSON.

This was the soundtrack of


my childhood, with my two
brothers. This pushed me
forward to just work more
on my studies because I had
no friends anyway; a freak I
was, in their eyes. I was ten
years old when I heard this
on my Walkman. Yup Im still
a kiddo, and of course I still
listen to it right now.

it from me. Damn you Tea


Party! Joke. Ive been looking
up to these guys for ages and
its because of them that I see
colors in music. And yes, I had
a clear head listening to them.

One of the greatest electric


violinists I listen to. Her renditions are extravagant. And
yes, I do want to meet her
and it would be absolutely
breathtaking to be able to
work with her in the future.

MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO


COME BY THREE DOG NIGHT

RAMONA BY

Im not a drunk, Im not


an addict and I dont fry my
brain, but this song denitely
does all of that. It takes me
back to days gone by. And, no,
I am not a vampire, either.
Youve got to know this song,
as it is my anthem. No need
to explain, FULL STOP.

The title alone says it all.


My twin, my sweet, my love.
Ramona! She is my ship, my
wife and my cradle. Hearing her name in a song just
pushes me and carves a smile
on my face. I do have a hopelessly romantic side

LOUIS ARMSTRONG

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LOVE IS STRANGE

BY MICKEY AND SYLVIA


My year was 1959...I am
an old soul. And I love my
mother to bits. This brings
me close to family, and also,
this song is true to its title/
message. I love dancing with
my mother
The Great Fall Onto Madness, the long-awaited second
album by Mr. Bones & The
Boneyard Circus, is out now.

PHOTOGRAPH DORLING KINDERSLEY

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BEST
T HIS
MAN A

BOO

KS

LITERATURE WILL
SAVE YOUR LIFE

RABBLE-ROUSING, INSIGHTS AND EARNESTNESS, FROM THE NOTORIOUS DAVID SHIELDS


BY SASHA MARTINEZ

bout three-quarters

through How Literature Saved My Life


the follow-up to the
2010 controversy-baiting Reality Hunger: A
ManifestoDavid Shields lists 55 works
of literature that he swears by. No abstract, no criteria, no disclaimers, no
frills. Just an enumeration of 55 works,
each followed by a description or a commentwhich could be as short as a threeword phrase or as rambling as a paragraph spanning pages.
Of Renata Adlers Speedboat, he writes:
Its one book Ive read so many times

36 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

that I feel, absurdly, as if Id written it;


of Fernando Pessoas The Book of Disquiet, its a pithy Aphorisms attached to a
suicide pact. He quotes the much-cited
last line of Gilbert Sorrentinos short story, The Moon in Its Flightthat Art
cannot rescue anybody from anything.
and argues, I thought art was the only twin life had. Of Maggie Nelsons Bluets, Shields comments more quietly, The
book keeps getting larger and larger until it winds up being about nothing less
than the melancholy of the human animal. Why are we so sad? How do we deal
with loss? How do we deal with the ultimate loss?

Most of the descriptions try to reach


for brusqueness; not a few evade
straightforward contemplation and simply choose incidental ties to the work cited (e.g. I met the author once, etc.); a
mere handful admit to earnestnessbut
its the entries that manage a bit of all
three that surprise (and fulll the reader) the most. For Simon Grays The Smoking Diaries, for example, Shields offers a
tidy summary of what the collection of
journals contains, and an equally concise comment on Grays use of metaphor.
And thenHaving read the diaries, I
feel less lonely. And then it was on to the
next item of the list, and then the one after that.
Its those 17 pagesof 207that hold
the heart of Shields book. Those 17 pages are precisely what Shields wants to tell
youthat here are the books that dared
not try to save his life, only understood
that his life needed savingand its nestled amid all the land mines expected of
him at this point in his career. Its where
Shields sounds truer; most of the book
could only be admired for its bluster.
Theres the exasperated justication of
why he wrote a book that trumpeted artistic plagiarism; there, too, is the token
rabble-rousingthe novel, for him, very
much remains the obsolete form he rst
claimed it was four years ago: The novel
is an artifact, which is why antiquarians
cling to it so fervently.
Thankfully, beyond the 17-page enumeration, Shields allows for simpler, truer, more universal insightsthe kinds
of insights that an antiquarian like me
(like most of us readers, Ill wager) latches onto. Shields muses on detachment
and having literature as the sole enthrallment: I wanted literature to assuage human loneliness, but nothing can assuage
human loneliness. Literature doesnt lie
about thiswhich is what makes it essential. At his most charged, he releases
a rallying cry: I dont want to read out of
duty. There are hundreds of books in the
history of the world that I love to death.
Im trying to stay awake and not bored
and not rote. Im trying to save my life.
When Shields allows himself to tone
down the belligerence, theres a more
weary tone to his narrativebut a keener one. Its not unlike a mask slipping off
every timeand witnessing that, alone, is
worth the reading. I never liked a book I
disagreed with so much, so much.

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ILLUSTRATION TOF ZAPANTA

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TWO WAYS WITH


SHELLFISH

IS BEST
MAN AT H

KE
E A T LAI N
A M

MAN FOOD WITH MARK HIX

e have some of the worlds best shellsh in the UK, but we tend not to cook
much of it at home. Whether thats due
to the fact that we dont know what to
do with it or that shellsh is generally
seen as a pain to prepare, is open to
debate. If we were in France, Spain or Portugal, wed regularly
be hitting local sh markets to ll our boots with a variety of
molluscs and crustaceans.
I reckon its about time we changed our shopping habits. As
a country, we produce so much fantastic seafood that it seems
a waste to see it all exported to Europe. Here, to help you get
started, Ive pulled together two recipes featuring shellsh you
may never even have considered cooking with.
Always buy your shellsh alive and from a trusted source.
Closed shells are essentialavoid buying anything with open
shells as your shmonger shouldnt be selling it in the rst
place. Oh, and crabs and lobsters should most certainly be
crawlingunless of course theyve already been cooked.

COCKLES, CHILLI AND


GARLIC WITH SPAGHETTI
SERVES 4

British cockles can be as rewarding as clams, and cost only


a fraction of the price. Im talking fresh cockles in the shell
here, not the gritty ones you can buy off seafood stands.
Most good shmongers will stock live cockles or be able to
get hold of them. Cockles need to be well rinsed under running cold water for a while and agitated using your hands
every so often to remove any grit from their grooved shells.
INGREDIENTS
+&&]]eeZ#gkWb_jo
ifW]^[jj_
'&&cbm^_j[m_d[
'a]YeYab[i"
mWi^[Zi[[h_]^j
(bWh][i^Wbbeji"

f[[b[Z"^Wbl[ZWdZ
_d[boY^eff[Z
*jXifieb_l[e_b
7]eeZf_dY^e\
Zh_[ZY^_bb_bWa[i
,c[Z_kcYbel[i

e\]Whb_Y"f[[b[Z
WdZYhki^[Z
'+&]Xkjj[h
IWbjWdZ\h[i^bo
]hekdZXbWYaf[ff[h

SCRUMPY DEEP-FRIED
OYSTERS WITH WASABI
MAYONNAISE
SERVES 4

I often nd these deep-fried beauties


will lure those who think they dont like
oysters. Dont be tempted to use native
oysters for this as its a complete waste
of good shellsh. Small to medium
rock oysters are perfect. If you are not
experienced at opening them, then just
ask your shmonger to shuck them for
youbut keep the cupped half shells.

38 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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INGREDIENTS

'(&]]bkj[d#\h[[
:el[i<Whci[b\#hW_i#
_d]bekh"fbki[njhW\eh
Zkij_d]
(&&cbYebZY_Z[h
'(heYaeoij[hi"
i^kYa[Z"WdZj^[_h
^Wb\#i^[bbi
E_b\ehZ[[f\ho_d]
IWbjWdZXbWYaf[f#
f[h
FOR THE MAYONAISSE

'jXifmWiWX_
'jXif]eeZ#gkWb_jo
cWoeddW_i[

PHOTOGRAPHYY JASON LOWE

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DIRECTIONS

1r9eeaj^[ifW]^[jj__d
Xe_b_d]iWbj[ZmWj[hjej^[
fWYa[j_dijhkYj_edi"j^[d
ZhW_d"iWl_d]Wb_jjb[e\j^[
Yeea_d]b_gk_Z$
2r>[Wjj^[m_d[_dWbWh][
iWkY[fWd"WZZYeYab[iWdZ
Yeeael[hWc[Z_kc^[Wjm_j^
j^[b_Zed"i^Wa_d][l[hoie
e\j[d"\eh)+c_dkj[ikdj_b
j^[YeYab[i^Wl[Wbbef[d[Z$
3 r:hW_del[hWXembjeYWjY^
j^[`k_Y[iWdZi[jWi_Z[$
H[cel[^Wb\e\j^[YeYab[i
\hecj^[_hi^[bbiWdZWbiefkj
jeed[i_Z[$
4rC[Wdm^_b["][djboYeea
j^[i^Wbbeji_dj^[eb_l[e_b\eh
WYekfb[e\c_dkj[im_j^j^[
Y^_bb_bWa[iWdZ]Whb_Y"j^[d
WZZj^[Xkjj[hWdZj^[YeYa#
b[iYeea_d]b_gkeh$7ZZj^[
ifW]^[jj_WdZjeiije][j^[h
edWbem^[Wj"j^[dWZZj^[
YeYab[iWdZi[Wied$J^[
iWkY[i^ekbZX[`kijYeWj_d]
j^[ifW]^[jj_0_\dej"WZZ
fWijWb_gk_Z"e_bWdZXkjj[h$
I[hl[_cc[Z_Wj[bo$

DIRECTIONS
1rJecWa[j^[XWjj[h"fkj
j^[bekh_djeWXembWdZ
ibembom^_ia_dj^[Y_Z[h
kdj_boek^Wl[Wiceej^
Yedi_ij[dYo"j^[di[Wied$
2rC[Wdm^_b["^[Wjiec[
l[][jWXb[e_bje',&'.&9
)(&),&<_dWZ[[f#
\Wj#\ho[heh^[Wlo#XWi[Z
iWkY[fWddeceh[j^Wd
^Wb\\kbb$:hoj^[eoij[hi
eda_jY^[dfWf[h$J[ijj^[
e_bXoZheff_d]_dWb_jjb[
XWjj[h0_\_jXhemdiW\j[hW
c_dkj[ehie_jih[WZo$
3 r:_fj^[eoij[hi_dje
j^[Zkij_d]bekh_hij

WdZi^Wa[ej^[[nY[ii
X[\eh[Z_ff_d]_djej^[
XWjj[h$9eeaj^[ci_nWj
Wj_c[\ehWc_dkj[ehie
kdj_bj^[oWh[Yh_ifWdZ
b_]^j]ebZ[d$
4rH[cel[\hecj^[e_b
m_j^Wibejj[ZifeedWdZ
fbWY[j^[cedWfbWj[m_j^
a_jY^[dfWf[hed_j$J^[d
b_]^jboi[Wiedm_j^iWbj$
5r?dWicWbbXemb"m^_ia
j^[mWiWX_WdZcWoed#
dW_i[je][j^[h$Jei[hl["
ifeedWb_jjb[iWkY[_dje
[WY^^Wb\#i^[bbWdZfbWY[
Wdeoij[hedjef$

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MAN AT HIS BEST

DRINKING

MAKE IT SUNTORY
TIME. ALSO NIKKA
AND CHICHIBU TIME.
AN IMPORTANT UPDATE ON JAPANESE WHISKY

B Y D AV I D W O N D R I C H

n any well-stocked modern

liquor store, youll nd a shelf


near the Scotches holding an odd
assortment of malt whiskies in
the Scotch style, but made everywhere from Austria to Australia,
India to Indiana. World whiskies,
theyre called: whiskies distilled (for
the most part) from 100 percent malted
barley in old-fashioned pot stills, just
like they make in the Scottish Highlands.
Thats no coincidence: The vast majority
of them are from distilleries whose construction was inspired by the single-malt
boom of the 1980s and 1990s. (Before
that, almost all Scottish malt whisky was
used in blends.)
There is, however, one clutch of bottles whose roots are much deeper. At the

40 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

beginning of the last century, Japan was


rapidly modernizing itself, following the
model of another island nation of polite
tea drinkers: the United Kingdom. The
process encompassed everything from
heavy industry to architecture to fashion and culture. It even affected drinks: In
1918, Masataka Taketsuru, the scion of an
old sake-brewing family, went to Scotland
to learn how to make real whisky. When
he returned, he set up a malt-whisky distillery at Yamazaki, in Osaka, for Suntory (which, by the way, just bought Jim
Beam). That was in 1923, and its still running, making Japanese malt in a still room
that could be in Speyside if not for the
bamboo forest outside the door.
Until the 1990s, pretty much all the
malt Japan made was used in blends,

just as in Scotland. The rise of Scottish


malts changed that, albeit slowly. The
rst Japanese malt available in America, ttingly from Yamazaki, came out
only in 2007. Until a little more than a
year ago, that and a few other bottlings
from Suntory were it for Japanese whisky here. Fortunately, now we also have a
range from Nikka (the company Taketsuru founded when he left Suntory) and
the beginnings of one from Chichibu, a
new distillery built from the ashes, guratively speaking, of an old one that fell
to development.
One peculiarity of Japanese whisky is that distillers there dont sell barrels to one another like they do in Scotland. That means if youre making a
blend, youve got to make all the components yourself: the rich malt, the smooth
malt, the peaty malt, the grain whisky
(the lighter, cheaper stuff used in blends
to stretch out the malts). Thus, a single
malt like the [1] YAMAZAKI 12 YEAR OLD
can nonetheless be comprised of a variety of whiskies. (By using a range of
still shapes, peat levels, and barrel types,
the distillery makes nearly 100 different
types of malt.) You wouldnt know it from
the whisky, which is clean and harmonious but has an intriguing whiff of incense
that you wont nd in Scottish whiskies.
Suntorys other malt distillery, Hakushu,
gives us the [2] HAKUSHU HEAVILY PEATED, a ne example of something that usually would be blended with other malts:
smoky as all hell, to be sure, but also light
on the tongue and intensely spicy.
Even spicier is the [3] NIKKA COFFEY
GRAIN WHISKY. Yes, they know how to
spell: The name comes from the columnstyle Coffey still in which its made. Most
grain whisky is pretty mild stuff. Not this:
Theres so much oak spice in the nish
that you could use it in place of Fireball.
That same spice crops up in [4] NIKKAS
TAKETSURU 17 YEAR OLD, a mix of whiskies
from the companys Yoichi and Miyagikyo
distilleries. Here, though, its cushioned
by sweet grain and a little peaty smoke.
The lovely, rich [5] MIYAGIKYO 12 YEAR
OLD is similar but without the smoke.
That characteristic spice comes from
aging in wood in a warm climate. You
can taste it even in a young whisky, such
as the [6] CHICHIBU ICHIROS MALT: THE
FIRST, clean and straightforward but with
a zip to it you wouldnt nd in a Scotch
of the same agewhich is why we like
world whiskies in the rst place. Same
process, different results.

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I DONT WANT TO INVEST IN


A MOVIE UNLESS I KNOW ITS
GOOD. ARE THERE RELIABLE
PORNOGRAPHY REVIEWS?

T
HIS BES
MAN AT

SEX

B Y S TA C E Y W O O D S

Not really. With recent cutbacks, most major media outlets have had to lay off their
porn bureau entirely, so Im
afraid that the golden age of
Gene Fistkel and Rogered
Ebert is long gone. Which is
too bad, because weve never needed it more. You see, its
easy to judge the quality of a
mainstream movie: The stars
pose for pictures with foreign journalists, the lm wins
awards, and then we know
the lm is good. But with pornography, other inuencessometimes even unscrupulous onescan come into
play. The majority of pornreview Web sites out there
appear to be funded, directly or indirectly, by porn companies, says Lynsey G., who
covers porn for McSweeneys.
Your best bet, she says, is to
crank up your computer and
visit the Web sites Fleshbot
and Xbiz, particularly if you
are interested in feature lms
and porn parodies. (Because
we all know that its the porn
that gets you, but the parody
that keeps you coming back.)
Then you can start to get a
free feel for the kind of porn
you think youd like to invest
in and explore your many options for targeted porn solutions. Subscription Web sites
are the best way to go, says
G., and shes probably right.
Your monthly gift of just pennies a day goes toward nancing new Swarovski crystal

factories all over the world,


and it will save you from the
indignity of having to take
Blacks on Blondes 6 back to
the store.
SO, IM LOOKING FOR A POLITE WAY TO REFER TO HAVING SEX WITH A WOMANS
BREASTS.

I think you just said it: Sex


with a womans breasts is
pretty good. Its perfectly appropriate when testifying before Congress and can even be
added to your rsum if you
have no other skills.
The clinical term, if youre
interested, is intermammary
intercourse. Intermamma-

ry, says Susan Quilliam, relationship psychologist and author of The New Joy of Sex, as
the act is performed between
the breasts, not into them.
(That would be intramammary, which is rarely practiced
outside of killers basements
and some disreputable cosmetic-surgery centers.)
Of course, there are other ways in which people refer
to the act, but I dont recommend them. Jesse Sheidlower, president of the American
Dialect Society and author of
The F-Word, speaks of a Hawaiian muscle fuck, which
seems a bit ambiguous, since
Im sure Dog and Beth Chap-

man arent the only ones who


do it. Additionally, James
Joyce said something about
rosy-tipped bubbies in a letter to his wife once, but I dont
think hed want the whole
quote repeated here, since
its hardly his best effort. Its
no heaventree of stars hung
with humid nightblue fruit
or anything.
All things considered, you
might just say titty fucking,
like all well-adjusted people
do, particularly if youre engaged in it and most denitely
if you paid for them.
Got a sex question of your own?
E-mail it to us at sex@esquire.com.

TUTANKHAMEN, EXERCISE, AND BURIED PENIS

A study in Advanced Male Urethral and Genital Reconstructive Surgery found that rising obesity has led to an increased number
e\c[dm_j^WZkbj^eeZXkh_[Zf[d_i$European Journal of Health Law revealed that Danish sperm banks have such high supply,
j^[oWh[[nfehj_d]i[c[d$H[i[WhY^[hiWjj^[Kd_l[hi_joe\J[nWiWj7kij_d\ekdZj^Wj[n[hY_i_d]h[l[hi[ij^[b_X_Ze#ZhW_d_d][\\[Yjie\Wdj_Z[fh[iiWdji_dmec[d$7h[i[WhY^[hWjj^[7c[h_YWdKd_l[hi_jo_d9W_heif[YkbWj[Zj^WjA_d]JkjWda^Wc[dmWiXkhied with an erect penis to encourage the belief that he was the god Osiris.

42 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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ILLUSTRATION MR. BINGO

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ADVERTISINGFEATURE

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STYLEAGENDA

CLEAN CLASSICS
IZOD has been at the international forefront of mens sportswear and apparel for nearly
a century. It is among the most renowned and best-selling brands in the US, embodying
a youthful, energetic, sport-spirited, all-American lifestyle that is seen in its embrace of
bold colors and clean designs. IZOD offers both classic and active products, including its
legendary pique polo shirt as well as mens tailored clothing and ties.
Find IZOD at Century City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, SM Megamall Atrium, SM Mall of
Asia, SM Makati, and soon, in G Mall Davao and SM City Clark. Follow @IZODPH for more.

SKY HIGH
The skyline of Ortigas will be forever transformed by Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, the
first purpose-built five-star Marco Polo hotel in the country offering 316 spacious and
well-designed rooms and suites and two Continental Club floors. Marco Polo is the first
sky hotel in the country, with floors and a sky lobby accessible via high-speed elevators.
It also houses four signature dining destinations: Caf Pronto, Cucina, Lung Hin, and
their sky bar, Vus. A ballroom, large function rooms, a gallery and business lounge, a
fitness center, a spa, and an infinity pool ensure only the most luxurious experience for
its guests. Visit facebook.com/MarcoPoloOrtigasManila, follow @MarcoPoloManila on
Twitter and Instagram, or experience MPMDining.com.
For more information contact (632) 720 7777, book online at www.marcopolohotels.com
or email: manila@marcopolohotels.com.

EAST MEETS WEST


Now in its fourth season, the Onitsuka Tiger x Andrea Pompilio collection is a perfect
partnership between the true sportswear spirit of the Japanese brand and the cool and
international style of Italian fashion designer Andrea Pompilio. The collection continues
to showcase the designers affinity for prints while simultaneously chanelling the gritty
urban aesthetic of downtown Los Angeles. A truly eclectic, yet harmonious mix of
influences converge at this collaboration, making something fresh and avant garde out
of a brand with an established heritage in understated sportswear.
Visit www.onitsukatiger.com for more information.

A VISIONARY EVENTS CENTER


Following the heritage of Astorias successful resorts across the country is Chardonnay
an impressive events space located in a prime area off Capitol Commons in Ortigas.
Chardonnay is designed like a modern art gallery and equipped with state-of-the-art
audio, video, and lighting systems, as well as designer furniture and dcor. With room
for 500 plus two smaller function rooms, Chardonnay by Astoria is the ultimate space
for any grand event.
For inquiries and reservations please contact 687-1111 local 8011/8111, or email jameiah.
events@astoriaplaza.com. Visitwww.astoriahotelsandresorts.comto get a 360 degree
virtual tour of Chardonnay by Astoria.

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APRIL
2014

AT
EASE

Theres a time for everything. Time to whip out the big guns, that elegant ticker from your daddys daddy, for dinners at the Pen or parties with your boss. And time to put on something less precious, more laid back. This timepiece from Tsovet sets the pace for diversions that, well, make you forget about the time. In place of the 10 marker, there is a zero, a minimalist flourish that softens the stress of the passing of a second (late for work), a minute
(gone over a deadline), or an hour (missed your flight). That unhurried attitude can be attributed to Tsovets geography. Born in California, smack-dab in the middle of the aerospace industry, the watchmaker fuses the spirit of sunshine (a camel leather band) with avionic details (a gunmetal case that recalls a cockpit gauge) to create
what feels like a worn-in favorite piece. Wear this on the weekend or, really, anytime you wish to untether yourself
from the rigors of the clock. Watch (P17,500) by Tsovet at Rustans, shirt and black and brown bracelets, both by
H.E. by Mango, and bag (P45,000) by Tumi.

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PHOTOGRAPH MAAN PALMIERY STYLING CLIFFORD OLANDAY AND ANTON MIRANDA


ART DIRECTION EDRIC DELA ROSA LOCATION PHAT PHO, SERENDRA, TAGUIG CITY, +632 804 16 46

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 45

AD

IFF

ERE

NT
TIM
E
T
C HE
O
P
M PA
C RO ES SS
O P
M O IN ING
B I RT A
N IO LL OF
AT N
IO S FLA TH
N ,A V EH
S. N O
D R OU
S, R

ESQUIRE STYLE 04.2014

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46 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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HARD-EDGED
HARDWARE AND
A RUBBER STRAP
TOUGHEN UP THE
GLINT OF GOLD. Watch
by Savoy, sport jacket
(P6,450) by Perry Ellis,
and shirt, chinos, and
tie, all by H.E.
by Mango.

