The Sunbaked King

Popoy and Basha’s Breakup Formula

There are certain questions in life that we ought to have instruction manuals for. Not everyone has an innate ability to solve their problems without outside help. Even philosophers have stumbled; even great minds have succumbed to disheartening results. If only life were quantifiable, then we would have all the answers we need, sooner or later. If everything could be reduced to x‘s and y‘s, then the world would be a simpler place to live in. (Well… especially for those who love math.)

Take, for instance, this question: How long after a breakup should one person wait before entering into another relationship?

Note the important phrasing. The question specifically refers to “entering into another relationship,” and not necessarily “recovering from previous relationship.” (Kudos to my friend MakMak for spotting the difference.) Of course, it is unwise to enter into another relationship without recovering from your previous one, but those are issues of relationship ethics and do not fall under the scope of this discussion. What does fall in-scope is the fact that there’s a difference; the two aren’t necessarily equivalents of each other.

Given the Very Important Problem, we had to have a starting point. And this is where Popoy and Basha come in. Remember the movie, One More Chance? Most of the scenes in that movie were close-ups of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo***, but it did leave me with something to ponder on: the three-month rule.

Basha (Bea Alonzo) and Mark (Derek Ramsey) enter Bellini’s. Mark introduces himself, but Popoy goes berserk.

Popoy: Hindi mo ba alam ang 3-month rule, Basha? Bakit hindi mo sinunod? Bakit?

Popoy and Basha were together for 5 years before they decided to call it quits. So let us consider that as our starting point: when the Period Together is 60 months, the Considerate Required Period of Singlehood (CRPS) is 3 months.


But one point is not enough to establish any trend. What do we do with it? Is 3 months a fixed CRPS? That doesn’t seem to be a fair length of time for couples who met and broke up within 3 months. Why be single for a period longer than the time you and your ex were together? In order for the formula to be equitable, the CRPS should move in some fashion with the months the ex-couple were together.

It could be linear…


…but that would be boring. The formula should be both elegant and exciting. While the linear equation is elegant, it is not exciting. Relationships should be both. Or at least the formula for break-ups should be both.

You know what would be both elegant and exciting? Polynomials. Yes, polynomials. With the right formulation, the polynomial form is sexy and scientific at the same time. To avoid complications (and lest we appear too eager), let us settle with a second-degree polynomial equation. However, in order for us to create the perfect polynomial solution to our Very Important Problem, we need to establish another point. Two points are not enough to create a unique second-degree polynomial equation.

For the purposes of this discussion, let us call this point, Justifiable Point. Justifiable Point is located at 50 Months of Togetherness, and 2 Months CRPS:


And a simple trending line in Excel will lead to this fantastic formula:

Considerate Required Period of Singlehood (CRPS) = [Months Together * (Months Together – 10)]/1000


Let’s see how this formula works. Consider A and B, a couple that had been together for 10 years before they decided to go their own ways. This means that they were together for 10 x 12 = 120 months. The CRPS for both of them would be [120 * (120 – 10)]/1000, which, through some simple computations, equates to 13.2 months. In other words, they are free to date whomever they want after a little over a year. It’s that simple!

Here are some other important milestone figures:


Of course, the detail that immediately pops to the eye are the negative CRPS for couples who have been together for only 10 months or less. We wanted to have an elegant solution, and it seems that negative Periods of Singlehood are not that very elegant. But wait. If we analyze it further, the weird solution may actually have a point somewhere. Could it be science’s way of telling us that such relationships should have lasted longer than it did (say, beyond 10 months), because otherwise it would have reflected poorly on both parties? Or could it be science’s way of telling us that such relationships are a waste of time and you should actually just move on? I’m an optimist so I think the former explanation is better, but whatever rocks your boat.

Another important result is this: it would take around 10 years of being together in order to merit a CRPS of at least 1 year; around 3 years in order to merit a month. Easier said than done, especially for those grieving, but science dictates that we keep our feelings together and move on before understandable grief turns into exaggerated wallowing. It’s just not healthy anymore.

The solution is complete*. Quod erat demonstrandum.

* If you feel offended, please do not take this post seriously.
*** If you feel offended, it might comfort you to know that I cried several times while watching that movie.


Filed under: Eros, Geekery

Here We Go Again

Here we go again. On this familiar ride.

This can only lead to madness.

Filed under: Eros, Ra

100 Words

heaven + ground + storm + archuleta + happening + rejection + pasok + flapjacks + forgotten + incredible + california + hermit + games + good + journey + taipan + cows + single + knight + kaban + sunday + boob + four + wall + aisle + august + tomb + chris + iphone + entry + history + sassy + wall-e + birthday + way + breakfast + clone + sumosam + study + darkness + competition + poem + jacques + death + coffee + eavesdropping + contented + corollary + catch + atenista + eagle + embers + other + recovery + melancholia + retreat + one + sidebar + thunder + q + hush + coat + waltz + letters + exam + know + family + musical + incomprehensible + leche + minutes + comeback + comeback + universe + blast + joke + brothers + yearend + series + 2008 + 2009 + goodbye + forgotten + sing + united + nations + avenue + honeymoon + american + hopeless + rest + idol + night + honors + honesty + hot + half-empty + hee + hope + 100 =

100 posts in 100 words.

