Think Tank

T-34 Mod 43 in dreamy effect.
T-34 Mod 43 in dreamy effect.


A laborer by the Sunset. Photo by Christopher Barja
A laborer by the Sunset. Photo by Christopher Barja


Akda ni Christopher Barja


Heto na naman si Boy Kulot

Katinuan ng pag-iisip sa kanya’y pinagdamot

Pinandidirihan, madungis at mabantot

Walang habas kung siya’y umutot


Pagkakamaling bunga ng harot

Sa mata ng ama’y siya’y ‘sang salot

Sa kanyang amang puno ng puot

Dulot sa kanya’y bugbog at takot


Sa isang matinding sigalot

Sa kanyang kamay kutsilyo’y naabot

Sa isang kumpas, kamatayan ang dulot

Sa ospital, kanyang ama’y ‘di na umabot


Dala marahil ng matinding lungkot

Sarili’y pilit ibinaon sa limot

Mundong malupit at masalimuot

Para sa kanya’y tumigil sa pag-ikot


Naging palaboy sa kalyeng pasikot-sikot

Pag-asa’t pangarap sa kanya’y nasimhot

Sa problema niya’y solvent ang naging sagot

Ngunit sa realidad siya’y walang lusot


Tadhana sa kanya’y naging maramot

Laman ng tiyan ay basura dinadampot

Matinong damit ay walang maisuot

Sa malubhang karamdama’y  walang gamot


Isang araw, si Boy Kulot

Sa bangketa’y nakabaluktot

Sa dyaryo siya’y nakabalot

Miserableng buhay ay maagang naudlot.



A tribute to our old organization and to that somewhat auteur office ornament.




O palay!

Ikaw ang aming gabay

Sa magandang hulagway

Ng aming buhay


Wangis mo’y tila’y

Bituing matamlay

Datapwat ika’y di gulay

O, kami’y sa iyo’y naglalaway!


Noong ika’y gawing kalamay

Kami’y bahagyang nalumbay

Ngunit damdami’y pinagtibay

Ng sustansiyang iyong taglay


Sa aming paglalakbay

Ika’y aming kaagapay

Kami’y sa iyo’y di mawawalay

O Teepee! Ipagbunyi ang ating Palay!

If Pencils Could Talk And Share Stories!!


A pencil drawing of Trish – a relative of mine. Some details on this drawing were deliberately omitted, while some details were added on assumption. Here and there, you can spot some errors. It’s a work-in-progress, prematurely halted. Took me four days to “finish” it, approximately two hours a day. Finally, something to match that of Isabelle’s bragging on how fast she can finish a drawing.

For this I used pencils numbered 2B, 5B and 7B semi-rough canson paper. It was very uncharacteristic of me to use  a 7B, since I do not like the texture made by pencil with that number. But since I lost my 5B in the middle of my work on this sketch, and I don’t have the intention of prolonging the time of working on this one, I simply didn’t have a choice but to use 7B. No smudging stump was used.

Ironically, I have two 7B pencils in my disposal. I should learn how to use them properly.

Digital manipulations have been minimal. Instead of scanning it, I used a point-and-shoot camera to “digitalize” this sketch. Brightness and contrast level were slightly adjusted. Color balance were also adjusted to make this seems to be drawn on a parchment paper.

During my third year in college, I once used an eyeliner to create a portrait. I didn’t ask for permission from my female friend – thanks Anna!, by the way – for using her eyeliner. At first she was furious at first, of course. But the sketch turned out to be good somehow. But what I didn’t know then was that cockroaches find eyeliners delectable. They ate almost a quarter of the sketch.



When Time Stood Still

Sara. That's all there is.
Sara. That’s all there is.

June 2, 2000, Friday, it was about three o’clock in the afternoon. It was a hot day, but the sky was beautifully clear, and everything seemed to be so bright. There for the first time I met Sara. She belongs to the MWF afternoon classes on our taekwondo lessons. She is one year younger than me and she was playing tag with her younger sister when I found her. The moment I entered the empty gym, she glanced my way and saw me standing by the doorway looking at her. And something struck me hard and fast.

It was a very fine day and I’ll never forget it. And it was three days in a row that I spent training with her, until the promotion day. It was Sunday morning. Then after the promotion event itself she was gone with her parents and her younger sister. I went home bearing an overrated sadness and an even overrated fear that I might not see her ever again. One day I was star-struck then three days later I was feeling lost.

She was my ultimate crush. Well that’s all in the past now. Five years later I regained my communications with her. They were right. When it comes about her, I am simply a coward. All through the years thinking about her, I never really summoned the courage to tell her how I feel for her. I was simply too afraid to find out what might have been.


My head’s in a jam

Can’t take you off my mind

From the time we met

I’ve been beset with thoughts of you

And the more that I ignore this feeling

The more I found myself believing

That I just have to see you again


I can’t let you pass me by

I just can’t let you go

But I know I am much too shy to let you know

Afraid that I might say the wrong words

And displease you

Afraid for love to fade before it can come true


Sometime during 2007 she gave me a message. She said: “…the worst regret we can have in life is not for the wrong things we have done, but from the right things we could have done but we never did”. It’s kind of cliché, or it could had been just forwarded. But I felt the irony of her sending me that message.


I can’t let you pass me by

I just can’t let you go

Let me say the things and say the words to let you know

I would rather say the awkward words

Than lose you

Or for love to fade before it can come true


But I never did. And chose to remain an invisible admirer. But I think she knows. Or at least I believe so, that she had a slight idea about my feelings. I don’t think she’s that mindless not to notice. And perhaps, indeed, I had done something wrong.

Perhaps I have all the good reasons not to tell her. I think it is better off that way. Looking back I had a colourful life after all.