Sunday, February 25, 2007

Everyday with Nichi




Unlike Morrie, he hasn’t lived a full life yet. Roughly 13 years does not give him enough time for a full life, especially if the big bulk of it is spent in a hospital, or taking medicine at home, or not being able to do what others can just because he is sick.

Unlike Mitch, I get to see my sick loved one everyday. I am not limited on Tuesdays.

I spend time with Nichi long enough to hear his hopes and dreams for the future. He wants to have a girlfriend—even if he says it as a part of his jokes. He wants to become a chef and lose weight by being one. He wants to become a famous artista. He may consider becoming a doctor, too. Being a patient for nearly half his life, he believes that he can become a good doctor. He wants to get rich so that he can explore various parts of the world. He has grand visions for a future that is being threatened by his disease.

It is unfair that my brother, Nichi, has to fight for his life at very young age whereas some people wouldn’t even value theirs. I am so sad and disappointed to rebel against this idea. And I am crushed because things have to be especially unfair for my little brother.

Yesterday I found out that Nichi’s left eye has completely ceased to function. I don’t know when the leukemic cells that penetrated it will decide to leave. I have no idea if things will return to the way they are once the leukemic cells are gone. These days, when it comes to the certainty of Nichi’s recovery, I know nothing.

But I know that I love him. And that I want him to live longer. And that if he did, he will become a great person, even greater than he already is right now.

Around six months ago, while trying to pacify Nichi amidst the tube inserted down his throat for artificial means of respiration, I got to wonder why a nice boy like him has to go through a tough time whereas I who has lived for 26 years am normal? Why doesn’t he get the same chance to life as I do when, without a doubt, he is a better person than I can ever be?

Nichi and his numerous recoveries have shown me that miracles do happen. And, God, how I wish that a big one will transpire now!

I know that I don’t go to Church and I don’t pray prayers, but I do talk to Him—He whose plans are a mystery to me. I am telling Him now, asking and pleading, to spare the life of Nichi, to let him be normal again, to stop torturing my little brother, to show compassion to a great kid who at times is afraid for his own life.

Nichi never whines. He faces every obstacle thrown his way. He knows how to be brave. He knows when to be afraid. And he fights. In his own quiet way, he fights.

Nichi is no Morrie but he has the courage that is perhaps more than that of Morrie’s.

I am no Mitch and yet I am suffering the way Mitch had or maybe worse.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Nichi Needs Your Prayers More Than Ever

I really honestly don't know how to feel, or think having been broken the news about my youngest brother Nichi. All I know is that I have to keep a happy face when I'm around him. Just as my Dad and the rest of my family, I love Nichi so much and I pray that he gets through this.

Please... you've all helped us before. Please continue to help us now as we pray that Nichi will live his dreams of finishing his studies, becoming an artista or a chef or a doctor, or whatever he chooses to be, having a family of his own, and achieving everything he hopes to conquer in the future.

All your support were once a miracle to us. Help us make another one.

Sincerely,
Tyrene Delgado



----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Wilfrido Delgado
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 12:49:56 PM
Subject: JOSEPH NICHOLE "Nichi" L. DELGADO


Feb. 23, 2007

Nichi was admitted at the Phil Children’s Medical Center last Monday, Feb 19 for the scheduled BMA (bone marrow aspiration) and lumbar tap (triple intrathecal) and CSF (cerebro spinal fluid) cell count. Nichi’s CSF cell count last December 2006 was 1, last Monday it was 329. His BMA last November 2006 was normal—now it has blasts cells. The supposedly overnight stay in the hospital was extended to 3 days. Nichi was given intravenous chemotherapy (vincristine, doxorubicin, cyclo). The attending physician said Nichi had another relapse and this time the term is “end stage.”

We all know everybody is going to die—it is an accepted fact. But knowing how a loved one is going to die—the excruciating pains he still has to endure in the face of death tears my heart into bits of pieces.

Please join me and my family in praying for Nichi that he may be saved from this dreadful disease. PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR FRIENDS’ FRIENDS’ FRIENDS’ so they can join us in praying to the GOD ALMIGHTY to spare JOSEPH NICHOLE “Nichi’ DELGADO’s life. Praying together can make this happen. Nichi is just a 12 year old kid—jolly, kind, religious, friendly and intelligent—he has all the right to stay in this world for the longest time.

Let us all be a part of a miracle.

Thank you very much.