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PHOTOGRAPHS MAAN PALMIERY STYLING CLIFFORD OLANDAY AND ANTON MIRANDA


ART DIRECTION EDRIC DELA ROSA LOCATION PHAT PHO, SERENDRA, TAGUIG CITY, +632 804 16 46

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 47

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MILITARY STYLE IS
RECREATED WITH THE
PAIRING OF BLACK
AND TAN AND THE
ANTIQUE FINISHING
OF CASE AND BAND.
Watch by Bell &
Ross at Lucerne
and shirt (P2,850)
by Perry Ellis.

48 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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LAYERS OF
BLACK GIVE WEIGHT
TO THE SMALLER
FOOTPRINT OF THIS
WATCH. Watch by Hublot
at Lucerne, jacket and
bracelet, both by H.E. by
Mango, shirt (P2,850) by
Perry Ellis, and sunglasses
by Lacoste at
Ideal Vision.

50 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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THE ONLY TIME


WHEN BEING BLUE
IN THE FACE IS A
GOOD THING IS
WHEN IT LIGHTS UP
YOUR WRIST. Watch
(P9,500) by Swatch,
shirt (P2,950) by Perry
Ellis, and trousers by
H.E. by Mango.

52 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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VIEWED FROM A
ROBUST SCREEN,
THE UNDISGUISED
MOVEMENTS OF
DISCS, DIALS, AND
HANDS MAKE READING
TIME A SPECTATOR
SPORT. Watch by
Sevenfriday and shirt
by H.E. by Mango.

54 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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ESQUIRE STYLE 04.2014

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FIG. 2. TRETORN NYLITE
CANVAS
A centurys-worth of Swedish and Scandinavian heritage
courses through Tretorn, as
seen in its understated design.
The all-white Nylite Canvas is
a classic, a favorite of people
of all ages, not only for that
delicate aesthetic but also for
its durable construction.

FIELD NOTES
THIS MONTH IN ACCESSORIES.

FIG. 1. HERMS CAPE COD TONNEAU GM SILVER


The latest version retains its curves and lugs, but comes with a refreshed dial, nine interchangeable straps, and a case made of special
silver alloy, a composition exclusive to Herms. And don't be afraid of
that wrap-around strap. Think of it as a leather band that adds casual
elegance.

FIG. 3. COLE HAAN LUNARGRAND CAMO WINGTIPS


The hybrid footwear that
combines the form of a dress
shoe with the comfort of a
sneaker (Nike's Lunarlon
technology) releases a slew
of new models, including
this suede wingtip inyes!
forest-green camo.

56 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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ILLUSTRATIONS ALYSSE ASILO

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DAUPHINE-SHAPED
HOUR- AND MINUTE-HANDS

PULSOMETER SCALE

MONOPUSHER
CHRONOGRAPH
BUTTON

GOLD-PLATED
ROMAN
NUMERALS

MINERVA
MANUFACTURE
ARROWHEAD

BLUED STEEL
ELAPSED-TIME
HANDS

FIG. 4. MONTBLANC MEISTERSTCK


HERITAGE PULSOGRAPH
The 90-year-old heritage of the legendary writing instrument is translated into an
equally stately timepiece.

18-KARAT
ROSE GOLD
CASE

FIG. 6. TUMI BASHFORD DUFFEL


This duffel from the 2014 Santa Monica
Collection exudes the easiness of Southern
California: a relaxed shape, a roomy interior,
and clean detailing, including that distinctive X on its exterior and a tan accent on the
handle. Your weekend companion is made
from supple vachetta and glazed leathers.

FIG. 5. TOD'S LEATHER LOAFER


It's all in the details. A leather loafer in stringent black is
made special with hand-done nishing (skins are tanned and
polished to give its surface variances of light and dark), a side
buckle in nickel-plated metal, and exposed stitching. The hotstamped monogram is also a nice touch. Wear everywhere.

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 57

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ASK NICK

T H E E S Q U I R E FA S H I O N
D I R E C T O R W I L L N O W TA K E
YO U R Q U E S T I O N S

My husband very much wants a Rolex.


Dudes earned it, so Im happy to oblige.
This weekend, he became hot on the
idea of buying a vintage Rolexone
manufactured in 68, the year he was
bornand hes found one on eBay. Is this
a bad idea?

fig. 1

AMY JOHNSON
M I L A N , I TA LY

Buying online can produce


some interesting bargains,
and Ive found some great
pieces in my time. But with
big-brand wristwatches, it is
also fraught with risks. With a
name as sought after as Rolex
[Fig. 1, Vintage Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller], there can be

all sorts of dodginess: What


looks like a real vintage Rolex
case or dial may have a fake
Rolex movement or a cheap
mechanical one. Although
there are plenty of reputable
watch dealers on eBay, you
have no way of knowing until you do business with them
which is which. My recommendation: Find a vintage
dealer with a brick-and-mortar operation in your neck
of the woods. You might pay
more than you would online,
but consider it a down payment on peace of mind.
Whats the secret to a smoothlooking dress shirt, like Kevin
Spaceys in House of Cards? Is
it the material, cut, or quality
of the undershirt?
STEVE D.
ARLINGTON, VA.

Its a combination of all


the things you mention. Undershirts can have a useful smoothing effectpresumably the friction between
shirt and undershirt helps
58 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

keep things nice and even


as do more body-conscious
cuts. Theyre becoming increasingly common as men
embrace a) tness and b) the
clothes to show off the fruits
of said tness. I cant help
wondering if its not also a
state-of-mind thing. Spacey [Fig. 2] (or at least his character) cares about what his
shirt is doing, and it shows.

fig. 2

Im seeking to improve my
personal look and have
decided on a monocle [Fig. 3].
Theyre stylish, classy, and, I
feel, offer an air of dignity. Two
questions: Where can I find
one, and...

The three-day beard growth


looks virile and rakish on a
young man, but if your beard
is graying, dont you just look
like a wino after a three-day
bender?

DON VAUGHAN
RALEIGH, N.C.

JAN KITCHEL
PORTLAND, OREG.

Im going to stop you right


there, Don. Don. Don. Don.
Dont.
I have some old Canali
suits that are in great shape
but have pleats. Some even
have double pleats. Can a tailor effectively remove the
pleats to create flat-front
trousers?

tailor, is no simple matter,


since hell have to nd a way
to remove this excess cloth
somewhere at the sides. Its
doable but can be time-consuming and costly, especially
if it messes up the side pockets. Ultimately, only you can
say if its worth it. Since the
jacket will conceal the pleats
most of the time, Id le it under lifes too short. You can
always go at-front next time.

fig. 3

MICHAEL KOTLER
NEW YORK, N.Y.

Happens to the best of us.


I currently have much more
than a three-day stubble going on, and it is gray, certainly grayer than the hair on my
head. Occasionally it bothers
me. I even went to the lengths
of buying a packet of Just for
Men recently. I couldnt go
through with it in the end, but
I am considering a boob job.

Pleated-front pants [Fig.


4, suit by Canali] are intended to give more volume in the
thigh. Which is handy if you
need it, but also means there
is more cloth. Reworking
them, even for a competent

fig. 4

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GOT A QUESTION
FOR NICK SULLIVAN?
E-MAIL HIM AT
ESQST YLE@HEARST.COM.

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APRIL
2014

EYES

THE EYES
HAVE IT

Youre busy. Too busy to walk your dog, pick up the cake, go on a date. And certainly too busy to add another step in your grooming routine. Reconsider. Even if your face can bounce back from a night of little sleep,
the less resilient skin around your eyes give away the real story. Youre dead tired. A squeeze of eye cream
softens the telltale signs of fatigue, dark rings and puffy pouches that make you look like a ghoul. This one,
from Lab Series, takes the skin-saving fight on two fronts. A blend of 10 antioxidants neutralizes the damage caused by free radicals, the stuff that breaks down skin, while peptides help the production of collagen,
the stuff that repairs it. Its a high-tech salve that helps you appear more awake or in peak conditioneven if
youre not. And thats worth the extra step. Age Rescue Eye Therapy (P1,995) by Lab Series and sunglasses
by Carrera at Ideal Vision.

60 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

PHOTOGRAPHS PAUL DEL ROSARIO STYLING CLIFFORD OLANDAY ART DIRECTION EDRIC DELA ROSA
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THE SQUEEZE

EYES

HOW YOU PUT IT ON IS AS IMPORTANT AS WHATS IN IT.


1 The Body Shop Moisture White Brightening Eye Cream
Use the flat-head applicator to massage the cream into your skin. The
action also stimulates circulation, which helps reduce the look of fatigue.
Shisho extract is the magic ingredient that lightens dark rings.
2 LOreal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Ice Cold Eye Roller
The heavy-handed benefits from its hands-free application. A roller ball
delivers the Vitamin C-and-caffiene-infused serum with light strokes.
3 Shiseido Men Total Revitalizer Eye
A classic point end dispenses the precise amount, a tiny dot. This reinforces firmness through the production of hyaluronic acid (the stuff that
increases volume). The formula is also thick. When applied, its as if it holds
everything up.
4 Kiehls Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer
The easiest to use. No dragging or pulling. One sweep of the stick covers
the entire under-eye area. And that solid form is actually soft, almost
creamy, when applied. The cooling effect is also refreshing.

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 61

ESQUIRE GROOMING 04.2014

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EYES

Sunglasses by
Carrera at Ideal Vision.

THE NEXT STEP


WHEN CREAMS ARENT CUTTING IT,
CONSIDER NEEDLE WORK.
Dark circles are shadows cast by a web of
blood vessels. And theyre visible because
the skin under your eyes is notoriously thin.
As you grow older, that skin gets finer, the
rings more prominent. You cant stop aging,
but you can control it. Speed it up with lack
of sleep and lots of stress, which, in turn,
make the skin more translucent, or slow it
down with the help of your dermatologist.
Dr. Paulo Asuncion of Vietura recommends
four rounds of Platelet Rich Plasma, a treatment that softens the shadows by regenerating skin cells. The procedure is non-surgical,
but it does involve needles, first to extract
20 milliliters of blood, the source of the
platelets, and then to deliver the plasma. It
doesnt hurt. After 45 minutes with topical
anesthesia slathered all over your face, you
hardly feel the needle breaking into your
skin. The doctor does his work with a sure
hand, injecting the plasma into depressed
areasworry furrows, marionette lines, the
hollows underneath your eyes. What you will
feel is this: the liquid tracing a squiggly line
as it goes in, and, seconds after, the injected
area becoming hot and heavy. Its as if the
solution is working already, stimulating the
production of collagen, which provides that
lift, that buffer that minimizes the darkness. Of course, it takes more time than
that. A week after one session sees a subtle
change. The circles appear less aggressive.
You look a little better. No one may notice
yet (three more rounds achieve maximal
effect), but thats the point. You dont
want to appear as if youve had something
done. You want to look like youve been
taking it easy, eschewing all stress. CO
SOFITEL PHILIPPINE PLAZA MANILA, CCP COMPLEX,
ROXAS BOULEVARD, PASAY CITY. +632 551 55 55 EXTENSION 5000 AND 5098.

62 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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SUMMERTIME

A RARE FRUIT CREATES AN EVERGREEN SCENT.

o doubt about it, summer is in full swing. And just as youve traded your chunky sweater for a linen shirt, swap
out that complex musk for something pure, something green. At rst whiff, LEau dIssey pour Homme Yuzu reminds you of the gooey insides of a young stalk snapped in two. But what feels like green things is actually yuzu,
a Japanese citrus that is like the love child of a lemon and a mandarin. Fans of the 1994 original, from which this
limited edition iteration is based on, will recognize it. Theyll also notice that the rare fruit has been turned up
throughoutamplied over nutmeg, cedar, and vetiverto add an edge of exuberance. The rest of the composition smooths out,
soft and sweet, like the close of a song

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PHOTOGRAPH PAUL DEL ROSARIO STYLING CLIFFORD OLANDAY ART DIRECTION EDRIC DELA ROSA

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 63

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NOTES &
ESSAYS

CREDITS GO HERE

A.R. SAMSON
ON MONEY
MICHIKO YAMAMOTO
ON DEBT
LOURD DE VEYRA
ON GOD
JOEL TABORA, S.J.
ON FAITH
CRISTINA P. HIDALGO
ON DEATH
ELY BUENDIA
ON LOVE
LAV DIAZ
ON PAIN
MANUEL L. QUEZON III
ON POWER

EDITED BY SARGE LACUESTA


PHOTOGRAPHS BY GELOY CONCEPCION AND VEEJAY VILLAFRANCA
ARTWORKS BY ROBERT LANGENEGGER AND MIDEO CRUZ

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APRIL 2014 ESQUIRE

65

NOTES & ESSAYS

NOTES &
ESSAYS

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MONEY IN THE POCKET


WALLET BEHAVIOR IS A SUB-SECTOR
OF MALE ANTHROPOLOGY
A.R. SAMSON

Money is not always the generic item it


is assumed to be. There is the assumption that money cant buy happiness or
makes the world go round. But the rst
thing to ask is what money one is talking
about.
There is future money, which we
spend now using a plastic card against
future payments from salaries not yet
received or donations from kindly
benefactors in exchange for services like
landscape gardening, the second oldest
profession, or prizes from an afternoon
game show. Even farther out in terms of
availability are such monies (yes, it has a
plural form) as expected shares in inheritances, not always a sure amount, prots
from the sale of a painting or condo, or
a windfall from some investment where
one is only an arranger or intermediary
and maybe a future whistle blower.
Money then can be a hazy abstraction.
So when somebody is selling something to another and wondering if the
prospective buyer has money, he has to
gure out what money he is looking at
66 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

Taxing Religion in the House of Zaccheus, Robert Langenegger, 2008

and what the buyer is laying claim to as


if he can afford the price being quoted
for the object of desire.
Just in terms of time and availability,
one can see the money that one has or
can make a claim to varies in amounts
and dependability. The only sure money
which personal nancial consultants
want you to count on is present money,
which is not the same as the present
value of moneyan economic concept
which is also hypothetical and cant buy
you a Gucci bag here and now. The present value of money is a construct where
future revenue streams from different
investment options are brought to the
present using a putative interest rate so
that revenue streams of varying schedules and time frames can be compared,
apples to apples. See, I told you it was an
abstraction.
Present money then is cash in the
pocket, bank accounts (not set aside for
amortizations for cars or houses), and
maybe mutual funds, and stocks that
are traded daily. Stocks too uctuate in
value and become cash only when sold,
but not always for the same amount
spent in acquiring themand not always
for a higher number.
For shopping and paying of unplanned
activities like pruning the bushes,
we have to limit money to the one in
the pocket and the unassigned bank
accounts. The conservative person especially seduced by impulse buying will
only treat as money what is in the wallet.
Of course, that amount also includes the
plastic cards that take a dip of future

money but limits this to what is expected in the next sixty days. Even with the
credit cards seduction for you to spend
more by stretching out the payment into
minimum amounts to be paid every
billing period, the spending of future
money needs to be reined in.
Here we come to the crux of the
matter. What is pocket money? This
classication already implies a budgeted
amount for discretionary spending. It
has removed the monthly obligations
like rent, amortizations, booked vacations, and tuition fees for those with
such commitments.
To understand the dynamics of money
in the pocket, lets limit our search to an
ordinary mans pocket.
The wallet is the repository of money
in the topmost level of discretionary spending. It is in fact meant to be
spent, though one should not let slip the
thought that it needs to also be replenished for the following day.
Still, the wallet in the pocket denes
the person and his habits which can
be projected to his spending pattern
and future solvency. While the description that follows may be misconstrued
as autobiographical, even narcissistic,
somewhat like a nancial sele, it is
enough of a representative composite
that others can perhaps relate to it. Or
maybe they cant. Life is full of surprises.
Wallet behavior is a sub-sector of male
anthropology. It is the nancial equivalent of Margaret Meads Growing up in
Samoa, a work too that had later been
found as unscientic and unsupported

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not just from required cancellation
notices for credit cards but all the irreplaceable items tucked in there, not
everything readily accounted for.
The ideal wallet size is small, maybe 20
percent bigger than a calling card, thickness limited to 2 cm. The narrow space
this affords requires selectivity, reducing,
if not totally eliminating, photos which
can be transferred to the smart phone.
It means trimming down credit cards,
carrying only those to be used for the day.
Coins need to be ditched altogether.
Frequent removal and replacement
can result in confusion, eventually misplacing items. This is solved by having
two wallets, one to carry around, and the
other for ling items not used regularly,
like international credit cards and resort
club memberships. A third wallet is
necessary to foil muggers. This one is
readily given up at the slightest threat,
containing as it does small bills, senior
citizens card and expired credit cards to
call attention to the thief and cause him
problems at the store.
A thick wallet doesnt necessarily have
more money. Its owner just carries a lot
more things with him and is likely to
also own a Swiss knife that has a foldable shovel for an instant latrine in the
wilds and a solar operated ashlight.
You can tell the character of a person
by the things he puts in his wallet. A
thick wallet points to the insecurity of
a partygoer who loads up on his buffet
plate fearful of running out if he has to
come back. This just-in-case mentality
loads up inventory in the wallet.
Truly rich and powerful people dont
even carry wallets, as these spoil the
lines of their suits. They are accompanied by others with thick pouches that
have wallets along with night-scopes
and heavy artillery.
Many get attached to their wallets,
even if these are battered, falling apart
and no longer closing at like crocodile
jaws. It is a momentous day indeed
when one changes wallets and tries to
squeeze the old stuff into the new and
sleeker model designed for the simple
purpose of carrying Euros.
What happened to the money? Its still
whats in the wallet. There should be
more of it than the other stuff. Wealth
then is a balance between money and
the other stuff that cant get you a new
wallet.
A.R. SAMSON
Essayist, ctionist and columnist

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II

AN EXCERPT
FROM AN UNPRODUCED
SCREENPLAY
MICHIKO YAMAMOTO

INT. TONYS RESIDENCE.


NIGHT.
Amidst all the coins and paper bills being
counted, Edgar tries to stay calm as he
nishes relating everything to Tony.
OBET
Kinuwento mo na ba to sa mga pulis?
EDGAR
Wala ho silang maitutulong sa kin.
TONY
Hindi mo na kailangang hingin sa
amin Edgar. We will pray for you
and your family every day
EDGAR
Hindi dasal ang kailangan ko, Bishop.
Kailangan ko ng pambayad sa kanila.
Tony shifts in his seat.
TONY
So what are you asking from us?
EDGAR
Nakakahiya man pero kung puwede
ho sanang maibalik sa min yung
donasyon ni tatay. Yung isang milyon.
Tony tries not to look shocked
at the request. Edgar reads his
expression, but he pushes himself to
continue, swallowing his pride.
EDGAR
Yung iba, uutangin ko ho sana sa simbahan. Bigyan niyo lang ako ng dalawang buwan. Magbabayad ho ako.
TONY
Edgar
EDGAR
Kahit magdagdag ho ako ng interes. Hindi ko kayo tatakasan.
Pag sinabi ko, sinabi ko.
In desperation, Edgar kneels
in front of the Bishop.
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67

NOTES & ESSAYS

by actual practices in that tribe. Still, nancial behavior can be indexed to how
the wallet functions in the life of a male.
Or it may not. So what?
A right-handed man usually carries
his wallet in the right back pocket of his
pants where constant wear (including
sitting on it and bumping doors open
with it) bends it to the curve of that posterior cheek. Medical problems can arise
from this habit. Intrusion of an unusually thick wad in the back pouch while
driving can restrict blood circulation. It
can put a tilt to one side that affects the
steering wheel turn.
A friend discovered this effect after
complaining of shooting pains in his
hip. A number of doctors he saw could
not gure out the ailment. The last one
asked to see his wallet and immediately
knew what was wrong. The portablebible heft of the wallet caused the hip
aches and the patient was asked to either
switch to a thinner wallet or move its
location to the front pocket. He did both
and permanently rid himself of his pain.
Forgetting ones wallet at home, or
worse, losing it or leaving it in some inconvenient location, makes one aware of
the ties to that personal accessory which
holds more than pocket money. Here is
a partial table of contents equivalent to
present money.
Assorted plastic gives the wallet its
heft. The small plastic rectangles include credit, discount, VIP, ATM cards,
drivers license, and memberships in
clubs. While wallets provide slots for
plastic cards, these become quickly inadequate as more and more are wedged
into the limited space.
The wallet also serves as photo album.
Its not enough to allow for ID photos.
An accordion plastic case accommodates
photos of travels (The fuzzy photo is my
secretary taking dictation), miniaturization of citations and plaques.
What about calling cards? A bunch
is always on hand for giving out to old
classmates (What are you doing nowadays?) and business associates. These
cards include those received and not yet
led awayin the circular cabinet.
Folded pieces of paper include to-do
lists, other peoples cards, Comelec
registration, credit card receipts, newspaper clippings, and a recipe for chili
con carne. Lets not forget the original
purpose as receptacle for money of both
paper and coin specimens.
From this inventory, one can see how
a lost wallet can cause anxiety attacks,

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EDGAR
Wala na ho talaga kong ibang malalapitan. Parang awa niyo na Bishop.
Tony touches Edgars shoulder.
Itatayo siya.
TONY
Get up son. Get up.

wife and their daughter too.


Tony gestures for Obet to lead Edgar
out of the ofce. Obet looks surprised
that its over. But he complies.
OBET
Edgar, halika na

mess. Drawers are open. Kayes jewelry


box is emptied. He enters the bathroom
to see Kaye seated on the toilet bowl
and crying. Her hair is disheveled. She
has scratches on her arms. Shes holding a small blade in front of her wrist.
Trembling. Its obvious she cannot do it.
EDGAR
Anong gagawin mo?!

Edgar refuses to go and faces Tony.


TONY
(to staff ) Linda, kumuha ka nga ng tubig.
Mauupo naman si Edgar. Hiyang-hiya
siya na yuyuko para sapuhin ang ulo.
Linda hands him a glass of water.
Edgar takes it but doesnt drink it.

EDGAR
Hindi ho ako nanghihingi Bishop.
Nangungutang ako. Hindi para ipambili ng bahay o ipangsugal. Para
lang mabuhay ang pamilya ko.

KAYE
(babbling) Ed, sorry. Hindi ko alam na.
Anong gagawin natin? Natatakot ako
EDGAR
Akin na yan!

Tony stands up to face Edgar calmly.

NOTES & ESSAYS

Edgar sees Tony shedding some tears.


Hes shaking his head in sadness.
TONY
Our enemy is at work here. Wag
kang patalo sa kanya Edgar. The
devil is trying to weaken you and
take you away from Yeshua.

TONY
Edgar, I would give you the money if
it were mine. Pero lahat ng to pagaari ng simbahan. Hindi kami puwedeng magbigay na lang ng nancial help sa bawat taong lumapit
sa amin. Kahit utang pa

Tony lays his hand over Edgars


head. Obet does the same.

