Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Love My Chefs Funny, Cool and Hot

Dahil ako ay nahuhumaling kay Sam ng Top Chef Season2, napagdecide-an kong maglaan ng isang ariticle about them three chefs I love. Oo, tatlo sila. At gahdemmit, mahal ko na sila! (And to think prior to this post I was advocating reality!) Well anyway hayaan nyo na lang muna akong mag-ilusyon.

Ready?


Ok. Ok, Adam Sandler may not be a chef in real life but he sure is one lovely chef in Spanglish. Notice how I’ve been almost always on the verge of swooning over this movie. The thing is, if Adam Sandler’s character in this movie were a real person, I’d marry him. You can then help me throw away all the pieces I wrote about me never ever wanting to get married.






Next man is the naked chef himself, Jamie Oliver. Love the accent. Love him. Jamie is not only skilled, wealthy and famous; he also has that angel in him who uses his gifts to do something good for others. He has established a charity restaurant (now, reataurantS) which helps the so-called disadvantaged young people. He also advocates the serving of healthy food in school canteens, thereby saving kids from eating junk. You just have to see Jamie do his magic in the kitchen in order for you to love him, too.



Finally, Sam Talbot, an executive chef in New York City, and was a strong contender in Top Chef Season 2. Unfortunately someone else beat him out of the Top Chef title but it doesn’t make him any less of the handsome and charming chef that he seems to be. (And I’m just so glad it wasn’t Marcel who beat him!) According to Bravo tv’s official website, Sam was voted one of the top ten sexiest chefs in New York. How’s that to convince you on how truly sexy he is?

Allow me to get a hold of myself where Sam is concerned. I have reason to believe that Sam is not just some sexy chef. He probably is one great chef as he often wins in the Top Chef challenges and garners flattering criticisms from Top Chef judges. Also there is something commanding about him whenever he is absorbed in his craft as he works with his fellow contenders in the kitchen. And if I may trust my judgment, I perceive Sam as I have seen him on TV as someone unpretentious, just doing what he loves to do, trying his darn best to serve the most scrumptious food he can whip up. Watch him and you'll certainly love him, too.

And if, by any chance, I meet Sam in person will someone please get ready to catch me because I will surely faint. Really.

So there.



Sana nabusog kayo.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Trip to Fantasy and Reality in a Week

Last week, I was overwhelmed by the Komik Kon in Diliman. I can hardly digest how a bunch of grown ups choose to embrace the world of fantasy through comics. I mean it’s one thing to like comics; it’s a whole lot of other thing to live it.

As much as reality is murky at times, I’d rather stick with it. As I see it, it is better to walk the path of life with eyes wide open majority of the time and with feet grounded on whatever trail you opt to trek than to float dreamily thereby missing the good and the bad hits that make up life.

Perhaps it is along this principle that our modern-day children storytellers create their tales. After attending A Day with Weavers of Magic: Writing, Illustrating, and Telling Stories for Children, also in Diliman, I have discovered a new breed of children’s book out in our country.

They are books that tackle reality but are packaged for children. They are primarily intended as therapy for kids with less than perfect lives. And for those children who have the luxury of close-to-perfect lives, these books may open their eyes to whatever it is that’s out there, making them appreciate more what they have now.

I got myself some of those books. Allow me to share them.



Ang Pitong Tanga (The Seven Idiots)
By Severino Reyes



As vulgar as the title may sound, it carries a tinge of humor. But then again, dealing and living with a bunch of fools with no intentions of improving themselves will later prove to be frustrating as soon as its being funny fades away.


Ulkkk! Di ko malunok ang tableta! (Ulkkk! I can’t swallow that Tablet!)
By Luis P. Gatmaitan, M.D.



This book could have had me as the lead. As a child and grown up, I am not blessed with the ability to swallow tablets or even capsules. (You can just imagine why, even until now, I try to get away from taking vitamins and medicines—prescribed or otherwise.) Funny, yes it is. But not when you’re the one sick and you can’t run away from the pills. I remember how excruciating it was for me to take my antibiotics when a cyst was removed from my wrist when I was 12 years old.

As much as this book suggests techniques for kids to swallow their tablets, it also alerts parents not to take such problem for granted and to be the constant source of encouragement to their kids as they conquer their inabilities—whether it is in swallowing tablets or other bigger stuff, so to speak.