Always,


willie delgado



Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kung HEY Fat CHOW

KUNG
I just emerged from a little-over-minor depression which has completely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. Somehow it was a weird thing because I started out sad over something simple, then I just stayed sad, then I ended up worrying about everything, then that’s when I became seriously sad. At times like those I really consider getting myself a shrink—you know, someone who’d listen to my rants. Or better yet, someone who’d recommend an effective anti-depressant that’ll hopefully save me from an abnormal wave of sorrow.

When I am falling in the pit of sadness, heaven knows how I would hate to drag anyone with me. I am not really the type who screams, “help!” even when help is badly needed. Most of the time, I prefer to shut everyone out of my misery for their own good. I mean, if I get anyone involved with my petty sadness, I would just transfer the gloom from me to them by virtue of diffusion—the movement from an area of great concentration to an area of less concentration. By keeping things to myself, I wouldn’t do others any damage. With that my conscience is clear.

Unfortunately I may end up doing me a damage or two. But I assure you, the said damage will never involve any slashing of wrist, drinking plenty of aspirin with Vodka, any form of asphyxiation, and the likes. I would never want to die sad. And suicide is just plain sad.

Thinking this way assures me that I haven’t totally lost it. As long as I can rationalize, I’m OK. Still a shrink may help. My only fear is if I see a shrink, I’d feel depressed because I will be paying someone to listen to me and hopefully shed some light to my darkness. I would be paying someone to listen to me when I can just talk to a friend or family for free. But, as I have said, I choose not to do that. Hence I consider seeing a shrink which when I think about further seems pathetic. What are my friends or family for if I don’t talk to them? But my stand is stubborn, I don’t want to pull any of them out of their happy lives on my behalf, because I feel shitty.

Now you see the loop—my if’s, my kung’s.

HEY
I have two announcements:

First is the staging of the play I wrote back in college. Come next Friday, I WILL BE A PLAYWRIGHT! God, it feels good! It will feel better if my audience will understand and appreciate my play. I really hope they’ll do. I just want to hear them laugh and, if possible, understand the point of my play. Otherwise, I will make myself another mole and assume a new identity.

Second has something to do with the wedding which I know I promised to write about but haven’t. It’s been two months since that wedding has passed and I doubt if I can keep my promise. I haven’t formulated flowery words for the bride and now I have to think of ways to describe her as a future mom because, as it turns out, she is a few weeks pregnant. There I said my second announcement. My sister is going to have a baby and I’m going to be an aunt!

I refuse to be called Tita. It sounds gay. And if you attach my name to it, you’d be producing too much [T] sound. A friend said that Tita Tye sounds ngongo. And it does. Besides, Tita is cursed at least in Like Water for Chocolate. By calling me Tita, the inevitable and the unsaid will be made official. If I’ll think about this further, I’d go back to KUNG—if you get my drift. So allow me to digress.

Aunt and auntie sound old. Both are definitely out of the question.

In my mom’s side, they practice using mama to substitute tita, aunt or auntie. But if we practice mama, I’d end up Mama Tye which doesn’t sound good. It’s like sealing my fate, not that I should be immortal but no one would want to be reminded of one’s mortality that way, don’t you agree?

And so I am on a search for a practical and, at the same time, cool title my future niece or (hopefully) nephew will call me. It has to be original, too, because, hey, that’s what I’m going to be—a practical, cool and original (blank—apt term will be supplied later)!

FAT
I find the Chinese New Year as the perfect time to share the new information I learned about my name. I really have this thing about my name—part of my vanity and Narcissism perhaps. I swear, plate numbers with “TYE” on them make me smile! No, it doesn’t have to be a nice car. It can be an old jeepney and I would smile just the same. For some reason, I feel lucky or blessed whenever I see my name on a plate number of whatever vehicle.

It used to be that I sign “Ty” but it often gets mistaken as TY, short for “Thank You” which is not bad. It’s hitting two birds with one stone. There’s my name and there’s the thank you. Unfortunately, sometimes the one stone misses on the other bird which is my name. Something had to be done with the minor confusion. I remember clearly that it was my high school classmate, Domeng who added the “e” at the end of Ty. I adopted it since it was practical, cool and original. (I’m being consistent.) Tye works for me because if I may say so, practical, cool and original works for me.

Part of my love for my name is finding people with the same name as mine. I found one already and she is now on my Friendster list but she doesn’t go by the name Tyrene on her account so there goes.