EDGAR
Papatayin nila kami!

TONY
He will not abandon you my son.
Yeshua is alive! He shares your
pain! He shares your sufferings!
Almighty Yeshua, give your humble
son strength to overcome the devil!
Release your son from doubt and
give him faith! That serpent will
not defeat us! No Yeshua! Nata ipo
victi santi loro! Soto la da ba ka
lesti! Praise Yeshua the
most powerful!
OBET
Hallelujah! Praise you Yeshua!
Tony looks exhausted and ops down
on his seat. He sees Edgar looking
at him expectantly.

He approaches and takes the blade


from her angrily. Kaye doesnt
ght. Edgar nicks himself in the
process but doesnt mind the cut.
EDGAR
Isipin mo yung anak mo! Ano sa palagay mo pakiramdam niya ngayon ha?!
Tumayo ka diyan! Ayusin mo sarili mo!

Tony continues as if not hearing Edgar.

Edgar walks out angrily. Parang nabuhusan ng tubig si Kaye. It is the


rst time she sees Edgar like this.

TONY
kahit gano pa kaimportante. Because
we are a church. Hindi tayo bangko o
kooperatiba but a church! All we can
offer you is our prayer and our support

INT. EDGARS HOUSE.


SAME NIGHT.
Edgar rushes into his house.
Theyre wet from the light rain
outside. Manny is behind him.

EDGAR
(interrupts him) Hindi namin
kailangan ang dasal nyo!

EDGAR
Kaye! Angel!

Edgar turns to leave but Tony


stops and holds his arm.
TONY
Edgar, kung maniniwala ka lang
sa kapangyarihan ni Yeshua, wala
kang kakatakutang kahit ano

Then he almost slips. When he looks,


he sees a small pool of blood on the
oor and a hand. Manny also sees it.
Manang and Angel come out of their
hiding place. Manny sees them in time.
MANNY
Diyan lang kayo!
ANGEL
Ma! Nasan si mama?

Sa sobrang galit, aambahan ni Edgar


si Tony. He almost punches Tony, who
looks scared and immediately covers
his face. Obet stops Edgar in time.

Edgars phone rings. He answers it.

Edgar cannot believe his ears.

Edgar looks furious but doesnt say


anything. He pushes Obet out of
the way and angrily storms out.

BOOMBOOM (V.O.)
Buhay pa asawa mo. Hindi na
nga lang siya kumpleto.

TONY
Obet, ihatid mo siya sa bahay.
Use the service van. Pray over his

INT. EDGARS HOUSE.


BEDROOM. SAME NIGHT.
Edgar enters the bedroom and sees the

EDGAR
Putangina ka. Nakiusap
ako sa yo ng maayos.

TONY
Buksan mo lang ang isip at puso mo,
Edgar. Yeshua will show you the
way. Ipapakita niya sa yo ang
solusyon sa problemang to.
Magtiwala ka lang sa kanya.

68 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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Boomboom sounds crazy


and out of control.
BOOMBOOM (V.O.)
Fuck you man! You made me do
this! Fuck! Kasalanan niyo to! Now,
youll either give us the money tomorrow or youll nd your dead
wifes bloated body oating in the
Pasig-fucking-polluted-river!
Edgar looks more determined than ever.
EDGAR
Darating ako.
MICHIKO YAMAMOTO
Screenwriter

III
DEAR GOD

LIKE IT OR NOT MY CONCEPT OF


GOD LOOKS LIKE THE DUDE IN
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
LOURD DE VEYRA

Sorry to disturb you, but allow me to


introduce myself. Wait, this is absurd.
You know me, denitely. You being

all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, and all thatCreator of everything


and Id like to think that everything
includes myself and even Justin Bieber.
You know what I do, what I just ate, the
color of my underwear on the rst day of
sixth grade and what Im going to do at
exactly 3:30 a.m. later. You know exactly
the number of strands of hair desperately clinging on my tragic follicles, or the
Venn diagram of acne on my face. Oh,
and about that thing with you-knowwho last week, well, I was hungover.
You do understand, right? I have, after
all, been taught all my life about your
boundless compassion.
As you may very well know, I have not
been attending mass since, well, Ive lost
track. Its been decades, and those last
few years its always been about making
Mother happy (thats actually more for
her succor than my personal sense of piety. She can get more furious than Moses
about the state of my souls salvation).
But, dear God, I hope that those years of
intense prayer from grade school to high
school would have more than made up
for it. Remember? I used to look more
solemn than Gloria Arroyo receiving
communion from a Pajero bishop.
Personally I nd the Latin mass much
more engagingthe silence, the atmosphere of pure ritual, the mystery of
an alien language. I agree with Joseph
Campbell that Vatican II has robbed
the mass of its solemnitynow its like

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Kulo, detail, Mideo Cruz, 2011

Thats Entertainment, with bad jean labels, sandos, noisy brats, and mini-skirts.
I disdain sermonsespecially those that
stretch on for innity. I nd absurd the
notion that a human being can rant on
for 30 minutes presuming to know what
God thinks.
Im writing because those heathens
at Esquire Philippines have asked me to
write an essay on God, which is to say,
you, or depending on whose stylebook,
You. I must say it would be quite a task,
considering my day job requires me to
present the weather and insult people
(by the way, Im not complaining. I have
the best job in the world. And thanks for
not making me work for Globe customer service). That, plus the fact that
engagement in social media has vastly
diminished my capacity for profound
reection. I have decided to become
eight years old once again and just re
off a letter. Im not really surethis is like
shadowboxing, or those Buddhist faithful
who launch prayer lanterns off to the sky.
Does the fact that this letter takes on
the second person conrm my belief in
your existence? Twenty-ve years ago
I would have unequivocally said, yes.
I couldnt just shake off eight years of
Dominican education. Although there
was one point in high school life when
the seeds of doubt were planted by that
XTC song from which this letter pilfers
its title. Where I came from, that seemed
like dangerously excommunicable shit.
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69

NOTES & ESSAYS

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thing changed afterwards. The UST
Central Library was a goldmine of the
non-Catholic, of books once considered
heretical (by the way, are those heathens
still burning in hellre?). I started reading up on Zen, theosophy. Interest in the
Beats led to dabbling in Eastern mysticism and a brief fascination for Tibetan
Buddhist aesthetics after attempting to
readon potThe Tibetan Book of the
Dead. It was, ironically, in that school
where I rst came across the Existentialists (by the way, dear God, who
occupies a lower circle of hell: Sartre or
Camus?). All these, plus Slayer albums
and a bunch of death metal records, perhaps changed my perception of a Higher
Being. But some scars are permanent.
If theres one image that graphically
illustrates my view of God, its a cartoon
from a Jehovahs Witness pamphlet I
saw as a kid in Tacloban: a guy whose fa-

NOTES & ESSAYS

Remember: I grew up in households


adorned with huge wooden rosaries,
crucixes, Santo Nios, and Virgin
Marys. When the clock struck 6 pm we
switched on the light above a glassencased Jesus that looked extra creepy
when a red bulb was used to light it. I
have a mother who still raises her hand
above my head la Jimmy Swaggart
every time I nurse a fever.
Thomistic philosophy has its virtues
how beautifully simple, especially the
theory of the First Cause (and while
were on the subject of St. Thomas, is it
really true that you made his manuscript
on the Trinity oat from the Notre Dame
altar as a gesture of critical approval?).
But then again, it would seem like a
dead-end notionthe impossibility of
demonstrating the existence of God,
except as an article of faith.
That was freshman theology. Every-

cial expression suggests masturbation or


something equally selsh and pleasurable. And little does he know that God is
watchingalthough I am not sure if God
was depicted here with an angry beard.
You can imagine the damage this image has done to my psycheup to now,
whenever I engage in activities that are
selsh and, uhm, pleasurable, this image
haunts me.
You wouldnt happen to be like that,
would you? Because if yes, the notion of
a bearded guy watching over our entire
secret nocturnal liaisons, like a perpetual CCTV, strikes me as absolutely sick.
But being raised Roman Catholic, I nd
it tough to wash away the stains of fear
and guilt. It doesnt help that every Sunday that bloody carcass is the cynosure
of all eyes inside the church.
You wont take it personally, Id like
to believe. What I cant understand is if
youre the embodiment of perfection,
why the need for adulations and praise,
for words and gestures of undying
fealty? We assume that perfection
precludes insecurity and pettiness.
Voltaire once said that if you did not
exist, it would be necessary to invent
youand that includes everything, like
the concept of a Great Afterlife and the
system of reward-and-punishment.
Somebody had to invent the concept of
an afterlifebecause if this is as good
as it gets, were fucked. What about the
criminal who got rich, lived happily, and
died comfortably? As opposed to the pious man who had lived a life of absolute
poverty and sacrice. The absence of
an afterlife? Its enough to drive a man
insane.
But the questions remain: Why do
you allow fanatics to blow up school
buses and buildings in your name? Not
only that: why place those idiots in
high-ranking places of religious power?
Like those who insinuated that Yolanda
happened because the RH Bill was
passed. Sorry, dear God, but I will punch
the next person who says, We cant
presume to know the mysterious ways
of God. You mean, theres an actual
explanation for a storm taking the lives
of six thousand people? No sane god
would justify such tragediesunless he
acts like Charlton Heston. Thats the
damage popular culture has inicted on
my psyche. Like it or not my concept of
God looks like the dude in The Ten Commandments. Another equally horrible
phrase is Its Gods will. How the hell
do you know?

Black Nazarene series, Veejay Villafranca, 2011

70 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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Black Nazarene series, Veejay Villafranca, 2011

we do not harm our brothers and sister


not because of the threats of eternal
hellrebut simply because. In short,
pure love. Beautiful, simple. The mostgodlike situation occurs only when we
act virtuous even without your presence.
But seriously: Please make it better
down here.
Sorry to disturb you,
Lourd de Veyra
P.S. Whyd you have to kill Christopher
Hitchens?
P.S.S. Are all the members of Slayer going to hell?
P.S.S.S. What about that silly proposal
to install wi- in churches? Its just
begging for punchlines like, Finally, an
invisible power that actually works.
P.S.S.S.S. About the prayer thingIm
pretty happy with Google.
LOURD DE VEYRA
Songwriter, musician, novelist, poet

IV

WHAT IS FAITH?
ITS PROBABLY EASIER TO PUT
ONES FAITH IN HEDGE FUNDS, STOCKS,
SWISS BANKS, AND JEJOMAR BINAY
THAN IN JESUS CHRIST.
FR. JOEL TABORA, S.J.

What is faith? Lifes not possible without


faith. If you y Philippine Airlines, you
have to have faith. If you y Cebu Pacic,
well, you have to have more faith! If you
travel by air, you have faith. You may not
think much about it. But when you pay
your hard-earned money for your Manila-Davao ticket, you have faith that that
huge hunk of metal sitting ponderously
on the Manila runway will not only get
you up, up and away more than 30,000
feet into the sky, but will wing you from
Luzon to Mindanao, and actually get
you onto the ground again in Davao. If
you ask me, that takes a lot of faith. It
is faith in what people have invented,
faith in how creative ideas have become
jet planes, faith in people who maintain
them, y them, land them, patronize
them, faith in how people normally deliver, no matter the infrequent accidents,

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the rare skidding off the runway, the


matchless mess ups, the shocking news
of mid-air mishaps that leave no passengers alive. It is in fact the aberrant events
which underscore that faith is at play
here, and not just knowledge.
Life is not possible without faith.
When you cross the street for the rst
time in front of Romes Coliseum, you
sweat in fear for your life. But you learn
eventually to put faith in the Roman
driver. When you drink of the bottle
marked Remy Martin XO, you have faith
that you will be pleased, not sickened,
by what you swallow. When you entrust
your child to the hands of a surgeon,
you have faith that his scalpel will heal,
not injure. When you order sashimi at
Inagiku, you have faith that you will be
nourished in style, not poisoned. Faith
is certitude, despite incertitude. It is
knowledge, despite ignorance. It is trust,
despite ample warrant to doubt. It is
learned, but also gifted. It is what people
in their communities have, without
which they do not live well.
Faith is ones source of meaning. No
human is without faith. Faith is what
centers and integrates ones life, no
matter how shallow or sublime. Faith
denes life, until life redenes faith.
Ones faith may be money, as is the effective faith of many, the fetish of the
commodity; ones faith may be pleasure, or the accumulation of power. Or,
ones faith may be self-centered, focused
on the freedom or creativity of ones
being, or more other-centered, altruistic,
transcendent, sublime. In the aloneness
of ones faith, one may nd the human
other, or the totally other, God.
Faith pertains profoundly to the
person. It comes alive less in manipulatAPRIL 2014 ESQUIRE

71

NOTES & ESSAYS

Gods will. How horrifyingly presumptuous. Like those who shout your
greatness every time a rocket-propelled
grenade hits a bus full of innocent
children. It just makes me wonder how
those nice people at the CBCP become
privy to your displeasure over condoms
and family planning. Please explain to
me why there are people and faiths that
disdain the notion of sex and esh for
the reward of an afterlife of complete
debauchery resembling the ner points
of such spiritual cinema as Barely Legal,
Fresh Meat, and The Young and the
Breastless. Explain to me those faiths
that kill in the name of so-called morality, those religions that turn hysterical
over certain livestock, shellsh, intoxicants, and all other things. There are
faiths that would choose murder rather
than allow the showing of a womans
ankle. Sorry, but I admit to nding comfort in the term godless society. The
Middle East has God and look how that
turned out.
Do I believe in you? I think all great
Artand I capitalize, of coursemakes
us feel the presence of God. You are in
the unhinged solos of John Coltrane,
Charlie Parker, and Ornette Coleman, in
the overlapping harmonies of Ravi Shankars sitar, in the cathedral-like mysteries of Wallace Stevens poetry, in the
sonorous wonder of Beethovens Ninth,
or the lingering monotony of a Messiaen
overtone. I imagine your presence in the
vast expanses of silence as visualized by
Tarkovsky or Bergman, or an extreme
close-up of a priests eyes in a Bresson
lm. You inhabit the feedback of Jimi
Hendrixs Stratocaster, or in the trajectory of Michael Jordans levitations. In
the drunken swirls of Jackson Pollocks
brushstrokes, in the curves of Chagalls
lovers in ight, and even in the abandoned temples of Angkor, you are there.
Even in the ingeniously simple design
of the iPhone or the Technics SL-1200,
which allows for the fulllment of
dazzling ambitions. That is the kind of
God I would want to believe inand
not the one who allows the slaughter of
children, or worse, the perpetuation of
mediocrity.
For me, dear God, the highest morality happens when we do good not out of
a middling sense of reward or retribution but out of sheer concern for our
fellow human being. That we make sure
he or she is perennially safe from harm
not because well be receiving brownie
points in some cloudy afterlife. That

NOTES & ESSAYS

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ing the immutable law of the thing, and
more in exploring the innite possibilities of the person. Faith is dramatic,
empowering, encouraging when its
object is not an it but a you. When
one says, I have faith in you, one is not
only speaking a word of recognition, one
is speaking a word of empowerment.
My faith in you does not cause you to
do what you do, but occasions you to do
freely what you can do, encourages you,
and loves you in doing just that. When
I tell my scholar, I have faith in you, I
recognize her considerable intellectual
abilities, I encourage her eros for truth,
and I may even love her as she goes beyond herself to excel in her academics.
Of course, there is the possibility that
my faith may be misplaced and that I
be disappointed. Life teaches that faith
always risks disappointment. Despite
this, I continue to have faith.
Love requires faith. On the one hand,
love without faith is impersonal universal gibberish like, I love humanity,
its just my neighbor I cant stand. Or:
All men are created equal, but not my
servants, and especially not my wife.
On the other hand, love without faith is
carnal heat, sheer lust, genital titillation,
which for all of todays chic, cosmetics and body sculpting recognizes ego
but no other human face. When one
ceases to have faith in ones friends, one
ceases to respect them; one begins to
take advantage of them and manipulate
them. When one ceases to have faith in
ones spouse, one ceases to recognize a
human face, one begins to relate with a
distant body, maintained, managed and
kept, but not loved. When one who is in
love says, I believe in you, it is not only
a manifestation of admiration, Bilib talaga ako sa iyo! It is also a manifestation
of expectation: Because you are who
you are, my love is well placed in you.
My love will not be betrayed in you. My
faith in you is faithful to you, and so calls
forth your delity to me.
In love which respects no limit, my
faith in you insists on ultimate delity.
My faith in you rejects any nality of
your dying, and insists on the validity
of our love that is stronger than death.
Your faith in me insists on the same.
Jesus insisted on faith. This was not
an insistence on a creed nor an ethical
system. It was an insistence on a shared
relationship, wherein one clearly says,
I have faith in you, Jesus ultimately
because Jesus rst said, Bilib ako sa iyo.
You, you I love. Jesus risks faith in us,
72 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

empowering us, so long as we risk belief


in him, to do the extraordinary. Nowhere is this more beautifully described
than when Peter challenged Jesus to
command him to walk on the water:
Peter said to him, Lord if it is you,
order me to come to you on the water.
So he said, Come! Peter got out of the
boat, walked on the water, and came
toward Jesus. But when he saw the
strong wind he became afraid. And
starting to sink he cried out, Lord, save
me! Immediately, Jesus reached out
his hand and caught him, saying to him,
You of little faith, why did you doubt?
When they went into the boat, the wind
ceased. Then those who were in the
boat worshipped him, saying, Truly, you
are the Son of God
For as long as Peter kept his faith in
Jesus, he walked on the water. But when
his fear of the wind and waves took his

gaze away from Jesus, he began to sink.


That is the moment of cramped hardness, of inability to move beyond the jaded and the boring, of stubborn cynicism
that prefers despair to faith. Saving him,
Jesus says, You of little faith, why did
you doubt? The good news here is that
as imperfect as Peters faith was, it was
well placed in Jesus. Jesus kept the faith,
and saved Peterundoubtedly with a
chuckle and a twinkle in his eye.
Nowhere is Jesus faith in us and delity to us more clearly manifested than on
his Cross. It was an act of redemption,
an act of compassion, an act of love for
those in whom he believed. ...though
he existed in the form of God, he did not
regard equality with God as something
to be grasped at, but emptied himself by
taking on the form of a slave, by looking
like other men, and by sharing in human
nature. He humbled himself by becom-

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Bohol, after the earthquake, Geloy Concepcion, 2013

deal with an unlikely Lord who from his


cross says, I have faith in you. Love one
another as I have loved you. But if you
are to take the testimony of Pope Francis
seriously, there is more joy in the Gospel. In the faith encounter with Jesus
Christ, the impossible becomes possible.
More joy? You gotta have faith! Pope
Francis says so. This Pope rocks.
FR. JOEL TABORA, S.J.
President, Ateneo de Davao University

BANGKOK NOVEMBER
DIDNT I WANT TO REVISIT OLD
HAUNTS, THEY ASKED. DID I?

ing obedient to the point of deatheven


death on a cross! His passion in oneness
with the Compassion of his Father is
an act of faith in us, refusing to turn
away from us, refusing to give up on us,
despite our drunkenness and stupidity.
It is not written, but it is clear. From the
Cross, Jesus says, I have faith in you. I
keep my faith in you. I love you. We are
asked to respond in faith.
If we dare tell this wormlike gure
on the Cross, the self-proclaimed Way,
Life and Truth, Yeah, ultimately I have
faith in you, it requires much, much
more than the faith you need to y Cebu
Pacic or to drink of the liquid in the
Remy Martin XO bottle. Faith is not a
ride for the reckless nor a picnic for the
intoxicated. It requires you to regard
those lowly lackeys of yours differently,
and those beggars outside your car window with more kindness. James says,

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed


and lacks daily food, and one of you says
to them, Go in peace, keep warm and
eat well, but you do not give them what
the body needs, what good is it? So also
faith, if it does not have works of itself, is
dead. John says, If anyone says, I love
God yet hates his fellow Christians, he
is a liar... Whatever you have done or
not done to one of these the least of my
sisters and brother that you have done
or not done to me
Its probably easier to put ones faith
in hedge funds, stocks, Swiss banks,
and Jejomar Binay than in Jesus Christ.
Here, no need to worry about the poor.
No need to weigh the demands of private good against the demands of the
common good. No need to break ones
head over wealth creation and equitable
distribution. No need to slave for ones
family and be moral to boot. No need to

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For a long time, whenever someone


asked me what my favorite city in all
the world was, I would reply, without
missing a heartbeat: Next to Manila,
Bangkok.
It was my husband Tonys rst posting
as a UNICEF ofcial. He had just turned
32; I was not yet 31. We lived in Bangkok
from 1975 to 1977.
We both knew next to nothing about
Thailand, or about Southeast Asia, for
that matter. Before ASEAN, our countrys main link with its neighbors had
been SEATO, established in 1954 mainly
to ght Communism. ASEAN was set up
in 1967. But before it could become part
of our communal imagination, Marcos
declared martial law and the travel ban
was imposed. Globalization was a long
way away, and the terms expat and
OFW had not yet been coined.
So Bangkok was a rst for us in more
ways than one. It was a doorway to a
whole new world, to many different
worlds. It was the beginning of a totally
different lifestyle. I remember the feeling of apprehension, a faint murmur at
the back of my mind. But it was engulfed
by more heady emotions: excitement,
elation, exhilaration.
I should have been more attentive.
Only much later would I realize that
it was a dangerous time to be starting
out on such a journey. We had just lived
through a period of great upheavalthe
First Quarter Storm followed by the
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73