Sandosenang Sapatos (A Dozen Pairs of Shoes)
By Luis P. Gatmaitan, M.D.



This book is a heart-pricking story of a shoemaker dad and his two girls, Karina and Susie. While one daughter enjoys the shoes her dad makes, the other only gets to wear shoes in her dreams because she wasn’t born like most of us are.

Sandosenang Sapatos relays how a disabled child feels “emotionally whole” through the love that comes from her family.


XileF
By Augie Rivera



XileF is a story about a dyslexic boy named Felix who, through the help of the people around him, learns to hurdle his reading problem.



Papa’s House, Mama’s House
By Jean Lee C. Patindol



This book, intended for children six to seven years old, relays the story of a child with separated parents. It sees the world from his point of view which is muddled by the uniqueness of his family’s set-up.

The essence of the story assures a child who shares the same fate as the main character that it is not his fault why he lives differently than most of his peers, and that given the two homes he has, he clearly is loved by both his parents nonetheless.


Perhaps it is healthy to expose ourselves to fantasy at times. It may after all, serve as a quick break from the harsh side of what is real.

But if experts say that children can handle reality as the growing line of new-age children's books proves it, why not we, adults, face it, too?

We reside in reality anyway. We might as well learn to appreciate it in the best way we can.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Weaving Magic

I spent most of the day in UP Diliman to attend the workshop: A Day with Weavers of Magic: Writing, Illustrating, and Telling Stories for Children.

The original plan was Leng, Kistna, Joan and I will attend this workshop. But Leng had to fly in another Asian country so we were reduced to three. Then Kistna got a new job. She could no longer make it, trimming the berk attendees into two. At the last minute, Joan took a rain check because she was not feeling well. And so the cheese that stands alone went ahead and braved Diliman by herself.

The cheese is me, by the way.

I know how to get to Diliman via jeepney but I know little about its buildings so I rested my fate and my search for the educ building to manong driver whom I later found out, didn’t deserve my trust. My hazy memory and mental map of UPD’s geography dictates that the educ building is somewhere around the sunken garden. We were almost about to drive past the sunken garden yet manong was not dropping me off anywhere. As it turns out, he doesn’t know where it was. Lucky for me, a student pointed me to the blessed building. At least, I made it albeit my being one and a half hour late.




The price for my tardiness is me missing the main reason why I wanted to attend the workshop: to get a fresh knowledge on writing. So there goes. But it wasn’t at all a lost cause. I did learn a few of things still. Mostly, the workshop motivated me, tapping into that part of me which got me into communication arts in the first place, which clearly has nothing to do with me writing. I knew I had a shot at Comm. Arts the day I learned to open my mouth and read aloud, with emotions, whatever piece it was I got a hold of.

The big bulk of the workshop went to storytelling. It was like a refresher course of my Oral Interpretation class in college. A class which I loved. A class which we spent reading texts aloud, an activity I’m fond of. Only, we had to observe the technicalities of performing in front of an audience which wasn’t really a problem. I think I did well in that class. My heart was in it after all.

But my speaking voice slowly faded when my written voice was gradually amplified. I spoke less and wrote more. As a result, my speaking skills have been slowly tarnishing which is a shame. I seemed to have overlooked one while nurturing the other. (Let me say, though, that I am far from perfecting either of the two skills.)




The workshop somehow revived the spirit that someday I can equally nourish my writing and speaking abilities. That I can continue to write and, if given a chance, read what I have written or talk about it at least. Perhaps in doing both, I can pursue what-is-now-my-latent advocacy: reaching out to children.

So help me God.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nichi in Lea Salongga's MTV



Tol!

Especially namiss kita today, ha. Hay... Ano ba? Di ka pa ba pwede bumisita kahit sa panaginip lang ulit? Konting balita naman sa yo. Kung pwede lang naman.

Eh nung lunes pinagawa ako ni dad nung lagi mong request na Chicken Enchilada, hindi Chili Enchilada! Hehe. Wala na tuloy akong assistant. Pero in fairness, masarap naman yung nagawa ko. Si dad na lang ang tumulong sa akin. Sayang! Sana nandito ka pa para nakakain ka!