And then there’s meaning. I always attribute “Ty” to tyrant—someone who wouldn’t hesitate to abuse power for whatever reasons. Then there’s “-rene” which may have come from “Irene” which in Greek means peace. In a way, my name is an oxymoron. A tyrant, more often than not, is indifferent to peace—real peace, that is. It’s kind of astig but confusing, though.

Thank the Chinese gods for my officemate Benz who can speak, think and talk Chinese! He, too, broke my name into two. According to his Chinese know-how “Tay” stands for “big” while “ren” stands for “person.” Therefore in China, I am a big person which is not untrue being that majority of Chinese women seem slender. Compared to them, I am obviously fat.

So if I affix my Chinese name to my Spanish middle and last names, I will mean: “Big person” (if not fat) “the women” “thin”. Does that mean I can be big and at the same time thin, because as far as I know I am a woman.

I hope “big person” would not be limited to fat. I wish it could stretch to meaning “great.”

Let’s see if next Friday’s play will make me great.

CHOW
I can’t find a witty way of playing with Choi so I’m using chow.

With seemingly a lot of time in my hands, I have chowed on a number of books and movies for the past weeks. Movie marathons, that’s normal but two books in a week, or better yet, more than one book in a month? That’s impressive where I am concerned.

My eyeglasses seem to label me as a bookworm which I’m not. I used to hate, not really books, but reading. The activity lulls me to sleep thus explaining why I hardly finish the books I attempt to read. And in my younger years, I hardly attempted to read.

Perhaps it’s an acquired thing, my newly found initiative to read. It’s not really a great leap to my kind. I’m sticking to light reading otherwise books will scare me. If that happens, I will definitely have to abort my dream of becoming a writer.

I just chowed Luto , Linis, Laba, a play by a Palanca Winner whose name I can’t remember. I cannot check the book because the same day I finished it, I passed it to a friend. I followed up Luto , Linis, Laba with Kwentong Tambay by Nicanor David, Jr. It is a collection of blog entries by the same person. Oh how I wish I can come up with such book! Since Kwentong Tambay is about a balikbayan, I shipped my copy to my sister in Singapore, also the same day I finished reading it. I felt the need to share it to people who can relate to it first hand. Now I am rereading the first part of Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors. I hope that this time, I will be able to finish it. Simultaneously, I am reading Jessica Zafra’s Pinoy Elections: A Guide For The Dismayado being that elections is three months away.

Ahh, right after Kwentong Tambay, I devoured the illustrated book, by Joanna Rubin Dranger. It is hilarious yet creepy—hilarious because the book is funny and creepy because the book seems to come out of the pages of my life.

I hope not to get in trouble for posting some parts of Miss Remarkable and Her Career that struck me or, say, entertained me most. With my fingers crossed, I’ll leave you with the “scenes” I’ve selected as I greet you, “Kung hei fat choi!”




Don't you agree that some mornings feel this way?





It's called, your everyday simple pressure.





Miss Remarkable meets her shrink.





Here's how the power of the mind causes badly clenched teeth.





This is how we get lost.





Look out below!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Punny Balentayms

This isn’t just any other day. Who am I kidding? It’s Valentine’s Day!

The text messages I have been receiving have ranged from the normal “Happy Valentines Day” to several forwarded funny, witty or touching texts to something as original as “Happy Halloween” and “Happy Valentines Day, people! Give love on Christmas day!” These messages are sent at a time when Globe unlimitext has risen up to P20 a day. (Them capitalists!) However the texting efforts of almost everyone are proof that this day really is special and in one way or another love is all around us.

At the office, Ms. Thess started greeting people, “HVD.” It’s a normal acronym used in a greeting card company like ours. Of course it stands for “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Some of us made beso. (Darn it, I sound like a kolehiyala!) It’s a modern tribal practice where platonic, bordering on filial love, is transferred from one cheek to another. And then Kuya Mamert went on a “love day” trip by playing really cheesy love songs which as Ms. Lala would describe is awfully “madama.” But wait there’s more! On regular intervals, Joe Di Mango (I don’t know how to spell his name), sporting his infamous sing-song intonation, enters the roster of sentimental songs to give love advises. I don’t know where that CD came from but it kind of made this day more Valentine-y.

Since it is Valentine’s Day, the first thing found on top of the list of our canteen’s menu is SWEET and sour fish. Awwww! (Haw swit!) Was it intentional on the part of our not-so-friendly canteen operators? I guess not.