I’ve gone a long way, and there’s no sign of stopping.

I will never tire of writing.

Filed under: ...And Others, Being Blue, Bibliomania, Cinema, Domesticated, Eros, Fiction, Yes?, Gadgetry, Gastronomy, Geekery, Helios, Mindlifting, Ra, Rat Race, Sunshine, Testimonial, The Couch Potato, Them, TV, Untamed, Utter Joy, Utter Sadness, Vanity, Yearend

Single Guy Watches the Night Sky

March 20, 2009
10:12 PM

There’s something fascinating about the top floor of a high-rise building. The building itself defines the skyline, cuts the peaceful horizon, and distinguishes itself among all the other surrounding structures. Through the giant imposing glass windows you see the entire city beneath your feet. The lights dazzle like little stars; the lampposts like little fireflies.

You stand here now, 12 minutes past the hour of ten, hands hooked into your pockets. Something compels you to look out the window and gaze at the beautiful sight. You can feel that something grand is about to happen; your fingertips are positively tingling with excitement. For a moment, the scenery is serenely static, and nothing disturbs the lights, the lampposts, and the lovely Northern sky.

And then it happens. A flash of light appears as a tiny dot in one portion of the heavens, and then streaks across the nightscape with an eerie sense of intent and determination. Your heart skips a beat; your mind is full of awe. Remembering the stories of shooting stars you’ve had as a child, you close your eyes and make a wish. The words escape your mouth in tiny breaths, urgent and important. You open your eyes and remain astonished at the celestial display of the universe’s grandeur. Something suddenly clicks inside your mind. This moment is to be shared. This moment is not meant to be seen alone. You turn around to point the shooting star to your companion and–

Slowly, the astonishment vanishes from your face and gives way to a startling realization: you are alone. There is no one here with you.

A chill runs through your spine. A mixture of fear and sadness penetrates your soul. And, as though a malevolent being has sniffed the fear off you, the lights inside the building go out. You are in the midst of darkness. You face the glass windows once again, hoping to find solace at the shooting star and the city lights. But the shooting star is gone. As for steady burn of sparkle and shine? The distant light of stars and supernovas cannot save you from the desolation of this dark place. This you know now. This you have learned.

With a heavy heart, full of conflicting emotions and thoughts best left unsaid, you make your way to the elevator. You press the button and wait for your lift to come. A few moments later, it arrives. You get in. The door closes.

It’s 11 PM, and you’re going down, down, down.

Filed under: Eros, Fiction, Yes?, Ra

Homebound: Single Guy Says Goodbye

You look at your watch. It’s 4 PM. The plane leaves at 6. You have two solid hours to roam around the airport, eat, and skim through the book you brought with you. It’s the same old routine, the road easiest to travel, the path of least resistance.

But somehow, this time, you just want to take a seat and look around.

The guy in front of you is fiddling with his laptop, muttering under his breath about how there’s no socket anywhere. He absentmindedly messes up his well-gelled hair in frustration. As he closes his laptop, his phone rings. There’s nothing but frustration in his voice. His body screams for release; his demeanor reveals nothing but resignation.

The woman two seats down is reading a greeting card from someone you surmise is her beau. Her smile is radiant and fills her face like a thousand beautiful Japanese lanterns. At one point, she tucks her hair behind her ear and giggles silently. You begin to suspect that the greeting card isn’t as long as she makes it appear; she has been reading it again and again.


To your left, a ten-year-old boy is busily punching his brother by the shoulder. You are first saddened by the sight; your brothers mean so much to you. As the scene unfolds more clearly in your sight, however, you realize that the youngster is laughing as he “mock” jabs the elder. On the older brother’s lap is a puzzle book. Clearly they are having a competition, and the younger one just lost on a question. You wait for their parents to arrive (perhaps holding two Smokey’s frankfurters), but no one comes. The brothers are all on their own.

Philippine Airlines Flight MC5 flying to Manila is now accepting passengers for boarding.

The corporate guy, just finished with his phone call, looks at the plane with a hopeful look in his eyes. It’s just work, those eyes say. There’s something beyond the islands, beyond the seas, and I will find my rest.

The woman leaps out of her seat, grabs her bag, and rushes to the front of the line. It’s been too long, that jump says. The words from the endless exchange of letters shall now become reality, the words shall now bear fruit.