Malapit na pala kami magkitakits ng mga berks mo sa PCMC. Dami na naman ang tumulong sa atin! Ngayon iba naman ang pasasayahin natin. Yung mga friends mo naman. Me drawing book, crayola, pencils, eraser, sharpener at stickers na tayong pang-surprise sa kanila. Gusto ko nga sanang magsama ng pellet gun na may laser light (kagaya nung last na pinabili mo sa akin sa Divi) kaso bawal sa bata yung mga guns. Baka hulihin pa ako ng pulis!

Hahanapin kita dun sa PCMC sa DEc. 7, ha? Mag-smile ka sa akin ha. Bawal ang sungit! Bantayan mo na rin sila--yung mga kids doon para naman gumaling na sila kagaya ng gusto mong mangyari sa yo noon.

Ano pa? Si Bibby tumataba na. Pero feeling ko alam mo na yon. Baka nga mas nalalaro mo pa sya kesa sa akin.

Finally, nakita ko na rin pala yung MTV ni Lea Salongga. Bakit ba naman ngayon ko lang naisip i-search sa Youtube!?! Di mo na tuloy siya napanood! But anyway, ipopost ko na rin sya dito para kung sakaling aktib ang Wi-Fi nyo dyan sa heaven, mapapanood mo na rin siya!

Alam ko ikaw yung naglalakad sa corridor na may kaakbay dun sa part na "living side by side" yung sinasabi ni Lea. Ayus ka talaga! Istar!

Miss ko na talaga yung ismile mo, Nichi!

At kahit matagal tagal na tayong di nagkikita, lab na lab na lab na lab pa rin kita! BAlang araw, embrace mo ulit ako, ha!

Lab yu, Gigi!

Mwah!

Ate Tye


* * *

Here's, Together You and I, Lea Salongga's MTV for one of DepED's projects, Brigada Eskwela 2006. It was shot in the public school Nichi attended the whole of his grade school years.

Nichi was excited about it being that he'd be on TV and all. Unfortunately, he never got to see this video. But I'm sure he's seen it in his cool new pad right now.





Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Kids Project Update


These are all we were able to purchase last November 16:


165 drawing books
300 pcs Monggol pencils
152 erasers
156 sharpeners
156 boxes of Crayola crayon (16 colors)
300 sticker sheets
150
sheets of wrappers
12 rolls of scotch tape








The allocated budget for each kid has risen from the original P25.00 to P36.10.




The contents of each of the gifts are as follows:



1 drawing book
2 Monggol pencils
1 eraser
1 sharpener
1 Crayola crayons (16 colors)
2 sticker sheets








We are still accepting donations to add to the gift packs. The gifts have not been packed/sealed yet to wait for items which may come hopefully before December 6 (the day before the party). Still, we’ve started preparing the gift bags that will hold the Christmas loot for 150 extra special children.

From all of us who are part of this project, thank you for supporting our cause! We can’t wait to show you 150 smiles on December 7, 2007.



Should you wish to share anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

God bless your kind hearts!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Komik Kon-ing

The 3rd Filipino Komiks Convention was held today at the UP Bahay ng Alumni and I was there for the following reasons:

1. I wanted to keep my word to my good berk, Jo, that we’ll go together this year.

2. PDI didn’t need me. (Not really a good thing. For the one concerned, please need me again soon. I’m almost always free for you.) Needless to say, I suddenly had the time to attend on non-profitable matters. (By "non-profitable" I mean something that doesn't generate money/wage for me.)

3. I had extra cash—or so I thought.

4. I was hoping to have my Kikomachine Komix Blg. 2 and 3 (if ever I find one) signed. (Kikomachine Komix Blg. 1 is a done-deal, thanks to Kate who had it signed for me a couple of years ago.) And while I’m at it, I wish to have my Beerkwatro signed, too.

5. I needed to see this event for myself. It really is the curiosity factor kicking in.


* * *

With around four hours of sleep coupled with strained limbs from yesterday’s activity, I almost backed out of today’s agenda. I was low in power but I was bound by the five conditions I listed above so I went ahead, chugging a glass of mocha latte granita to hopefully energize what was left of me.

One cab ride later, I found myself Komik Kon-ing with “experts.”