Wendi told us a while ago about the existence of a certain group who’d rather refer to Cupid’s day as Single Awareness Day (SAD). Come to think of it, V-day is the time to be aware of one’s being single. I mean, when everyone’s pairing up, you see yourself alone. And somehow you feel like the it in the game “open the basket” which you used to play in preschool. (OK, it’s not the best “coupling” analogy since in “open the basket,” people group themselves into three, yet you’ve got to admit that the it and single comparison is accurate.)

The odd-man-out feeling drives a lot of singles crazy. You see, Valentine’s Day has a way of pressuring people to snuggle up with someone who’s hopefully special. And if you don’t have that, you seem to be marked with the pseudo-Scarlette letter “L” for loser which sucks.

Well the thing is, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and each of us is, in our own way, a lover—a lover of family, friends, things, people, animals, nature and, of course, of a significant other. Since love is encompassing, there’s really no room for feeling left out in a day that’s all about love—unless if you’re the man who’s an island, in which case you probably are a loser or just plain lost.

On that note, I’d like to greet you a Happy Valentine’s Day. And just as I replied to one of my texters today you can respond “Happy! Happy?”

(I hope you gave out a Hallmark Valentine card today—at least to your mom. Come on, help us with our sales!)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Scene 1: Sa COMMELEC…Action!

Ngayon ang huling araw ng pag-fa-file ng Certificate of Candidacy (COC) ng mga naghahangad na maging senador ng bayan natin. At gaya ng nasabi sa balita, kanya-kanyang gimik ang mga kakandidato upang gumawa ng ingay kahit na hindi pa nagsisimula ang opisyal na panahon ng pangangampanya.

Lahat halos sila ay may hakot na “entourage” maliban na lamang kay Senador Joker Arroyo na pinakamaagang dumating sa COMMELEC ngayong araw na ito. Hmm…parang iboboto ko pa rin yata si Joker. Hindi kasi sya papogi hindi gaya ng iba dyan. At maaga siyang nagising! Magandang indikasyon yon. Katulad ng mga ipinakita niya noon pa man, hindi siya tutulug-tulog. Karapat-dapat lamang na maging mambabatas—may alam kasi at may malasakit sa bayan.

Nagmistulang may showbiz event sa COMMELEC kanina. Marami kasing artistang dumating. Nauna na si Sharon Cuneta na full support sa asawa niyang si Senador Kiko Pangilinan. Noong palabas naman sila ay siyang pagpasok nina Vilma Santos na sumuporta sa asawang si Senador Ralph Recto. Kung iisipin, lusot na ang pag-appear nina Mega at Star for All Seasons kahit na hindi naman sila ang mga-fa-file ng COC. Tatakbo naman kasi ang mga asawa nila; nararapat lang na tumayo sila sa tabi ng mga lalaking pinakasalan nila. Yun lang nga, advantage na agad iyon dahil ang presence pa lang nila ay epektibo nang panghakot ng mga botante.

Marahil iyon ang idea na naglalaro sa isipan ni Richard Gomez kaya talaga namang naghakot siya ng mga ta-artits kahit siya mismo ay artista. Hindi lang ang asawang si Lucy Torres kundi pati si John Estrada at ang manager na si Douglas Quijano ang hatak hatak niya. Hindi ko na nga napansin kung sino pa yung ibang kasama niya basta di ko mawari kung ano ang kinalaman nila sa pag-fa-file ni Goma. Actually hindi ko alam kung ano ang kinalaman ni Goma sa senado. I mean, artista siya, athlete, model, minsang kumakanta sa SOP, and once e na-affiliate sa Mamamayang Ayaw sa Droga (MAD). Pero hindi ko lubos maisip kung paano siya nahubog ng mga nabanggit kong karera para maisip niya na may kakayahan siyang gumawa ng batas.

