The Sunbaked King

Circus Life

…Ateneans are the HARDEST to date — pero kapag nagustuhan ka nyan, sobrang worth all the hassle. 🙂

– Milan of Circus Life

(Never have read something so real and so fresh and so open and so eloquently written all at the same time. And not just because of the above-mentioned quote.)



Filed under: Being Blue, Vanity

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


I don’t want to apologize for things that I shouldn’t be apologetic about. Not anymore.

I don’t want to apologize for being able to afford the things that I buy. In the same manner, I don’t want to have to explain my purchases to others, just because they think it’s extravagant of me to buy this, when I could have bought that. Well, I don’t want that. I want this. The only people who are entitled to comment on my spending are those who are directly affected by it, and those who are truly concerned. I worked hard to earn that money, and I am free to do with it as I please.

I don’t want to apologize for not displaying my religious zeal. I don’t want people shoving their religiosity in my face, either. Fine, I get it, you go to church and I don’t. That doesn’t mean you’re immediately going to heaven, and that doesn’t mean I’m immediately going to hell. Was it Daniel or Elijah who prayed in private? If there’s a need for you to parade your good heart and kind soul in order to feel good about yourself, to make the religious thing worth it, then you’re not doing a damn good job yourself.

I don’t want to apologize for talking like I make sense. I don’t want to engage in conversations where I have to stoop down and look dumb so that others can feel good about themselves. I want to discuss things at my level. If you out-talk me, if you have more outstanding ideas than I do, if you explain your points more clearly, then I will positively adore you. I will try my best to drive my points across, but kudos for being brilliant.

I don’t want to apologize for being good at what I do. I don’t want to feel embarrassed at the praises which come my way, especially if I think I deserve them. I’m being an ass if I accept compliments that are not mine to have, but I believe that I’m being more of an ass by blowing off those that are clearly attributable to me. Humility is one thing, and has a rightful place in the overall development of a successful person, but false modesty? That will just get your butt kicked every time.

I don’t want to apologize for wanting to live a life that is mine. Yes, that is vague on so many different levels, and sounds very Memoirs of a Geisha to boot, but that’s the only way I can word it. I don’t want to be trapped by society’s perception on who I should be and how I should behave. I don’t want to be trapped by the preconceived notions of others. I don’t want to be trapped into a place where I could do nothing but act out a role that I did not want to portray in the first place. Let. Me. Be.

If the statements I wrote above rang false, I apologize. If the statements I wrote above grossly exaggerate, I apologize. But you know what? I won’t apologize for actually thinking that they’re not false, that they’re not exaggerated.

This is a trap I have to escape out of. This is a self I need to renew. The time for a new Kerwin is now.

Filed under: Ra, Them, Untamed, Vanity

Family Affair

Alam mo Wing [yes, that’s my nickname], you’re not teaching your brother the right virtues, like frugality. Yang pakain-kain niyo sa mga mamahaling restaurants, it teaches all the wrong things. Dapat turuan mong magtipid. Basahin mo yung 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich by Bo Sanchez. Maganda ang mga tips niya.

Di ba religious guy yun, Pa? Baka naman puno ng religious interjections ang book niya.

Hindi, hindi. Walang religion-religion. Puro financial tips lang.

Meet my dad. Finding ways to bridge financial and spiritual success.


“Wing, nagdala ako ng paksiw para sa Papa mo.

Kenneth: “Yan pala ang binabalot ni Mama kanina.

Kerwin: “Dapat quarantined yan.

Ang mahal ng mga pagkain dito sa Manila. Di tulad sa Davao. Di pa masasarap yang mga restaurants na kinakainan mo. Mga weird.”

Di ka lang sanay, Ma.

Mas magaling pa ako magluto nung mga pagkain. Mura pa.

Meet my mom. Maintaining an orderly household through home-cooked meals and ukay-ukay, one leche flan at a time, one imported shirt at a time.


Papa arrived last November 2. Mama arrived last November 8. They’ll be staying here until the end of the month. With Kenneth in tow, it feels good to be almost complete again (Kuya remains isolated in Davao). Never mind the lectures about saving, being my brother’s keeper, my taste in restaurants, the cleanliness of our room, my bonus and its future whereabouts, and healthy living. I’m just glad they’re here.

