The Sunbaked King

I Am The Sunbaked King

June 16, 2008 – September 22, 2009

Baked under the sun:
Out of embers and ashes
Came the dark-skinned king

(Click here to see my latest reincarnation.)


Filed under: Helios, Ra

The Sunbaked King

The realm of fiction is vast, and the reach of fantasy is wide. When everything else has left us– our virginity, our sanity, our pride– only the imagination remains. Even our faith can waver in the face of compelling evidence, or in the aftermath of a tragic end. Even our love can turn to hate upon the sight of a tremendous betrayal; or worse, turn to indifference after the fiery waves of vengeance have died down. But imagination, yes, that construct of the human mind, remains resilient, indomitable, indestructible, no matter what.

It fills the spaces of a lonely heart. It keeps him awake at night, preoccupied with thoughts of a happy ending. In a world that is just and fair to all (and therefore just as fantastical), he sleeps beside a loving warmth, their fingers intertwined in matrimony. Sunshine enters the windows in steady ethereal lines, lightly kissing them both before they bestow the same blessing on each other. They smile and read each other’s minds: he’ll have coffee; the other’ll have toast. Today is going to be a good day, and everything is going to be all right.

He sees this vividly as he hugs his pillow and stares at the ceiling. The warmth of his blanket will do for now, but– a smile drifts across his face– there is hope.

Imagination feeds the seeking soul. The emptiness of an existence so bleak is filled with the desire to escape, to see a promised end that has been created, nurtured, and etched in his human mind. While the quest may seem futile, he will not falter. His thoughts shall guide him. In a world that is both merciful and forgiving (and therefore just as fictional), he reaches the end of his journey with bruises on his back and cuts in his hands, but this pain does not last. Across the godforsaken landscape, someone comes to him with water. When the water touches his lips, he is immediately refreshed.

In his dreams, he has reached his destination, and he has found his heart’s desire.

On June 16, 2008, this lonely heart saw that there was hope; this seeking soul found his heart’s desire. What was once known as The Dark-Skinned King found solace in a new heaven. On June 16, 2008, The Sunbaked King was born.

Baked under the sun:
Out of embers and ashes
Came the dark-skinned King.

Filed under: Helios, Mindlifting, Ra

A Return to Form

Hiatus over. I’m back. One note about the exam before we bury it in our memories until results day: never go back to your textbooks after a test to check if you got the answers right. You will always end up disappointed, because you will always find that you answered more questions incorrectly than correctly.


Writing is true therapy. In the one month that I’ve gone AWOL on all virtual outlets (save for Twitter, but that barely counts as a conducive medium to write prose or poetry), writing is the one thing that I missed the most. There’s something liberating in the pit-pat of keys as my fingers move across the keyboard, something fascinating about watching the words form on the screen. While writing itself may not relieve me of this utter sadness, while blogging may not be the perfect solution to end a vicious cycle of doubt and regret, it does its freaking best to help. As thought flows from the mind to the spine to the arms to the fingers to the keyboard to the screen, a little bit more of my self is extracted, released, piece by piece. The process empties me. The process sets me free.

In two days’ time, my blog, The Sunbaked King, will celebrate its anniversary. Created out of a desire to impress, nurtured out of a need to write. In these bleak and dreary times, this is one outlet I’m glad to have regained.

This is a timely return to the blogging form. I’m happy to be back.

Filed under: Helios, Mindlifting, Ra, Utter Sadness

Sun Setting, King Leaving

Just for a month. But in the blogosphere, a month is a pretty long time. You’ll get pushed back down in those auto-updating blog rolls, and before you know it, your last post was “1 month ago“, and people will have forgotten about you. No matter. You have to make certain sacrifices in order to succeed. This is one of them.

Before I leave, however, a few words:

1. I am going on a study break. Serious this time. Jel has imposed a ban on the Internet for me, thinking it might be for the good. I concurred. Although my interest in games such as Restaurant City has waned somewhat, the allure of Facebook is still too strong, and I can spend hours browsing forums and TV show recaps and blogs.

2. My next two weekends are “booked,” and as much as I want to study full-time, I would have to make a special excuse for these two. This Saturday, I will be going to the Archuleta/Cook concert. The price of cancellation is not even worth discussing, so that’s that. The weekend after this, I will be attending the AJSS reunion. It’s just the best summer of my life, and I haven’t seen these people in years… it’s a no-brainer.

3. This is actually the only ban that’s been approved by myself and my roommate. He’s conceded to the idea of Twittering, so I still have some connection to the online world, but I wouldn’t be able to access it through the Internet. Which means that I have to do it by phone, which costs some sum. In other words, if I want to have an online presence, I have to pay for it. There is no free lunch. (Shameless plugging: I want to thank Gravity for their wonderful Symbian program. Nothing else compares.)

4. Partay-ing, as far as I know, is still within the allowable terms of the deal. It’s weird how this one got through, but I guess the old college adage still holds: you can only do two out of these three things effectively at any time– study hard, party hard, sleep hard. Guess which one’s getting thrown out the window.

5. Don’t be shocked if posts appear out of nowhere in spite of the ban. I may not be able to use the Internet, but I can still blog. That’s highly unlikely, though, so in retrospect, scratch that: be shocked when posts appear. Also, be mad at me. It may not be cheating, but it kinda defeats the purpose of avoiding distractions, don’t you think?