NOTES & ESSAYS

CRISTINA PANTOJA HIDALGO

NOTES & ESSAYS

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early years of martial lawwhich had
profoundly affected us personally. Losing our jobs (four jobs between us), having doors, which had previously stood
wide open, shut in our faces. Of course
this was nothing compared to what others went through, who lost loved ones,
who were jailed and tortured. Nonetheless, it had destabilized us emotionally.
We acted rashly, at times irrationally. We
caused each other, and others, unnecessary pain. And now, we were striking
out again, this time without any familiar
signposts to steer by.
But risk is itself intoxicating. So we
embarked on the journey with chins
held high. Later, looking back on that
season, we would envy that young man
and that young woman their aplomb,
their innocence. And Bangkok would become a place we would return to again
and again, content to allow the city to
work a new enchantment as the moment
collided with the memory.
After Tony left the U.N. in 1990, we
did not revisit Bangkok, though we often
talked of it. It was a favorite dreamretracing our steps to all the places where
we had lived during those 15 years as
expatsa dream that ended abruptly
when Tony died in 2011.
And thenone of those little ironic
jokes that life likes to play on usbefore
two years were over, I was invited to a
conference in Bangkok by an international organization of writers.
I wasnt planning on going. I had this
persistent dry cough; and felt disinclined to go wandering off again so
soon after returning from a trip. This,
it seems, was part of grieving: so many
of the things one had previously taken
much pleasure in had ceased to be even
remotely appealing.
Two friendsUP colleaguesurged
me to change my mind. Isabel had
never been to Bangkok and was looking
forward to a bit of sightseeing and a lot
of shopping before the conference. Lily,
an old hand, would be in charge. Didnt
I want to revisit old haunts, they asked.
Did I? What would the old haunts be
like without my partner in those old
adventures?
In the end, I allowed myself to be
persuaded. And, after just one day
of shopping at MBK, with a lunch of
chicken rice and a dinner of hot soup
with noodles and sh balls thrown in,
my cough was gone.
The next day, I decided to take the city
tour with Lily and Isabel. Before leaving
74 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

my room, I glanced in the mirror, and


recognized the scowl. Afraid of being
assaulted by memories, I had put up my
defenses. Scowling beat weeping, didnt
it? I attempted a smile and managed a
rueful grin.
From the bus I tried to catch sight of
familiar placesLumpini Park perhaps,
or the Erawan Hotel with its shrine
draped in clouds of incense. But the
tour did not include them. I caught brief
glimpses of Siam Square, which seemed
dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers
and overpasses. We passed the Democracy Monument, and I looked for the
little sidewalk restaurants where Tony
and I would sometimes stop for a quick
lunch. But the bus had picked up speed.
We went to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, to the Temple of the Great
Relic, to the Marble Temple (though
not, unfortunately to the incomparable
Temple of the Dawn). The Marble
Temple was as lovely and serene as I
remembered. The little stone bridge was
still there, and the klong down which
the noodle boats used to oat, and the
pigeons waiting to be fed. But the little
birds in tiny bamboo cages, that were set
free by people wishing to make merit,
were gone.
The expected assault didnt happen.
This was like seeing old friends from
whom one had drifted away over the
years. There was nostalgia, but also
detachment.
Lilys friend, Kumaporn, drove us to
Khanom Shin for lunch. I had kwi teow,
tom yam goong, a glass of nam som,
and began to feel more at home. Then
she took us to a wholesalers market in
Pratunam, and I recalled that the Indra
Hotel was in the area. I used to go to
its shopping arcade on some weekends
with Tony, or with Tatti Licuanan, Sylvia Guerrero and Thelma Kintanarto
visit Rudee, the pretty little jeweler who
was the suki of the Pinoy community.
Would I nd her again if I tried? Instead,
I chose to buy more silk shawls and
Indian cotton skirts, and batik purses to
give away as pasalubong.
Our conference was hosted by Chulalongkorn University, and one of the
ofcial dinners was held at the Princess
Hotel, which was close by. I did not
recognize the name, so it probably didnt
exist in the 70s. After dinner, there were
the usual speeches, the poetry readings.
Then a band played a kind of fusion
music: rock, salsa, rap, but with echoes
of traditional Thai music, using a couple

of traditional musical instruments. I


listened, bemused by the thought of how
strange this would have seemed in the
Bangkok of old.
Another evening, we were taken to
the Oriental Hotel in the older part of
town, driving through streets that I did
recognizeSri Phraya; Suriwongse,
the chic shopping area; Silom, where
the magazine I worked forLiving
Magazinehad moved to, from Rama
IV Road, when the Bangkok Post sold
it to J.S. Uberoi; Soi Mahesak where a
bunch of us discovered a cozy little pub
called The Wall, which became one of
our favorite places, (Steve, Kalayanee,
Naphalai, Chalee and me); and the
fabled Oriental itself, its tall rooms lled
with palms and ferns and owers, its

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NOTES & ESSAYS

Old woman, Geloy Concepcion, 2011

library walls lined with photographs


of its famous visitors: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Conrad, Maugham, Stein, Colette,
Wharton. But now it is called the Mandarin Oriental. And it was crowded with
tourists having high tea. Had I only
imagined its elegance to have been more
discreet in the old days?
Intermittently I would tell myself
that I could just get into a cab and go off
by myself, to do that tour that Tony and I
had planned on doing so many years ago.
I would easily nd our wooden house
with the tall French windows opening
into the garden, on Sukhumvit Soi 23
the market on Soi 21 where I used to buy
owers by the armloads, orchids of all
colors, long-stemmed roses, lilies the
small bars a little farther down, which

sponsored the bowling teams (one of


them a Pinoy team, to which belonged
Jun, Ed, James, Bert and Tony) that
played at Asoke Bowl Asia Bookstore
on the corner of Soi 15, where I found
all of Doris Lessing, Han Suyin, Olivia
Manning, Margaret Drabble, the Dusit
Thanis coffee shop Thai Daimaru and
Central Dept. Store, where we spent
Sunday afternoons with our little daughters; the UNICEF ofce, facing the Chao
Phya on Phra Atit Road But I kept putting it off, until there was no time left,
for the conference was over. Mai pen
rai, I said to myself. Never mind. What
would be the point? He is not there. He
is not here.
Our last night in Bangkok, a group of
us Pinoys decided to return to MK in

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Chamchuri Square, where Kumaporn


had taken us when I had asked to be
led to the terric roast duck, whose avors accompany many of my memories
of Bangkok.
And there, suddenly, just as I was just
biting into the rst morsel, I sensed
him. He was beside me, smilinglaughing, actuallyenjoying the roast duck,
or maybe enjoying my enjoyment of
it, for we had both so liked roast duck.
And I paused, chopsticks in mid-air,
the breath catching in my throat, half
believing, wanting to believe... Tony, is
that you?
But, of course, it was not.
CRISTINA PANTOJA HIDALGO
Novelist, essayist, educator
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VI

CARELESS LOVE
CHORDS: DM - GM - A7
ELY BUENDIA
(TRANSCRIBED BY JUNJI LERMA)

Now

Well the

NOTES & ESSAYS

Your

And it

How can I

full of

Give me

If

side

fits you like a

And your Daddy ran a-

Gimme

loving you

un-

careless love ba-

by

no cause for

Love may come for

I'm all alone

till the holy cows come home

It's a

alarm

free

But we're gonna have to

It's a

buy the farm

careless love

careless love

careless love

the one I've been dreaming of

ELY BUENDIA
Songwriter, musician, writer
76 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

til

loving you

But there's

The one I've been dreaming of

way

love-

Put me out to pasture

careless love

Made your Mama cry

bove

and me

I'll be

live with regret

careless love

is a God a-

careless

I'll be

glove

careless love

there

Out of

pride

you wanna put on your resume

I tell you this

He made you

under my skin

When you give me

Gimme

by my

suitcase is empty

But your heart is

Got you

But

day is gone

And you're lying

that's not something

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VII

SNOWSTORM SA
FRANKFURT
NASA ISANG BAR KAMI SA LOOB NG
FRANKFURT AIRPORT
LAV DIAZ

tect me, man. You good people, man.


Thank you.
Film eh. Like Hollywood? Action?
Karate? Horror? Drama? I like Jackie
Chan man. Funny man. I like Bruce Lee.
Philosophical man. I like Clint Eastwood. Sad, man. Pain, man. Painful. You
seen Unforgiven, man? What movies you
make, man?

What you do, man?


Im a...lmmaker. Binitin ko ang huling
salita, may buntunghininga pa at sampung pakiusap sa aking nagkukunwaring
ego bago ko nasabi. Filmmaker? Sakit
sa ulo, bulong ko sa sarili ko. How about
you?
Sailor, man. Just like many of your folks.
You Filipino, right? Me, from Jamaica.
Very poor Jamaican man. Hardworking,
man, you Filipinos. I salute, I salute you
good people. I want to go to your country. You good people, man. Generous,
man. I get sick in the sea, they care of me,
man. Im hungry, they give food, man. If
the Greek man maltreats me, they pro-

Filipino movies, man. About us, turo


ko sa sarili ko. About her, turo ko sa
katabi ko, si Manang Mameng. About
them, turo ko sa napakaraming Pinoy
na nag-uumpukan, mga seaman at ilang
kababaihan.
Ya, man. They my friends, Filipino
sailors. Hardworking. They love the
reggae man, Marley man. Hey, Francing!
Junmari! Pipoy! Bingbong Man! Come,
come, man!
Ipinakilala niya sa akin at kay Aling
Mameng ang mga nakapormang mga
kababayan. Bagong relos, bagong leather
jacket, bagong Ray-Ban, bagong gintong

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kwintas, dalawang malalaking singsing,


bagong gitara, bagong boots, bagong
umaalingasaw na pabango. Nasa isang
bar kami sa loob ng Frankfurt Airport.
Baka abutin ng dalawang araw na
walang lipad ng mga eroplano dahil sa
snowstorm. Ang dami nang galit, ang
daming lasing, ang daming nagkakasakit,
ang daming lakad lang nang lakad. May
sumusumpa na darating siya sa kanilang
kasal. Fuck, Im losing millions, sabi ng
isang Amerikano.
Maya-mayay tulog na si Jamaica man.
Nakalimang Heineken siya, dalawang
shots ng Tequila at isang daang libong
man.
Reklamo ni Manang Mameng, Napagod ako sa dami ng man niya, Dong uy.
Rapido siyang magsalita uy. Wala akong
maintindihan. Mas sanay ako sa German.

Nasa setenta anyos na si Manang Mameng. Isang buwan matapos niyang


isilang ang bunso niyang anak na si
Loloy, noong 1973, pumunta na siya sa
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77

NOTES & ESSAYS

Residence inside the North Cemetery, Geloy Concepcion, 2011

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Germany. Thirty ve years na siyang
hindi nakakauwi. Ngayon lang siya uuwi.
Wow, Manang, kako, thirty ve years?
Heto ang picture ni Loloy ko, Dong o.
Litrato ng isang napakalusog na baby
ang inilabas niya sa kanyang bag. At ito
na siya ngayon. Ipinakita naman niya
ang isang binatang nakatayo sa isang
beach, kumakaway, parang siya ang
kinakawayan. Nakangiti. Pero parang
malungkot.

Lounge, this young man arrived and


opened his bag right in the middle
of the dining area. The place is a full
house. At rst, it seemed like he was just
looking for something. But after a while,
you realize that he was just rearranging and rearranging his things. And it
just goes on and on and on and then, a
middle aged lady, the mother, comes
screaming, Call an ambulance! Call an
ambulance! Help me, please! Whats
going on, Gary?

Nalinis na ang tarmac, tapos na ang


snowstorm. Hinatid ko sa kanyang gate
si Manang Mameng.
O, Dong, twenty Euros pangkape mo.
Grabe kang mag-espresso ha. Sa dalawang araw natin dito, puro ka kape. Puro
kape. Kape na yang dugo mo.
Ayaw ko man, nailagay na niya sa bulsa
ko ang pera.
Dong, dumalaw ka sa Cebu ha.

Ang guwapo ni Loloy ko, Dong no?


Opo, kako. Saan pong beach yan?
Ay, sa Bantayan. Nindot nga beach.
Maganda no?

Its alright, Nina. The kid is sick, thats


all. Tumayo si Gary at niyakap si Nina.
Say, we take some shots? Join us, Sir?
Im okay, sabi ko. Thank you.
Ill catch your next lm in Toronto.

Opo.
Niyakap niya ako saka sinabing, Si
Loloy, Dong ba, ang aking bunso. Sa
Martes ang libing niya. Wala na ang
bunso ko, Dong.

Oo nga po.

Pag dumalaw ka sa Cebu. Dalhin ka


namin sa Bantayan. Paboritong beach ni
Loloy ko.

NOTES & ESSAYS

Delay is a validation of our existence. It


qualies human nature. Lets be calm
about this. Its natures way. And this is
no sandstorm. Its a snowstorm. Theres
a hell of a difference between solid
and liquid. Mahinahong sabi sa akin ni
Gary habang natatanaw namin ang mga
Arabong nagmumura sa isang counter.
Isang trentahing puting Philosophy
professor si Gary. Pauwi siya ng Canada.
Your mother is asleep.
Gusto kong sabihing hindi ko nanay si
Manang Mameng. Tumango na lang ako.
Kipkip ni Aling Mameng ang kanyang
handbag at supot na puno ng tsokolate
at nabili niyang mga laruan para sa kanyang mga apo. Sobra ang kapit niya sa
handbag at supot. Ayaw niyang mawala.
Whats going on? Tanong ni Gary sa
kararating niyang girlfriend.

Noong 1973, wala naman akong planong


mag-abroad, Dong. Anim na ang anak
ko noon ba. Kapapanganak ko sa bunso
ko, si Loloy nga. Mahirap ang buhay
namin. Kargador ang asawa ko. Ako,
kahit ano lang. Labada. Janitor. Nakikiani. Nakikitanim. Kargador din minsan
sa pier kasama ng asawa ko. Tapos, yun
kasing kaibigan ko, nagtrabaho sa isang
pamilya na German. Ang mga German
na ito, nagtrabaho sa German Embassy
sa Manila. Nagkasakit ng kanser yung
misis na German at kailangan na nilang
umuwi sa Germany. Hindi pwedeng
sumama yung kaibigan ko. Nirekomenda
niya ako. Biglang swerte siyempre.
Germany. Malaki ang sweldo. Sumama
na ako. Thirty ve years na nga na di ako
nakauwi. Kasi, pagkamatay nung misis,
nagkasakit naman ng kanser yung lalaki.
Ang tagal kong inalagaan. Ako na ang
naging nanay ng mga anak nila. Hindi
ko naman pinabayaan ang pamilya ko sa
Cebu. Nakapag-aral sila lahat. Ako ang
nagkapital sa mga negosyo nila. Ayaw
naman nilang pumunta dito sa Germany
kasi lahat may mga pamilya na at maayos
ang buhay nila. Ako na lang ang uuwi.

Nagmamadali na siyang pumasok sa


gate.
LAV DIAZ
Filmmaker

Lets get out of here, Gary.


Hindi na ho kayo babalik dito?
Its safer here, Nina.
Thats precisely my point. This place is
hell.
Nagising na si Manang Mameng. Punta
lang ako sa kasilyas, Dong ha?
While I was eating at the Emirates
78 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

Hindi na, Dong. Nagpaalam na ako sa


pamilya kong German. Lisod kaayo ba.
Ang hirap talaga, ang lungkot. Dadalaw
daw sila sa akin sa Cebu.

Inanunsyo na simula na ng liparan.

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VIII

THE LITTLE BLUE PILL


OF THE MIND
HERE LIES A GREAT PROBLEM
WHEN DEALING WITH POWER:
IT IS NOT TRUE THAT HISTORY
IS WRITTEN BY THE VICTORS,
THOUGH SO MANY HAVE TRIED.
MANUEL L. QUEZON III

Addressing his colleagues before the


war, Manuel L. Quezon confessed, To
tell the truth, gentlemen, I should like
being President of the Philippines if I
were sure I would live 100 years. Have
you ever known anyone who has voluntarily renounced power unless it was for
a lady that, in his opinion was more important than power itself, or because of
the threatening attitude of the people?
Everybody likes power. It is the greatest

urge of human nature. I like to exercise


power. There is more to this statement
than the quip repeatedly made by Mel
Brooks as the lecherous Louis XVI in
the comedy, History of the World Part I
(Its good to be the king!) or even the
very real pettiness of the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I, whose only coherent
expression in between bouts of epilepsy
throughout his entire reign was reported
to be, I am the Emperor, and I want
dumplings! The thing about power is,
however gained, and assiduously maintained, it is always lost in the end.
Here lies our fascination with power:
it is, as Henry Kissinger famously put it,
the great aphrodisiacit turns everyone
on, from the one who has it, to the one
who wants a piece of it, to the many
more who get a kick of watching it on
display. And where power is, the moralists cant be far behind. This has been
the case since the Ancient Greeks and
Romans, whose writers have made a
cottage industryreally, that great genre
of literature known as History (which

sometimes masquerades as science)out


of the telling of instructive tales of the
moral virtues and failures of great men.
There is a scene in the novel Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in
which at the conclusion of a speech by
Stalin, the audience of party functionaries leaped to their feet and began to vigorously applaud: minute after agonizing
minute, as no one in the cowed, terried
audience dared to take the risk of being
the rst one to stopuntil, after eleven
minutes, someone did; at which point
the applause stopped abruptly as the
audience sat down in unison (that night,
a factory director, the one who had been
the rst to stop clapping, was arrested).
Marcos, rather surprised that martial law succeeded, gloated in his diary,
There is nothing as successful as success! Thus, power as perpetual motion machine; should it stall, it swiftly
becomes a wreck. Whatever the source
of powersecret police, bureaucratic
intrigue, a mandate freely obtained and
conferred at the pollsthe moment
when it is lost is both one of terrorfor
the holder of itand astonishmentfor
everyone else in the thrall of it. Never
has the precise moment of a dictators
end been recorded for posterity like the
video in which Nicolai Ceauescu used
to terrorized obedience, suddenly got
hooted. The confusion on his face at that
moment is unique in being recorded
for posterity on lm; as for the rest, we
must rely on the accounts of reporters or
former retainersthat instance of The
Fall when one massacre too many, one
survey too negative in its ndings, or a
plot too dependent on a bungling subordinate unravels.
But in all cases, we see the contrasts:
abundance then absence, but too little
of power itself, much less of the actual
change in the person who had it all and
then has none. For another truism is that
no one who has actually wielded power
can afford to share its secrets. As Madame Cornuel (though the diarist Madame de Sevign often gets the credit) in
18th century France tartly observed, No
man is a hero to his valet, while in 19th
Century America Ralph Waldo Emerson
observed, Every hero becomes a bore
at last. The powerful are not like you
or me, in as much as any member of the
public assumes that there is commonality in community: precisely because the
powerful would lose power were they to
reveal themselves as they really are.
F. Sionil Jose once tartly observed that

Enrile, Ramos, et al, lead supporters to cross EDSA from the PNP Headquarters to Camp Aguinaldo, photo by Alex Bowie, 1986

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NOTES & ESSAYS

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NOTES & ESSAYS

Priest Calms Crowd, Alex Bowie, 1986

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among the greatest lovers of freedom


in the national, or political sensecould
be found some of the truly great domestic tyrants or individuals frankly contemptuous of their own countrymen he
had ever encountered. Here lies a great
problem when dealing with power: it
is not true that history is written by the
victors, though so many have tried; it is,
that the majority of writersand readersare people who view themselves
as powerless, and who therefore glory
so thoroughly in the inevitable fall for
all who possess power. Subject, as most
people are, to the ups and downs of the
powerful, there is a certain comfort
and protection from riskto be derived
from the observation of Lord Acton that
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute
power corrupts absolutely. Great men
are almost always bad men. The greater
the power, the greater the probability,
once that power is gone, for all who have
tasted power, however vicariously, to
seek their own. Sooner or later the writerwho, after all, however participant in
the life of someone powerful will always
be, at the end, an observerwill fall prey
to the temptation to speak truth to
power, which is a writers way of say80 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

ing that in the end their compulsion to


cultivate their own powergained solely
through that thing known as The Audienceis absolute. Which is why the only
thing that irritates the powerful more
than The People (however dened), is
The Writer. They are the worst of all
possible creaturesnecessary servants,
but with a notorious tendency to bite
the hand that either feeds it, or wants to
feed it.
Mao Zedong wrote that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun; but
were that true neither his party nor the
many others who have wielded political
power would have wasted time on endless parades, and speeches, or cultivating tools for psychological and not just
physical control. The statement in itself
says much more in what it publicly sets
aside. There must be a certain amount
of mystery, whether maintained by
stagecraftMussolini and Marcos both
perched their desks on platforms, all
the better to look down at their visitors,
while Hitler had his Chancellery paved
with acres of slippery marble all the better to make visiting diplomats nervous
as they slithered through the corridors
to his ofceor rumor (the leader with

a reputation as a Casanova is thus potent


in every sense of the word).
Leon Ma. Guerrero, a writer who
certainly saw power up close, once wrote
that there is a heart, a secret heart, of
the nation. And that it could be found
in a servants sense of honor, in the
dance hall girl going on her knees in
the crowded aisle to kiss the feet of the
Nazarene and pray for better trade, in
the venal politician dreaming of a seat
in the Senate, as Sancho Panza dreamed
of the governorship of Barataria, and in
the honest public servant who, like Don
Quixote, sees a princess in every maid.
In other words, in the restless, at times
reckless, search for power, whether over
the class divisions of society, or simply
over what often seems to be the futility
of life: a primitive instinctive piety that
sustains us in misfortune; a sense of personal dignity, the amor propio that drives
us to do things which are sometimes
comic and sometimes tragic; an avid and
restless amorousness which contrives to
combine the idolatry of woman with a
selsh and boastful carnality; an understanding of death, death as the nal sanction of life If all seek power, though
few attain it in any signicant proportion, still, power is built on this shared
attractionand shared experience.
It is only possible to write on power if
one constantly recognizes the best that
can be done, is to ponder power as it is
reected in the thoughts and reactions
of those who ultimately do not possess
it, or, more accurately, who think they
do not possess it.
To attempt to understand power
requires the kind of self-doubt and
humilityhow to know what one will
never have, for if one had it, one would
not bother writing about it?that renders one unt for the task. Or, which,
if attempted, would then threaten to
make the exploration of power for the
only purpose considered worthy since
ancient timesmoral illumination and
improvementan exercise in selfdestruction. Friedrich Nietzsche, who
went mad, put it this way: Beware that,
when ghting monsters, you yourself do
not become a monster... for when you
gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes
also into you.
MANUEL L. QUEZON III
Undersecretary of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic
Planning and Editor-in-Chief of the
Ofcial Gazette

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ELLEN ADARNA
IS A CREATURE OF
HER OWN CREATION,
WHO ROSE FROM THE ASHES
OF A FRIENDSTER PROFILE
AND TRANSFORMED HERSELF
INTO THE INEXPLICABLE
PHENOMENON SHE IS TODAY.
ESQUIRE SEEKS OUT THE REAL
PERSON BEHIND
THE PROJECTION.

MYTH

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BY SARGE LACUESTA

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PRODUCED BY
ERWIN ROMULO

ART DIRECTION BY
NORMAN CRISOLOGO

PHOTOGRAPHS BY
JAKE VERZOSA

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ets make it all up!

the girl suggests, as we discuss


interview dates.
OK. Lets say shes just put on
a sheer esh-colored singlet over
short shorts and you dont really
need to stare hard to imagine what
she looked like moments before. By
imagine, I mean fantasize. And by
fantasize, I mean I walked in on the shoot to nd my byline
scrawled in kohl on her bikini line. She didnt give a fuck about
being completely naked. She didnt give a fuck what that name
was and who I was, either. Neither did I. Who am I?
In this fantasy world, many years ago, a girl took a photo
of herself for her Friendster account with one of those early
digital cameras. The image was appropriated by hundreds of
girls and boys for their personal proles, and the Internet was
mined for more. Even her nameEllen Adarna, a remarkable
composition of downhome femininity and mythical ight of
fancywas pirated and duplicated. She quickly became search
engine candy and social media mystery, and a life was put
together for her from anonymous uploads and forum chatter.
The story came about that she was born rich and without
carea motel heiress. That was another useful compound
term that made it all easier. It relieved men of the guilt of
exploitation and gave her instant power. It added one more
layer of unattainability to the already unattainable images on
the screen. It created loneliness and indignation. How could
those boys in the photos have her so easily? Exactly what sort
of magic happens in the bars and living rooms? It also created
a measure of hatred. Women disliked her to the point of asking

me why I wanted to interview her.


