Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Da Bodyguards

Sa di ko alam na dahilan, wala kanina sa hintayan ng jeep ang aking mga teammates sa pag-uwi. Ang nangyari tuloy ay naiwan akong naghihintay ng jeep na sa palagay ko ay dapat nang mabilang sa listahan ng mga endangered species--well at least yung jeep na patungo sa inuuwian ko. Sa gitna ng paghihintay, nakasabay ko ang tatlo kong kaopisina na pauwi na rin. Minabuti nilang maging pansamantala kong “bodyguards.” Medyo madilim kasi sa hintayan kaya pinauna muna nila akong makasakay bago sila nagsiuwian. Hmmm. Gentlemen. Naalala ko tuloy ang isa sa mga nakakatawang karanasan ko sa Los Baños kung saan ako naman ang nagpakabodyguard.

****klililili-lililili-ling……..

Ako at ang kaibigan kong si Leng ay nagmistulang mga bouncer samantalang si Joy naman ang nag-alo sa aming “alagang” si Nikka. Alam mo yung mga panahong gahibla na lamang ng buhok ang supply mo ng pasensya? Nasa ganoong mood si Nikka noon. Kaso yung gahiblang buhok na iyon ay napatid pa dahil sa napakasungit na ale na ayaw kaming pagbentahan ng karayom. So nag Sari-sari Store hopping kami para makahanap ng karayom na gagamitin naming pantahi sa wristband ng mga artista namin sa dulang, “Sundalong Hambog.”

Dalawang bouncer, isang taga-alo, at isang pikon nang babae in search for one needle.

May isang mama na nakapansin sa amin at sa kaibigan naming nagngingilid na ang luha. Buong pagmamalasakit niyang itinuro kami sa tindahan sa tapat, yung may nakadisplay na papaya sa harap. Totoong papaya ha. Perennial product ng tindahan iyon ang papaya. Simula yata freshman ako sa UPLB, nagtitinda na sila ng papaya. Pero ang main merchandise nila ay mga gamit na pang-cross stitch at frames. Nagdedevelop din sila ng pictures. All-in-one nga e. Pwede kang magpa-picture, kumain ng papaya habang naghihintay madevelop ang picture mo at mag-cross stitch muna habang fineframe nila ang picture mo. Ayos!

So ayon bumili si Nikka ng karayom katabi si Joy. Kami naman ni Leng, nakabantay sa labas ng tindahan, sa tabi ng mga papaya, nag-aabang sa sinumang magtatangkang mang-asar pa sa aming kaibigan. Ang tanging sandata lang namin ay ang tig-isang mais na nakatuhog sa barbeque stick. Two-in-one naman ‘yon. Merienda namin na pambambo sa sinumang gagago-gago. Ang lahat nang ito ay nangyari sa Grove, ang kalyeng tumutumbok sa UPLB gate. Bihirang mawalan ng tao sa Grove kaya naman kapag binabaybay mo ito at naisipan mong kahulan ang isang aso nang walang matinong dahilan, hindi ka magmumukahang adik sa iilan lang tao kung hindi sa buong bayan.

At ayun na nga. Nagmukha kaming cartoons sa harap ng buong bayan at wala kaming pakialam. Kahit na drama in public ang nangyari kay Nikka, kahit na nagpaka-alalay si Joy, at kahit na nagpakabouncer kami ni Leng. Ayos lang. At kung hindi ka natawa sa kwento ko, ayos lang din.

COMMENT

solb na ko...ang saya ng krismas gip mo sa akin....isang napalakas na tawa...
i am saved. mabubuhay pa ako.
Posted by: Nikka | December 14, 2005 12:26 PM

Monday, November 21, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Coke

I don’t drink fire. I drink Coke so don’t ask.

Now, now that intro, same as my last two entries, is powered by anger. And we all know that anger is not a very good source of “literary chi” (a phrase I came up with to refer to the force that drives one to write something that makes sense). Sarcasm maybe a good source of literary chi but anger, never. Therefore I say shoo anger!

I am working on the idea that if I place my fingers on the keyboard long enough, I’d soon regain my literary chi and end up writing something that will capture the past few days of my life so here goes.

The last scabs on my knees brought about by abrasions I acquired from the high tide shore pebbles of Puerto Galera have just fallen off my skin (or should I say peeled off) and yet I have written nothing about the great port.

Perhaps to show how great the port is, I’ll post my favorite photo of Puerto Galera.



I must admit that I am not responsible for this shot. It was my brother who took it while I was, probably, doing some supine float along the coast. It is a shame because after several hours (even extending to two days) of swimming, I never even bothered to ask the name of that body of water I shared with the ocean creatures of Mindoro Oriental and its tourists. And now I feel guilty. Let it be known, however, that the law of conservation of mass--the one which states that no amount of matter is gained or lost during chemical reactions--was defied the whole time I was in that vast sea. Salt water was consumed. (Yeah, I accidentally swallowed some. I excuse you for barfing.) But no even saltier water was emitted in return. I managed not to pee in the said ecosystem so I am sure of its inhabitants’ safety. Going back to the law, the sea lost the water I ingested but, as I have narrated, I failed to replace it which is just as well.

Puerto Galera, specifically White Beach, is not a pristine island. For one, it has electricity and the houses there are made out of concrete. And its natives, with their great tan, have found livelihood in the place’s excellent tourism. There are no signs of them being savages. One word that will describe them, though, is “entrepreneurial.” Nonetheless, Puerto Galera can assure stressed out city boys and girls tranquil time with nature and moments to loosen up with the beat of loud music along its bright and colorful bars.

I have very limited beach experience. In fact I have been to the beach around four to five times in my whole lifetime. (You may feel sorry for me now.) Hence I grew up unaccustomed to bathing with non mammals. Plus I am not the best traveler in the world and often times suffer from motion sickness. But Puerto Galera is worth facing all my weaknesses. I’d close my eyes so I won’t see the fish coming towards me. I’d drink Bonamine so I won’t make any mess on the way. I’d go to Puerto Galera again…anytime I can.

* * *

My trip to Puerto Galera was not just some leisurely trip. I was there to catch up, if not bond with my family, specifically with my sister who’s been away for six months. And now she’s away again and wouldn’t be back for Christmas, or New Year, or Valentine’s Day. I guess this time I’d be Christmas shopping on my own. This reminds me of that time when I sat opposite two ladies, whom I assume were sisters, on my way home. They were exchanging stories about their day’s highs and lows. They were so happy I almost cried. At that instant, I felt how I badly missed my Ate.

* * *

Even though the threat for massive brain drain in our nation has no signs of being contained as yuppies and older professionals continue to leave the country for better job opportunities abroad, there are still foreigners who dare visit our land. The recent prominent one would probably be Constantine Maroulis, an American Idol finalist. He was here to promote the album “Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen” where he sings his own rendition of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” which according to him is “the greatest song of all.”



I allowed my self be dragged to one of his shows, specifically the one at Greenbelt. Now, I am not really fond of being around big, sweaty crowd in an open space foreign to me but due to my officemate-turned-friend’s contagious excitement, I was able to set my mild agoraphobia aside to enjoy a little night of rock and jazzy music.

I am not sure if it was a divine intervention of some sort or if it was due to sheer fanaticism that my officemate-turned-friend and I were able to work our way through almost really close to that night’s main man. From our pathetic view of the stage on the third floor balcony, we managed to squeeze ourselves to the second layer of the so-called audience. (The layers were a bit thick. Still we were lucky to find ourselves next to “really close.”)

From someone who voluntarily extracted herself from the thick pack of people during the 2003 Octoberfest, I would say Constantine’s abundantly populated mini concert was all right. I swayed and waved, sang and screamed, gazed and chanted. Overall, despite being one of the big, sweaty crowd, I’d thank my officemate-turned-friend for sharing me her fantasy because I really had fun that night. And for that, Constantine Maroulis will be distinctly special to me.

* * *

I would excuse myself from giving an almost scholarly review of the movie “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire” even though I obviously exploited its title just now. I am afraid seeing it once is not enough for me to come up with any substantial reaction. The only alibi I can give is “awe.” Watching the fourth installment to J. K. Rowling’s wealth leaves me in awe making me nearly blind to its shortcomings as a story and as a film in general. At that note I will end my piece. I believe I’ve placed my fingers on the keyboard long enough.

Monday, November 7, 2005

GAGa ME

Congratulations to me! I just single-handedly lost a battle which, according to them, never existed.

Apparently my battle cry was gibberish except to me.

I carry my battle wounds, a set of bloated eyes, with sheer embarrassment for it was all for nothing.

I did not emerge anywhere close to being a hero but as the laughing stock of generations to come.

And I dare record my defeat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Consumer Alert

Babala: Ang pangalan ng mga establisyamentong tutukuyin ko ay hayagan ko na ring babanggitin tutal, blog ko naman ito at mga ka-close ko lang naman ang magbabasa nito. Sa gayong paraan, mailalayo ko sa mga k_pal na kumpanyang ang mga taong malapit sa akin. Sa gayon (ulit) di na sila mabibiktima pa.

Umuusok na ang ilong ko sa Globe Telecom na yan! Dalawang beses kong chinek sa 211 kung paano magpareactivate ng napasong roaming. Ayon sa dalawang nakausap ko sa magkaibang gabi (take note: 2x akong nag-consult sa 211 because I wanted to make sure that I get all the details right), kailangan lang ng minimum na P500.00 load ng roamer tapos tatawag lang ako sa hotline nila para magrequest ng manual activation ng nasabing service. Sabi pa nila, highly recommended nila ang Autoloadmax sa pagrereload. Di man lang nila ako winarningan na by loading through Autoloadmax, sinasubject ko ang precious P500.00 ko sa maagang expiration! Sa buong pakikipagusap ko sa mga operators na ‘to ang bukod tanging sinabi nila sa akin ay maximum of 30 days pwedeng i-on ang roaming na pwede pa ngang ipa-extend ng dalawa pang 30 days. Tapos, inexplain nga nila sa akin yung rule sa “grace period” (yun yung time na di pwedeng i-on ang roaming ng isang handyphone) pero di nila sinabi sa akin na bagaman bago ang mga rules nila ay mag-aaply na ito sa phone na inaaplyan ko ng roaming, therefore di pa pwedeng mag-roaming yung nunber na yon.. Tapos matapos kong magpa-autoload ng total of P500.00 sa roamer ko, doon ko lang nadiscover na di pa pwedeng ipa-on ang roaming ng number na pinaparoaming ko dahil sa “grace period” rule at 15 days ko lang pala mapapakinabangan ang P500.00 at hindi 90 days o at least 30 man lang.