Originally, sa Bulacan siya dapat tatakbo kaya lang inadvise-an sya ng mga kaibigan niyang sa senado na lang makipagsapalaran. At ito, narinig ko mismo sa kanya sa isa sa mga interview sa kanya last week, sinabi niya na kaya siya diniscourage ng mga kaibigan niya na tumakbo sa Bulacan ay dahil hindi siya lubos na matutulungan ng mga ito kung sa Bulacan lang siya lalaban at hindi rin niya matutulungan mga ito kung nasa Bulacan lang siya. May pagkatransparent din itong si Goma lamang tagos sa katangahan ang transparency niya. Ang fishy ng sinabi niya. Ibig sabihin tutulungan siya ng mga friends niya para pag nanalo siya, siya naman ang tutulong sa kanila. Waw, give and take! Ilan kaya ang berks niya? Ibig sabihin pag nanalo siya, may proteksyon na kaagad silang lahat. Ayos! Safe na agad si John Estrada at Douglas Quijano at by affinity, pati ang talents ni Tito Dougs ay may immunity na rin. Sino naman kaya ang sasabit kay John? Si Janice o si Vanessa?

Noong nakaraang linggo rin gumawa ng ingay sina Leo Martinez kasama si Jun Urbano. Pinakiusapan nila ang mga artista na wag nang makisali sa politika. Magkaibang mundo kasi ang dalawang iyon. Naku, gusto ko biglang yakapin si Leo Martinez sa mga sinabi niya—o sige, si Mr. Shuli na rin. Tama! Tama talaga! Kung kaya man ng isang artista na umarte bilang mahusay na senador sa pelikula, hindi iyon nangangahulugan na magiging mahusay na senador siya sa totoong buhay.

Alam kong pinakakapal ng showbiz ang mukha ng mga taong alipin nito pero naman…ang tumakbo na armado lamang ng kasikatan, puhunan (as in pera), at galing umarte ay ibang level na ng kakapalan. Sana maisip yan ng mga movie/TV fans nating kababayan na boboto sa Mayo.

COMMENTS

Kurak! At ano ba alam ni richard talaga? ok na un iba na at least so local govt muna nagstart diba, parang si ate vi, mayor muna, eto ambisyoso! senator agad! ewan. feeling ko di sha mananalo. un nga MAD di nanalo as partylist noh! happy vday! hehe!
Posted by: Christmas | February 14, 2007 09:18 AM

Hi Tyrene! Masasabi ko lang, it's a sad day for the world when Richard Gomez filed for candidacy. )= Wala nga siyang alam sa paggawa ng batas.
Posted by: an-guia | February 15, 2007 08:17 AM

Hi,Annie! :-)
It'll be a worse day for all of us if Richard wins. Que horror!
Posted by: Tyrene | February 17, 2007 08:19 AM

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Holiday Luva Luva

What happens when you put two British thespians and two Hollywood commercial actors (I believe this is the politically correct term for American jologs artistas) together in one movie? You’d get a romantic comedy you’d hate to hate.

“The Holiday” stars Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and Jack Black, an ensemble we don’t get to see everyday. Both serious actors, Kate and Jude, loosen up with Cameron and Jack who almost too often portray silly roles you’d think they really were silly. Each of the characters the cast play is entangled with his/her own so-called heart problems, thus “Holiday” becomes the perfect pre-Valentine’s day movie despite its snowy Christmas mood.

We are first introduced to Kate’s character, Iris, a journalist, who, as she herself has said, is a victim of unrequited love. She receives the final blow when her editor-in-chief (I think) assigns her to cover the wedding of her two colleagues: the man who is the object of her misery and the woman to whom her man left her for who happens to be the object of her further misery.

Iris keeps herself together and breaks down upon reaching her sanctuary—her home. She almost asphyxiates herself with liquid petroleum gas fumes (I tell you, this scene is hilariously pathetic!) in what she calls her “low point.” Good for her for snapping out of her desperate move, otherwise our story will have ended there.

Six hundred thousand miles away, we meet Cameron’s character, Amanda, a movie trailer editor based in Los Angeles California. She, too, has problems with the love department as she had just thrown her boyfriend out of her luxurious crib.

If Iris is drowning in sorrow inside her idyllic suburban English home, Amanda’s tear ducts seem to be in utter drought. She cannot shed a single tear. And even she acknowledges that her inability to cry is, in itself, trouble.

It is clever and funny the way Amanda thinks. Since movie trailers are her life, her stream of thoughts come like movie trailers do—upbeat, concise and exaggerated. I just wish they developed this good idea further.

Amanda decides to head to some place far from, I guess, LA and turns to the internet to find the perfect getaway. She sees a photo of Iris’ cottage in one of those home exchange sites. She contacts the British stranger, Iris, who is just as determined as her to flee her home if only to forget.

Incidentally, Iris is in front of her Sony Vaio looking like a total teary mess. She and Amanda trade messages and seal their house swap after Amanda asks her if there are any men in her town to which she answers, "zero." And so the deal goes, they live in each other’s home for the holiday.