At the interview, held at a dimly lit bar, Ellen conrms some
of the fantasies. In her hometown she ran with a gang she calls
the Wild Five. There are stories of benders and binges that put
the Manila scene to shame. She talks about getting shit-faced,
getting called names. Theres proof enough of this. There were
headlines in the local papers, reporting chaos and drunken
disorder at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Apart from her teenage seles there are stolen shots of her
getting playful at house parties and beach blowouts. There are
shots of her underwater, shots of her curling her tongue, and
all manner of hugging, mugging and slumming. In each one
she is perpetrator and victim, causing things to happen and
allowing the camera to capture the happening.
There is nothing wrong, of course, with doing a little damage and getting a little bent, as long as theres room and time
enough to straighten yourself out. There is nothing wrong,
either, with nudity and exposure and candor. This is a girl
who has gone places on the basis of a prole picture. For all
its teenage tartness, the envelope of anonymity in which it
was delivered, along with its backdrop of money, implied
that she was never really that desperate for anything, even
for attention.
The photos may be old but the effect seems to be timeless.
Ellen talks of jealous women who tell or tweet her to stop
texting their boyfriends, who are by default infatuated by
her. In their head they think I fuck everyone, she says. This
conjoined reaction of glorication and disgust has been going on since her teens. I imagine that it works in favor of all
parties involved. If there is anything that works so hard and so

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 85

well for the Internet, its the image of the sacred and the profane, folded over and over itself, across multiple viewings and
millions of viewers, secretly clicking, scrolling and swiping in
their beds and bathrooms at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
In those early photos Ellen Adarna is pale and a little plump
and cute as a button, full of unguardedness and disregard.
In her wan, epicanthic gaze there is boredom and the tender
abandon of the wealthy. It is a gaze reserved for boyfriends,
for cousins, for equally privileged friends, for the lucky bum
behind the cameraeveryone but the online lurker, avid and
unfullled in the darkness.
Today she is 25. I know all my angles, the subject boasts.
She has also been telling me how vain she is. I readily make
the excuses for her. After all, its been six or seven years.
In recent syndicated photos she is a body in full, sharpened,
shaped, heavy-titted. She has squirmed
and blossomed out of the given fantasy.
Awkward innocence has turned into
inexperience. Callowness has become
vapid candor. She laughs off a particularly
awkward turn in social media where an
interview made her look like a bobaa
boobby telling herself bad publicity
is good publicity. The trite statement is
chased by another: I just want to make
money. But it is clear she is also learning
to take advantage and take control of a
mass fantasy, and how many of us can do
that?
She confesses that she is living independently. After resigning from her family
business, she lives in estrangement from
her family, in a tender form of exile that
allows measures of freedom and security.
She alternately lives in a house at one of
their family-owned compounds and with
her boyfriend. She has a driver and a compact car at her disposal. She has a manager and a handler. Its her own money now.
Manila is her town now. Its a place for
grown-ups. Everything is under scrutiny,
in high-resolution, in slow-motion. An
ex-boyfriend called me a potato, she explains. She took it as a challenge, the way
reality game show contestants take on challenges. A boxing
workout video that is part of her ofcial portfolio of work lasts
all of thirty-seven seconds. Its not even a complete song. But
its in HD. Theres a version of it that stretches it out, through
freeze frames, strobe effects, articial zooms and slo-mos, to a
full ve minutes. The footage has thrived on the Internether
home, too, after all.
She has embraced the real world now, attending acting
workshops, playing second lead in teleseryes, negotiating
endorsement deals, doing the rounds of magazine covers and
media interviews. It is her turn to indulge in the fantasy: she
turns down advances from movie stars and hangs out with
the faces we only see on billboards and the backs of buses.
She conrms rumors of the guessed-at things that happen
behind the scenes. She reveals many things off-the-record and
between-us only.

When Im done, I think Ill go back, she says, to mean back


to her family and their business affairs, and most probably the
small-town notoriety she enjoyed in her youth.
The drinks come hard and fast, in double shots, and in the
light that blurs and gathers, the present-day Ellen Adarna
looks almost sculpturalbright, slight, and self-contained.
Theres a tough, pointed tilt to her nose that was never there
before, but it goes well with the new eyebrows, plucked to
look like they are always raised. Its an even, polished look that
contrasts her teenage photos. To her Internet audience, this is
good news. There is now more of her than ever to look at, to
click and fold over and over again.
And for those who wish to know beyond what can be seen,
theres no cosplay at work behind the image, none of the
jailbait coyness of Lolita, and none of the contrived chumminess that usually comes with showbiz
interviews. We must be thankful for
this, and as much as we permanently
hold, image by image, Ellens youth in a
spray of freckles, jpeg artifacts and lowres softness, we must also recognize her
present poise and her shimmer as things
every woman deserves to aspire to as
they grow out of their clumsy years.
I look like a lot of people, she says,
mentioning personages as varied as
Solenn Heussaff and Regine Velasquez.
This is the way she attempts to explain
away her dark popularity. I suppose it
makes some sense after either the subject or the observer has had too much
to drink.
But really, I instantly attribute it to
false modesty. Because it hardly makes
sense when you recall there was a time
when many people looked at her photoone among millionsand stopped
and wondered who she really was, and
if she really was any one of those people
who had pretended to be her. We had no
friends who behaved like her. We knew
no one who knew her. I am reminded
of the one thing every celebrity interview is really about: Who are you? I nd
myself blurting the question out loud, in mid-contemplation:
Who are you?
That question is turned on millions of ardent and solitary viewers, whose identities remain hidden behind forum
handles and fake proles. After all, in the online world, it is
also the viewer who is singled out, identied and questioned:
his type, his personality, his perverse predilections, his useless
intentions, as he sits in the shadows, waiting for something
not an answer, but another image, another mystery, another
fantasy to return him to his familiar self.
It is the real girl who has appeared before me tonight, her
origins in Internet fantasy sloughed off and replaced by this
shimmering starlet of truth. Ellen Adarna hears my question
and brushes against me as she opens her bag. She reaches into
the dark, takes out her passport, unfolds it to show me her real
name, and I turn away.

She became
search engine
candy and
social media
mystery, and
a life was put
together
for her from
anonymous
uploads
and forum
chatter.

86 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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MAKEUP MAYONE BAKUNAWA HAIR OGIE RAYEL FOR KIEHLS NAILS NAILAHOLICS PRODUCTION ASSISTANT EDRIC DELA ROSA

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LOOKS ALMOST SCULPTURAL

THE PRESENT-DAY ELLEN

BRIGHT, SLIGHT, AND SELF-CONTAINED

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XXX E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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CREDITS CREDITS

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BEFORE PROOF OF HEAVEN MADE DR. EBEN ALEXANDER


RICH AND FAMOUS AS A MAN OF SCIENCE WHOD
EXPERIENCED THE AFTERLIFE, HE WAS SOMETHING ELSE:
A NEUROSURGEON WITH A TROUBLED HISTORY AND
A MAN IN NEED OF REINVENTION
BY LUKE DITTRICH

ON DECEMBER 18, 2012, the set of


Fox & Friends was both festive and
somber. Festive because it was the
Christmas season. The three hosts, two
men in dark suits anking a woman in a blue
dress, sat on a mustard-colored couch in
front of a cheery seasonal backdrop: a lit-up
tree, silver-painted twigs, mounds of tinsel,
blue and red swatches of fabric, and, here
and there, multicolored towers of blown
glass with tapering points that made them
look surprisingly like minarets. Somber because a terrible
thing had happened just four days earlier, in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. All three hosts looked
sad, but the woman, Gretchen Carlson, looked the saddest.
P H O T O G R A P H S BY B R I A N F I N K E

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he shot of the three hosts occupied
most of the right three quarters of the
screen. A guest was joining them by
satellite from another location, and
a shot of his head and shoulders occupied most of the rest of the screen.
This was his third appearance on the
program in the last few months. He
wore a dark blazer and a button-down
shirt with blue stripes. He was middle-aged and handsome in an oldfashioned way, with tanned skin and
thick hair parted on the right. The
banner below the video feeds read,
HOPE IS NOT LOST: NEUROSURGEON SAYS HEAVEN IS REAL.
Dr. Alexander, Carlson said, if people dont know your story, you, you were ill, you were in a coma, you left this earth for
a week, you were in heaven, and then you wrote about your experiences there, and you were told that you were supposed to
come back to the earth.
She paused. She looked into the camera and then looked up
toward the studio ceiling and rocked slightly forward.
As people are grappling with the horrible nature of this tragedy, she said, her voice cracking, her lower lip trembling, will
these children forget, when they are in heaven, what happened
to them?
It was, lets be clear, an unusual question. One imagines the
host of a national news program would feel comfortable posing this question to only a very few guests. A priest? A bishop?
The pope? But lets be clear about something else: Dr. Eben Alexander was presented as more qualied to answer this question than all of them. His authority on heaven hadnt come from
prayer or contemplation or a vote taken at some conclave. He
had been there. And although a lot of people might make similar
claims concerning visits to heaven and the receipt of personal
revelations from God and be roundly dismissed, Dr. Alexander
was different. He was, as the Fox News Web site declared, a renowned neurosurgeon. A man of science at the summit of the
secular world. And when he answered the unusual question, he
did so without hesitation, without hedging, and with the same
uency and authority he might exhibit when comforting a patient about an upcoming operation.
Well, they will know what happened, Alexander said, and a
hint of sadness swirled in his own eyes for a moment. But they
will not feel the pain. His voice was southern and smooth, soft
and warm. The shots of the studio and of the satellite feed faded away, and a heartbreaking tableau faded in, a grid of photographs. Fourteen children, each just six or seven years old, each
smiling, each now, the viewer knew, dead. Alexanders voice,
soothing, heartfelt, poured on. They will feel the love and
cherishing of their being back there. And they will know that
they have changed this world.
Now the views of the studio and of Dr. Alexander faded back
in, and the host to the left of Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, a compact and gruff guy with a sheaf of papers stacked on the table in
front of him like a prosecuting attorney, asked a question. It was
another unusual question and perhaps thats why Kilmeade
prefaced it with a reiteration of what made their guest uniquely
qualied to answer it.
So Dr. Alexander, he said, your book, your bookand
youre a neurosurgeon, you never believed in this until it happened to you, and you were brain-dead for a week, and your
92 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

friends who work in your business say that theres no way you
could have possibly come back, there was no activity there.
Where is the shooter?
Alexander nodded along as the man posed the question and
again answered without pausing. The shooter is in a place
of reviewing his own life, he said while the camera showed
Gretchen Carlson wiping the tears from her eyes. Its a very
real phenomenon, of reliving all of the events of ones life and
reliving the pain and suffering that weve handed out to others.
But from their point of view.
This is a story about points of view.

e meets me at the door of his home and invites me


in. He and his wife purchased the house in 2006,
and it sits on a half acre of land in Lynchburg, Virginia, near a hospital where he used to work. Its
exterior is red brick, and there are eleven windows along the front, each with white trim and
black shutters, making the house look sort of Jeffersonian, sort of Monticelloesque, though its actually only forty-nine years old, which makes it ten years younger than Alexander himself. Hes wearing jeans and a button-down shirt and
a sweater vest, and he leads me through a wood-paneled study
to the kitchen, where he asks if Id like a cup of coffee. While
the coffee brews, he explains how caffeine works. It kind of affects the second transmitter system, part of the ght-or-ight
mode. And it gets you more into kind of an active state. It bypasses some of the primary transmitters there, kind of activates
the whole system, so it revs you up. It works very effectively. So,
you do not take sugar? Once the coffees ready, we return to the
study. The room is homey and lled with family pictures and
some paintings by friends of his wife, Holley, whos an artist and
art teacher. Alexander met her in college when she was dating
his roommate, and now they have two sons. She comes into the
study and sets a plate of cookies and apple slices down on a coffee table for us to pick at.
Im starting to get a little more practice with these interviews, Alexander says. It might not show, but I should be
learning from it all. Its been quite a journey.
We talk for hours. We talk about his past life and his present
one, and about the strange voyage that divided the two. We talk
about some of the stories he tells in Proof of Heaven, which has
sold nearly two million copies and remains near the top of the
New York Times best-seller list nearly a year after its release. We
also talk about some of the stories you wont nd in the book,
stories Ive heard from current and former friends and colleagues, and stories Ive pulled from court documents and medical-board complaints, stories that in some cases give an entirely new context to the stories in the book, and in other cases
simply contradict them.
From one point of view, the point of view that Fox & Friends
and Newsweek and Oprah and Dr. Oz and Larry King and all
of his other gentle interrogators have helped perpetuate, Dr.
Eben Alexander is a living miracle, literalWhen Alexander
ly heaven sent, a man capable of nally bridg- got sick in late
ing the chasm between the world of spiritual- 2008, he hadnt
practiced surity and the world of science. From this point
gery in a year and
of view, he is, lets not mince words, a prophet, faced a $3 million malpractice
because after all, what else do you call a man
lawsuit. He now
has a best-selling
who comes bearing fresh revelations from
book and a movGod? This point of view has been massively
ie deal.

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ILLUSTRATIONS JOE McKENDRY

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ILLUSTRATIONS JOE McKENDRY

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 93

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protable for Dr. Eben Alexander, has


headache. November 10,
T H E DA L A I L A M A WAG S A
spawned not just a book sold in thir2008.
F I N G E R AT A L E XA N D E R.
ty-ve countries around the globe but
He has a headache.
W H E N A M A N M A K E S E X T R ANot a bad one at rst, but
a whole cascade of ancillary products,
including a forthcoming major motion
it gets steadily, rapidO R D I N A RY C L A I M S, H E SAYS, A
picture from Universal.
ly worse. He tells Holley
T H O RO U G H I N V E ST I GAT I O N
But there is another point of view.
that he just needs to rest,
And from this point of view, Dr. Eben
that
hell
be
ne.
I S R EQ U I R E D, TO E N S U R E
Alexander looks less like a messenger
Escherichia coli bacteria have inT H AT P E R S O N I S R E L I A B L E ,
from heaven and more like a true son
sinuated themselves into the lining of
of America, a country where men have
his central nervous system, the memH AS N O R E AS O N TO L I E .
always found ways to escape the rubbranes that protect his brain and spible of their old lives through audacious
nal cord, he writes in Proof of Heavacts of reinvention.
en. It is unclear how they got there.
By the end of our interview, theres
Spontaneous cases of bacterial mena note of unease in Alexanders voice.
ingitis are rare but not unheard of,
He pulls out his iPhone and puts on the
and the transmission vectors are the
voice recorder. He tells me he is consame as those of other common incerned that some of the stories Ive
fectious diseases: tainted water supbrought up could be taken the wrong
plies, poor hygiene, dirty cookway by readers.
ing conditions. Regardless of where
People could denitely go way off the deep end about irrele- these particular E. coli came from, now that theyre here, they
vant stuff as opposed to focusing on what matters, he says.
proliferate. E. coli populations are incredibly fertile, and under
ideal circumstances will grow exponentially, doubling in size
every twenty minutes. Theoretically, given limitless food and
zero resistance, a single 0.000000000000665-gram E. coli bacefore he was Eben, he was, briey, Richard.
terium could in nineteen hours spawn a megacolony weighing
His biological parents, young, unready, created
as much as a man. But our bodies are not defenseless. Alexanhim, named him, and then gave him away. The Alders immune response kicks in immediately, deploying eets
exander family of Winston-Salem, North Caroliof white blood cells to kill the invaders. His cerebrospinal una, adopted him and gifted him with a new name,
one with an illustrious pedigree. The rst Eben Al- id, the uid that supports his brain in every sense, buoying it
and nourishing it, becomes a terrifying battleeld. While the
exander, his great-grandfather, was the U. S. aminvaders consume his CSFs brain-sustaining sugars, the defenbassador to Greece in the 1890s, helped create the modern
Olympic Games, carried on an occasional correspondence with sive onslaught of white blood cells causes the volume of uid to
swell, raising the pressure inside his skull.
Mark Twain. His father, Eben Alexander Jr., a great neurosurBy the time the EMTs wheel him into the ER at Lynchburg
geon, was permanent president of his class at Harvard Medical
General Hospital, his besieged brain, choked and starving, is seSchool.
verely dysfunctional. He is raving, thrashing, incoherent.
Eben Alexander III attended Phillips Exeter Academy, where
Then he slips into a coma.
he read lots of science ction, grew a shaggy mop of hair, learned
how to pole-vaulthe loved the feeling of propelling himself
skyward with physics and muscle. While his high school classmates saved up for cars, he bought himself sailplane lessons.
is path seemed set.
He went to college at the University of North Carolina at
He nished his neurosurgical residency and, in 1988,
Chapel Hill. He studied chemistry. He contemplated astrophyswas hired at one of the most prestigious hospitals in the
ics. He joined the Sport Parachute Club and spent his weekends
country, Brigham and Womens, in Boston. While pracying to great heights in perfectly good Cessna 185s and jumpticing there, he taught at his fathers alma mater, Harvard Meding out of them. He felt drawn to medicine but worried that if
ical School. The prestige of these institutions gave him access
he became a doctor, hed never escape his fathers shadow. He
to some of the most remarkable new medical technology in the
agonized.
world. He became an expert at something called stereotactic
He graduated from UNC in 1975 and enrolled in Duke mediradiosurgery, a type of treatment that burned away the probcal school. He was still worried about not living up to the stanlems inside a patients brain, cauterizing aneurysms, cooking
dards set by his father. Even after he began his neurosurgery
tumors, without the skull even needing to be opened.
residency, he almost jumped ship, changed careers. He sent
He was on the rise. His fathers shadow no longer seemed so
in a job application to NASA. He dreamt of ying on the space
long. And he was charming. Larger than life, thats how his resshuttle, of helping to build the International Space Station. But
idents viewed him. A charismatic barrel of energy, with an enwhen he told his father, his father convinced him to withdraw
dearing habit of always wearing a bow tie. He would play rock
the application. Wait till youve nished your residency, he told
music in the operating room: classics like Jimi Hendrix, Led
him. Then, if youre still interested in the whole NASA thing, by Zeppelin, and the Doors, newer stuff like Massive Attack, Five
all means. By the time hed nished his residency, the Challengfor Fighting, Goo Goo Dolls. And no, hed never quite gotten
er had exploded and the shuttle program was on hold. He chose over his obsession with space, with ight. Sometimes, when he
not to reapply.
wasnt around, the residents would even crack that he would
His path seemed set.
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ticed that some of the attending surgeons could completely
lose themselves in an operation, standing there for hours, peering into a tiny little hole and meticulously extracting bits of tumor. But Dr. Alexander wasnt like that. Hed come rushing into
the OR, talking to the nurses and the residents and anyone else
whod listen, rambling about near-earth asteroids or dark matter or whatever other topic in astrophysics hed been reading
about in his spare time. It would take him a while to get down to
business, to focus on the matter at hand.
It wasnt that he wasnt smart. Four different former residents of Alexanders use the word brilliant to describe him.
But he often just seemed to be somewhere else.

e is somewhere else.
Where, he doesnt know. He doesnt know, really,
anything. Not where he is, not even who or what he
is. He is pure awareness, pure present, no past, no
future. Just this little speck of consciousness adrift
in a vast and mysterious place. It is an unpleasant place, brown and rank and suffocating, but he doesnt even
know enough to dene a term as advanced as unpleasant.
And then he sees the light.
A bright light, swirling above him, accompanied by the most
beautiful music. He is rising up toward it. Up through it. The
unpleasant place is gone, somewhere below him, and now he is
in a place that even if he had the power of vocabulary, of words,
he would nd almost indescribably beautiful. It is a green and
verdant place. A green, idyllic place lled but not crowded with
men and women in peasant garb. Here and there a dog cavorts
among them. And he, he is ying! He is on the wing of a buttery. Perhaps it is an enormous buttery or perhaps he is really tiny, but size and scale dont really mean anything. There are
other butteries all around him, millions of them, perhaps an
innite number of them, colorful and iridescent, all ying in
loose formation over this impossibly beautiful place.
And he is not alone. Beside him on the buttery, a beautiful
girl!
Like the green countryside, her beauty is so intense, so overpowering, that the word beauty itself seems insufcient. He becomes aware that she is speaking to him, saying something,
though she doesnt even need to move her lips to speak.
You are loved and cherished, she tells him.
You have nothing to fear.
There is nothing you can do wrong.

e didnt do anything wrong.


He destroyed the womans acoustic neuroma, a benign brain tumor, burned
it to oblivion with focused beams of radiation.
Thats what he set out to
do, and thats what he did. And yes,
there had been postoperative inammation, and yes, the surgery
had left the woman with permanent
paralysis on the left side of her face,
but remember were talking about
brain surgery here, not splinter removal. Bad things can happen that
are completely out of your control.

The womans lawsuit, however, didnt accuse him of doing


something he shouldnt have done. It accused him instead of
not doing something he should have done. Specically, it accused him of not informing the woman that permanent facial
paralysis might result from the operation.
And so, because exactly what he had told her prior to the operation was at the heart of the case, thats what the lawyers
asked her about during the deposition a few years later. She
was an elderly woman from Arizona. She had initially consulted with Dr. Alexander by telephone after seeing an episode of
a PBS television program called Scientic American Frontiers
that was narrated by Alan Alda and had highlighted Dr. Alexander and his remarkable stereotactic radiosurgery operations.
She sent him her medical records, scheduled a time for the operation, and then ew with her husband and her son to Boston.
Patient: I was in a wheelchair, and we went down to this room
and waited. At 8:30, approximately four or ve men came into
the room, and they didnt say not one word to me. They just came
over and started sticking me with a needle for anesthesia. And
then they started screwing this thing in my head. And I was bleeding and I was scared and I was shaking. I went into shock, and nobody said one word. . . .
Lawyer: What happened next?
A: Then they put that bell on mythey tried to, and it was
they had to get a different one, because the one they had went
clear down on my shoulder. I have a very short neck and they
maybe they had it with them. I dont know. I dont remember that.
All I remember is the excruciating pain when they started screwing that into my head. I had four screws, two in the back and two
in the front.
Q: Okay.
A: And I suppose it was an aide came in, and she knew
that I was in shock, evidently, because she got a blanket and
wrapped it around me, and she kind of held me. I was still in the
wheelchair. . . .
Q: During that whole time, none of these four or ve men said
anything to you, is that right?
A: Yes. When they started putting the novocaine or whatever it was in my head, I said, Is one of you Dr. Alexander? and
this voice in back of me said, Yes, I am. And I said, Please come
around so I can see you. I would like to see what you look like.
And so he did. And we might have shaken hands. I dont remember that. And then he went back to doing whatever they were doing, screwing this thing into my head.
But none of this, again, is an indication of
wrongdoing. A cold or distracted bedside
Sitting across
manner is not criminal. The question was
Oprah Winfrey,
basking in the
whether he had ever warned her about the
glow of his prophpossible complications. When the womans
et image.
lawyer asked to see the two-page
informed-consent form that laid
out the risks, Alexander could
nd only the rst page, the page
without the womans signature.
And that page, as the lawyer noted, had multiple punch holes
and fray marks, indicating that it
had been led in [the patients]
chart, extracted from the le, and
later reled. Further, he said, additional documents also had gone
missing, [continued on page 138]

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96 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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FINAL
DESGUSTATION
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE THE LAST MEAL
YOU WOULD EVER EAT IN THIS LIFE, WHAT
WOULD YOU HAVE? WE ASKED SIX PEOPLE FOR
THEIR HYPOTHETICAL FINAL FEASTS, AND GOT
DESCRIPTIONS OF REPASTS OPULENT AND INTIMATE,
CALORIE-LADEN, AND LACED WITH NOSTALGIA.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY
PAUL DEL ROSARIO

ART DIRECTION BY
EDRIC DELA ROSA

FOOD STYLING BY
ANGELO COMSTI

PRODUCED BY
KARA ORTIGA

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 97

Margarita Fores
CHEF

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A Bistecca Fiorentina from Chianina


beef with a good barnaise sauce
and sale di Cervia; fresh handmade
Artusi style egg taglierini from
organic eggs; the purest taba ng
talangka from Alaminos, Pangasinan
on top of buttered Milagrosa rice
using Italian sea salt and butter from
Normandy; a bottle of Sassicaia
1985; and a cold Sarsi.