Mga tuso sila! Making great things possible my ass! They misled me by “missing out” on important details sa instructions nila. Mas accurate yatang sabihing na-gancho nila ako. Apat na sunud-sunod na gabi na akong nagfofollow up wala pa rin silang aksyon. Sa bawat follow up ko, kailangan kong irelay, from the start, ang buong kwento ko. Hmp! Tapos limang “please wait for 24 hours” lang ang naririnig ko sa kanila. Mapapamura ka talaga ng Tagalog!

In fairness, never akong nakipag-away sa operators nila. Malumanay (na may kasamang supressed gigil) kong sinabi na di naman biro ang maglabas ng P500.00 tapos di ko sya mapapakinabangan. Lagi akong polite sa pakikipagusap ko sa kanila kahit na nagmumura na ang subconscious ko. May isang nag-attempt mag-console sa akin by saying, “magload na lang po kayo using a call card before ma-off ang roaming.” Ngek! Ano ako?! Tungaw? Nasayang na nga pera ko, magsasayang pa ako ulit? OK lang sila? May isa namang nagsabi sa akin, “Ma’am don’t worry po sure naman pong maaaprove ang special request n’yo for the activation of your roaming service at least bago maexpire yung niload nyo.” Pa’no kung the day before maexpire yung niload ko pa lang ma-approve ang raoming? Don’t worry pa rin? Isang araw ko lang ma-eenjoy yung P500.00 ko, don’t worry?

The thing is, O.C. ako pagdating sa rules and instructions kaya I make sure naiintindihan ko ang isang bagay bago ako magproceed sa anumang gagawin ko. Yun pala malinlinlang ako ng hidden truths from well-trained Globe call center agents. Di ko man lang na sense na may catch ang lahat ng sinabi nila sa akin. Na kaya Autoloadmax ang nirerecommend nila ay dahil mas madaling mag-expire yon at mas mapapabilis ang pagrereload ko. At kaya di nila sinabi sa akin na di pa pala ma-o-on ang roaming ng number na inaaplyan ko ng roaming ay dahil atat na ata na silang magka P500.00. Tama nga naman, magkakapera sila without being obliged to render their services in return. Easy money!

Kung sino man ang may direct line kay Mr. Palengke, I really need your help. Binggo na talaga sa akin ang Globe! Masyado silang manlinlang! Dati nabiktima na nila ako ng promo nila with Hershey’s. Yung you’ll get Hershey’s goodies once you make your first call using your new SIM. But you’ll have to wait for their text and guess what? Di nila ako tinext. Nung nagreklamo ako, sabi lang nila, they can’t give me the goodies because I didn’t receive the text from them. They dismissed immediately after saying that sentence--no apologies whatsoever. Tapos, they kept on sending me ringtones, I never requested which took away P15.00 from me--that is P15.00 for every unwanted ringtone they sent me. Di lang ako ang niloloko nila, lahat ng Globe subscribers din. Isipin mo na lang, di mo ma-cacall ang toll-free customer service (211) nila pag wala kang load. Tama ba naman ‘yon? Is that the way to treat loyal subscribers? Di mo sila mare-reach pag di mo sila pinapa-rich! I can rant forever pero eto na lang ang final words ko para sa Globe, “matakot naman kayo!”

* * *

Di ko akalaing matyetyempuhan ko ang expired food sa anumang kainan sa foodcourt ng Megamall. Natripan kong kumain ng Yakisoba sa Tokyo Teriyaki House. First time ko kumain dun although I am aware na kapatid lang nila ang Tokyo Tokyo. So yun na nga, binigay na nila sa akin yung order ko which was a bit disappointing dahil ang liit lang pala nya compared dun sa nasa picture. Wish ko lang talaga makatapat ng isang customer na mala Micheal Douglas sa movie na “Falling Down” ang lahat ng foodchains. Nag-amok (with baril and all) kasi si Michael Douglas nang i-serve sa kanya ang isang soggy burger gayong sa picture the burger was “plump, juicy and three inches thick.”

Anyway, pwede nang pagtyagan yung yakisoba. Pwede na kung di weird ang amoy nya. Pag tikim ko, maasim sya. I asked my two friends to taste it and they too found it funny. So bumalik ako sa counter medyo parang natatawang ewan yung girl na nagbigay sa akin nung spoiled yakisoba. Dumating naman yung manager to tell me na papalitan nila. After ten years, they gave me my Yakisoba. No sorry came with it pero meron yatang, “Thank you for waiting. Enjoy your meal.”

Great! Tapos nang kumain yung mga kasama ko!

* * *

Syempre another kamalasan na naman ito. Ang totoo nyan, nagmamadali ako kaso, naantala na ako dahil sa ten years-in-the-making na di panis na yakisoba. So medyo mas nagmamadali na ako nang magpunta ako sa National Bookstore (sa Megamall pa rin). May hinahanap akong libro, yung compilation ng “Kiko Machine.” Dumirecho muna ako sa section ng mga humorous comic books. Wala saya doon so I decided to seek help sa customer’s service. Ang tagal kong naghintay kasi nawala sa post nya yung girl na assigned sa computerized hanapan ng libro. Tapos nung dumating sya, parang sya pa ata ang telephone operator kaya mas bumagal pa ang work nya. Eventually may personal call pa sya kaya tumagal ulit. Noong turn ko na para i-serve nya, di na nya chineck sa computer yung book. Excited niyang sinabi sa akin, “Ma’am andun lang po iyon sa Humor section, kasama ng mga Pugad Baboy.” Sinabi ko na kakagaling ko lang doon at wala siya. Sabi nya pa-side ang pagka-stack nung libro and manipis lang ito kaya baka di ko nakita. Syempre pinuntahan ko ulit yung pinanggalingan kong section pero wala talaga yung book. So humingi ako ng tulong dun sa isa pang girl na nag-aayos ng book. Sabi nya andyan lang daw at saka hinayaan nya akong maghanap. Parang close kami! So hanap ako ulit pero wala. Medyo nakahalata na ako na dapat tinutulungan nya ako kaya nilapitan ko sya ulit. Tinanong ko sya, “kanino ba talaga ako pwedeng magpatulong?” Actually, elliptical question yon. Ang buong question is, “since ayaw mo akong tulungan, kanino ba talaga ako pwedeng magpatulong?”

She got a clue and helped me. At bilang pambawi, nagtawag pa siya ng dalawa pang berks to find the holy grail…ay “Kiko Machine” lang pala! Finally chineck na nung girl na assigned sa computerized hanapan ng libro kung available ba yung book. Barabing! Out of stock! Ang galing talaga.

* * *

Malas ba ako? Parang all I’m doing lately is “waiting.” Unfortunately Godot never came sa tatlong stories ko--walang magandang balita sa Globe, walang sorry from Tokyo Teriyaki House, at wala yung libro sa National Bookstore (pati sa Powerbooks--chineck ko na din doon). Being the Zafranatic that I am now, you won’t believe that I once hated her katarayan. Pero ngayon di lang ako naeentertain sa mga kasungitan nya. Naiintindihan ko na where all her rants are coming from. As long as there are people who are not doing their job well--in the case of Globe, (they’re doing their job so well, nagagawa nilang manloko ng tao) people who sacrifices genuine customer concern for fast money--may mga taong magrereklamo and eventually magtataray.

Hindi. Hindi ako galit. Napipikon lang ako at nadidisappoint dahil sa panahon nating ito, akala ko civlized na tayong lahat na nananahan sa mabangis na lungsod.

Yun pala hindi.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Grim Brothers Grimm

What to bring to enjoy The Brothers Grimm:

1. P120.00
2. Mile-long patience
3. Generous supply of sense of humor
4. Zero knowledge on who the real Brothers Grimm were
5. Empty bladder
6. Happy three friends

Now on with the critique:

I did not enter SM Megamall’s Cinema 3 empty handed (if you want to be literal, empty headed). Some time ago, my friend, Nikka, lent me an old copy of the National Geographics Magazine featuring the Brothers Grimm. Since this happened “some time ago” the data in my memory have already started to rust. However, this is what I was able to retain: Jacob and Will were not the only Brothers Grimm. While they were the ones who wrote the tales, their other brother (I’m not sure if it’s “brothers”) did the illustrations for their stories. Unlike in the movie where they hired non-Grimm acting cons, the Grimm business was more family-run in real life. I do not remember reading that they were fraudulent supernatural element slayers. And I never got the impression that the brothers were capable of displaying dumbness in public, even dumbness relative to their time. They may be eccentric--after all coming up with fairytales requires a major thinking out of the box--but eccentricity is nowhere near dumbness. I could not imagine a Grimm saying nonsense because of alcohol intoxication, or snuggling with two women at once, or being dragged in the cobblestone streets of Germany in his sleepwear in the middle of the night. It was really lame sacrificing the brothers’ dignity in pursuit of comedy. I really hope that the producers of the movie have good relations with the Grimm family because the way I see it, they’d have a lot of explaining to do. And if I myself am a Grimm, it would take more than explanations to appease me from the commercial blasphemy done to my ancestors.

I’ve expressed many times my lack of fondness towards Matt Damon. Not that he’s a bad actor, in fact he’s good. I just don’t like his face. Fortunately in this movie, he did not look like his usual self so I would have forgotten that it was him had it not for his Stuck On You (his kambal-tuko movie with Greg Kinnear) acting. (Does he have to do this every time he plays someone else’s brother?) On the other hand, Heath Ledger with his macho voice, accent included, was not his gorgeous self. One, he looked like a balding Eric Quizon, and no woman today thinks Eric Quizon is sexy--maybe some man will but not a woman. And two, he sways too much. If I did not know it was him, I’d think it really was Eric Quizon!

To be fair (This is my attempt to substitute “in fairness.”), I have to say that the movie had its funny points. Unfortunately the lines that were supposed to be funny did not work on the audience that night. The way the majority of the audience reacted (or did not react) to the punch lines was quite disappointing. I had to restrain myself from blurting out loud, “Hey, come on you guys! Matt and Heath are really trying hard here; you could at least laugh! Words can be funny too, even better than slaps.”