My head must have blown up and turned green while my eyes’ pupils stretched from my forehead down to my jaw because as I would not hesitate to admit it, I felt like the odd creature in a sea of komik enthusiasts. And the thing is, I was afraid that whatever I say might desecrate any existing komik tradition, that whatever comes out of my mouth will be pure sacrilege because unlike them, I don’t venerate komiks that much.

My berk, Jo—a certified komiks and more accurately, anime follower—being lured from one table to another while I’m looking at the opposite direction didn’t help. She was the only element that kept me connected to the event and so losing her beside me triggers a slight wave of panic in my little miss paranoid brain.

It was culture shock, to say the least. I hardly felt like I belonged in there. I had to get out of the hall, take a breather, and eat ice cream.

Then I proceeded on resetting my expectations as I entered the komik premises once more.

The cartoonist of Kikomachine was nowhere to be found. It is a shame if we didn't see him because to tell the truth, he is the only cartoonist I could have identified if there were plenty of them presented right before me. This is perhaps how mangmang I am to the culture I braved to explore.


Jo decided to browse on some DVDs, making sure that this time, she doesn’t leave me alone, clueless.

Later we approached the Beerkada booth from where I bought a surprise gift to a friend, hoping to have it signed along with my old copy of Beerkwatro. Unfortunately, I only know Lyndon Gregorio through his cartoon self-portrait. I almost mistook another guy who was sitting in their booth as him. Good thing Mr. Gregorio was wearing a name tag. Still, I had to rely on another buyer who asked for his “autograph” to confirm the cartoonist’s identity. You know, I can never be too sure.

I know Beerkada’s Psychocow, talked to him in person and even developed a semi-crush towards him once (I’m hoping he’ll never get to read this. And chances are, he probably won’t. Psychocow, that is.), but I don’t know the real face behind the pseudonym (or is it?) of the creator of Beerkada.

“Can you please sign my books?” I remember saying it nicely as soon as I confirmed who the cartoonist was.

Mr. Gregorio put down my books, got a pen and asked my name. (Or did he ask my name? I am no longer sure.) By this time, he was rather acting obnoxiously towards a supposed fan who happens to be me. But, boy, I am not his fan. I just wanted to increase the worth of the book I bought in the past, thus explaining why I approached him.

I somehow began not to like Mr. G. I got the impression that he was slightly bitching me around. Will someone please tell him to be friendlier? Then again, he may just remind me of a particular person I am not so fond of whose name starts and ends with a U which explains why, by association, I am judging Mr. G.

But I did appreciate him drawing a cartoon me along with his signature. Of course, him staring at me then to his drawing, then to me, then to his drawing wasn’t anything I’d be ecstatic about. But I was grateful for the gesture just the same.



Take note of his message. Apparently nasayahan pala siya!

He put down my book afterwards and showed no intentions of signing the other book I was hoping to give my friend. For the sake of the gift, I requested him to sign the freshly bought book. “Eto pa po, para sa kaibigan kong si (name withheld for the sake of the surprise).”

He signed and that was it.

That probably is it.

If you get my drift.

* * *


Having been familiar with Pugad Baboy (Well, who doesn’t know Pugad Baboy?), it was most definitely an honor watching Pol Medina, write me a message in my own (and first) copy of his book.

Pol Medina, no doubt, is congenial, compared to others. He even cared enough to thank me and punctuate his thank-you with “Tyrene.”


Waiting in line to see Pol Medina.



Finally he signs my book.

Note the message he opted to write. Incidentally, not too long ago I was a jedi.

* * *

The next course of action was to take Jo’s picture in front of the Culture Crash tarpaulin, find the Kikomachine Komix maker then go home.

But as luck would have it, the Manix encounter came before the Culture Crash photo.

Ayan na sya!” Imagine me saying this with an intensity no entity on earth will think of as a whisper.

Alin?” Jo asked while surveying what I was referring to.

Ayun. Naka-red.” Jo soon realized who I was looking at. We then approached him.

Meron pa ba kayo nito?” I was pointing at the Kikomachine Komix Blg. 3 poster.

“Sorry, wala na e.Manix Abrera apologized. I bet that felt great on his part! (The sold-out book, I mean.)

Dahil dyan, etong lumang libro na lang ang ipapa-sign namin.” I said while Jo and I unearthed our copies of Kikomachine Komix Blg. 2.