98 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 99

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Hubert Webb
FREE MAN, ACQUITTED IN 2010
100 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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Lamb, to be eaten on top of a


mountain.

Sonny Angara
SENATOR

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Steak, pizza, unagi sushi, ramen, a


cold beer and chocolate mousse

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 101

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Pauline Prieto
MODEL

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A batch of my boyfriends homemade cookies. He makes them


crunchy and chewy at the same
time! Also, coconut shavings and
chocolate chips equal perfection.

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Cecile Zamora

Van Straten
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CHUVANESS

Sinigang na Bulalo with lots of bone


marrow, rice and Coke.

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 103

Erik Matti
FILM DIRECTOR

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Perfect everyday mushy scrambled


eggs, butter and pan de sal, trufflecrusted lechon, uni on pasta, and
Paris-brest for dessert. And before
my last breath, a really good cup of
coffee and a long, loud and resounding burp please.

104 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 105

WHAT IVE
LEARNED

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C OM M ISSIONER O F
THE B U R EAU OF
INTER NA L R EV EN U E
INTERV IEW ED BY
K A R A O RT I GA
P HOTOG R A P HED BY
EDRIC CHEN

KIM
HENARES

> Im not ruthless! Maybe Im just strict.


> Strictness should always be there because thats the way you
put people in the straight and narrow line.
> I never thought of myself in government.
> I was attending a wedding reception, chaperoning my fatherin-law, and at the same table, Commissioner Parayno, who was
then the commissioner of BIR was seated there. We got to talk
and he was trying to implement VAT on nancial institutions.
Then he found out that I used to work for a bank. So he invited
me to come here for lunch. When I was here he said, Are you
doing anything? and I said, Not really. And he said, Maybe
you can help us. There is a cubicle. And basically I got stuck.
> Collecting taxes is a difcult task.
> The President knows that Im serious with my job, and that I
was able to convey the message that Im just here to help him,
and to help the country.
> I implement the laws strictly. I try as much as possible not
to give to much digression. Thats why the tax code is there.
Everyone can read it, and I interpret it in a very strict sense.
So everyone in my ofce can actually make a decision, and it
should come out the same. A taxpayer, or their lawyer, or their
accountant, when they read it, they should be able to come out
with the same decision.
> Im focusing on tax evaders. Whether they are large or small,
it doesnt matter. As long as I have evidence, then I go after
them. The large taxpayers, were always focused on them. Its
not that were targeting the small players; its just that weve always been very focused on the large, so now were going down.
> If you are rational, you would realize we created a lot of
benet for the country. If it were not for the improved tax
collection, you would not have a credit upgrade. We have a
ten-credit upgrade, and one of the reasons is the tax collection
performance. Without that, you wont be enjoying this low tax
rate. People, especially the middle class would not be able to
buy houses and borrow money at a lower interest. At the end
of the day, people should realize that were just doing this for
the country.
> I think the ad we just released was a very successful ad. One
of the things that triggers change is for people to know whats
happening, whether good or bad. If its bad, and people be-

106 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

come aware, then it should trigger some action.


> Anyone who is in their professional life should be able to
differentiate what is personal and what is professional to be
successful.
> There is always basic right and basic wrong. You can never go
wrong if you try to follow that track.
> The worst thing is to not decide. You have to make a decision
whether its based on how you perceive the facts, what the
laws are, and the circumstancesyou have to make the best decision you can. Now if its wrong, you have to go back. Admit it.
> My parents taught me the difference between right and
wrong.
> Mom and dad were very conservative. Disciplinarians. Even
when we were old, as long as you live in their house, you have
to ask permission. Of course there are times when you dont
follow the rules. Like when I married my husband.
> If theres a rule, you have to follow it, especially in this job. If
you feel that the rule is wrong, then you propose an amendment. In my professional job, theres no room for not following.
> I want to leave a legacy of service excellence for the BIR. I
keep on telling people, what I want is to make this institution
credible, very professional, and basically people respect it,
because a lot of things hinge on us.
> A country cannot operate without taxes. Taxes support the
less fortunate members of our society. When people think of
me, I hope they see that I have been able to do something for
my country.
> The only reason you regulate a lot is because a lot of people
are not following. My example is always the family. If you
have a child thats very studious, mabait, you dont monitor
them. You basically dont ask them to call home, or report
where they are. But if you have another child who is bulakbol,
doesnt follow you, your monitoring becomes stricter, every
hour you require them to call you. Now its the same thing if
people become more compliant [with taxes], regulation will
slacken off.
> To be proficient in anything, you have to keep practicing.
> Taxation is a controversial subject. I think it just comes with
the job. I would be happy if nobody asked me any questions
and I can concentrate on doing my job.

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CREDITS CREDITS

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E XXX

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MEMORY, GUILT, RESILIENCE, AND DEATH:
A WALK THROUGH FORT BONIFACIO,
THEN AND NOW
WORDS BY
PAOLO ENRICO MELENDEZ

108 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY
TIM SERRANO

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 109

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Melendez was my
grandfather. He
raised me in the
Fort Bonifacio of
the 80s and 90s,
then a semi-urban
military foxhole
in the middle of swank, swarming Makati. He fought in the
war and was as quiet as dusk. He built our house with his own
hands, kept an elaborate garden, maintained an Opel so rickety
I could hear it approach from a block away. He fell gravely ill,
and in more ways than one, my family left him to die.
This is his eulogy and parade. My apology and shameless exploitation of a personal tragedy. Many years late, in the form of
a walking tour of my childhood stomping ground as it stands
now. Present-day Bonifacio is neither better nor worse. But
without Sixto it is certainly different.
The area where the Serendra roundabout now stands was
the approach to our old neighborhood. Electricity in old Fort
Bonifacio was spotty. Phone numbers had too many zerosa
social death sentence in an era of rotary phones. The opera110 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

tors sounded like they were in various stages of shell shock.


Military bureaucracy led to jeep franchises that had passengers switching rides to cross one block. And proximity to the
Philippine Army HQ during a time of unstable politics meant
getting front-seat, late-night views of coup detats, with Sixto
annotating the exchange of gunre, or expounding on the virtue of keeping the houselights out so you didnt get shot as you
rubbernecked with a bottle of Rodeo sarsaparilla.
But it was a swell place to grow up in, too. Old world
military discipline prevailed, so cars kept to their lanes and pedestrians to theirs. There was none of the ination you would
expect among businesses within an enclosed community. It
was safe enough that anyone could leave a bike unlocked in
any random place and come back for it hours later. And one
household helped look after the next. One time I watched an
entire blocks worth of kids chase a skinny man out the camp
perimeter. He had stolen pandesal.
Our house with Sixto was the rst in a ve-block row of residences in an area otherwise zoned for enterprise. A few businesses lent some legitimacy to the zoning. A veterans bank and
the Army commissary. Three barbershops. Four tailors with

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olive drab uniforms hanging in their shopfront windows like


defeated grunts. Two dives muggy with stale beer and loud
with songs one conjured for 25 cents from garish jukeboxes,
because videoke wasnt a thing yet then. A printing press that
lled our house with the rhythmic booming that would prime
my ears for a lifelong obsession with loud music. Near the end
of the avenue stood the Philippine Army General Hospital,
in which my grandfather was frequently conned for short
spells. He was later moved to the larger if not better equipped
V. Luna Hospital. Both were to my younger self studies in state
institutions, in that to call something serbisyong gobyerno was
to dene it as respectful of circumstance but efcient as a gun
with the muzzle sticking out of the stock.
Before we move on, allow me to interrupt myself with a
note on the rigid cross-referencing conducted to make sure
that the locations shown in the photos match my anecdotes
about Sixto: there was none. For starters, militaries the world
over are notoriously iffy about handing out detailed maps,
however outdated. And picking at emotional scabs is tough
enough work. So I chose Google Maps as my starting point
and memory as my nal arbiter. If accuracy colder than a dildo

on a shop shelf is your kind of thing, feel free to go read a list


article on movie plotholes in a comedy website instead.
THE MULLET AS A MODEL FOR ZONING FRAUD

To skirt the business-only zoning, residences like ours put


up fronts more obvious and just as successful as a moneylaundering music festival. The seamstress one block down had
all of two pin cushions. Another house ran a single-unit pay
phone business, which I had funded with endless three-peso
phone calls because I knew nothing about talking to girls and
took forever to get to the point.
Sixtos own strategy was just as casual: put up a mini-mart
in place of the household receiving room. To an extent, we did
move retail. Sunday mornings and wed get mobbed by ROTC
cadets buying Coke to cool off after marching drills under the
sun. But otherwise, our dusty counters held nothing but one or
two bottles of soy sauce, a jar of ketchup, maybe a bag of white
beans. None of it was for sale.
The party happened out back. Our space was a good 300
square meters, most of it yard, the entire area ringed by Marsden matting reclaimed from Clark Airbase up north. A squat

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duplex sat left off center, my family occupying one side and my
grandparents, the other. In the yard was a large dirty kitchen.
Sixto would spend entire afternoons in there, pounding rice
for kare-kare, or roasting cashews on his honest-to-goodness
cement block stove, or rinsing blackberries from a tree he had
planted just outside one Marsden panel.
That was where I bugged him most. I would stand in a corner and yammer in my chubby voice about some kiddie action
movie Id seen or some imaginary army I had vanquished with
a wooden shotgun that Sixto, incidentally, had crafted himself. I would punctuate my stories with gun noises made with
mouth. He would grunt. In hindsight, I think I may have made
a retirees quiet years quite noisesome. And it is a testament
to the old mans patience that he didnt strangle me there and
then, thus preventing you from suffering the adult equivalent
of my insane backyard ramblings.
WEIGHED AND FOUND FLABBY

Sixtos mestizo features fed the family lore that his own
parents had been the product of a fraile whod been a little
too zealous with the dispensation of brotherly love. He
112 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

spoke in a peculiar baritone: cello notes and sand aggregate.


Sixto smoked two packs a day and certainly smelled like it.
He would take me on weekend walks inside the American
Cemetery, walks that would stretch on until the shadows of
the trees were cast sidelong and black against the lush turf of
the park. Now, at the time, I was cocky knowing I would stand
near the end of any by-height schoolyard line. But on my walks
with Sixto, my arm almost at full stretch just to clasp his calloused hand, I knew I would be hard put to measure up, even
as an adult.
A case in point: Once, inside one neighborhood barbershop,
a corporal under the command of my fatherwho was in the
service himselfrecognized me and offered to let me skip the
queue. My grandfather rmly refused. These days I would
gladly skip any line regardless of context, especially if it meant
getting back on Reddit sooner.
Every pension payday, Sixto would buy my sister and me
treats from Burger Machine. Afterwards, he would wipe the
ketchup from our lips to make sure our grandmother never
found out: In todays terms, the average old Bonifacio retiree
or dependent earned just enough pension money to buy ve

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pairs of jeans or a single fancy ipboard clock in some High


Street shop, and we all know that pants and ornamental appliances make for an unpalatable lunch.
Those burgers, to my mind, were Sixtos only impracticality. He used the same set of worn shirts from my childhood,
up until my family moved out of Bonifacio. Whenever he got
sick, he would self-medicate with jars of water cured under
Ernieform pyramids he had bought in Guadalupe: aluminum

frames peddled by weatherman Ernie Baron to channel positive cosmic energy into consumables and the occasional head
of very reluctant exam reviewee.
The singular trait of our house was a poured cement vault,
repurposed into family bodega. Sixto had built the house himself, you see, on a loan he had taken out when he had no business taking out loans, being retired and all. The plot of land
Sixto had selected had been the site of an American bank, and
the pragmatic man built the house around the vault instead of
trying to demolish it.
In the vault, Sixto kept his most treasured possessions:
hacksaws and chisels, a single-bit felling ax, a mattock and a
claw hammer, hand planes and screws of various sizes. These
tools he stored in worn wooden crates or olive drab canisters
still stenciled PA or USAFE, ready to be fetched upon the easiest house or yard project.
Sixto once nearly cut his own toe off with a spud bar. I
watched him empty a packet of what was surely expired sulfa
powder over the wound, bind his foot with gauze, and go back
to digging his ditch. Some months later I chipped two teeth
after taking a football tackle. I swallowed my teeth so I could

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 115

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keep playing. That was the closest Ive ever come to any sort of
resilience.
OVER AND OUT

Alright, lets get the downer part out of the way. Sixto died
bloated and gasping on a late July night, less than a month
after he was admitted into V. Luna, with neither morphine nor
chemotherapy. We simply didnt have the money to even make
his death comfortable.
Catholic icons huddled impotently in a corner of the common ward. My father was out somewhere trying to nd a
chaplain to give Last Rites. I was left with Sixtos hand in
mine, just as things were when I was a kid. I could think of
nothing to do but dab moist cotton on his aking lips, like a
vain rst-responder with some very messed up priorities. His
tongue bobbed inside his mouth like an amphibian struggling in thick mud. The sound he made as he died stuck to
the seams of my shirt worse than even the smell of the ward,
which was of stale sweat and whatever it is that seeps from
our pores upon death.
I would tell you about the wake and burial, but the freaky
116 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

part is I cant remember more than a couple of details from


both. Ive been trying for almost a week, and it has been very
much like trying to get at a leaking pipe through a concrete
wall with a silicon spatula. I remember a groggy last night of
the wake at St. Michaels church, now a vacant lot in the undeveloped side of Global City. I remember the Libingan ng mga

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Bayani, green and white tarpaulin hanging over our small family, the marble cross already stenciled with Sixtos birth and
death dates, rubber mallet lying beside it for the undertaker to
use. I remember Taps being played by the Army band, which
sounded to me as though it was a full two beats too fast. And
thats about it: shards of memory like the bits of red and yellow
glass on the oor after you drunkenly back into your garage
wall one late night.
DIRECTIONS TO A PLACE NO LONGER THERE

My family moved out of Fort Bonifacio shortly before it was


reclaimed by the Bases Conversion Development Authority.
We settled in Project 4, where I stayed until two years ago. I
have since moved back to Taguig, a frantic fun run away from
Global City.
Obliterated have been the traces of my childhood space,
the intersections of my youth and Sixtos last years. The roads
are now wider, the old tungsten lights replaced with LEDs
more energy efcient and still way too harsh. The place is now
business hub, tax haven, leisure nerve center, however the hell
shambling marketers are calling it, plus holding freezer for

a couple thousand working stiffs tagged with the lanyards of


industry, if I may add.
I was one of those stiffs, at the time I resolved to nally
write about my grandfather. Something Ive been wanting to
do since I was a kid in college. Guilt after all is a bulky, chafing thing to keep in ones pocket. My hair is now graying. My
knees form rusty U-joints you couldnt support cupcakes with
when bent. Just a couple of months ago I went through my
rst serious series of medical tests, to rule out a congenital
heart valve defect. That, and the cancer that killed both Sixto
and my father, are the only two scenarios in my exit strategy,
as it were.
A nal anecdote, on this, our last stop: Sixto and I were
almost run over by a jeep, on our way back from a walk,
somewhere near todays BGC Turf. We were leaving another
veterans house. I stepped out the door and bolted for the road.
He snatched me midway. I felt more than saw the jeep speed
past. He didnt say a word. It was nothing dramatic in fact. But
in memory it is as mystical as a childhood space long since decamped, as large as any stoic deance of death, and certainly
worthy of appreciative crowd noises made with mouth.

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Gray V-neck sweater (P3,950),


white button-down (P4,650),
and khaki pants (P5,950),
all by Massimo Dutti.
118 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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STYLE

THE ACTOR ALEX MEDINA IS NO STRANGER TO DARK


CHARACTERS AND MYSTICAL PLACES. IN THIS STORY,
HE PLAYS A PHOTOGRAPHER UNRAVELING A SECRET IN
A WORLD INSPIRED BY MIKE DE LEONS ITIM , WEARING
THIS MONTHS SACRED ESSENTIAL: THE WHITE SHIRT.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MAAN PALMIERY
STYLING BY CLIFFORD OLANDAY AND ANTON MIRANDA
ART DIRECTION BY EDRIC DELA ROSA
PRODUCED BY JEROME GOMEZ

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White button-down (P10,498) by


Aspesi at Univers and taupe shorts
(P5,650) by Tommy Hilger.

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STYLE

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White button-down with wide


placket (P29,998) by Jil Sander
at Univers and white chinos
(P11,000) by Ralph Lauren.
Opposite: White button-down
(P27,798) by Dior Homme at Univers.

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STYLE

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White button-down with


club collar (P3,950) by
Jaspal Man at Adora.

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White henley (P795) by Zara Man,
cream henley pullover (P11,000)
by Ralph Lauren, and white pants
(P3,950) by Massimo Dutti.

XXX E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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CREDITS CREDITS

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STYLE

White linen henley


(P2,595) by Zara Man.

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Khaki blazer (P19,500) by


Faconnable at Rustans, white
button-down (P3,450) by Jaspal
Man at Adora, and gray pants
(P5,950) by Massimo Dutti.

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Grooming by Muriel Vega


Perez for PAC Cosmetics.
Special thanks to Maribel
Corpus for the saints, and
to Gregory Dorris.

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STYLE

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 129

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FICTION

STORY BY REINE ARCACHE MELVIN


ART BY NIKKI LUNA

130 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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PHOTOGRAPHS SONNY THAKUR

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CREDITS CREDITS

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E XXX

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XXX E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

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FICTION

perhaps other women. None of them


had mattered.
She tried. Movements, sounds, reactions. She feigned pleasure even as she
panicked. He didnt open his eyes. When
he started to come, she stopped trying
and watched him.

NEAR THE HOUSE WERE WATCHTOWERS, which


her great-grandparents and their servants
climbed twice a year to watch the galleons
sail in from Acapulco. When Lala was a
child, her mother said: Never go up there,
even seeing the ocean is dangerous
pirate winds carry Moros from the South,
they never became Christian. Bad people,
bad ghosts, they were all around her. And
still she played in the towers, secretly,
when her mother was away. She invented
songs about typhoon winds, trade winds,
eclipse winds, pirate winds. She imagined
living in a time of gold and galleons and
pirates. She pretended she looked like the
portrait of her Chinese-Spanish greatgrandmother, with her slanted eyes and
long neck, her white gloves and black lace
fan. Mexican trade had made her family
wealthy. Not Spanish, they said Mexican. Later they told her: we were the colony of a colony. Not even Spanish, we said
we were Spanish but no one was Spanish.
When we went to Madrid, no one could
understand what we were saying. And
they warned her again: crazy women,
vampires, dead Japanese prisoners from
the war still dragging their chains, and
the warnings lled her songs.
THROUGH A GAP IN THE CURTAINS, in the
room of Arturos childhood, a ray of
moonlight sliced the darkness. Lala
turned her back to him, pulled off her
white satin nightgown. From behind, he

would see only a womans body, curved


and wanting. No trace of the pregnancy
that had disgured her.
She lay down beside him. He closed
his eyes and ran his ngers over her
thighs. A hollowing in the room, in
her chest. There was a distance in his
touch, a coldness, that she had never felt
before. She became very still, aware of
his hand on her skin, her skin under his
hand, alert to the slightest shifts in pressure, to changes in his breathing, even to
the vibrations in the air between them.
Eyes shut, he stroked her, his gestures
mechanical. She looked at the face that
didnt see her, and feared for herself.
Her freedom, her safety, depended on
his wanting her.
She guided his hand to her belly,
then to her breasts. Perhaps it was the
pregnancy. Some men couldnt deal
with it. And Arturo liked thin women.
Maybe he was just imagining she was
someone else, pretending he had never
touched her before. She sat up and lifted
his hands over his head, crossed them
at the wrist, rested them on the pillow.
She began to caress him, in ways she
knew he liked, in ways he had taught her
at the beginning and now rarely dared
to ask. And all the time her thoughts
rushed backward and forward, skipping
between images and phrases, trying
to understand. Its nothing, she told
herself. Its probably nothing. She knew
he loved her. He had had irtations,

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LATER SHE LAY ON HER SIDE, facing him. He


was on his back, breath still ragged, one
arm folded over his head. Except for
the chest and belly, he looked so much
like her. Narrow hips and long legs, high
cheekbones, wide-set eyes. They looked
so much alike that people often thought
they were brother and sister, and at
times she wondered whether he had
married her so he could imagine making
love to himself.
She wanted to say something, but
no words came. Maybe this was just a
mood. He so rarely had moods. Arturos
amiability was one of the things she
liked best and understood least about
him. He walked into a party and seemed
delighted to see everybody there. One
or two nights a week, he came to this
house, where he had grown up and his
mother still lived, because he missed the
people in the household, the cook and
maids and drivers who had taken care
of him for years. He sat with them in the
kitchen, ate with his hands, teased them
about their love lives. All the servants,
even the taciturn old gardener, brightened when they saw him.
It will pass, she told herself. Leave
him alone. Instead she edged toward
him, close enough to smell his skin. A
trace of lavender soap, deodorant, and
those other odors, musky and male, that
she recognized but couldnt name. Then
the faint smells of the river came to
her, too, the iodine and salt and sewage,
slipping through the cracks in the walls
and window frames of the large colonial
house that had belonged to his family for
generations. She and Arturo had grown
up along the banks of this river, in different parts of Manila, at a time when the
river was clean. That was a resemblance,
too, as striking to her as that of their
bodies, and for some reason this reassured herthe river, their appearance,
these accidents of resemblance. She
lowered her head to the pillow and shut
her eyes, imagining the South China
Sea owing into Manilas harbor and
narrowing into this river, and sea water
moving sluggishly past shantytowns and
the presidential palace and Spanish-era
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FICTION

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mansions, gathering the citys waste as


it made its way to an inland lake so vast
young children thought it was the sea.