The Brothers Grimm would have been full of climaxes had it not for the rising actions falling before even reaching their peaks. Fifteen minutes after the movie begins, a viewer will start searching for an “umph”--something the movie came short of. Bladders can be an accurate “umph” gauge. I, for example, despise visiting the loo in between a movie, this is regardless of how filled my bladder is. But in the case of The Brothers Grimm, nothing kept me still on my seat. No element made me forget my need to pee. And when I did excuse myself for a while, I did not miss anything. It was as if time stopped and the characters’ lives paused, thus nothing big or small happened to them the whole time I was gone.

Not even the movie’s being post modern would justify its constipated climaxes. Angelica (Lean Headly), although pretty, tried hard to project that there was something special about her. She did not enjoy the grandness of her character because by the time her importance in the movie was revealed, she had already lost consciousness (I wonder if it was due to boredom). The same movement was adopted by the film’s other supposedly good points.

Yes the film had visual effects--some great, some too obvious--but hey, we see visual effects everyday! Think telefantasia. Special effects nowadays are just as present and just as important as costumes. If they’re executed well, we say, “wow!” But visual effects no longer work as the major source of “umph.” Visual spectacle ceased being so after Steven Spielberg made three movies starring computer generated images of dinosaurs.

The movies worst aspect can be summed up by this expression which I have to borrow from my officemate, “Them Americans!” I got the feeling that the makers of this film did not care much about the treatment of their characters because they were not Americans. The Germans ended up looking like dugyutin gullible citizens while the French were portrayed as psychotic barbarians. I don’t know what to make of the Germans since they were really oppressed during the Brothers’ time. Their poverty may have resulted in lack of proper hygiene and illiteracy. But then the French could have been barbaric without being psychotic. Just look at Imelda Marcos. She was once barbaric, looting millions of Filipinos billions of dollars, but since in her realm, she never did anything wrong, she managed to project that she was not at all psychotic.

Another “them Americans” moment: You will see that as the movie progresses, it was Heath Ledger’s character that was the more appropriate love interest for Angelica. Of course Matt Damon had to go between them. Probably to entertain myself, I whispered to my friend, “Uy, Dubai! (Aga-Claudine-John Loyd triangle)” Ledger was even the one who administered the kiss the reversed Angelica’s death. But Angelica kissed back Damon instead. Was it because Damon is an American and Ledger is an Australian? Let’s ask the producers who decided to change their minds in the end. Probably to neutralize the Americans-get-the-girl-in-the-end tension, Angelica kisses both Damon and Ledger. I think it was both on the lips which makes it, not redeeming but utterly gross.

What now is the movie’s redeeming value? Of course, they’re the fairytale elements embedded in every sequence. Identifying them feels like answering Alex Quebec’s questions for a hundred or so. And finally, although this has nothing to do with the film, watching the Brothers Grimm would not have been a worthwhile activity if it were not for my three friends to whom I owe this piece: Kistna, Joy and Arjane. The end.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rare Moments


It is but rare for me to show up on time for my personal, no-business-involved engagements. Last Saturday was one of those moments. I arrived before my friend did at the place where we were set to meet. Then we proceeded on meeting the rest of our friends in which case we came late because we were sidetracked along the way.

The attendance of my friends at our get-together last weekend is pretty much encouraging--seven out of thirteen. More than half made it despite the lack of careful planning and a clear list of our day’s activities. And no one was in a real hurry to leave that I got to spent more than 12 hours with them--something I haven’t done in a long time.

The weather had the most amazing behavior last weekend. You see, the weather almost always threatens my scheduled volt-in with my friends. It must have given up because however bad weather forecasts go, we choose not to mind them anyway.


This reminds me of another set of rare moments. It was rainy in this rare moment but I went on with my spontaneous outing with my berx (yes, that’s what we call ourselves). Despite months, even years, of living in Los Baños, I never got to go on an exclusively-for-berx swim at any of Los Baños’ resorts. Then came that rare day in July when Leng, Joan, and I splashed and screamed in a Los Baños pool. I swear; if you’re stressed out, go for a swim, preferably one with slides--the longer, the better. Forget poise. Push kids aside. Let your ass glide. Scream! The key is letting out your most unpretentious scream. Stress is gone in seconds.

More on that day in July. After the swim, a change in venue was needed in order to regroup with more berx. By this time Kate joined us three and we headed off to Pacita, San Pedro, Laguna via a fully packed jeepney speeding through South Super highway at 8 o’ clock p.m. If you think that is scary, wait till you read this.

We, four travelers, have no idea when to get off the jeepney. Arjane, another berk and native of Pacita told us to meet her at Mc Donald's. (Note to everyone: Food chains and convenient stores do not make good landmarks.) Like the four wise men, we looked at the heavens for that big M sign. Leng and I saw one so we got off, only to find out that such M stands for Mc Donald's Biñan. Ooops, wrong Branch! Up to the jeepney again. Apparently traffic is not exclusive to EDSA. Even the small streets of Biñan (or San Pedro?) have their share of congested paths. And it was as action-packed.

A guy passed by and almost got hit by the red pick-up at the tail of our jeepney. Must be a marathon athlete, I thought. Then came another man, just as fast but was carrying a bag. My heart started to bang. And bang it went--not my heart but a gun. My inference was confirmed because a few seconds later a man carrying a gun appeared and stood directly opposite our jeepney. He fired another shot. Had he lowered the angle of his arm, I would have seen blood that night. A mighty being saved us that night because we survived the trip, found the correct Mc Donald’s branch, reunited with Lowny and Arjane, and slept over at the Hatulan Mansion with all our limbs and organs intact.

Back to the almost present. The day with my berx ended with the movie, The Brothers Grimm. (The promised review for that film is well underway.) We rarely see any movie together. And what do you know? Inside the theater with us was That’s Entertainment’s very own, Jovit Moya! Now that’s rare indeed!

***Count how many times I mentioned “rare” in this article. Text me your answer and win a prize. Text RARE

***WARNING: Prizes do not include anything that will make you rich!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Random thoughts that are 2 weekends overdue

Last weekend I spent at least two hours with four youthful British guys. They are Paul, John, George, and Ringgo. Paul is the pretty boy. He can be naughty sometimes but he manages to execute his mischievousness with the grace of a future “Sir.” John is a bit elusive but he has a subtle sense of humor which is kind of cute. Although he is British, he looks a bit Chinito; it is impossible for him not to look great with an oriental girl. I didn’t see much of George because had sore throat that day, and so he was left inside his hotel room most of the time. However he, too, never failed to make me laugh maybe because he was also funny--and it helps that he looks like Vic Sotto. Ringgo is probably the goofiest among the four. He’d put in all his energy just to elicit laughs. I worry about him though. He seems to have a severe fixation with the oral stage of the psycho-sexual cycle. He couldn’t last a minute without a cigar in his mouth.

What these guys have in common aside from their sense of humor, funny haircut, and British accent is probably their love for music. They even have a band. Collectively they call themselves the “Beatles.” I don’t know if it is a good idea naming yourself after a class of six-legged creatures but I know that they make good music—the band, that is. With the music they’ve created, I’d say their songs will last long, maybe even more than five decades. And they too may outlive their names. They’d probably even set a record as the longest living insect on earth.

* * *

Still last weekend, I braved Katipunan Avenue. (Is it an Avenue?) I never felt welcome in that place. All I see are roads, luxurious cars, and establishments that inarguably make big money. Nothing there makes me feel like I belong—not even Jollibee or National Bookstore. And for some reason, it always rains whenever I’m there! Some force probably thinks I don’t feel the place is hostile enough for me; it exhausts all possible means to drive me away, to make me not like the place. In the stormy, almost flooding sidewalks of Katipunan, I saw something I can relate to: cooked Japanese corn. I smiled and bought five. After two jeepney rides (both rides required minimum fare) and while inside a dry shelter I anticipated consuming my hot cob of yellow corn (of course, I gave away the other four). To my dismay, the hot corn I had at hand was nowhere near yellow. I don’t even think it’s Japanese. The last ticket that would have made me like Katipunan was, for lack of a better term, fraudulent. I’m starting to feel I am not designed to become a Katipunero, at least not any time soon.


* * *

While in the company of girls younger than I am, a critical question which required thorough pondering came up, “how did your first kiss feel like?” Now, that’s a loaded question! It assumes that the one being interrogated had already been kissed. I could have objected to that question and the judge would have sustained my plea. The question circled around the group until it reached me. What is a Josie Gellar to say? “Hindi nag-aaply sa akin ang tanong na ‘yan.” I wasn’t being sarcastic with my answer; I was plainly being honest. And for some reason, I felt like a 25-year-old old maid. Not that I agree that old maids are supposed to be treated like lower life forms (check out my stand in The One That Did Not Make It) but I suddenly felt the stigma brought about by such title closing in on me. I quickly reviewed why, again, despite my silver jubilee on earth, I do not have a REAL guy of my own—thus preventing me from receiving a thimble. Here are my excuses. One, I’ve been a child, oh I don’t know, maybe for 25 years! Like what I’ve said before, not all Peter Pans are boys and not all girls are Wendys. I happened to be one of the special ones who managed to cross the no-growing up-boundaries. Two, I haven’t found I guy I can stand who at the same time can stand me. Three, I don’t believe in courtship—supposedly the first step in building a relationship. I don’t see the point in impressing the wooed party when in the end you’ll show an alternate you, one exactly opposite the entity the wooed party thought you were. Four, I am not well-gifted when it comes to handling sexual tension. (“Sexual tension” is a term used in literature to describe the awkward air between two people coming from two different sexes. It has nothing to do with the sexual act. This is for all the non-literary, green-minded people out there.) Sure I can be friends with guys and carry normal conversations with those Martians, but once “malisya” is introduced you’d see me running away. Maybe it’s not because I am afraid. It’s more of my way of doing the good thing. I swear, I could be the most wicked love team critic and I am especially harsh when it comes to my very own potential love team. God knows I don’t need another set of sins to add to my list. Five, and maybe the last, although I may sound like a bitter, cold, and frigid person by now, I’d still claim I’m a romantic. Ironically, I think that romance is petty and temporary, so I choose to channel my passion to writing and to living. (Yoda's note: No fun, are you?) I’d rather make my life productive. If I get involved with a single person, my passion will be shared by one. If I stay as I am, my passion will be enjoyed by the great majority. I’m going for the nobler option.

I’ll stop now before I say too much.

COMMENT

shitless, bullshit-less attack on the crappiness of courtship. brilliant.
am actually trying to figure it out myself here in non-courtshiplandia. it's either you date me, or you get away from me. right?
hurrah for sexual tension--in the comm arts context, of course
Posted by: Nikka | September 21, 2005 05:19 AM

Monday, August 29, 2005

Yamot!