Ladies and gentlemen, mi familia hermosa:


Filed under: Domesticated, Sunshine, Vanity

Coat and Tie

The last events I wore a formal attire in were my two high school proms. During Junior Year, Papa had a coat and a pair of pants specifically tailor-made for me. I loved the entire tailoring process because 1) Papa didn’t have a coat made for my older brother during his high school prom (haha) and 2) I haven’t had any coat made for myself until then.

The coat was a blue three-buttoned piece of clothing splendor. The pants were of the same color, and its material felt like satin. When I was a junior, I paired the coat with the pants, and wore a plain long-sleeved polo shirt underneath. When I was a senior, my father told me to wear it again. No one would notice, he said. I didn’t argue because I loved that coat. And besides, I wasn’t going to wear another long-sleeved shirt and tie; I was going to don a tailor-made turtleneck. Needless to say, it paired well with the coat.

The hazy details above are the only things I remember about the physical appearance of my prom attire. I don’t remember the material of the coat, the shoes I wore, or the accessories I had on me. All of those tidbits have faded from my mind. The effect of wearing the attire, however, is another matter altogether; that, I remember vividly.

The guy who has always been branded as The Nerd finally gets a chance to step out of his role and into another person’s shoes. In another dimension, that guy will have been named Kevin Ralph, and his interests will include, not algebra or trigonometry or Noli Me Tangere, but soccer and cars and hair gel. In his world, wearing a fabulous outfit is a given. It’s as natural as the way his hair bounces with the wind as he walks. He is Mr. Prom King. He is Mr. Knockout.

This is the guy The Nerd will finally come to terms with as he looks at the mirror. A mirror, after all, is a portal of sorts. He is astonished to see himself, dressed like this, and exuding confidence like no other. But he also knows that this transformation is temporary. Like Cinderella, he will flee the ball to resume portraying the role he has set for himself throughout the years. He will return happy, yes, but this happiness is mixed with a tinge of regret…

But enough of the future. In a few moments, Kevin Ralph will step down the car and enter the hotel. And in those few precious hours, his star will shine. Brightly.

(And who’s to say this moment will never return? In a few years, the opportunity to wear a coat might present itself again. And fate will weave its magic once more, just like it did, once before.)

Filed under: Ra, Rat Race, Vanity

It’s My Birthday and I Can Cry If I Want To…

… but I’d rather not. Who would want to cry on their birthday, right? What I’d rather do is post some pictures of the shiny little things my generous friends gave me that day. To give sufficient justice to their awesomeness, I set up a little studio in my room consisting of a study lamp, an ironing board, and a white shirt. Yes, I attempted to take professional-looking photos of my gifts. Yes, I am that thankful. (And yes, I was on leave from work when I took these.)

The Wallet 

The wallet I owned prior to this had a wonderful texture and a simple design which I loved. Unfortunately, it had one small problem. I think it was made for some other country’s currency. No matter how much I tried to force them in, the bills just wouldn’t fit. I would still have to fold them in half before they could be properly placed, and I hated doing that. One tug, and all the bills came tumbling out. Needless to say, this new wallet’s a real blessing. You just shaved a few stress-related wrinkles off my face, Jel. Thanks.

The Belt

This is an accessory I’ve been wanting to buy for sometime now but never had the chance to do so because 1) it kept slipping down my priority to-buy list, and 2) nobody gets too see it anyway. Honestly, I’ve never found belts to be that useful. If you were to buy pants that fit, you wouldn’t have much use for it, would you? The ironic thing is, I do have pants that don’t fit, and besides, I’ve found wearing belts and taking them off to be tremendously sexy. I have no idea why. Honestly.

The Belt, Part Deux

Fate agrees with me. It gave me two belts. Belts must be REALLY sexy. Thanks for this, Chris.

The Baggage Tag

You know how confusing the airport can be. One time you’re dragging your cart in peace, the next you’re trying to zigzag yourself to safety. And of course, there’s the Conveyor Belt of Long Wait. It’s Murphy’s Law all over again. No matter what you do, you’ll always find that you’ll have to wait longer than the people beside you. And there’s a big chance you’ll miss picking up your stuff the first time it hits the Belt. Good thing I got this baggage tag from my office friends. That’s one less way for you to create havoc, you evil Murphy you.