Amanda tries hard to cozy up inside Iris’ cramped and old-fashioned abode while Iris’ jaw almost dropped because of Amanda’s fully-furnished-with-high-end gadgets home. Amanda gets drunk; Iris sleeps.

Then enter the men.

Along Amanda’s trip from sobriety to drunkenness, she hears a banging on the door and who does she see? Iris’ gorgeous older brother, Jude (I’m sorry I failed to get his character’s name), a book editor who, at that moment, is equally drunk. They engage in some chit-chat then sleep together, more than once in the movie, really.

On the other hand, Iris meets her guy, too. Actually, her “guys” because they were two: the old man who lives next door and Jack Black’s character, Miles, who works with Amanda as a musical score director. Both men keep Iris busy, the former by unconsciously tapping on her naturally good self and the latter by what I’d call an almost direct association (they face the same predicament in their respective love lives).

Iris encourages the old man to get out of his self-encaged shell by celebrating with his young fans a special night in his honor. She also inspires Miles to end his relationship with his part-time girlfriend. We’d think that these activities will keep Iris busy from her supposed sabbatical. Well she was busy but her pseudo man HAD to appear on her doorstep.

Pseudo man needs Iris…(oh how I would love to end my sentence here but I have to complete THE COMPLETE thought)…to edit his book. Crap! Since when is it romantic to edit someone else’ work? I mean, man, if you’re trying to impress or win your woman, don’t show her your incompetence—that includes your grammar glitches.

Iris, although love struck, sees through pseudo man’s murky intentions. She gets to her senses and drives him out of her house—I mean Amanda’s house— and her life—Iris’ life.

Meanwhile, Amanda pulls herself in and out of her “relationship” with Jude—“in” when it comes to getting in bed and “out” when it comes to committing. How American!

Sporting one of her “in” moods, she makes a surprise visit to Jude’s home. It would have been so predictable if she catches him with another woman—not because it’s Jude Law but because that’s the way stories like this one go. She rather catches him with two girls, his two cute girls. And no, he is not D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D. He is a W-I-D-O-W-E-R and the way he kept his kids unknown to Amanda is his way of “compartmentalizing” his life. You see, even if he is a dad and a mom to his daughters, he wants to keep his bachelor life healthy. Hmm…it might explain why, as he said, he kisses strangers all the time.

To keep everything light, all the characters get what they need in the end: Iris, a man who reciprocates the love she gives; Miles, a woman whom he deserves; Amanda, her tears; and Jude a potential mummy for his girls. We know all is well because we see them dancing in front of the fireplace, laughing and hugging. Plus they were in England! It couldn’t get any better than that.

Yes it is a fairytale ending but, heck, it’s a romantic comedy! The audience enters the theater expecting to come out with a satisfied smile on their faces. And with “The Holiday,” that’s what they’ll get.

Is the movie satisfying? Considering the eye candies you get too see for roughly two hours, yes. And there’s a cameo appearance by an LA dweller, “The Graduate’s” Dustin Hoffman.

The producers know how to maximize their characters. It helps that all the characters are people of the arts. It’s easier to appreciate artsy people in the romantic light, don’t you just agree? I mean, things would have been different of we were presented with a doctor, a scientist, an engineer and a computer programmer. The plot would have been more precise and accurate—no guessing, all calculated; ergo, no fun.

The movie attempted to touch on various types of love, or at least relationships but I think it failed in that aspect. As far as I saw, there was Iris and Miles, and Amanda and Jude. The complicated, if not problematic ties were shelved. You cannot really start a movie presenting a wide array of “loves” then settle with two. Multi-“loves” was something which “Love Actually” pulled off really well.

Perhaps asking more “loves” from the movie would be too much. After all, compressing two love stories for two equally powerful couples was a bit too much for one romantic comedy.

But don’t let that remark stop you. Go see this movie. Enjoy the mush. It’s the love month for crying out loud!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Red Feb

I almost panicked when I opened my eyes this morning. Everything around me was red. For a moment I thought I was in hell. Then I remembered the red drapes my mom put up yesterday in place of the yellow ones that had been hanging in my room since, I think, December.

I was instantly pulled back to earth, or more precisely, in loveland. My mom is taking this love month to the next level. (Whew, that sounds Starstruck-y!) She bought these heart-filled bed sheets and pillow covers. There are red, pink, yellow, orange, blue and green hearts everywhere!