Palpak
2005-08-28

Nag-give in na naman ako sa bisyo ko kahapon! Bumili na naman ako ng kopya ng isang movie na napanood ko na. Medyo nahihiya akong aminin kung anong title niya kaya eto na lang, P199 lang sya, DVD na! Saan ka pa? Di ba jackpot na ‘to? So impulsive buying ang drama ko anyway may commentary naman e. Tapos legal ‘to. Original. Di pirated. Malinis ang konsensya kong binili ang nasabing DVD sa SM Department Store. Tapos ‘pag saksak ko sa player nung ORIGINAL DVD walang audio commentary from the actors and the writer. Ano ‘to, lokohan? Nakalagay sa label yung feature na yon. Kaya nga original binili ko so that I can get my money’s worth guilt-free tapos ganun na lang? Isososli ko pa tuloy. Syempre magrereklamo ako. Hmp!

* * *

Hallmouse Attacks
2005-08-27

Martes. Bandang alas 4 ng hapon.

Biktima: Di ba sabi masamang tawagin daga ang mga daga?
Opismate: Sabi ng lola ko dapat “Bait-bait.”
Biktima: Ang alam ko dapat “mabait.”

Pause.

Biktima: Ayoko. Ang plastic! Di naman sila mabait!

Kinabukasan inatake ng d_ga/bait-bait/mabait ang drawer ng biktima na naglalaman ng mga nakaimbak na pagkain. Naulit pa ang malagim na pangyayaring ito makalipas ang isa pang araw.
* * *

2 Neozep Lang Ang Katapat
2005-08-18

Sa panahon ngayon, bawal ang magkasakit. At dahil bawal magkasakit, may sakit ako ngayon. Sadya nga yatang masarap ang bawal! Noong nakaraang miyerkules lamang ay dumaan ako sa Mercury Drug upang bumili ng ointment. Mayroon kasing makati sa may tuhod ko. Para mapigilan ang pagkalat nito, minabuti ko nang bumili ng mabisang gamot. Aba, mahirap na yatang magkaroon ng sakit sa balat!

Nagulantang ako nang tanungin ko ang pharmacist kung magkano ang 5g na gamot. P250.00 daw. Sasabihin ko sana, “Miss, hindi ako magpapaderma. Ako na mismo ang gagamot sa kati ko.” Kaso, mukhang seryoso yung babae kaya di na ako humirit. Anak ng boogie! Napabili pa ako ng hindi oras! Pero ayos na rin. Makakampante na ako. Sana lang ay di masayang ang P250 ko dahil kapag di gumaling ‘tong kati ko, bibili ako sa Mercury Drug ng taga-kamot. Baka mas mura ‘yon.

‘Wag mo nang tanungin kung saan galing ‘tong kati ko. Di ko rin alam. Maaring sign ito ng STD. Kaya lang bago ka magkaSTD, di ba kailangan muna ng S? E hindi ko nga alam yung S—hindi ko alam yung sanhi. Bwehehe. Tapos ito pa, noong Martes pa lang nagpaparamdam na sa akin itong lalamunan ko. (Ops, walang madumi ang isip!) Alam mo‘yon, maalala mo lang ang mga bahagi ng katawan mo kapag sumasakit na sila. Ang masama pa naman nito, yung lalamunan ko ang aking Achilles’ heel. Basta nagka-sore throat na ako o tonsillitis, pihadong lalagnatin na ako. Pero nilabanan ko sya. Kaya nakaya ko pa ring tumayo.

Sumunod na nag-aklas ang aking ilong. Parang may natutunaw na yelo sa loob ng ilong ko mapasahanggang ngayon. Nakakainis pa nito, kapag sinubukan ko nang ibuga ang nagbabadyang sipon sa ilong ko, umaatras naman ito. Bad trip! Syempre kasabay ng sipon ang konting ubo. Magkabarkada yan e. Sana lang huwag makisama si lagnat at kung hindi, riot na.

Dahil gusto kong makisabay sa pang-aasar ng katawan ko, bumili ako ng Rocky Road na Dairy Queen kanina. Inuna ko ang ice cream kesa sa gamot. Sana nakakagaling ang ice cream. Pero talo ako sa laban. Maya maya lang e bumili rin ako ng gamot. Drugged ako ngayon kaya nagsisimula na akong maging groggy. Tumatalab na yata ang phenylpropanolamine. Sana wala na akong sipon bukas para di na kadiri ang susunod na kwento ko.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Filmfest

I started the day with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Again?” You ask. Yep, that’s how much I liked it. The night before, I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the earlier release of Roald Dahl’s work. As much as I would love to compare the execution of both movies I feel like I shouldn’t. The key word is “technology.” The years in between 1971 (If I am getting the release years wrong, feel free to correct me.) and 2005 may explain why the earlier version could not afford an angle shot that would make the Wonka gate as grand as it is in today’s version, or why the 70s release had a limited set—the factory looked like a half-filled Wonka World whereas this millennium’s version was able to remove all traces of the real world inside Willy’s factory, or why Violet didn’t grow as big as she has today than years before, or why it was summer in the old movie (What was Charlie’s family thinking giving him a red scarf on a summer?) and it’s winter in the new, or why the Oompa Loompas look more identical today than they were in the past (May I clarify that CGI made that possible, not cloning—cloning is reserved for later), or why the TV set in the television room back then resembled a hollow black box and looked less realistic than today...the list may go on forever.

I haven’t read Roald Dahl’s work, well not yet. However, I assume that the 1971 release is the one more loyal to the original piece since Roald Dahl himself did its screenplay. However still, I’d say today’s screenplay was authored to fit today’s people. Aside from stepping on Roald Dahl’s artistic magic, I see no further problem there.

For both movies, I would like to commend the children who so very well played their parts. I keep on wondering if they really were acting and if they were, I wonder if they knew that they were acting.

On to Willy: Gene Wilder kind of confuses me. He’s playful then he’s serious, then he’s playful then he’s serious. I got the impression that he’s intermittently pulling himself out of the Willy character, thereby implying attacks of a multiple personality disorder. Johnny Depp presents an obliquely funnier Willy and remains consistent with being disturbed and childlike. Somewhere along watching the new movie, I thought that Jim Carrey would probably be the second best choice for Willy. Then again, he will most likely overdo the part and end up looking like a retard.

I’d like to note an observation. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory bore “Willy” in its title but focused more on Charlie whereas Charlie and the Chocolate Factory carried Charlie in its title but did mostly an expose on Willy’s personality. Was this the filmmakers’ way of balancing the importance of their characters? I wonder.

Willy seemed to have ended too easily, “pack the major characters inside the glass elevator then roll in the credits; we’re done!” Charlie tried not to end too easily, “we still have a few minutes to go; let’s bring the glass elevator to a quick detour.”

I have to reiterate that I haven’t read the original story. If I do read it maybe I’d be able to back up my speculations and prematurely formulated opinions. I’ll abandon the factory for now.

* * *

I said I would lay off the factory but I didn’t say I’ll leave Johnny Depp and Tim Burton altogether. My next dose of Hollywood for today is Edward Scissor Hands. The movie caused me flashbacks; I couldn’t help it. I saw Edward Scissor Hands around fifteen years ago. It sort of brought back a morsel of my childhood.

Then I began using my brain again. Edward Scissor Hands displays Tim Burton’s penchant for visual spectacle—the one we saw in Batman, Big Fish, and of course, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. On the other hand, with this film Johnny Depp celebrates his forte—playing the weird one.

Another observation: I noticed that Johnny Depp almost always looks pale. He appeared to be anemic even in Sleepy Hollow and in the Nick of Time. I think the only movie where I saw him in FULL color was in the Pirates of the Caribbean. Does he need blood transfusion or is he allergic to make up? Once again I wonder.

For those of you who have no idea what Edward Scissor Hands is all about, I’ll tell you this: it is a fairy tale that doesn’t end like a fairy tale.

* * *

To end my day I sat through Gattaca. My brother said that Gattaca requires a thinking audience (a comment I took as an insult) so I made sure I remained attentive for roughly two hours.

Gattaca is set in the not-too-distant future where GMOs have taken over natural life forms. Reality check: GMOs have taken over natural life forms today. Check the supermarkets. Now here’s a set back of watching a movie years after its release!

Cease the side comments.

Gattaca explores a world where Genetically Mutated Organisms (GMOs) reign superior over natural borns—this is in the context of human beings (not limited to food unlike what is happening today). It discusses the implications of cloning and human beings’ attempt to produce the perfect race. Of course the idea of a perfect race may sound unattainable for us today, but who knows how things may turn out a few years from now? I continue to wonder.

For a bedtime movie, Gattaca is a bit disturbing. It touches issues on family; genocism (think racism based on genetics); corporate politics; red tape; migration; relationships—or more accurately, choosing a mate; human beings’ insatiable thirst for success; and other matters that are impossible to resolve—plus Jude Law incinerates himself in the end.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pinoy in Hollywood, Hot Movie, and a T-Bag

Nothing pumps up my patriotism than seeing a kababayan in a Hollywood movie. Just imagine how I felt when I saw one of our finest actors on the silver screen along with an Academy Award nominee to play not just as an extra but as prominent character in a big-budget, highly-publicized Hollywood movie. And to celebrate this monumental event, I remained in my seat to see the credits roll and bask in the name of our very own Pinoy actor.

To my dismay, I did not see his name in the billing. And then it hit me.

The Oompa Loompas were not our very own Berting Labra; they were actually Deep Roy. I don’t know Deep Roy, but I sure know Berting Labra. Apparently, the Oompa Loompas were not him.

I ended up doing a psychological flag retreat as the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, officially ended.

* * *

It was more of rewarding my curiosity than jumping into the hype that I spilled cash not just for a movie but also for a bar of chocolate last Saturday. I don’t think I have seen a movie inside a theater this year, not until now—that is according to my memory and my planner. Since I have developed the habit of pausing and reviewing certain scenes in a movie, I have preferred watching them at home. That’s how I ceased appreciating sitting still for two hours or so inside a movie house.

So I allowed myself to be dragged in one of Megamall’s newly renovated cinemas. Buying the ticket made me think twice regarding proceeding inside the cinema proper. The lady selling the tickets did not attend to my “pabili po!” Instead, she had her attention to her dispensing machine. Before I was able to raise my right eyebrow, I smelled something weird. As if it were a cue, the lady stood up and told the other ticket seller that her machine is burning. She was in a state of constipated panic yet she managed to tell me, “Ma’am doon na lang kayo sa kabila bumili ng ticket.”

