MANILA NOIR: “Satan Has Already Bought U” by Lourd De Veyra


“Do you know what shabu means?  Did you know that each letter means something?” Cesar asked, pressing a clean sheet of aluminum foil between two one-peso coins.

“You mean an acronym,” Franco replied, a dull glint of the strip cruising his vision.

“A what?”

“An acronym.  That’s what you’re trying to say.  Each letter stands for a word.  Like PBA.  Philippine Basketball Association.  Or NBA . . . ”

“I get it.  Exactly.  An acronym.  So . . . you know what shabu means?”

“I didn’t know it meant anything.”

“Satan Has Already Bought You.”

*    *     *     *

The gossip in Bacolod.  So-and-so had a shabu addiction.

Self:  “How can he be hooked on shabu, he doesn’t make any money.  Don’t you need a lot of money to get shabu?”

Self remembers how her cousin Manong Genray scoffed:  “Even ‘sikab‘ drivers get hooked on shabu.”


Sikab is a bastardization of the words “Tricycle” and “Cab.”  You can take one of these, 5 pesos (11 US cents) a ride.  Cheaper even than riding a jeepney, which is 8 pesos (19 US cents).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. Ace said,

    November 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Seriously? This book is Lourd’s?

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