PEOPLE FROM THE SAME SIDE of the river


should never marry, her father had told
her. She had been a child then, sitting
with him by the banks of the river. She
watched a dark shape, almost as wide as
the river, shifting beneath the surface of
the water.
The people who lived here, her father
said, were called the Taga-Ilogsthose
who live by the river. At the time, he told
her, and in different places, the river was
aquamarine, blue and yellow, and in the
shallows almost transparent.
Papa, she replied, trying not to blink
because she knew the shadow would

away the worst of what had happened


to her, the way tides erode the sharp
contours of a rock, and her life would
one day appear simple, too.
But her father wouldnt leave her in
peace. She tried not to think of him.
Hes dead, she told herself, each time an
image or memory or that unspeakable
pain surfaced. She couldnt imagine him
on that sidewalk, after the shooting. She
hadnt sensed the danger, and she was
supposed to know better than everyone
else. At night he came back to her, in her
dreams, a bloodied face, and at times,
and this was worse, no face at all, no
body, just a sense of him, a darkness, in
distress. He was dead. And she hadnt
saved him. How could she have saved
him? He hadnt wanted to save himself.
And the more the baby grew inside her,

IT WILL PASS, SHE TOLD HERSELF. LEAVE HIM ALONE.


INSTEAD SHE EDGED TOWARD HIM, CLOSE ENOUGH
TO SMELL HIS SKIN. A TRACE OF LAVENDER SOAP,
DEODORANT, AND THOSE OTHER ODORS, MUSKY AND
MALE, THAT SHE RECOGNIZED BUT COULDNT NAME.

disappear if she closed her eyes. Theres


an enormous sh there, at the bottom of
the river. I see it every day when I come
here. Can you see it?
No one, her father said soothingly, has
ever seen a monster sh in this river.

NOW SHE HELD HER BREATH as she lay next


to Arturo and knew that most of her life
she had been seeking someone just like
him, like herself, a lover from her side of
the river. She had loved her father but
hated the life he had imposed on her,
the exile and dissidents and poverty,
the long years of political struggle that
had taught her not idealism but distrust, convinced her that almost no one
and nothing were what they seemed,
that her safety depended on an ability
to detect the lies, secrets and capacity
for betrayal that hid behind words and
smiles. Her familys safety, too, depended on her. None of them could sense the
danger in other people.
Arturo wasnt dangerous. And he
wanted things to be simple. In time, she
believed, a life with him would wash
134 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

taking up space in her belly, the more


her father lled her dreams. Hes dead,
she told herself, often in anger. She was
alive. But sometimes when the dreams
became too much, when she woke up
with her chest so tight and painful she
felt she couldnt breatheshe had never
realized a heart really could ache, that
the pain was physical and not gurativewhen this happened, she slipped
away from the house and drove to the
old cathedral he had visited for novenas and penitence. She walked toward
the statue of the Virgin Mary, with her
slanted eyes and long neck and white
hands like the portrait of Lalas greatgrandmother. Surrounded by the smells
of mildew and dank wood and human
bodies, Lala knelt at a wooden pew and
prayed to her father, to the saints, to
whoever might be out there listening to
the people on their knees around her,
to whoever or whatever could hear her.
She prayed for him to leave her alone.

ON THE PILLOWCASE, the odor of peachscented detergent displaced the smells

of the river. The room carried little


trace of the boy who had lived there.
Framed on the wall was a childs copy of
a Picasso painting, a blue-toned old man
curled around a guitar, which Arturo
had painted in a remarkably sure hand
when he was seven. Near the bed, a glass
case displayed one of his early model
ships. A galleon, with full sails, about
two feet long and two feet highshe
couldnt tell whether it was Spanish or
French, although Arturo had tried to
explain the differences. He still constructed one or two galleons every year,
spending months on each one, hunched
over the materials on his work table
planks of teak or rosewood, light canvas
for the sails, silk ags, metal canons
and anchors, miniscule nails, spools of
thread, containers of beeswax. He sewed
the sails and nailed the planks with a
delicacy and deftness that surprised her,
and some evenings she sat beside him to
watch those strong ngers handling the
tiny pieces.
Now she pressed her forehead against
his shoulder, her eyes so close to his skin
that she could no longer see him. He
nudged her away. The baby, she thought.
Whatevers happening, if something is
happening, he wont hurt the baby.
He switched on the lamp, as he always
did at night before going to sleep.
She sat up and pinched her nipples. A
drop of yellow liquid pearled over each
tip.
He tucked his hands under his head,
elbows pointing toward the walls. I
had a dream the other night, he said
pleasantly.
The tone in his voice, its very pleasantness, seemed a massive wall, blocking
access to whatever was happening inside him. She licked the liquid from her
ngertips, trying to remember the last
time he had really spoken to her. After a
moment, she said: Tell me about it.
It was a silly dream, a dream of vampires. They were all around me, in your
sisters house.
Her back straightened.
He smiled. He had good teeth, even
and white. It was just a dream, La.
He twisted his head to look at her,
the smile shifting into that reckless,
bad-boy grin she still found irresistible.
They were crawling in through the
window. Beautiful. And these horrible
red and black robes. Probably polyester. It looked like polyester. But the
women were gorgeous, bending over
me, all white skin, and breasts spilling

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out. They were about to bite off my feet
when I woke up.
She gazed at him with attention
and a wary tenderness. The expensive
haircut, the body pummeled into shape
by weights and sports, the high-bridged
nose. Arturo always looked as if he had
just stepped out of the shower, even
after a night of hard partying or hours of
sex. For years, no matter the strains and
irritations that surfaced between them,
his skin and smell had brought her back
to him. She had loved what he felt like.
Memories came to her, from the beginning, the way he turned to kiss her in
the cinema whenever on-screen lovers
began to kiss or make love, the way he
combed her hair after a shower, patted
the strands dry, rubbed them between
his ngers. The way he slept with his
arms and legs around hers, seeking her
even in sleep. Each time she had been
surprised and moved, but she had never
told him, never wanted him to know
how much he meant to her. Not a bad
man. That was what she told her parents,
when she started dating him in San Francisco. Despite everything, a good heart.
Good hearts turn up in the most unlikely
places, her father responded drily. But
Gregorio had never tried to stop her. She
knew what people said. A smart marriage. A brilliant move. But how could
she live with it, how could she betray her
fathers memory this way?
Whats the matter? Arturo asked.
You dont like vampires?
No one, not even her father, understood this: the real betrayal wasnt marrying Arturo, but loving him.
Dont look at me like that, he said.
It was only a dream.
She knew these sons of privilege. Men
like him needed distractions, novelty,
excitement.
She decided to act playful. I used to
see things, too, she said.
Vampires?
No. Of course not. A sh. And it
wasnt a dreamI really saw it.
The corner of his mouth lifted. You
saw a sh?
Dont make fun of me. An enormous
black one, at the bottom of the Pasig.
Next to the house we lived in when I
was small. Every time I looked at it, it
got bigger, and I was sure that one day it
would be too big for the river. I was sure
that one day, when the oods came, it
would swim out of the river and break
into our house, and then it would swim
up the stairs and eat me.

He rubbed his thumb against her


wrist, as he used to do, years ago, whenever she became upset. She leaned back
against the pillows, disturbed by the
memory of how much he had loved her.
What do you do with dreams like
that? he asked.
Maybe she was mistakenmaybe
nothing was wrong. Or maybe everything was, and he was trying only to
keep the surfaces smooth, hoping she
wouldnt notice.
She wanted to say: Tell me how the
dream ended. Tell me whom you were
thinking about when we made love.
Tell me what she looks like, how you
imagined her moving when you were
inside me.

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Instead she said: One night, it was


raining so hard, I was sure the sh was
there, waiting for me to sleep. I saw its
black tail banging against the window.
Bigger than the window, really, but my
father said it was just the giant leaves of
the banana tree, hitting the glass.
I dont want our baby to dream like
that, he said.
It wasnt a dream.
On that night, in her childhood, rain
had been pounding the roof, water dripping through the holes that Japanese
bullets had pierced during the war. Her
grandfather had never repaired the
holeshe said the family should never
forget what the Japanese did to them.
On nights like that, the river was black
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FICTION

THEY WERE CRAWLING IN THROUGH THE


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and rising, spilling over the banks and


ooding the garden.
She had cried into the darkness for
her father. Only he could hear her at
night. She called and called, but no one
came. She crept out of bed and found
Gregorio hunched over his books and
papers, his glasses slipping down his
nose, a bottle of whisky beside him. His
eyes softened when he saw her, and he
smiled at her with such affection that
she lowered her head in shame. Even as
a child she knew how hard she could be,
how unlike her father, mother, sister and
everyone else, and she was afraid that
if he saw into her heart he would never
love her again.
Her father scraped his chair away
from the desk and carried her back
to bed. He tucked her in, lowered the
temperature of the air-conditioner and
told her to pray out loud. Hail Mary, full
of grace, our Lord is with thee, she whispered, but nothing happened. The sh
was still there, outside the window.
He kissed her forehead. Is it gone
now?
Violet-red veins criss-crossed his eyes.
Lala?
She shook her head.
He glanced at his watch. What do
you think we should do now, hija?
I think we should eat it, she said.
He raised an eyebrow. She jumped
from bed and gathered her red plastic tea
set, then made her father sit on the oor
beside her. Hurriedly she arranged the
small plastic saucers, forks and knives in
front of them. We have to eat it quickly,
before it kills us, she told him solemnly.
With a knife and fork she cut the invisible sh into many pieces and spread
them across her tea set. Then they ate
every morsel, even the eyes, which were
bigger than her head, and when they
nished eating, he asked her wearily: Is
it gone now? Have we killed that sh?
And she knew they had. She never saw it
again, and the shadow disappeared from
the bottom of the river.
But now Arturo turned to her in bed
and said: He was always a little strange,
wasnt he, your father? Even before the
politics, all those things he was doing.
He was just trying to make money,
like everyone else. Is that strange? I
think its the world thats strange. And
he wasnt very good at it. She hesitated.
Nothing she said could make him see
the father she had loved. Her fathers
self-doubt and idealism had no resonance in Arturos universe, where power
136 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

WINDOW. BEAUTIFUL. AND THESE HORRIBLE RED


AND BLACK ROBES. PROBABLY POLYESTER. IT
LOOKED LIKE POLYESTER. BUT THE WOMEN WERE
GORGEOUS, BENDING OVER ME, ALL WHITE
SKIN, AND BREASTS SPILLING OUT. THEY WERE
ABOUT TO BITE OFF MY FEET WHEN I WOKE UP.

and privilege were all that mattered. She


began speaking rapidly, as though words
could displace his misgivings, as though
convincing him to admire her father
would make him want her again. He
had this projecthe worked on it, off
and on, for yearsto build a cement road
through a jungle, in the south. But he
couldnt do it. Life there was too strong,
he told us. Every time they poured the
cement, he would go down to inspect,
and he said things kept breaking
through ittrees, owers, plants, just
pushing up from under and ripping the
cement apart. Once, when he arrived,
he saw a two-hundred-foot mango tree
in the middle of the road, with dozens
of red and green parrots in its branches.
The workers said it just came up that
way, practically overnight.
A sly smile. Maybe the workers had
too much sun?
My mother said it wasnt that life was
so strongshe was sure he was building
the road over the homes of duende, and
they were getting angry.
Okay, La.
She didnt tell him: As a child, she
had mimicked her mothers impatience
with her father. Gregorio wasnt practical, couldnt make money, didnt know
how to build a life. But in her heart she
knew it didnt matter what her mother
saidher father saw how big the world
was, how full of creatures and colors
and magic. She rolled her eyes like her
mother, but she was thrilled by her
fathers stories, the red and green parrots, and the people who lived on the
banks of aquamarine, blue and yellow
rivers. Now, when she could and when

she forgot to stop herself, she sought out


the colors he had taught her to see. She
served yellow and pink and blue food at
parties, arranged red and green sachets
of potpourri in her closets, tucked
colored buttons into the bottom of her
handbags. Hes dead, she told herself.
I have to stop thinking of him. But she
found herself gathering colors for him,
mementoes of the worlds he had opened
for her. A trade, she told him. Ill gather
tokens of you, and theyll be my talismans against you. Ill carry parts of you
wherever I go, and youll leave me alone.
A uttering inside her, as light and
agitated as a birds heartbeat. She
pressed Arturos hand against her
stomach, where the baby was kicking.
He kissed her on the cheek, his eyes
already distracted, withdrawing. Her
chest tightened. Her inner sense, the
barometer that had guided her through
years of intrigue and exile, was broken.
It had failed her with her father, and it
was failing her now.
Two ngertips touched the hollow of
her cheek. He smiled again, tentatively,
and a moment later she mirrored his
smile. He said, seemingly at a loss for
anything else: Your face is getting so
thin.
Perhaps everyone needs a surface life,
to stay intact, she told herself. Maybe
thats all it is. Not someone else.
He kissed her briey on her lips and
on her belly, as he did every night, and
turned to his side, facing the lamplight.
She grasped his shoulder, as she did every night, holding him until his breathing steadied and her touch eased him
into sleep.

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 137

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THE PROPHET
[continued from page 95]

including a letter that the patients primary neurosurgeon had sent to Alexander, notifying him of her postoperative facial paralysis. The womans attorney argued that
it is reasonable to infer that this pattern
of disappearance of probative evidence
was not coincidental, but was in fact deliberate. The attorney was arguing, in other
words, that when Alexander found things
that didnt t the story he wanted to tell,
he changed them, or made them disappear
altogether.
Alexander settled.
He soars on the butterflys wing for
who knows how long.
Time is different. Space, time, self, everything: different. Above the butteries,
sentient orbs of light oat. Angels? Who
knows.
But eventually he rises, even higher. Or
deeper. Further.
He enters a new realm, one of innite
depth and innite blackness. And at the
center of it all, a light. Bright, pulsating,
warm, loving, wise. The embodiment, the
denition, the source of all of those things
and everything else.
The all-knowing and all-loving creator at
the center of all existence.
He approaches God. God approaches
him. God is everywhere. Above. Below. Beside. Inside.
He and God are One.
And although he still doesnt know who
he is or where he is, though he still has no
concept of language itself, of present, of
past, none of that matters.
He knows. He knows . . . everything.
He knows the unknowable, the great
mysteries, the answers to the ultimate whys
and wheres and whats.
Why are we here? Where did we come
from? What do we do now?
He knows it all.
And then he falls away. Down through
the valley of swirling butteries. Back into
138 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

the ageless muck where his journey began.


So he settled that suit.
But these things happen. Youre trying to
x people who would otherwise be hopelessly broken, and sometimes you dont succeed, or things just go a little awry. And too
often there are lawyers waiting in the wings.
It didnt really affect him. He was still
teaching at Harvard, still practicing at the
Brigham. He was still on the rise. There
were some tensions at work, though.
He and the man he worked for, Dr. Peter
Black, the Brighams chair of neurosurgery, werent getting along. Why that is depends on whom you ask. Alexander thinks
its because Black had assigned him to head
up the hospitals stereotactic-radiosurgery program, and initially that technology was used only to treat aneurysms. The
technology had developed quickly, though,
and soon Alexander was using it on tumors, too. Hed also begun using the hospitals new intraoperative MRI machine
to do tumor work. Problem was, Black was
known worldwide as the tumor guy. For instance, when Ringo Starrs daughter was
diagnosed with a brain tumor, her doctors
sent her across the Atlantic, because only
Black would do. Alexander thought Black
was maybe worried that Alexander was encroaching on his turf, and this was straining
their relationship. Black, for his part, has no
comment.
But all in all, more than a decade into his
career at the Brigham, things were looking
great. He coauthored a lot of journal articles and two academic textbooks, one about
stereotactic radiosurgery and the other focusing on the intraoperative MRI machine.
And then, in 2000, he served as the inspiration for a best-selling novel.
His friend wrote it. The Patient, by Michael Palmer. A medical thriller, the kind
travelers snatch up in airports and devour
on airplanes. A French terrorist dying from
a brain tumor takes a prestigious Boston
hospital hostage in order to force the staff
to save his life. Initially, the terrorist wants
the operation performed by the chief of the
neurosurgery department, Carl Gilbride,
but Gilbride soon reveals himself to be a venal and incompetent blowhard whose true
forte was self-promotion. The real star of
the neurosurgery department, the terrorist deduces, is a young rebrand named Jessie Copeland, who is everything a patient
could hope for: brilliant, seless, compassionate, ercely devoted to her charges, and
a wizard with a scalpel. When the terrorist chooses Copeland to perform his operation, it rankles Gilbride so much that he be-

gins trying to thwart and sabotage her at


every turn.
Palmer had learned everything he could
about neurosurgery from Alexander and
channeled it into the book, into Copeland.
Alexander had even passed along to Palmer the idea for ARTIE, the robotic assistant that could crawl straight up someones
nose and into their brain and, when combined with an intraoperative MRI machine,
resect even the most stubbornly embedded
tumors. When folks at the Brigham read
The Patient, it took them about a half second to realize that Copeland was a standin for Eben Alexander (albeit under the diaphanous disguise of a sex change). And it
didnt take much longer than that for them
to realize that the vile, venal chief of neurosurgery, the ctional Carl Gilbride, was
supposed to be the Brighams real-life chair
of neurosurgery, Eben Alexanders boss, Peter Black. As one former resident of Alexanders puts it, the animosity and dynamic is eerily identical. Alexander, he says,
poured all his frustration in there through
Palmer, though he cautions the resulting
portraits of Alexander and Black are open
to interpretation and tinted with jealousy.
In the ctional world of the book, Carl
Gilbride gets whats coming to him. He is
pistol-whipped and roundly humiliated, and
by the end is so entirely emasculated and
subservient to Copeland that he seeks praise
from her like a four-year-old announcing
he had picked up all his toys.
In the real world, things turned out
differently.
On April 13, 2001, almost exactly a year
after the publication of The Patient, Dr.
Eben Alexanders employment as a surgeon
at the Brigham was terminated. Rumors
ooded the hospital hallways and break areasa problem with a patient? simply too
much ego in one place?but none were ever substantiated. The administrators, as is
their bureaucratic wont, stayed silent. Only
one fact was indisputable: Dr. Eben Alexander III was moving on.
He falls and rises and falls and rises.
Back in the muck and murk of the realm
below the verdant place, below God, he
eventually, after seconds or hours or days
or years or millennia, discovers that he is
in control. That he can ascend again. All
he needs to do is summon the melody, the
one that accompanied the initial portal,
and then hell oat up and through it and be
back on the buttery again, with the beautiful girl, ready for another encounter with
God. He repeats the pattern, falling down,
rising up, countless times.

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But eventually the melody stops working.
Eventually the melody no longer summons
the glowing gateway. It doesnt bother him,
really. Even there, in the writhing brown
and grime, he knows that he is loved, eternally, that he can do nothing wrong, that
nothing truly bad can ever happen to him.
Secure in this knowledge, and in all his
other newfound wisdom as well, he slowly becomes aware of another realm. Faces
emerge from the murk and present themselves to him, and although he doesnt recognize them, although he doesnt know
who they are, he senses their concern for
him. Their love. They come from where he
comes from.
He begins to wake up.
Its time to go back.
It was time to go back, to head back
home to the South. New England hadnt
quite worked out. After the Brigham, hed
taken a job at the UMass Memorial Medical
Center, in Worcester, thirty-ve miles west
of Boston. Hed run its deep-brain-stimulation program, implanting electrodes into patients, helping alleviate their Parkinsonian tremors by means of corrective
shocks. But there had been more lawsuits
in one case, a bit of plastic was left behind
in a womans neckand there had been another boss he didnt get along with.
In August 2003, UMass Memorial suspended Alexanders surgical privileges on
the basis or allegation of improper performance of surgery. (The specics of the
case leading to the suspension are condential, though Alexander claims it resulted from a very complex repeat operation
I did around the brain stem of a patient in
which the patient had more difculty recovering after the operation I would say
than I anticipated and than I led them to
believe.) His suspension technically ended in November of that same year, but he
never went back to work at UMass Memorial. He resigned. The following year he did
a little freelance consulting for the Gerson
Lehrman Group, a company that matches corporations with experts in various
elds, and also led an unsuccessful lawsuit against the Brigham and Womens Hospital, claiming it improperly withheld more
than $400,000 of his retirement and deferred-compensation plans. He had been
more or less out of work for fteen months
when, in March 2005, he received a letter
from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine asking him to respond to a
complaint form theyd received from a former patient who was upset that Alexander
had stopped responding to phone calls. Al-

exander wrote a letter back, explaining that


the complaint was invalid because he was
no longer practicing and that, furthermore,
he would soon be leaving the state altogether. I wanted to stay in Massachusetts, but
[the UMass chair of surgerys] campaign
against me has made that impossible, he
wrote. He added that he was a very good
neurosurgeon, and that Massachusetts
would be most fortunate to have the benet
of my skills as a physician and surgeon over
the next fteen years, but they wont have
it, because I am leaving this state for a more
hospitable and welcoming environment. It
will be nice to be appreciated for all that I
have to offer.
The board ultimately took no disciplinary action. Still, one year later, he moved his
family back south, into a big redbrick colonial house in Lynchburg, Virginia, not far
from where he grew up, and Lynchburg
General Hospital hired him as a staff neurosurgeon. He got back to work.
When he comes back, when he opens
his eyes, when the new-old realm with all
its fresh-familiar sensations comes washing over him, he is at rst very confused.
For the better part of the next week, he experiences what is known as ICU psychosis.
He hallucinates. Some of the hallucinations
are very strange. At one point he believes he
is running through a cancer clinic in south
Florida, being pursued by his wife, a pair of
policemen, and two Asian ninja photographers. His vocabulary is incomplete. Parts
of his brain are still dysfunctional.
But slowly his brain comes back online.
Reality imposes itself. He becomes aware of
who the people around him are. His family, his friends. He becomes aware of exactly
where he is. He remembers this place.
The sorts of operations Alexander performed at Lynchburg General Hospital
were old-fashioned, as far as neurosurgery goes. But that doesnt mean they were
unimportant.
For example, on March 1, 2007, a ftyfour-year-old tobacco farmer from a small
town outside of Lynchburg visited Dr. Alexander, complaining of pain in his neck
and trapezius and upper arm. Alexander
conducted a physical examination and inspected some MRI imagery and told the patient that he recommended a spinal decompression surgery that would involve fusing
his fth and sixth vertebrae. The patient
agreed to the surgery, and several months
later, on June 27, 2007, Alexander performed it.
He did something wrong. Instead of fus-