It was five minutes before the screening of the movie but I stood there and waited for the fire or smoke to be contained. What am I nuts? I won’t step inside a dark space filled with people when I know something is burning outside!

After seeking reassurance that nothing would explode any time soon, I submitted myself to Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Unfortunately, I missed some of the previews of coming movies—an essential part of what-I-consider-as-entertainment. Maybe next time I’d come up with a review of my first silver screen movie this year. But before that, I’d like to thank my good berk, Kistna for sharing with me Charlie and his chocolate factory.

* * *

This week we’re celebrating Former President Manuel L. Quezon’s birthday. Along with this is the Linggo ng Wika. I would have relayed this paragraph in Filipino but I already started in English. It wouldn’t be right to code switch in the middle of this piece. In any case, I promise to write something in Filipino to exercise my Filipino tongue, or fingers—whichever I use in coming up with pieces such as this.

I have thrown in an effort to celebrate my being Pinoy. I have vowed to display my Pinoy T-bag for a week. What in the world is a Pinoy T-bag? It is a tote made out of canvas. It’s main feature is the funny inscription in front. It goes:

PINOY T-BAG (Hindi T-back)


Karaniwang gamit ng mga nagtitinda ng tsaa, kapeng barako at aroma. Pero may kapeng kulay berde na di maaaring ilagay sa loob ng bag na ito. Berdeng isip lang ang nakakaalam nito. Hindi sumikat ang disenyo ng bag na ito, dahil mas naunang mamatay ang designer nito.


Usually, I do not patronize any thing I do not understand but since the Pinoy T-bag made me smile, I bought it anyway. I would like to take this opportunity, though, to call upon the best “berdeng isip” out there to enlighten me. I’d be glad to get a comment from you.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mr. Stravel's Blush

Dear Diary,

In the tradition of Anne Frank’s most celebrated personal journal, I have decided to give you a name. I shall call you, um, uh, Guilliver…Gulliver Stravel. Perhaps this calls for another salutation.

Dear Gulliver Stravel,

You won’t be able to guess what happened to me today. Of course, I was still up to my morning routine: part from my magnetic bed, take a bath, get myself almost dressed, get back to sleep, part from my magnetic bed (again), get fully dressed, revisit "john" for last minute toxic riddance, and ride a jeepney to work. You may notice that today, I skipped breakfast. I slept late last night so I used more time sleeping leaving me no time to eat. But apart from those, other interesting things happened.

As soon as I arrived in the office, I felt the urge to wash my thermo mug and my porcelain cup. It’s been a long time since I’ve washed them so I imagined every molecule that composed them rejoicing. Then, before leaving the ladies room, I relieved myself in one of its cubicles. To my surprise, I discovered that my fly was open even before I unzipped it. It meant that I have been walking around with unzipped pants. I swiped in to work oblivious to the fact that my undergarments are almost waving, “hello” to everyone coming my way. I think I blushed for a while—the natural kind of blush brought about by embarrassment.

Halfway through the day another faux pas occurred. My left shoe ripped open. I had not even foreseen it. I mean, I’m no seer but I am the type who regularly monitors her belongings. I should have at least predicted my shoe’s impending ruin. And just yesterday, I was admiring my them. I wore them during my graduation last year. I’ve grown fond of them because for the first time, I have acquired a pair of graduation shoes which turned into an everyday pair shoes. You see, my past graduation shoes were limited to their title for I seldom wore them after my commencement exercises. They were either too pretty for me to wear or too much of a torment for my unladylike feet. It saddens me to face my now smiling left shoe. When I look at it now, it doesn’t appear to be smiling anymore. It resembles more that of a mouth about to devour a Big Mac. Yes, Gulliver, it’s that bad. I had to wear a pair of indoor slippers on my way home.

I prayed really hard that it won’t rain and that there will be a jeepney available for me to hop on when the clock struck 6 PM but my request for divine intervention was to no avail. The incessant rain made waiting for the rare jeepney excruciating. Finally when the most awaited mode of transportation took form in front of me, I found myself no space to plant my tush. Fortunately, some of my officemates who have successfully lodged their buns on the jeepney’s seats offered their laps for me to sit on. Although I knew that me sitting on them may inflict permanent damages on their rectus femoris—otherwise known as thigh muscles—I accepted their offer as I had no plans of waiting for another ride which might take, I don’t know, eternity maybe. It wasn’t long before a nice man got a clue and gave his seat up for me. God bless that man!

And so, dear Guilliver, I’m now back inside my room where my day started. I’m bare foot, wearing an old shirt with ripped seams and hems. But this time I’m no longer blushing because, although my present outfit stays faithful my day’s theme, I no longer feel exposed. How will I be? I’m talking to a diary I never had with a name resembling the title of an English satire by some guy who, I hope, is capable of giving up his seat for a poor girl in slippers—and my butt is comfortably mounted on a posture chair for just for me.

Yours,

Lily Foot

Thursday, August 4, 2005

And It All Ads Up

I can hardly find any valid reason for LTO to grant a plate or whatever permit it is that will allow roving billboards to rove. As far as I am concerned, they are a nuisance. First they mock our streets. Sending off ads stuck at the back of a truck to major thoroughfares is like saying, “Abandon hope all ye drivers. Exposing yourselves to traffic is like crucifying yourselves among the billboards along Guadalupe!”

Second, our streets are already congested as it is; we need not add elements that will clog them further. From a pragmatist’s point-of-view, I’d say it would be better to give up these unstably slim vehicles than the 1995 models of Tamarraw FXs. The former bares a lighted ad; the latter carries people. Do the math.

Third, there’s a clean air act, right? Isn’t that about reducing pollution to the minimum level possible? Hello, people concerned, DENR, MMDA! Roving billboards have mufflers! Their purpose in our streets will never outweigh the carbon monoxide they emit.

Fourth, these vehicles use gasoline. We are told that it is a good thing to conserve energy. For all our sakes, let’s do the good thing.

Last, I don’t like them. Whoever came up with them might think of themselves as geniuses. I think otherwise. If they are as genius-like as they think they are, they would have opted to post their ads to the jeepneys of willing owners. That way they will still be doing the roving ad thing, still congesting the streets, still emitting poisonous gas, still consuming gasoline. However this time, they’d have a redeeming value—they would be giving operators of PUVs an extra source of cash. Yes, it has already been done but that’s where the genius’ challenge enters—to top what has already been done.

* * *

Due to a throbbing hemisphere in my brain, I was reduced to stay more than 24 hours at home. While serving my house arrest, I found solace in watching television—the non-cable television. While surfing through ten channels, I’ve come to the conclusion that Kuya Bodgie is haunting me.


His new McDonalds ad keeps on recurring; I can’t help but write about it. In the advertisement, Kuya Bodgie sports his old Batibot act and “teaches” what-seems-to-be-kids the numbers to dial when they are hungry. This, of course, is Mc Donald’s hotline. Later it is revealed that the kids Kuya Bodgie is talking to are not as young as we expect them to be. They are actually yuppies. At that point we are supposed to feel nostalgic realizing that the Batibot generation have already grown up, working to earn their living, paying to fill their stomachs, and hopefully, doing their share in making this world a better place.

The ad pinched my heart. It should. After all, I am a raw batang Batibot. When I was around three to five years old, my parents dragged me to Batibot auditions. It was not their fault. It was more of my Ate’s. She was the one with the star complex back then and pressed my parents into bringing her to the auditions. My parents thought they might as well make the most out of waiting in long lines and decided to bring me along. I recall singing and dancing in various parts of the same building which DepEd is presently occupying.

Then came the final moment. I vividly remember sitting at the foot of the Puno ng Batibot. It was a big tree without leaves, and it was made out of papier-mache. And I swear, there were a couple of empty San Miguel Beer bottles at its foot. What those bottles are doing there, I have know idea.



So there we were, aspiring batang Batibot, sitting, waiting for our turn on the spotlight. I meant that literally. When your turn came, you were supposed to stand up and enjoy the spotlight which was hardly possible because the light had a blinding effect; it hurt the cones and rods of my retina. The spotlight was more like the light at the end of the tunnel. After blinding you, you will hear an unknown voice but instead of it asking you what good you have been doing in your lifetime, it asks you, “Can you sing?” That was where Batibot and I lost each other. I thought, “What? After singing and dancing, ‘pag gising sa umaga, ako’y naghihilamos, tingnan nyo kung paanoooo…’ you’re asking me if I can sing?” I was probably in my smart ass mood so I replied a sarcastic, “no.”

Thus my being a raw batang Batibot. My sister made it by the way. It worked to my advantage though. I didn’t have to memorize scripts the way she had to just to go near the Batibot set or just to see Ate Sienna and Kuya Bodgie.

I really didn’t have to go through all troubles just to see Kuya Bodgie. Recently I spotted him riding the MRT. He was seated and was occasionally drifting off to sleep. Obviously, he is older than he used to be. He was carrying a humongous bag and was wearing a shirt with a Batibot design. He even looked a bit exhausted; I almost felt sorry for him. Then I began wondering what his life had been like after Batibot and after his short stint in an ABS-CBN telenovela. I wish he didn’t have a lot of dull moments; furthermore I wish him behind-the-spotlight bliss.

Kuya Bodgie really looked tired. Maybe he just got off the taping of that McDonalds ad or, then again, maybe a former batang Batibot just approached him to ask what those San Miguel beer bottles were doing in a children-friendly set.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Someone's Gotta Smile

A genuine smile is rare nowadays and so I treasure every single thing that paints such precious picture on my face.
* * *
Last week, I got to walk again—I am referring the long leisurely type of walk home. I used to do that all the time when I was in Los Baños. It definitely is one of the many things I miss from my UPLB life.

Walking allows me to “decompress.” Those that my senses perceive while I am walking make me smile.

I passed by our small town big department store during my most recent walk home. The mini big mall had its blaring speakers on which was playing a tune by the Beatles but this time it was sang by a group of kids. It went, “Na na na nananana, nanana…” I was smiling already. Children singing the Beatles’ song is something. It is a gap bridged—the young ones singing the song of the older ones. Then the song went on, “he-hey Jude.” And I smiled again.
* * *
Lately I’ve been developing a bad habit of sleeping while watching a movie. For some reason, I’ve morphed into some theatrical narcoleptic. This is not good especially because I love movies and I’d like to see them at least from beginning to end, not just the beginning and end. So I devised a way to battle my ailment. My therapy requires me to focus on light, funny movies and temporarily shelve the heavy ones.