6. Speaking of distractions… let’s leave it at that.

I guess that’s it for now. I’ll still be following the American Idol finale, but I’m not sure if I’m going to post my thoughts on it anymore; after all, it’s pretty obvious who I want to win. (Year-to-date [?] rankings as of last night: Adam Lambert – 2; Kris Allen – 2.4; Danny Gokey – 2.8. I can’t resist, sorry!) 

When I come back, I will deal with issues I’ve been avoiding for quite some time now. It’s time to make a stand.

Exam’s on the 11th. See you then.

Filed under: Helios, Ra, Rat Race

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

So Give Me Something to Sing About

There was a period during this blog’s lifetime when writing was such a breeze. Words just flew fast and furious underneath my fidgety fingers. Alliterations and assonances arrived undaunted upon the all-too-familiar screen. While entries may take hours– no, days– to type, that inner fire blazed on relentlessly. So gripping was the need to write that I went home each day checking out the site, wondering if it was time to blog, to schedule an entry, to read other fellow bloggers’ posts, to comment on the comments, or to simply sit there, mesmerized by the letters that formed words that formed sentences that formed ideas. And most of the time, I found that the ideas were good, and liberating, and wonderful.

That time wasn’t too long ago. Given that the site has not yet reached its first year (or its 100th post, whichever is more celebration-worthy), the “golden age” couldn’t have been too long ago. It’s kinda frightening to think of the prospect that the well has sprung too early and has now dried up: spent, dry, and lifeless. I don’t even want to entertain the notion that the events of the past few weeks have led to this moment of saturation. Have I immersed myself too much in the “real” world only to realize that I’ve left only a tiny piece of myself online? Tiny piece being the ability to write? Does the tradeoff really exist?

I don’t want to believe it, so I won’t. And writing this entry, however meta it may sound, is a step towards the right direction. I can write. I will write.

Filed under: Helios, Mindlifting

In Case You Have Forgotten

My name is Kerwin Ray Escape Sentillas. I am 24 years old, turning 25 this August. I am a lover of all things pop, of all things literary, of all things contemporary. I love Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Chilimansi. I love Wonka Nerds. I love that helium dalmatian from Toy Kingdom, the one that floats and glides like a white silky dress in the middle of the night. And in case you have forgotten, I love my name. A marriage of Irish and Spanish influences, of Keating-Iglesias descent, my name dictates who I am. I am The Dark-skinned King.

Fifty-one days is a long time for a King to be away. But the universe surprises, and he is sent to places he has only heard of from stories chroniclers weave in the loneliest of nights. Like a knight in search for the Holy Grail, he must set off to find his place in these adventures. He is helpless; the universe has taken him in, and he must do as the universe dictates.

Fifty-one days:

An adventure up North. A struggle between two opposing kingdoms. A defection to the other side. A test for a congregation of wizards, a battle of wits which he has failed. A renewed sense of self, a vow to avenge the loss. A change of wardrobe. An encounter with a warlock from the past, a figure that turned out to be the key to clearing the fog in the King’s soul and heart. A mountain, a forest, a full moon. A dog with spots. A news from a faraway duke who just had an exciting moment in the dark. A single festivity for love found and birth remembered. A chaotic fair. A time in the theater. A shocking dip in the pool. An Amazing Race. An intriguing Dollhouse. A Kitchen in Hell. A Chef in Top form. A Girl who loved to spread the Gossip.

In case you have forgotten, I like to speak in cryptics. But I will let you in on some of these secrets, because people change. Subtly, slowly.

Fifty-one days:

I went to Ilocos and had the time of my life. I realized that travel is what I needed this year, that travel will literally transport me. It’s a time of firsts, and the first months with travel are just the beginning.

I am resigning from my present company and moving elsewhere for work. Somewhere close to home. Somewhere that will allow me to go to the gym after work, and still churn out a few pages of studying for my exam. Preferably with a grande Caffe Mocha in hand.

I need that time because I failed both my exams in 2008. I received news two weeks ago that I didn’t pass my December exam. Two days later I found out that I failed my December exam by a few points. I came so close, but was denied to proceed any further. This may sound bitter, because I am.

My best friend Jeland celebrated his birthday for reasons not solely related to his birth. In the month of hearts, I guess it’s just fitting.

I decided to change my hairstyle.

I won’t divulge any more, because that’s the way it is, that’s the way I’m built, that’s who I am. Besides, there are several more nights of storytelling. There are several more days of palavers around campfires. There are several more opportunities to bare myself, to peel my being layer by layer until I am found raw.

Because in case you have forgotten, I’m still here.

Filed under: Helios, Ra

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


Ever since I changed my theme, my pages got lost in the sidebar. I couldn’t move them to the top of the site because that required a revision in HTML, and WordPress doesn’t allow CSS changes in its themes unless I paid for the service. This is quite unfortunate, since the availability of pages is one of the reasons why I chose WordPress over Blogger in the first place. Losing view of those precious pages sort of defeats the choice.

Thank goodness WordPress introduced the Sticky Post. With this nifty little device, I can write a post and it would always appear on top of everything else until I take it down or replace it with something else. I’m using one right now, and yes, this sticky shall contain the links to my pages.

Click, click, click!

The Sunbaked Actuary

Boob Tube

Book Club

Resto Hop

Silver Screen

23 Things

Filed under: Helios