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ing the farmers fth and sixth vertebrae,


he fused his fourth and fth. He did not realize his mistake at rst. When he dictated
the operative report, he recorded that the
MRI scan showed signicant disk bulge
and disk osteophyte complex compression
at C5-6 mainly the left side, and then described an operation on those vertebrae, instead of the vertebrae he had actually operated on.
On July 12, he had his rst follow-up appointment with the farmer. He reviewed
the postoperative X-rays. He noticed his
mistake. He didnt tell his patient. Instead,
after his patient went home, he pulled the
operative report up on his computer and
edited it. Now the report read that the MRI
scan had showed disk bulge at both C4-5
and C5-6, and that we had discussed possible C5-6 as well as C4-5 decompression,
nally deciding on C4-5 decompression.
Then he simply found every subsequent
reference in the report to C5-6 and changed
it to C4-5.
After he nished editing the report, it
read as though he hadnt done anything
wrong at all.
During a third follow-up meeting, in October, Alexander nally confessed, and told
the patient that if he wanted another operation he could have it for free. It is unclear
exactly when Lynchburg General Hospital
learned of Alexanders mistake, but by the
end of October he no longer had surgical
privileges at the hospital.
On August 6, 2008, the patient led a $3
million lawsuit against Alexander, accusing
him of negligence, battery, spoliation, and
fraud. The purported cover-up, the changes Alexander had made to the surgical report, was a major aspect of the suit. Once
again, a lawyer was accusing Alexander of
altering the historical record when the historical record didnt t the story he wanted to tell.
By the time the lawsuit was led, Alexander had found another job, with a nonprot
called the Focused Ultrasound Foundation
in Charlottesville, Virginia, an hour-anda-half drive from Lynchburg. His new job
did not involve the practice of neurosurgery. His boss, the neurosurgeon Dr. Neal
Kassell, who was also a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Virginia medical school, had known Alexander for many
years. He had high respect for Alexanders
intelligencelike Alexanders former residents, he described Alexander as brilliant.
He had less esteem for Alexanders surgical
abilities. Neurosurgery requires the ability to intensely concentrate on one thing for
a long period of time, he says. And thats

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 139

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not Ebens MO.
The tobacco farmers lawsuit was still
in its preliminary stages, hanging over Alexanders head like a $3 million hammer, when the E. coli started their terrible
multiplication.
He goes home from the hospital just before Thanksgiving.
He is sixteen pounds lighter and still foggy, but getting stronger and sharper every
day. He had been scheduled to give a deposition in the case of the tobacco farmer in December, but the court allows it to be pushed
back. He keeps himself busy. He writes
thank-you postcards to some of the medical
staff that took care of him. He takes notes
about his memories of his strange comatose
journey, the murky place and the butteries
and the countryside and the dazzling epiphanic light at the center of it all. He imagines
there is probably a neurological explanation for what he experienced. Eventually he
starts going back to work at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
On March 18, 2009, Alexander gives his
deposition in the tobacco-farmer case. He
testies that when he learned of his error,
he felt like [hed] been hit by a truck, but
that he refrained from telling the patient
because he was intrigued by postoperative
improvements he claims the patient had
made despite the botched operation.
I thought that I would end up telling
him about it, he says, and I think my overwhelming curiosity about why he had gotten betterI wanted to see if his symptoms
came back quickly because people sometimes will have a placebo effect to surgery.
Soon after his deposition, Alexanders
lawyers urge him to settle, and he does.
They also urge him to settle another case,
stemming from an operation he performed
only two weeks after the farmers, when he
again operated on the wrong vertebra of a
patient. He settles that case, too. The Virginia Board of Medicine allows him to keep
his license, but levies a modest ne and orders him to take continuing education
classes in ethics and professionalism. By
the time all his pending cases are resolved,
Alexander will have settled ve malpractice cases in the last ten years. Only one other Virginia-licensed neurosurgeon has settled as many cases in that time period, and
none have settled more.
But really, in the wake of his coma, his
perspective on his legal troubles has shifted. Hes just lucky to be alive. The mere fact
of it, the mere fact that his brain survived
that vicious bacterial assault, well . . . some
might even call it a miracle. He starts read-

140 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

ing a lot about near-death experiences,


books like Life After Death, by Dinesh
DSouza; Embraced by the Light, by Betty J.
Eadie; and Evidence of the Afterlife, by Jeffrey Long. These books all argue that experiences such as the one he had were not
hallucinatory quirks of a brain under siege.
They were real. One morning, maybe four
months after his coma, hes in his bedroom
reading one of these books, called On Life
After Death, by Elisabeth Kbler-Ross. He
comes to a story about a little girl who has
a near-death experience during which she
meets a deceased brother she had never
known.
Alexander, who had recently received a
photo of a deceased daughter of his birth
parents, a sister he had never known, puts
the book down and lets his eyes wander to
the photo. And then, suddenly, he recognizes her.
The girl on the buttery wing.
He cant sleep.
For days and weeks and months in a row,
he wakes at two in the morning and cant
fall back asleep, so he goes to the den long
before he needs to start his long commute to
work, and he writes and reads and thinks.
He knows he has a story to tell, but the
question is how to tell it.
He eventually decides to start with the
story of his rst near-death experience.
Its a story from his skydiving days back
in college. He logged more than three hundred jumps during his college career, and
most of them were thrilling but otherwise
uneventful. On one autumn day in 1975,
however, something went wrong. On that
particular day, he was the last of a group of
six jumpers to exit the airplane. The group
had intended to form a six-man star formation, but one ew in too fast and knocked
the formation apart before Alexander could
come in to complete it. After recovering
their bearings, the briey discombobulated jumpers tracked away from one another,
preparing to deploy their chutes. Alexander did the same, rocketing off to stake out
his own untrammeled patch of sky. He was
about to pull his rip cord when he noticed
with a start that a jumper named Chuck had
tracked to a spot directly below him. He
describes the moment:
He must not see me. The thought barely had time to go through my head before
Chucks colorful pilot chute blossomed out
of his backpack. His pilot chute caught the
120-mph breeze coming around him and shot
straight toward me, pulling his main parachute in its sleeve right behind it.
From the instant I saw Chucks pilot chute

emerge, I had a fraction of a second to react.


For it would take less than a second to tumble through his deploying main parachute,
andquite likelyright into Chuck himself. At that speed, if I hit his arm or his leg I
would take it right off, dealing myself a fatal
blow in the process. If I hit him directly, both
our bodies would essentially explode.
Instead, Alexander managed to react in
the most perfect way possible to the scenario, instantaneously and without conscious effort angling his body so that it
rocketed away from Chuck, avoiding disaster by microseconds. At the time, he marveled at what he believed must have been
his brains untapped capacity for preternaturally quick thinking. Now he interprets
this incident differently.
This book is about the events that changed
my mind on the matter. They convinced me
that, as marvelous a mechanism as the brain
is, it was not my brain that saved my life that
day at all. What sprang into action the second Chucks chute started to open was another, much deeper part of me. A part that
could move so fast because it was not stuck in
time at all, the way the brain and body are.
He has his beginning.
There was a man named Chuck in
the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill Sport Parachute Club. He wont return
phone calls. But his sister-in-law does.
Shes read Proof of Heaven. She immediately thought to herself that the Chuck in
the book must have been her brother-inlaw. She sends Chuck a few e-mails. Finally
he responds. He remembers Alexander. He
says he doesnt remember anything like the
incident Alexander describes.
Alexander can understand the confusion.
Its not Chuck, he says today. I probably should have put a disclaimer in the front
of the book saying that Chuck is not Chuck.
It is actually somebody not named Chuck.
Because I cannot give the name of the person it was. Because the attorneys at Simon
& Schuster would be mad at me. Because
potentially they did something wrong. Potentially they were liable for causing trouble, etc., etc. So I am under very strict advice from the Simon & Schuster attorneys
not to divulge who that was.
But if the man whod opened the chute
below him had done something wrong, it
was something wrong that hadnt caused
any personal injury. There wouldnt have
been any legal liability there, right?
Right, he says. Well, that was my argument, but these attorneys, it was kind of
surprising to me, that was one of the few
things they focused on. They said, Do not,

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under any circumstances, divulge who that
was!
So he had changed the characters name
to Chuck, which happened to be the real
name of someone he did skydive with?
Its not Chuck, he repeats. Its not
Chuck.
Is he still in touch with Chuck?
No.
And fake Chuck?
No, I dont know what happened to fake
Chuck.
Is there anyone else who was part of the
jump that day who might be able to verify
his story?
You know, theres not. Because I cant
tell you exactly which day it was. And my
logbookthose pages in my logbook I dont
have right now.
The book progresses. He starts to hone
his argument and to shape its presentation.
He is, he writes, a practicing neurosurgeon and is familiar with the most
advanced concepts in brain science and
consciousness studies. His decades of research and hands-on work in the operating room put him in a better-than-average position to judge not only the reality
but also the implications of what happened
to me.
He introduces his central thesis.
During my coma, he writes, my brain
wasnt working improperlyit wasnt
working at all. This is the key. His brain
wasnt working, and yet he had these vivid
memories of voyaging through these other
realms: the murky dark, the butteries, the
vast darkness, and the luminous, all-knowing creator. How could he have memories
from a time when his brain wasnt working
at all? From a time when, as he writes, my
mind, my spiritwhatever you may choose
to call the central, human part of mewas
gone.
The answer is simple and logical. It is also, he writes, of stunning importance. Not
just to me, but to all of us.
Alexander writes, The place I went was
real, real in a way that makes the life were
living here and now completely dreamlike
by comparison.
As he nears the end of his tale, every part
of his story seems to be connected to every
other part in mysterious ways. For instance,
his coma began on Monday, November 10,
and by Saturday, it had been raining for
ve days straight, ever since the afternoon
of my entrance into the ICU. Then, on Sunday, after six days of torrents, just before he
woke up, the rain stopped:
To the east, the sun was shooting its rays

through a chink in the cloud cover, lighting


up the lovely ancient mountains to the west
and the layer of cloud above as well, giving
the gray clouds a golden tinge.
Then, looking toward the distant peaks,
opposite to where the mid-November sun
was starting its ascent, there it was.
A perfect rainbow.
It was as though heaven itself was cheering Alexanders return.
Dave Wert, meteorologist in charge at the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ofce that encompasses Lynchburg, reviews the weather records for the
week of November 10 through 16. There
was nothing on the tenth, he says. Nothing on the eleventh . . . two hundredths of an
inch on the twelfth. The next three days,
he says, were rainy and miserable. Then the
storm appeared to break on the evening of
the fteenth. The sixteenth was another
clear day.
Could there have been a rainbow on the
morning of the sixteenth?
No, he says.
Unlike weather records, Alexanders
medical records are all condential. Alexander does not plan to make them public, though he did offer to allow three of the
doctors who treated him to speak about his
case. Two of them declined the opportunity. The other, Dr. Laura Potter, was on duty in the ER of Lynchburg General Hospital on the morning of November 10, 2008,
when the EMTs brought him in.
Both Alexander in his book and Potter in
her recollections describe Alexander arriving in the ER groaning and ailing and raving and having to be physically restrained.
In Proof of Heaven, Alexander describes Dr.
Potter then administering him sedatives
to calm him down.
Heres how Dr. Potter remembers it:
We couldnt work with Eben at all, we
couldnt get vital signs, he just was not able
to comply. So I had to make the decision to
just place him in a chemically induced coma. Really for his own safety, until we could
treat him. And so I did. . . . I put him to sleep,
if you will, and put him on life support.
After Alexander was taken from the ER
to the ICU, Potter says, the doctors there
administered anesthetics that kept him in
the coma. The next day, she went to visit him.
And of course he was still in an induced
coma, she says. On ventilator support.
They tried to let him wake up and see what
he would do, but he was in exactly the same
agitated state. Even if they tried to ease up,
a little bit even, on the sedation. In fact, for

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days, every time they would try to wean his


sedationjust thrashing, trying to scream,
and grabbing at his tube.
In Proof of Heaven, Alexander writes
that he spent seven days in a coma caused
by a rare case of E. coli bacterial meningitis. There is no indication in the book that
it was Laura Potter, and not bacterial meningitis, that induced his coma, or that the
physicians in the ICU maintained his coma
in the days that followed through the use of
anesthetics. Alexander also writes that during his week in the ICU he was present in
body alone, that the bacterial assault had
left him with an all-but-destroyed brain.
He notes that by conventional scientic
understanding, if you dont have a working brain, you cant be conscious, and a key
point of his argument for the reality of the
realms he claims to have visited is that his
memories could not have been hallucinations, since he didnt possess a brain capable of creating even a hallucinatory conscious experience.
I ask Potter whether the manic, agitated
state that Alexander exhibited whenever
they weaned him off his anesthetics during
his rst days of coma would meet her denition of conscious.
Yes, she says. Conscious but delirious.
Potter hasnt read Proof of Heaven, although she did get an advance look at a
few passages. About a year after his recovery, Alexander approached Potter at
a track meet that both of their sons were
competing in and told her that hed started writing a book, and that he wanted her
to take a look at some parts in which he described her thought processes in the emergency room. He wanted, he said, to make
sure that youre okay with what Ive done.
He later e-mailed the passages to her, and
when she read them, she found that they
were sort of what a doctor would think,
but not exactly what was going through
my head. She told him so, and according
to Potter he responded that it was a matter
of artistic license, and that aspects of his
book were dramatized, so it may not be exactly how it went, but its supposed to be interesting for readers.
One of the books most dramatic scenes
takes place just before she sends him from
the ER to the ICU:
In the nal moments before leaving the
emergency room, and after two straight
hours of guttural animal wails and groaning, I became quiet. Then, out of nowhere, I
shouted three words. They were crystal clear,
and heard by all the doctors and nurses present, as well as by Holley, who stood a few paces away, just on the other side of the curtain.

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 141

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God, help me!
Everyone rushed over to the stretcher. By
the time they got to me, I was completely
unresponsive.
Potter has no recollection of this incident, or of that shouted plea. What she does
remember is that she had intubated Alexander more than an hour prior to his departure from the emergency room, snaking
a plastic tube down his throat, through his
vocal cords, and into his trachea. Could she
imagine her intubated patient being able to
speak at all, let alone in a crystal-clear way?
No, she says.
He finds an agent, and the agent shops
his book proposal around, and soon Simon
& Schuster offers him a book deal. They put
it on the fast track for publishing, want to
get it out that same year. A writer named
Ptolemy Tompkins, who has written other books about near-death experiences, is
brought in to help chop down the manuscript by more than half. Alexander meets
in New York with the publishers and his
editor, but once the deal is struck, the gears
of the publishing world grind on even when
hes back down south.
The title of the book, according to Alexander, is generated during a meeting he
doesnt attend, a meeting between executives at Simon & Schuster and, according to him, executives at various ABC television programs, including Good Morning
America, 20/20, and Nightline. During the
meeting, the Simon & Schuster executives, who are trying to line up coverage for
the book, are making their pitchthis renowned neurosurgeon visits the afterlife,
comes back with wondrous stories to tell
and toward the end of the meeting an ABC
executive asks if the Simon & Schuster execs can summarize what makes the book
important.
Its Proof of Heaven! someone blurts.
In his study, toward the end of our conversation, Alexander distances himself
from the title.
When they rst came to me with that title I didnt like it at all, he says. Because
I knew from my journey that it was very
clear to me that no human brain or mind,
no kind of scientic philosophical entity
will ever be able to know enough to say yes
or no to the existence of that realm or deity, because its so far beyond our human
understanding.
It is, he says, laughable and the highest form of folly, of hubris to think that
anyone could ever prove heaven. I
knew, he says, that proof in a scientic
sense was ridiculous. I mean, no one could

142 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

have that.
We talk five weeks later by Skype. Hes
in a hotel in Vancouver, at the beginning of
a one-and-a-half-week stint of speaking engagements and book signings. He looks relaxed, serene, wearing another buttondown shirt, smiling into the Internet. Hes
excited to be on the road, he says, eager to
spread his message of hope. He hasnt had
surgical privileges since October 2007, but
he still views himself as a healer.
I remind him of what he said about his
books title during our previous meeting,
and ask whether there were any parts of the
books contents he would concede are similarly hyperbolic. He says no, there are not.
And he now says that not even the title is,
strictly speaking, inaccurate. It just doesnt
go far enough. This is so much more than a
Proof of Heaven, he says. Proof of Heaven
is kind of a minuscule little claim compared
to what is really there.
We talk about rainstorms and intubations and chemically induced comas, and I
can see it in his face, the moment he knows
for sure that the story Ive been working on
is not the one he wanted me to tell.
What Im worried about, he says, is
that youre going to be so busy trying to
smash out these little tiny res that youre
going to miss the big point of the book.
I ask whether an account of his professional struggles should have been included
in a book that rests its authority on his professional credentials.
He says no, because medical boards in
various states investigated the malpractice allegations and concluded he could retain his license. And besides, thats all in
the past. The fact of the matter, he says
of the suits, is they dont matter at all to
me. . . . You cannot imagine how minuscule
they appear in comparison to what I saw,
where I went, and the message that I bring
back.
His survival is a miracle, he says. His
doctors told him that he is alive when he
should be dead, and he believes intensely that he is alive for a reason, to spread the
word about the love awaiting us all in heaven. To heal.
By focusing on the inconsistencies in his
story, on recollections that dont seem to
add up, on a court-documented history of
revising facts, on the distinctions between
natural and medically induced comas,
he says, is to miss the forest for the trees.
Thats all misleading stuff, irrelevant to his
journey and story.
Toward the end, theres a note of pleading in his voice.

I just think that youre doing a grave disservice to your readers to lead them down
a pathway of thinking that any of that is, is
relevant. And I just, I really ask, as a friend,
dont . . .
The walls are light blue at the bottom
and darker blue toward the top, like the
May sky. There are owers everywhere,
purple and pink and white, sprouting from
pots and oating in clear glass bowls. On a
bright orange altar at the rear of the room,
multiple swatches of cloth, yellow and red
and green, hang from a life-sized golden statue of Buddha. The Dalai Lama reclines in a cushioned throne in front of the
altar, under the Buddha. Hes wearing a red
robe with a yellow shoulder band that loops
around and drapes over one of his arms,
leaving the other arm, which is as smooth
and hairless as a childs, exposed. Alexander is wearing a robe, too, but its a standard
black convocation robe. Hes sitting a few
feet to the left of the Dalai Lama, in a smaller chair. Both are here to speak at the graduation ceremony of Maitripa College, a
Buddhist college in Portland, Oregon. Alexander is slated to speak rst, and when he
begins, the Dalai Lama cocks his head in a
quizzical way and peers at him through his
thick glasses.
Alexander tells his story like hes told
it so many times before, in his soft, southern, condent burr. He tells the audience
about the wondrous realm he visited, about
the all-powerful and all-loving God he encountered there, and about some of the lessons hes brought back to earth. He says
that among those lessons is the fact that reincarnation is real, and that knowing death
is only ever temporary has helped him understand how a loving God can permit so
many tragedies and hardships and hurdles in the physical realm. As he did a few
months ago, when Gretchen Carlson asked
him whether the dead schoolchildren from
Newtown remembered their slaughter,
he offers comfort and hope. I came to see
all of those hardships as gifts, he says, as
beautiful opportunities for growth.
The Dalai Lama is not a native English
speaker, and when its his turn to speak, he
does so much less smoothly than Alexander, sometimes stopping and snapping his
ngers when a word escapes him, or turning to his interpreter for help when hes really stuck. He is not using notes, and the impression he gives is that of a man speaking
off the cuff. He opens with a brief discourse
about the parallels between the Buddhist
and Shinto conceptions of the afterlife,
and then, after glancing over at Alexan-

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der, changes the subject. He explains that
Buddhists categorize phenomena in three
ways. The rst category are evident phenomena, which can be observed and measured empirically and directly. The second
category are hidden phenomena, such as
gravity, phenomena that cant be seen or
touched but can be inferred to exist on the
basis of the rst category of phenomena.
The third category, he says, are extremely
hidden phenomena, which cannot be measured at all, directly or indirectly. The only access we can ever have to that third category of phenomena is through our own
rst-person experience, or through the
rst-person testimony of others.
Now, for example, the Dalai Lama says,
his sort of experience.
He points at Alexander.
For him, its something reality. Real.
But those people who never sort of experienced that, still, his mind is a little bit sort
of . . . He taps his ngers against the side of
his head. Different! he says, and laughs
a belly laugh, his robes shaking. The audience laughs with him. Alexander smiles a
tight smile.
For that also, we must investigate, the
Dalai Lama says. Through investigation
we must get sure that person is truly reliable. He wags a nger in Alexanders direction. When a man makes extraordinary
claims, a thorough investigation is required, to ensure that person reliable, never telling lie, and has no reason to lie.
Then he changes the subject, starts talking about a massive project to translate ancient Tibetan texts.
Alexander listens quietly, occasionally dgeting with the program in his hands.
Hes a long way from home, and even further from the man he once was. Its been
a dizzying journey, but his path forward
seems set. Hes told people that God granted him so much knowledge, so much wisdom, so many secrets, that he will have to
spend his entire life unpacking it all, doling
it out bit by bit. Hes already working on the
follow-up to Proof of Heaven. In the meantime, anyone can pay sixty dollars to access
his webinar guided meditation series, Discover Your Own Proof of Heaven, and hes
been consulting with a pair of experts in
archaeoacoustics to re-create some of the
music that he heard while on his journey.
You can even pay to join him on a healing
journey through Greece.
In his past life, Alexander went through
some hard times, but those hard times are
far behind him now.
He is in a better place.

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 E S Q U I R E 143

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PREVIOUSLY ON ESQUIRE...

NOVEMBER 1970
B Y L U I S K AT I G B A K

horn of history and context, this Esquire cover


from 1970 still unsettles: Perhaps its something
to do with the contrast between the big American smile of the soldier and the expressions of
the Vietnamese children, which run from blank
to slightly less blank. The reality, of course, is
more disturbing than one could have guessed. For this is Lt.
William Calley, who was tried and convicted for the murder
of 22 Vietnamese civilians in the infamous My Lai massacre in
1968. (The total number of civilians killed during that single
operation was estimated at 500.)
During the trial, Calley stated that I was ordered to go in
there and destroy the enemy. That was my job that day. That
was the mission I was given. I did not sit down and think in
terms of men, women and children.
Esquire started running a series of articlesThe Confes-

144 E S Q U I R E A P R I L 2 0 1 4

sions of Lt. Calleybefore the trial began. They were written


by John Sack, who was given exclusive and extensive access
to Calley, and who came to befriend the vilied young soldier. While Sack was not unsympathetic to Calleys situation,
George Loisa war veteran himself, and tasked with coming
up with a cover for that issuewas not going to let anyone off
the hook: not Lt. Calley, not his superiors, not the readers.
To me the cover expressedand decimatesCalleys view
of himself as a nice guy; he is oblivious to any connection
between the kids he murdered and the ones he posed with.
Though he viewed such nice-guy delusions with contempt,
Lois went on to say that soldiers like Calley were fall guys,
scapegoats of an atrocious war. This coverone of the most
controversial in Esquires historyhorrifyingly underscored
what editor Harold Hayes called the stupid innocence shared
by us all.

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