The older brother takes the youngster’s bag and carries it with his own luggage. With one arm holding the bags, and the other draped around the youngster’s shoulders, the two walk the short path to the queue. They have just left their parents and their childhood behind; it’s now time to be men and move on with their lives.

You smile. A tingling sensation runs from your toe all the way to your head. As you stand, a single thought crosses your head:


The future has never looked so bright.

Filed under: Domesticated, Eros, Fiction, Yes?, Utter Joy

Comeback (II)

I was led into the dark, and the dark became my friend. For weeks I swam in flashes of color and outbursts of sound. Each flash told me I was special; each outburst told me I looked good. But soon I realized that the friendship it offered was one that took as much as it gave. It gave me an easy way out, but it took away direction. It gave me cause to forget, but it took away any reason to remember. The dark still has its hold on me– no matter what I say, its magic is irresistible– but I have learned to accept the fact that it would take guts and and a certain type of mind-frame to survive the dark. I am merely a spectator of the spectacle it holds; I am at its mercy.

Even so with my blog, which transformed gradually– sneakily— over this time. Midway through the King’s current lifetime, a friend noted that I haven’t really written anything personal lately. I didn’t notice it until I was told about it, but when I did, I thought it was perfectly natural. It is only during times of melancholia or sadness (or fear) that one feels compelled to write whatever is hidden in the recesses of the heart. This method of purging through writing, it’s an act of self-preservation. When you’re happy or blissfully ignorant or triumphantly forgetting, you want to keep the feeling in. You want to be stuck with it. The only problem is, if you’re not genuinely happy, the cracks in the facade would eventually begin to show.

I managed to tame the cracks through will and circumstance. A vivid image from the dark, a list of books to read and restaurants to eat in, a change in routine, a month-long visit from parents, and an impending important exam: all these served to hold up the illusion. But the one image from the dark that made sense turned out to be a mirage; the lists fell by the wayside; the routine didn’t last for very long; the visit from parents almost ended with heartbreak and regret; and the exam is now over. People have commented that I should be happy now that the exam’s over, but what they don’t realize is that studying for my exam was the final piece that kept my mind preoccupied. And now that I’m no longer poring over pages and pages of readings… I’m back at Square One. Alone, and lonely, and cracking all over.

I started this blog for love, and ending the year without it. Maybe trying to feel how it feels like to love again is the wrong decision, after all.

Filed under: Domesticated, Eros, Helios, Ra, Rat Race, Untamed, Utter Sadness

Comeback (I)

I started this blog for love. It’s one of those decisions that appear so suddenly– so forcefully— in your mind, you feel stupid afterwards for not thinking about it at once. Life throws you love, and at the same time offers you opportunity, and yet you choose to ignore it? Not acceptable. Unfathomable. But better late than never. Gripped by an urgency so intense and a growing desire to please, The Sunbaked King was born.

The childbirth was the easy part. After a few grunts of HTML pain and layout despair, the King was out and rolling. But I knew, even in its infancy, that I had to do the more agonizing task of wearing my heart on my online sleeve. To bare myself, not to scores of loyal frequent readers (as if I had such), but to only One. I have been warned to avoid the enchanting allure of the illusion, but I did not pay any attention. I have forgotten how it was to love, and I wanted to know.

This is what I learned: that pain, no matter how expected, will always be more painful than you anticipate it to be. That negativity begets negativity: I failed in an exam I studied months for, and I got rejected in my pursuit of a better life. That no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that everything will be fine, it wouldn’t be until it actually is. 

Nevertheless, the blog remained. Because the King did what it had to do. It showed me that I was still capable of loving, that good feelings were still possible after all. The pain and the sadness may have torn me weeks on end, but writing about them (in cryptic entries and in messages you need to read between the lines to understand) dulled it somewhat. Emphasis on some.

I found the dark a few weeks later, and that was when the old wound healed, and others began to open.

To be continued.

Filed under: Eros, Helios, Ra, Untamed

Love Letters for No One (In Particular)

Dear K,

You and I think alike in some twisted way others do not really know about. I don’t think you know it, either. But there is a connection in there somewhere, because I understand you when others do not. I find your thoughts refreshing and sincere. While I am sometimes put off by your timing and your tactlessness, I am more intrigued by your frankness and honesty. I do wish we could get together sometime, away from the people who look at us with nothing but malice in their eyes and nothing but judgment in their minds. I would love to open up to you, to tell you that I am here. I understand. I care.


Dear R,

Are you on a diet or something? Have you been going to the gym that you so vehemently sworn off a few months back when we were chatting? Because I’ve got to say, you look good. It’s been forever since I saw you, and honestly, this is quite a surprising change. From the way your face glows to how tender your hands have become, everything seems for the better. Honestly, I was weirded out when we first met way back during our time of innocence. You were so shy, so quiet, so contained, that I didn’t know what was going on. Good thing then that our paths didn’t cross that often, because I didn’t have to deal with the awkwardness that occurred every time we did. But now… but now… I am speechless. I am breathless.