And so I discovered, Something’s Gotta Give. It stars Dianne Keaton and Jack Nicholson. I believe that it is the first time I saw Diane Keaton have fun. I saw her in Marvin’s Room and I have been feeling sorry for her ever since. In Something’s Gotta Give, she, well first and foremost (àa cliché, by the way), looked healthy and sexy for a woman her age and not at all boring. Jack Nicholson, on the other hand, hasn’t lost his charming obnoxious act—the one he sported way back to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It gave McMurphy a distinct character then and it gives Harry an almost distinct character now. It’s either he deserves those three Oscars he owns or he wasn’t really acting in the scenes where he was having a hard time catching his own breath. Either way, he was perfect for the role.

Something’s Gotta Give is funny. Beneath the laughter, are some truths that don’t come to you like it were your friendly parish priest’s sermon. For those who need to ask, there is nudity in the film, not of the fresh meat but of the veterans, which would rather make you laugh harder instead of cringe. The movie has its share of the cheesy stuff too but, what the hell, it is a romantic comedy!

After watching it, I got what I was rooting for, a stress-free film viewing from beginning to end, and a series of smiles and even a couple of laughs too.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

My Type

Allow me to boast for I have once again faced my fear of needles. This time, I got pierced without grabbing on to any human being—a first, thus making me extra proud of myself.

So it was just a prick. But if you are aware of the extent of my aversion towards anything that challenges my “painophobia”, you’d say this prick and me facing it, almost by myself, is a big leap. Just imagine, it took me 25 years just to know my blood type! That’s long.

Ask me what my type is and I can tell you, straight in the eye, that it is AB. Ha! Ha! I can’t get over the fact that I know. I no longer have to speculate. I no longer have to hypothesize the result of A+AB. Because I know. I know. Hah!

The fluid that circulates inside me is the one referred to as the universal recipient. Health refresher course: A person with a blood type of AB can receive any type of blood—A, B, O, or AB. However, s/he cannot give away blood to anyone other than those with AB. That means I’m one of the “taker” type. I take from everyone but give only to my kind. Now that’s blood with an attitude!

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Better Affair


Someone just topped my Jude Law Affair! Her name is Daisy Wright and she is Jude Law’s children’s nanny—a really good nanny who is gifted with the ability to provide a graphic description of her and Jude’s steamy moment (and I almost felt sorry for her). Yes, I heard of the news, if not scandal and, although I am no one relevant to the people involved, I will break my silence.

My initial reaction was, “Can I be his children’s nanny?” Of course, I was being funny.

Then somebody asked me what I would do if I were in Sienna Miller’s (Jude Law’s fiancée) place—as if it were plausible. Hey, it’s Jude Law we’re talking about! His looks alone make him a perfect catch! I wouldn’t let go of him—ever! Of course, I’m still being funny.

The thing is, Jude Law is Jude Law and I am who I am. He is lovely alright, but not lovely enough to make me forget about me. Think this way: I hooked up with a Jude Law because I wanted to make myself happy. He just made my life miserable; therefore I get rid of him. Besides, women do not live on looks alone; they also subsist on the genuine and pure type of love.

If every woman would think this way, battered wife/girlfriend will face extinction—probably the biggest leap to womanity since women suffrage. Only then will I thank Jude Law for fooling around with the nanny.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

The Jude Law Affair



I am smitten by this balding gorgeous British man named Jude Law. For that, I am devoting this space for him.





I first learned of Jude Law’s existence through the movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley. No, he was not Mr. Ripley; he was murdered by Mr. Ripley. I did not pay much attention to this movie since I did not particularly like the actor who played Mr. Ripley, Matt Damon. For that I hate Matt Damon more. I almost missed Jude Law because of him.





Next was through A.I. where I heard Jude Law more than I saw him. It happened at the time when I was reduced to multitask in order to be productive during my leisure hours. Blame college. The only Jude Law retention I got was his soothing Brit accent, and his theatrical acting and android look.




Jude Law got to me via Enemy at the Gates. It was somewhat voluntary on his part. He would always be on screen whenever I was traveling from Los Baños to Manila or vice versa. At first I did not pay attention to his film because it was a war movie, a genre I am not really a fan of. But seeing Vassili (his character in the movie) aim his rifle at his enemies or at me during my innocent bus rides, I could not help but acknowledge his presence, so to speak. Note that when I say Enemy at the Gates is often shown on the buses I take, I do not mean twice or thrice, but plenty of times such that I almost memorized some of the characters lines.




I am not sure if it was Closer or Cold Mountain that I saw first. In any case I will discuss them both. One can’t help but get closer to Jude Law after watching him in Closer. From being cute, he is elevated to being lovely, so lovely that you’ll be willing to renounce your fidelity to your husband. (To get my point, I suggest you watch the movie.) And to think he was an egotistic dick during most part of the movie—and I don’t have a husband.




My favorite writer, Jessice Zafra, summarized Cold Mountain by saying that it is “about walking and farming. And walking and farming. And walking and farming and…” However it didn’t stop me from seeing this movie. Of course without Jude Law in it I would have preferred to “read” the movie than watch it. Thanks to Inman, Jude Law’s character, you would think he, the actor, has it in him to become a faithful lover, despite Closer and the next movie, Alfie.





By this time I am almost salivating over the sight of the man this whole piece is all about. Alfie is the ultimate feast. I am against all chauvinistic crap but Alfie is an exception. Crucify me! Then again, Alfie had its redeeming values and Alfie Elkins (of course, played by Jude Law), the devilish darling, got what he deserved in the end.




Call it an accidental bump with Jude Law but I watched A Series of Unfortunate Events without really knowing that he was part of the movie. I just found out seconds before I played the VCD, after reading the blurb at the back of the case which says that Jude Law plays Lemony Snicket, the narrator, in the movie. He never appears in the film except for his silhouette which I was skeptical if it was really his. These film producers really know how to tease Jude Law fans! But alas! With the aid of the fast forward and pause button, I have confirmed that Lemony Snicket’s silhouette truly is Jude Law’s.




The final movie on my list (at least for now) is Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow—a cheesy title, much like the way I’m pinning over Mr. Law, a man who don’t have the slightest clue I exist—even after The Talented Mr. Ripley and all the other movies I have enumerated above. You don’t need to love Jude Law in order to love Sky Captain, a new “old movie” filled with primitive high-tech gadgets. I personally enjoyed its humor, originality, and actors, if not actor.

It is true what Jessica Zafra said, “Jude Law is so beautiful and elegant, he is beyond dirty thoughts.” I adore Jude Law not only because of his “stunning bone structure” or his charming British accent but also because of his impressive acting skills. He is sooo good that when Chris Rock made fun of him during the recent Academy Awards, Sean Penn readily defended him, and complimented his thespian gifts in front of the million Oscar-watching audiences. I would probably do so too, if I had the opportunity. But for now, I am just waiting for the next Jude Law film to come along and for me to devour.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Not this time miss

It takes time to mend one’s broken ego. Mine has been broken several times and consecutively that I’m getting good at handling it, scars and all.

The cause of my most recent egotistical wound is best displayed by the previous entry, The One That Didn’t Make It. Just as what its title suggests, the pain to which I am trying to recuperate from sprang from rejection.

To help me fully recover, allow me to rationalize over why my supposed 2nd shot at Youngblood vaporized to thin air by enumerating the top seven bitterness-free reasons why I did not make it.

1. DUH. My article begins with a book no decent Youngblood reader would read.

2. BLAME MY BOTTOM. My college professor kept on reminding us to proofread our works all the time. I should have paid more attention. Now I’m bound to blame my ass, or should I say “asses.” (See 1st paragraph, 2nd-to-the-last word)

3. ME, MY, I. You have to give me credit for using the second person point of view. Not a lot of writers dare to use “you” in their entire piece. However, it is obvious that my “you” is really “me.” Even if I’m no award-winning writer I am aware that unless you are writing an autobiography, you’re not supposed to write about your self all the time. My fault.

4. LAY OFF SARCASM. At a certain dose it is funny. Go beyond enough and then the world will hate you. I’ve expressed my idea of what is true in a style I take pleasure in but in the process I stepped on others’ truth. My apologies.

5. NO MOCKERY PLEASE. I hit below the belt when I challenged man’s ability to read—not a good move especially when the editor himself is a man.

6. MAKE UP YOUR MIND. I switched from defending the case of those with no boyfriend since birth to that of the spinsters then back to those who are single since birth. I still believe that society see them in one plane but I should have clarified that I am defending all of them with equal intensity.

7. KEEP IT PRIVATE. I should keep my self-deprecating ways to myself, or at least to my closest allies. My first time readers would think I am altogether pathetic and will more likely dismiss my future articles as just another blob of rants. I strongly suggest that they shouldn’t. Even after this piece they shouldn’t.

OK, I’ll stop here.

Friday, July 1, 2005

The One That Didn't Make It

In the Absence of a Man

Originally written on 28 Jan 2005

The title of a new book hits you on the head one day: No Boyfriend Since Birth. Upon recovering your senses, you realize that you have had no boyfriend since birth. You cannot help but think, “Is that good or bad?” That is when you begin to asses things.

At the age of 24, the evolution of the question, “Do you have a boyfriend?” becomes clear to you. If in your younger years such question implies “You better say no; you’re just a kid!” the same interrogative sentence would now mean, “you better have a boyfriend or else you would be an old maid!” From there you deduce two “facts” forced by society: (1) young girls with boyfriends are plain sluts and (2) mature women with no boyfriends are pure losers. Harsh indeed but there is more.

Your friends begin to worry for you—you know, you being 24 with no boyfriend—your whole life. They try pairing you up with guys they know and even with guys they do not know. It does not stop there. They give you Friendster testimonials that practically sell you to every guy who is capable of reading. Little do they know that not a lot of guys are capable of reading, hence your friends are selling you to a minute percent of the male population. Not a very good marketing strategy, you might say.

Soon your mother enters the world of your theoretical love life—okay, let us not go there. Shift to another scenario.