Manix, the Kikomachine cartoonist, was pleasant, much like Pol Medina. I pushed my luck. “Tapos, picture tayo.”

He then squeezed himself within the frame captured by my cellphone.



Before Jo and I left, I had to step back and ask Manix, with whom I have had no interaction with prior to the one I am narrating, “Kapatid mo siya?” I was referring to the young girl seated beside him.

He said yes.

I said, “Magkamukha kasi kayo.” You see sometimes, I really can’t stop myself from saying my thoughts.

I think Manix smiled.

Jo laughed.

Shet, maki-chika ba?!?” I blurted out to Jo as soon as I realized how I had just been too friendly to a stranger.


* * *

I took Jo’s picture in the less than solitary tarp. Then we took some more pictures outside. After which, we decided to go for a UP Ikot…on foot. It was a good geographic exercise to UP Los Baños dwellers such as ourselves.





Our feet gave up and so we grabbed another cab to head to the real errand for the day which didn’t really go the way we wanted to. But it wasn’t so bad because at least we found the chance to explore Manila—at night!

And who would have thought that after yesterday and today's adventures, I’d still be awake at this time?

Perhaps Komik Kon-ing does have its magic!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

When Death Stole Christmas

I seriously worry how my family and I will celebrate Christmas now that Nichi is gone.

I don’t know.

Things really won’t be the same again for all of us.

I also worry about Migs. He and Nichi always open their gifts together. Now that Nichi's gone, Christmas will be especially different for Migs, too.

If only I can take my family far away to distract all of us from what is no longer there…

* * *
I’m posting some videos from last Christmas.

Here you’ll see Christmas anticipation through Nichi’s eyes. Well, sort of.


Next is a clip where Nichi and Migs open my Christmas gift for them. Their reactions, put together, never fail to make my Christmas complete.


Finally, Nichi sings a Christmas song by Jaya which may have sounded sooo cheesy back then but surely does capture what our Christmas will be this year.


Therefore, Paano na nga ba ang Pasko kung wala ka?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Let’s Make a Group of Extra Special Kids Happy This Christmas!

For as low as P25.00, you can help us paint a smile on the faces of the Hematology Out-Patient Department (OPD) kids of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) this coming Christmas.

They are the 150 (estimate count) extra special children, ages 2 to 12, who, at their tender age, are faced with serious illnesses such as Leukemia, Thalassemia, and tumors.

With enough funds, we can present this group of exceptionally brave children gifts containing art materials, stickers and toys—all of which will do a lot in taking their young minds off the gravity of their diseases and the tortures of their treatment.

The target date for the distribution of gifts is on December 7, 2007 (Friday) in time for the children’s Christmas party to be held inside PCMC. The purchasing of gifts is scheduled on November 16, 2007 (Friday).

Any amount or any material contributions added to the gift packs will surely mean a lot to these kids. And it will be most appreciated if all monetary donations will be in before the date of purchasing of gifts (November 16, 2007). Any item you wish to include in the gift packs must be turned in before December 7, 2007 to allow enough time for wrapping the gifts.

This project is not run by any foundation. It is pursued by a group of people inspired by a courageous young man named Nichi who once expressed how sad it is to wait in line at the PCMC-OPD for his chemotherapy. Being absorbed in drawing definitely helped him forget his health hurdles. Nichi may have lost his six-year battle against leukemia but with our joint efforts, his life and death, as well as of those children who shared the same fate as his, will not be in vain because it will lead to something good.

Just like Nichi did, his friends, the extra special children of the PCMC-OPD, are carrying more than they should. Their lives have become beyond normal because of the treatment they have to go through on a regular basis.

Join us in working together to erase these brave children’s worries even for a while. Let’s make these extra special kids happy this Christmas!


Interested parties may email me at battik14@yahoo.com. (Please indicate "Happy kids this Christmas" on the subject line so that I won't take your email as spam by mistake. Thanks!)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Who's that girl?



Isang buwan na siya!
And she's wearing some of the stuff I got her... click here to see what I'm talking about

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Great Find!

If you are in dire need of a good laugh, then check out this line of nail polish collecting dust in the shelves of Mini Stop, Watson's and maybe even in the convenience store near you.



