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.


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.


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


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.