While having dinner with your officemate, in the middle of your serious small talk, she asks you, “How do you see yourself in the future? At what age do you plan to get married?” You panic and nearly choke to death. You have not gotten yourself a boyfriend and she is asking you your wedding deadline. In the hopes of concealing shock from her unexpected question, you explain that boyfriends are not yet part of your master plan and so is a wedding. She stares at you like you were an unpretty freak and convinces you that sooner or later, you have to groom yourself as a wife or else you would grow old alone.

A skirmish ensues inside you. Should you tell the someday-bride-to-be how you really feel? You decide to restrain yourself from bursting your officemate’s happily-ever-after bubble. You keep quiet and let things be—for a while, at least. A few minutes later, you lay down your side. You admit that you have intimacy problems—that you are allergic to anything mushy and everything related to Cupid. You follow it up with a statement that declares your lack of faith in relationships. You clarify that, although you are aware that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, you can’t seem to reconcile the thought of taking a vow which does not take something as extreme as “death” to part. You end up looking more pathetic in the eyes of your officemate. At this point you decide not to further your case or else you might plummet to being “the pus that infects the mucus that curds up the fungus that feeds on the pond scum.”

You settle with “some of us are not meant to get married” for your argument’s conclusion. And in your head you add, “women like you who look forward to wearing a white gown and trekking a flower-filled aisle should be thankful that some women, like me, are not too psyched with getting hitched, otherwise decent men would be doubly scarce.”

Speaking of men, a member of the collective word comes up to you one day and asks you on a date camouflaged as an invitation to hang out at the mall. Sure he is an eye candy, but you decline from his offer. Although you admire his gut for proposing a date, you do not appreciate how he did it prematurely. Your one-week encounter with him had been limited to seeing him—literally just seeing he exists. You are seconds away from asking him, “didn’t your mother ever tell you not to go out with strangers?”

Probably to mend his broken ego he—in his most obnoxious way—assumes you are a lesbian and becomes vocal about it. Yes, you once thought that you were such but your identity crisis is now over. No entity, no matter how lovely it is, can ever convert you to gayness—no offense to the gays out there.

Soon, you wonder what the big deal is with women not wanting to get involved. Why a woman who refuses to be at the side of a man should be called an “old maid” or a “spinster”—both terms connoting “tarrying”—whereas a man who stays unmarried is called a “bachelor”—a word which seems to project “coolness.” You hate the extent of society’s baseless double standards but what can you do? Even if you spend your lifetime educating people that not all unattached/unmarried women are ugly and stinky, or reeking with wicked personalities, or lesbians or losers; your propaganda will not be enough to persuade people that, sometimes, being a single woman is amazing—maybe even more remarkable than being somebody else’s girlfriend or wife.

Never in your personal politics did you wish to convert women to single-blessedness. All you want is for people to stop feeling sorry for you for not having a guy of your own; to cease pairing you up with anyone or anything male and single; and to start respecting the fact that you are truly, genuinely happy despite the absence of a man in your life.

You reach out for the book which caused you a few minutes to contemplate on your life in the absence of a man. You figured, yes, things may change between you and the males of the species but it definitely does not change the fact that being single since birth is not at all bad.

**Tyrene is pushing 25 this year and still remains single. She insists that as long as she can carry her own things and bring herself to and from various places, she will not be needing any guy—well, romantically speaking, at least.

Posted on 01 July 2005 at 04:32 AM in Public thought balloon | Permalink

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Allow me to Rant

**Prof. Randy David discusses the President's speech the other night in a show at ANC. After he wrapped up his piece and left, Ces Drilon delivers a disclaimer--that the network didn't have anything to do with what the professor has just said.

Prof. Randy David said it all too well—that is, the implications of GMA’s public apology.

Then the news anchor wimps out and raises a disclaimer, saying that ANC had nothing to do with what the professor had just said. Excuse me, Ms. Ces Drilon. What have you been doing all these years? And I thought time spent in media would have made an amazona out of you—well at least that aside from being a fashionista (which I highly disagree you deserve to be called). May I inform you that while you where putting on your eye shadow and shimmering lipstick, Prof. Randy David was talking about the Filipinos being smart. Even if politicians think they can fool the Filipino people, we can’t be fooled because we know how to think. That includes processing “who said what” which really requires minimum thinking.

Ms. Drilon, you need not make clear that the opinions we heard from Prof. Randy David were his. For one thing, being a pawn of media, you are not allowed to bare you personal biases especially given your type of show. Also, even with your make up and funky wardrobe on, I don’t think you would have come up with insights as precise and as properly worded as his. Besides if you do that to all your guests I doubt that anyone would like to appear on your show ever again.

You are a shame to your kind. Quit kissing the Lopez ass. You ought to buy yourself some balls or find a new career.

Coexisting with Rats

I am living in a house that is probably as old as I am. And if you are a 25-year-old house, the shelter you provide would not be limited to a pack of thinking, featherless bipeds but it would also extend to insects and rats. As much as it is shameful to admit that a sanitary freak such as myself is living in a houseful of creepy crawlies, I would not hesitate to say it. At least by doing so, the world will have one less phony.

Yes, I have learned to coexist with rats and the likes—filthy creatures that spoil whatever it is that you own even after silently allowing them to live with you. You are left with no other choice but to recognize their presence and, in your original way, to adapt to their inevitable existence. Then again, coexisting with rats is probably what life is like—at least in this land.

You wake up in the morning assured that the price of gas will go up—it is abnormal if it does not. You ride the jeepney on your way to work and you shell out extra pesos for the newly approved fare hike. You say a little prayer for the blessed soul of the Cardinal who is just died. After eating dinner, you see the President of the country say “I’m sooooo sorry” on TV.

Now, the latter is not something that happens every day. Seeing the haggard-looking president deliver her public apology on national television causes a twinge of pity to some of us, although not enough mercy to stop us from using our mental faculties and continuing to discern the right from the wrong. Since when did a bland smile automatically deserve pardon? After hearing an empty speech, we, thinking Filipinos, cannot pretend nothing happened.

It is no longer a media fest that is out there. It is a mockery of a nation that is barely hanging on. While some of our country’s citizens work their bottoms off to create a decent image of our 1,107 islands, those whom we look up to discretely farts in public and we all have to suffer from the stench they emit.

It is not just PGMA. We have had our share of leaders known for their intelligence who end up sucking our resources for their personal and their families’ gain. Furthermore they and their families are still there, sucking what-is-left-to-suck. We have voted for rich leaders hoping that they, being used to wealth, would stay civilized and take their hands off our national treasury; however during and after their office they come out ten times richer, maybe more. We have elected a poor son of a Doña because we thought that he, being the poor man he claims to be, would understand majority of us. Yet somewhere along an almost sober path he fails us. We can go on enlisting the types of leaders we have had and we would wind up frustrated.

Have we run out of good people in this nation? There are 46 million Filipinos and no decent one can protect our country’s interest.

It is the most terrifying thing in the world to lose a good supply of trustworthy rulers.

Have we all turned into rats? (ending is not yet final)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The What If’s

They say that we regret the risks we do not take. However, in making decisions, you are always faced with two risks: the one you take and the one where you turn your back to. And then there are the branches of those risks. Whether you do something or not, you take a risk. Whether you say “yes” to one question or “no,” you’d still be taking risks.

It is therefore safe to conclude, that for every decision we make, we’ll always have something to regret. Because in coming up with such decision, there is one risk we inevitably did not take.

I, then, tell you, try not to let those regrets to run your lives. It’ll make making new regrets fun-ner!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Glow in the Light


They arrived today. My uniforms: four glow-in-the-light green blouses with flower embroidery at the chest area, three pin-stripe pants with the so-called “baston” cut, and one collarless pin-stripe blazer. There you go, ladies and gentlemen. It’s either I overdid describing my new set of wardrobe for the coming months or I was too honest, too accurate in describing the human enrobing stuff I received today.

Then again I may just suck at writing fashion. I am not even sure if it’s “pin-stripe” or “pin-stripped” or “pin stripe.” (It has come to my attention that it is supposed to be “pinstripe.”)

Uniforms. Uniforms are remnants of the more powerful, not to mention idealistic, fraction of society’s attempt to implement communism. A utopic society wherein no groups exist. A perfect classless society as a genuine Marxist would put it. Wearing uniforms would promote equality. No rich; no poor. We all exist in on flat plane. Peace brother!

But do uniforms do this? Do they effectively strip us off of our places in the social ladder?

I haven’t worn uniforms since high school. That’s a long seven years ago. I didn’t complain before. I went to school and I wore my uniforms. And then UP happened.

I don’t think I’d be comfortable with uniforms. The ones I am bound to wear soon don’t have any lining and so their seams are bound to rub against my skin for I-don't-know-how-long. And me not being comfortable in any type of clothing is a BIG problem. I don't really care much if I'd end up looking like a teacher even if I'm not. I can let "looking ten years older" pass. The thing is, I couldn't stand itch for an hour, let alone a day.

But I am part of the lesser powerful fraction of society so I am required to conform. Stitch my lips so I won't be able to whine!

I'm ranting; I have to end this.

I am now supposed to say, wearing a uniform and being one of the crowd poses the challenge to standout. And if I may use my new uniform as a metaphor, I'd add, my new blouse can glow in a sea of brightness; and if it can do that, why can't I? Time to shine. Time to shine!

For the one out there listening to my pleas, I was longing to shine not to glow. There is a vast difference. Don't mock me.

COMMENT

err. hate na hate ko talaga yang blouse na an. the pants i can live with but the blouse is just hideous. yeaaargggh. maybe when i finally wear the self-incriminating uniform i will also wear a bathrobe over it to hide, you know, the, err, uhm , hideousness.
Posted by: GinGmaGanda | July 10, 2005 09:02 AM

Saturday, June 18, 2005

About Me 3

I am already twenty five; I have to take this “About Me” seriously.

I’m opposites fused into one. My name, for example, is somewhat an oxymoron. “Ty” stands for “tyranny” which means “dominance through threat of punishment and violence.” Meanwhile, “-rene” (from “Irene”) in Greek means “peace.”

I’m a Gemini. I blame Castor and Pollux for my multiple personality. Talking to myself keeps me sane even if I do that activity aloud. And I laugh at my own jokes too—aloud. I once took a Yin-Yang test. Apparently, my Yin rates equal to my Yang, thereby suggesting androgyny.

I’m a fan of Jessica Zafra’s cynicism but I am a sucker for Robin William’s “inspirational” movies. I have never cried while watching a movie except probably for that single tear that rolled when I saw “Mrs. Doubtfire”—and it was supposed to be a comedy.