The Hoodie Shirt

Thanks to Charline, I got my first hoodie shirt. Yay! I tried it on today and it looked absolutely kick-ass. I didn’t exactly put on the hood (I didn’t want to mess up the intricately gelled hair), but it still looked great unused. And for the curious: “IN SCOUTING.” That’s what it says. “WANT TO SEE WHAT I LEARNED IN SCOUTING.” You of dirty minds. Tsk, tsk.

The Kuffiyeh

Or global warmer or fancy scarf or whatever it’s called. My office friends knew about me (secretly) wanting to own one, and they indulged me. I don’t know where or when I’ll be able to wear this, what shirt to go with it, and what pants to go with that, but it’s nice to know I have this option. The Philippines will be colder, people. Trust me.

And finally:

The iPod Touch

Haha. Not really. They gave me the case. I just recently bought a GelaSkin for my Touch, thinking it was just the thing I needed to hide the scratch-infested back. I didn’t realize that they would be getting me this. I’m not regretting my Skin purchase, though, since the design’s fantastic. This gift just added a whole new layer of protection for my little baby. 

For all those who made my birthday as special as it was, thank you very much. Gifts or no gifts, I’m just glad I’m living another year with you guys. 

Now on to the 25th year! 🙂


Filed under: Sunshine, Vanity

This Day in History

On August 13, 1984, around 9:00 AM, a wonderful woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy. From all accounts (all accounts = mother + doting nurse), he was the cutest kid that ever graced their presence EVAH. He had delicate fair skin, and curly brown hair. I don’t know whether he cried when his underdeveloped eyes first glimpsed the light of day; I don’t know if he bawled his eyes out when the doctor slapped his buttocks; I don’t even know if there was any buttock-slapping at all. How could I? That woman was my mother. That boy was me.

Here I am, 24 years later. Proud of who I’ve become, and grateful for the people around me.

Happy birthday, indeed.

Filed under: Ra, Vanity

The Taipan

What? Chinese (Cantonese) Cuisine

Where? Philamlife Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City

Let’s break it down:

Food. Eat-all-you-can dim sum buffet! I didn’t recognize half of what’s being served in our table, and I wasn’t even able to take a look at the menu. What I know is that everything is shrimp-based. Hakao, shrimp dumpling, abalone on top of shrimp, pork on top of shrimp. I’m not complaining; I love shrimp. However, some variety would have been nice (yes, there were chicken legs, but no one even touched them).

4.5  out of 5

Ambiance. The place is as opulent as the jewelry in The Forbidden Palace. As such, it was not the place for loud conversations, camwhoring, and excessive display of gluttony. But we had all three, anyway, because how often can you say that you got in the most posh restaurant in the Philamlife Tower? Not very often, that’s how.

4  out of 5

Service. The waiters were very professional, both in style and form. They were efficient winds– unseen and unfelt, yet our glasses never seemed to run empty. We would have wanted the same treatment when it came to our soy sauce saucers; we had to ask for a refill.

4  out of 5

The entire dinner was free, so I couldn’t really rate anything based on price. And since the place was available only to members, I couldn’t openly recommend it to everyone. You’ll just have to take my word for it; the dim sum, shrimp-monotonous as they were, were simply delicious.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a peek at some of the scenes during dinner. (Yes, I have to post this.)


While the food may be delicious,

it wasn’t as smoldering

or as sexy

or as sumptuous

as the rest of us.

Filed under: Gastronomy, Vanity

Archuleta Hair

WARNING: Vanity post ahead.

My fascination with David Archuleta’s hair lasted for all but 3 days. I actually wanted my ‘do to look like this:

Archuleta cover art taken from

So last Sunday, I decided to have my hair cut, the Archuleta way. My exams were over, I was in a new phase in my life, and I was about to launch this site– what a better way to start, right? And this is how the haircut turned out:

Who’s cuter? Haha.

I know the hair’s going the opposite direction, but what can I do? Everyone knows I don’t have spatial skills. I don’t know how to imagine cubes out of flattened figures, and I don’t know my mirror left with my camera left with my real left. I got confused.

But anyway, the haircut was superb the first time (thanks, Dyaym, for the styling!), and yesterday, I managed to do it again, but today, everything failed. It took almost 30 minutes to fix my hair, and yet it didn’t look quite right. Perhaps mixing Vitress setting lotion with Bench Fix Clay-Doh was a wrong idea. I don’t know. But around 3 PM today, I went to the restroom and just rearranged everything. I felt better after.

So the question’s this: to Archuleta or not to Archuleta?

Filed under: Vanity