Dear S,

There are three C’s to describe you: conversant, confident, sorta cute. Well, that last one’s kinda forced, but you know what I mean. It’s been sometime since I met someone with the qualities so wonderfully balanced in one cool package. You never ran out of words to say, and I like that. You carried yourself in a way only someone in your profession can, and I also like that. And your “cuteness,” well, takes a little getting used to, but it’s definitely there. It’s rare that new acquaintances become more than acquaintances in a span of few days, but there you go. I guess what we have is something special, huh?


Except that it’s not.
Not with you K. Not with you R. Not with you S.


K, there are certain fundamental preferences that we cannot twist, bend, or break, no matter how hard we try. Admittedly, I’m not even trying, but only because there is no point.

R, your transformation can only take you so far. Can only take us so far, if ever we decide to take that journey at all. You know the Chinese saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”? That single step might actually mean a single “word,” and I’m afraid that communication is not our strongest suit.

S, telling the truth does not make you less of an asshole. The truth must be said by the right person at the right time in the right place using the right method. That was not the right method. It was not the right place. That was not the right time. You are not the right person.


I say all this with much love and regret.



Filed under: Eros, Testimonial

Single Guy Dances the Waltz

The sky is overcast. The clouds are gray and threatening. The prospect of rain usually sends the normal, rational mind to reach for the nearest umbrella, or in its absence, the nearest available shelter. But you are neither normal nor rational these days. Your mind is stormy, like it usually is, so you continue your walk under the bare, pregnant sky. Its childbirth will be spectacular, and your current state of mind will be its child’s brother.

Take my hand, take a breath 
Pull me close and take one step
Keep your eyes locked to mine
And let the music be your guide

Loneliness is a state best indulged in under the rain. It makes perfect sense: the only other people you’ll see in the street are those bearing the same cross that you’re bearing. The fact that you’re so few and far apart is a perfect manifestation of your loneliness, and it suits you just fine. No one to take your hand. No one to pull you close. Only the rain’s weight to comfort you. Only the rain’s beat to be your guide.

Won’t you promise me (now won’t you promise me, that you’ll never forget)
We’ll keep dancing (to keep dancing) wherever we go next

The distance you’re trekking is one of anger and sadness and confusion and revenge. With every breath, a promise forgotten. With every step, a painful memory. Your feet are taking you to familiar roads, but your destination is blurry. But you’ll keep on walking to wherever, because you have no choice.

Take my hand, I’ll take the lead
And every turn will be safe with me
Don’t be afraid, afraid to fall
You know I’ll catch you through it all

A kilometer in, and the tears begin to fall. What has been a vague undertaking is now infinitely vaguer, sadder, lonelier. The roads are getting more and more unfamiliar. Your socks are soaked, and your shoes are caked with mud. Your entire entity is awash with wetness. At this point, safety ceases to matter. You’ll fall, and no one will catch you. You’ll get lost because no one took the lead.

It’s like catching lightning, the chances of finding someone like you
It’s one in a million, the chances of feeling the way we do
And with every step together, we just keep on getting better
So can I have this dance
Can I have this dance?

The rain pours harder, and in the sky: a roar of thunder, a bolt of lightning. In your mind, a single thought shines: what are the chances of getting hit by lightning? One in a million? One in a billion? And if you get hit without anyone there to see it, will you make a sound? Will anyone give a fuck?

These thoughts fade slowly from your mind as you walk further down the path you have chosen for yourself. The rain continues to waltz around your feet, and you continue to dance with it.

Filed under: Eros, Fiction, Yes?

On The One Hand; On The Other

On the one hand: An intake of breath, an acceleration of heartbeat, a heightening of the senses. A rapid series of motions that involves no emotions and no thought. A lingering touch at the nape, a firm clutch on the waist. A magnetic flux swirls in between, pushing chests together, and rationality far apart. As the music blasts on endlessly, the hands work their magic mindlessly. Exciting. Forbidding. Temporary. And for the finale, a kiss with an expiration date: soon to be forgotten, never to be remembered again.

On the other: A tug at the hem, a fold of the collar, a pat at a sleeve. A conscious effort to hide the nervousness behind a shy smile. A mental checklist of do’s and don’ts, an image of cue cards with questions. The scent of grilled meat swirls in between, joining appetites together, and dialogue far apart. As the meal lingers on, words become conversation with much effort. Classy. Well-intentioned. Lost. And for the finale, an awkward wave of the hand: uncertain whether to forget, unsure whether to remember.

On the one hand: A natural tendency to flirt.

On the other: A forced desire to love.

The choice is not always as easy as it seems.

Filed under: Domesticated, Eros, Untamed