I love kids but I refuse to have any (at least as of the moment). I hate drawing attention to myself but I feel the need to shine. I don’t understand people in general but I like being AROUND them—although not necessarily being WITH them. I am not fond of men but I love Jude Law.

I am not simple, I am not nice. But I ultimately want to do the good thing for as long as I can. I look serious but I can be really hilarious. I love writing but am not necessarily a fan of reading.

I say that I am a private person and am not used to disclosing things about me but here I am saying these things to who-knows-who.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's My Party


My birthday makes me feel different. I'm actually used to people not remembering my "big day". It started way back in preschool. Everyone's so absorbed with the first day of classes which, most of the time, falls on my birthdate--no one, not even my so-called friends, remember my day.

However there's always a time for me to announce my DOB (Date of Birth). You see, kids, when introducing themselves in class, are limited to saying their name, nickname, age and/or birthday--BARABING! There you go! At that point, my teacher will call on the whole class to sing for me. Probably the most unforgettable Happy-Birthday Performance I ever got was during my 3rd year in highschool. My birthday was revealed to the whole class while we were having our music class. It's quite convenient because we were inside the music room and my music teacher was already sitting in front of a piano. After a few seconds of vocalization, the whole class were able to deliver a fair version of the most sang song in the world, complete with accompaniment, all dedicated to me. It was enough to make me feel special.

Even without having anyone perform a live song for me, I still feel fine this year. People actually remembered my day and actually greeted me. :-) It feels great really.

Before I end, I'd like to share a birthday trivia I learned from my professor in college. On your birthday, people will tell you, "happy birthday" then you'll reply, "thank you." Actually that practice is grammatically incorrect. "Happy birthday" is a phrase made up of the adjective "happy" and the noun "birthday." When put together, they form a phrase that describes a type of "birthday." Technically, the phrase does not say anything about you so why thank the "greeter?" The more apt response would be, "yes, it is a happy birthday" or "no, it isn't". Of course, we can always assume that "happy birthday" is an elliptical phrase which really means, "I hope you'll have a happy birthday." In such case, you can say, "I hope so, too" or "thank you for hoping that." Since the greeter is delivering a shortened message, you as the "gretee(?)" can probably give out an abbreviated retort and say, "thanks!" Therefore, in order for the exchange to be valid, both you and the greeter must be playing the same language game, one that doesn't mind violating grammatical laws. At that note, I'd like to say, it will be best to disregard the trivia I just shared. :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

GMA Drama Special


GMA7 is celebrating its 55th year; I am celebrating my 25th birthday. Yes, I was born exactly 30 years after GMA was established. I still do not know if such coincidence means anything special but I still sometimes catch myself hoping that it does.

You see, I have convinced myself long ago that my dream job is at GMA. That is, being a part of a TV production at GMA. It kept me through college. Having that goal gave me something to look forward to. It drove me into trying to excel in school for as much as I can. You know what they often say, if you have impressive grades chances are you’ll land on a great job. For that, I can claim that GMA has turned me into a bit of a good student.

My GMA dream is like believing in life after death. If you have no notion of life after death, just imagine how lost you’d turn out. You’d give in to your instincts, to your id all the time. Never mind if you hurt anyone. Never mind if you did something bad. For as long as you’re satisfied, you can do whatever you want. There wouldn’t be any bigger picture for you except of course the “now.”

Believing in life after death gives you a reason to set goals. It gives you direction.

GMA was my bigger picture. It sort of gave me direction.

But now that I’m trudging along my path, with GMA almost—but not quite—within my reach, things seem to have changed. GMA is no longer a dream. It has transformed itself from being a metaphor to being a simile. My goal is no longer GMA; my goal is something as big as GMA. Success is no longer GMA; success is similar to GMA’s.

A few days ago I was ready to let go of my GMA dream. I was not giving up. I was simply moving on. I’ve seen the light. And I know that I can’t remain fixated to a single dream forever.

Then my phone rings. GMA is within reach after all. Somebody must have thought that only when I cease hoping will it be the perfect time to give the chance to turn my fantasy into reality.

Now I’m lost. Once your bigger picture is placed in your palm, only a void will be left guiding you.

Life is complicated. It can never be simplified.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Quarter life crisis

Seven days from now, I'd be celebrating my silver jubillee here on earth. Still, I haven't done anything good for people-kind (humankind is not gender-sensitive enough for me). I haven't saved a drowning kid, haven't helped an old lady cross the street, haven't given birth, haven't been into politics..there are many things I haven't done.

What have I been doing this past 25 years?

About Me 2

My horoscope says I’m sexually cool.



Enlighten me.

Friday, May 20, 2005

About Me 1

About me?

I’m…ugh…LOST! that’s it! a little lost right now. a bit restless and lost. A few steps away from being totally depressed. (Oh please, not again!) But fighting, I guess…

Can I mention that I dream of becoming a writer? OK. I DREAM OF BECOMING A WRITER.


Thanks!

Don’t ask me about coherence. When you’re as lost as I am, you wouldn’t be giving a damn about coherence. Trust me.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

My Quick Weekend in UPLB


I intended to go back to UPLB early Friday morning but as usual, I failed. My alibi would have to be lack of sleep.

My alibi is always lack of sleep.

This time however I did not get enough sleep for a noble reason. I was finishing 12 surprise graduation gifts/cards for 12 of my closest friends who were scheduled to graduate Saturday afternoon. I desperately wanted to join them for the Department Testimonial, but I opted to prioritize my little project thereby sacrificing my ability to wake up before dawn.

I slept before dawn and gained consciousness one hour before the Department Testimonial. Sure I can get myself ready in 15 minutes but traveling from Pasig to UP Los Baños in 45 minutes is impossible since teleportation is not something I can avail of just yet.

Three hours after my target arrival time, I found myself zapped back into the place I called home for four and a half years. Contrary to my fear, I didn’t feel like I was an outsider. If it were not for the grocery store standing on what-used-to-be-a-vacant-lot and KFC occupying the spot which used to be Burger King’s, I would say Los Baños remained just as how I left it nine months ago.

The sun is hot in Los Baños—not that it isn’t hot elsewhere but there’s something about LB which makes one realize that there is indeed a sun. Of course I abhorred heat, the same way I hated dust and sweat, but I didn’t mind if my skin got toasted for a while just as long as I got another look around my old university.

Two of my friends, Nikka and Kistna, escorted me around. I had to see the third floor of the NCAS building. It wasn’t there when I left. And as history would have it now, my first photo for my return to UPLB was taken inside the newest ladies room at NCAS. We then proceeded to the Humanities building. After seeing NCAS, I had to see the Humanities. After all, the Humanities was the one that welcomed me in Los Baños back in 1998—at that time NCAS was probably just a blueprint inside some architect’s bag.

My UPLB tour had to be cut short because of the incessant way the sun is making his presence felt. Nostalgia would have kept me from minding the impending threat of skin cancer but it was not enough for me not to anticipate heat stroke. Kistna, Nikka and I surrendered to KFC for sanctuary. Later we were joined by Leng. There were only four of us (we were supposed to be 13) but we almost invaded the whole second floor with our reverberating laughter. One set of which was brought about by the idea that some people take acetone to get high. By virtue of reductio ad absurdum, we came up with the hypothetical possibility (Is there such a thing?) of people taking water just to get high. In that case, everyone can afford to go on a laughing trip without worrying about the adverse effects of what they’re taking. But wait, maybe when that time comes water will be toxic and taking it will automatically kill you—no laughing trip there.

A few more laughs later, we were in front of the S.U. building surrounded by almost all of this year’s graduates. Of course, I took pictures. And even if I already have my puny diploma and pink transcript of records at home, I’d still say I blended well with the crowd. I know many of the people that comprised the pack and many of them remember me, although not all of them recall clearly that I’ve been there and I’ve done that last year—graduating, that is.

To further my point regarding “blending” allow me to relay how I joined this year’s graduates during their practice.


Probably I didn’t get enough of last year’s pre-graduation cacophony that’s why I subjected myself to the same chaos this year. Then again all of my friends were required to join the practice. Since I wanted to be with them and I didn’t have anyone else to hang out with, I went with them as they fell in line, and as they entered the field where the graduates were supposed to sit, and as they established an obscure bond with the event’s marshal (the one who signaled when they were supposed to sit and stand), and as they marched on stage—the highlight of tomorrow’s ceremony.

The question is, what would you do if you were given another chance to walk on stage as if you were really a fresh graduate? Well I couldn’t sing or dance on stage —that would be too much and at the same time irrelevant. But I can capture the moment. I was debating on whether to take pictures while I’m on stage or to take a crude video with my cellphone. I ended up doing the latter for it was more convenient considering that I only had 10 seconds to implement my plan. Well I did it. I captured the moment and I can replay the feel of it anytime I like. Of course the event’s organizer reprimanded me but who cares? She can’t put my diploma on hold. I already have it!

Dinner was the only means by which my friends and I could spend what was left of our time together. We were only nine and we didn’t really talk but each other’s presence was enough to fill out the times we didn’t see each other.

The next day was shorter than the previous one. This time I was able to attend the College Testimonial for graduates. I took pictures of my friends and chatted with my past professors. Then I took some more pictures, bought my first UP shirt, ate brunch—the pancit distributed during the College Testimonial, freshened up, and assembled in front of the S.U. building. Then I handed out my little cards/gifts for my friends and kissed them goodbye and congratulations.



I saw my friends through the entrance march and took as much pictures of them as I could. I knew how much elation they were feeling at that point no matter how effective they were at concealing it. I expected to see all 12 of them walk but one of my friends seemed to have come late and another didn’t make it at all. To tell the truth, I hated not seeing all 12 of them there in the field with the other 900+ graduates. I knew that all of my friends deserved this once in a lifetime experience. And I hated knowing that my friend who didn’t make the event didn’t make it because the company where she now works did not make what would have been a great thing possible for her. It sucks but sometimes companies aren’t really what they claim to be.


Then I felt dehydrated and bought 500 ml of iced tea which I gulped in 5 seconds. I picked up a white flower which fell off its tree at the same moment I was passing by. I took a last look at my old university and took a picture of it, this time without the aid of a camera. I stored this image into my brain. I knew I would not be coming back anytime soon so I made sure I had the memory of a vital part of my past in a safe place. I walked as far as my feet and my ability to resist the heat would allow me. I got my humongous purple bag and rode a bus home, not looking back but with a genuine smile planted on my face.