And it is the first February weekend. I’m sure everyone from everywhere will once again exaggerate the Valentine’s Day hype. It makes the mushy business more lucrative. I know, I know. I would not come out clean with my previous statement. I work for a greeting card company for heaven’s sakes! I too associate Valentine’s Day with the sound, “Ca-ching! Ca-ching!”

So it is the love month. I don’t have anything against that. If there’s one thing we, humans, should commemorate, it’s the importance of love. We chose the shortest month to celebrate it but it’s better than none. And, hey, I will not go grumpy because it’s February!

They say that December is the time of the year when suicidal rate is high. For some reason, I am afraid that with the way capitalists are imposing that we—all of us—should be snuggled with a special someone this month, an alarming number of people will yield to depression and at worse, slash their wrists or overdose themselves with pills. That’s morbid, I know. It’s exactly why I worry.

I have this friend who seem to be slowly becoming a victim of the V-day hype. It doesn’t help that her pseudo love life is in limbo and no clarity has descended from heaven to explain the real intentions of her pseudo man. Just a thought: maybe cupid is not working as hard as he should. (NOTE TO EROS: I am not mocking you again. See? I used “Cupid.” You don’t have to work hard where I am concerned.)

February spurs some sort of pressure to all singles in the world. And the month seems to be good at it. But please, let’s not fall victims.

This reminds me of a crazy thing I did three years ago. (God, it’s been that long?) I was still in college and I was involved in a play. It meant I had to stay in Los Baños even on weekends for rehearsals. When I went back home, my dad told me, “sabi ng mommy mo may ka-M.U. ka na daw kaya hindi ka umuuwi.”

I was like, “Whatever gave her the idea?!”

As it turns out, mom had been talking to a manghuhula. The manghuhula must have read in her Tarot cards that my mom’s second child is in mutual understanding with some guy, probably a classmate. It was a bit disturbing. If my mom wanted to know about me, she should have come and asked me. I definitely wouldn’t charge her for oooh, I don’t know, the truth.


In a way I wanted to get even. So the day before Valentine’s Day three years ago, while sitting on the dusty Humanities’ steps, I had a light bulb moment. I asked my gay classmate whom I will hide under the name, Ruel, to pose with me as if he were the guy the manghuhula saw. He didn’t hesitate. My friends took our pictures while the rest of the non-busy student body watched our public display of Valentine’s Day ridicule. Now this is the first time this picture will come out. I will blur “Ruel’s” face to protect his true identity. I wouldn't want Ruel's target demographics to think that he's straight.

What is the point of his piece? February will always be in our calendars. There’s no running away from it. It may suck being pressured to become part of a couple in the so-called love month but don’t fall prey. Have fun! As I have said, it falls on the shortest month of the year. Chances are, you wouldn’t even notice that the heart-y month is over sooner than you think.

COMMENTS

Talent,
Totoo ka jan. Mga ganitong entry further stresses un mga blog entries ko, hehe! Ang feb14 lilipas din. At least di sha tulad ng pasko na talagang pati mga kalye e may reminder for you na parating na diba? At, mabuti na un tayo lang muna, walang gastos at walang kunsumisyon! dahil usually after valetines day mraming couples nagaaway dhil ganun talaga. imbento ko lang un pero bakit ba? lol!
lets celebrate being single and happy!!! happy valentines to us =)

ps.
pwede tayo magbukas ng blog na parang sulatan ng talent-manager. wala lang sagutan ever. i wonder ano anong kalokohan ang maisusulat dun! hahahaha!
Posted by: Christmas | February 4, 2007 08:28 AM

Pwede!:-)
Posted by: Tyrene | February 5, 2007 03:33 AM

ning,
you gave me a heart attack with that picture sa humsteps. kala ko kung sinong jowa.hehe.
was funny though.
will email more soon, promise.
Posted by: Nikka | February 25, 2007 01:59 PM

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Small Steps Back

Faith said I should try writing about simple things. I could take off from there.

No, it’s not writer’s block that I’m fighting. Any real writer wouldn’t admit to having writer’s block. Otherwise, writers would be out of regular, good-paying jobs. We wouldn’t want that to happen, do we?

I was told to not to show Nichi how I felt about his recent situation. The last thing we want to happen is for my brother to succumb to depression. If he sees any of us in the family sad or sorry for him, he’d be sad and sorry for him. By doing so, we’d take away what could be a major ingredient in his being healthy—his laughter.

Well yes, maybe I have been holding back since I’ve learned the not-too-good news. I lost it for a minute though, while beside my kumare. I had to share my thoughts to someone. And I couldn’t help but cry. You’d be amazed how I broke down. I went, “teka lang naiiyak na ako.” Then I covered my face. It would have been liberating if I cried for at least an hour but as I have said, I let go of my troubles in a minute or less. We were in the office and I didn’t want to make a scene. I am not too big on making scenes, especially dramatic ones.

I don’t know who would believe that I am in control because I know that I am not. I manage to hold back my tears but it comes with a price. It’s turning me numb. Which is in no way good for writing, thus explaining my loss for words for more than 20 days.

But I am taking small steps back. I’ll be retracing my path to return where I left off.

A day or two after learning the initial findings of Nichi’s doctors, I did something which probably is silly. There is a possibility that my brother will lose his eyesight—at least the one in his left eye. I wanted to see the world through his functioning eye so I covered my left eye and observed how the world would be. It didn’t last long—my little experiment. A few seconds later I was throwing up air. I was afraid it wouldn’t stop.

Normally I’d be fed up upon knowing that something bad which I thought was over isn’t over at all. Somehow I’ve come to realize that I am in no position to hate anyone or anything that never seem to get tired of challenging my little brother’s life.

In my high school Chemistry class, Ms. Tiambeng, after explaining the topic on nomenclature of chemical compounds, asked us what we will do to be able to name the example she had written on the board. Eliot, my classmate answered aloud, “Pray.”

My family and I are somehow reduced to Eliot’s solution. Pray.

They say that prayers are powerful. I should stand witness to that, after all I’ve seen Nichi succeed over a series of serious clinical threats to his life. Lots of people prayed for him and I unquestioningly attribute his salvation to those prayers.

And yet I seem to doubt the power of prayers by thinking that praying may not be enough. I am expecting more from science, really. Maybe I am praying that science be used to make my brother’s life normal again. As my dad had stated, Nichi deserves a full life, something better than what he is getting right now.

I’ve been avoiding any discussion about Nichi’s vision when he is around. Hence when he tried telling me what he felt, he stopped.

He was holding a core of what used to be a roll of tissue paper. He peeped through it the way a pirate would with a telescope. Nichi must have used his wrong eye. He said, “hindi na talaga nakakakita ito.” I replied, “wag mo nang idikit yan sa mata mo. Baka masundot pa.” He closed his eyes.

I guess he didn’t know that he was not the only one suppressing tears at that moment. I went near him and said, “embrace na lang kita.” He didn’t move. I tried to shake him and insisted, “Nichi, wag ka ganyan. Hug na lang kita.” He held his breath and pinched his nose. “Nichi, ano ba? Wag ganyan!” I wasn’t angry. I was afraid.

I think it was Wednesday night when he brought up the topic again. I caught him staring at me with his sick eye. This time, I had the guts to listen to him. “Hindi na nakakakita itong mata ko. Minsan nga feeling ko nakapikit sya yun pala hindi.” I didn’t sense any fear in Nichi’s voice that night. He was a child discussing the changes in his vision. He really is a brave kid. I silently promised to be just as brave.

Nichi remains to be his happy self, preoccupied with playing and eating. Other than rare moments of thinking about his eye, he is generally fine. Right now I don’t feel much, meaning I have not been keeping my promise. If I were any bit brave, I’d be able to allow myself to be emotion’s slave even for the weekend.

A good reader will sense how constipated this piece is. I apologize.

COMMENTS

Talent,
Ganyan talaga. I guess in life kanya kanya lang tayo ng burdens. But we go thru it all. Problems, worries, thinking abhot how we can make things better for someone we love. Pero as long as you have love in you, for your brother, you will never get tired nor be weak. Because his strength is your strength. And Im sure he feels the same way. Lets just keep praying. Ako minsan feeling ko di ako malakas kay god dahil parang pati si God naka-ipod di ako naririnig pero siguro naman he does, hes just thinking, weighing things for us para we get what it is thats truly for us.
Odba, makata ba? Keri lang yan talent, kaya nyo yan!
Posted by: Christmas | February 4, 2007 08:21 AM

Salamat, Manager!
Touched akong tunay!
Posted by: Tyrene | February 5, 2007 03:43 AM