It's Mwah! nail color by Chic. But Mwah! isn't the best part. The shades it offers are just ingenious!



Here you see just some of them: Brad Pink, Antonio Lavanderas, and Orlando Blue. Imagine your nails painted with Hollywood heartthrobs!

But of course, Pinoy male crushes ng bayan also have their place in the Mwah! nail color line. And I assume that the Pinoy idols sell since I was only left with these two:

...Mark Herrust and Jericho Rose!

Aren't they adorable? They should have been called, stars in a bottle.

Apparently, what Chic did to Mwah! is an effective marketing strategy because, look, I already bought 5 just for the sheer pleasure of collecting them!

For the entertainment I got, I'd say it's money well spent!

(Expect me to have colorful nails on the coming days, though.)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Surviving Undas

Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day have all become one long painful holiday for me.

Yes because of them, I and a lot more of us got a chance to take the time off from whatever we do. And long paid weekends are one of the best things in any worker’s life. But the two extra days of rest granted us have their purpose: for honoring the holy souls that intercede for us and, to simply place it, remembering the dead.

Funny how little effort it would require me, and perhaps the rest of my family in remembering our dead. Why? Because we haven’t forgotten him. Nichi. Our dead.



The pain we are nursing is still as fresh as it was three months ago.

I’m starting to believe that forgetting the dead is more difficult than remembering. At this point, saying that this season is salt rubbed to our fresh, throbbing wound is really nothing but stating the obvious. But since we were the ones who lived, we have the obligation to get through whatever life throws at us. Be it easy or difficult, we are supposed to survive if only to let the spirit of our departed loved-one left inside each one of us live.

I tried to amuse myself the evening of Halloween by being with my friends. But meeting and having dinner with them at the mall just exposed me to kids in costumes thereby reminding me of Nichi, the only one of us, five siblings, who got to go trick or treating in our neighborhood.


He was actually the one who insisted to join the others kids who were all younger than he was. And he, being 10 years old at that time, was pretty much obvious for he was the tallest kid sticking out in a line of tiny kids in costume.

Nichi whipped up his own costume. He didn’t try to be some hero. Instead, he sported a scary him. I’ve got to admit that we all felt sorry for him. At the same time, we admired his efforts, thus explaining why, at the last minute, we all worked to improve on the white powder he initially applied on his face. It probably is Nichi’s magic: pulling us all together when we’d rather not care.

Halloween slowly crept but I tried to shove it off by being absorbed in hilarious conversations with my friends. But then the topic went to one of my friend’s family (who, by the way, is the reason for our get-together), then to her dad and her youngest sister.

The youngest must by nature be the heart of every family, if not all. And the energy and life of my friend’s youngest sister tapped my inner grieving heart. Unbeknownst to me, our other friend was feeling the same way that I did, except that her grieving heart was touched by the dad aspect of the stories.

I tried to buy myself more time in the company of my friends by inviting them for a sleepover. At least I didn’t have to deal with the spirit of the season, not until they left after breakfast.




At 7 am, I went to Nichi’s ossuary by myself. I didn’t realize that the emotions I was trying to hold back will get to me while staring at Nichi’s sort of tombstone.

I know he’s dead. In fact, I was there when he released his last breath. But I still fool myself into thinking that it may all be a bad dream. Honestly, losing him remains to be surreal. That’s why realizing that I was standing in front of my youngest brother’s grave in the morning of November 1st is a real kick in the head or heart—whichever is more painful. In a matter of seconds, I was in tears which was embarrassing because there was another family in the ossuary at that time. I turn my back from them to conceal my pain.

But then, crying alone is better than being with what-is-left-of-my-family. I would hate to infect them with my sadness. So at least my morning tears saved me from bursting later in the afternoon when my dad, my brothers and I came to see Nichi.

I know it is not a good idea detaching myself from the times by going out after the visit at the ossuary and by watching a movie with my brothers. Even me immersing myself to a movie marathon this afternoon isn’t something I’m proud of. But this season has its way of magnifying my grief. And just as my friend who lost her dad says, everyday is November 1st except when there’s something or someone to distract you.

I had to indulge with those distractions just to survive the so-called Undas. But that doesn’t mean I was saved from the short pauses of life caused by my longing to be with Nichi.

Right now, I have one hour and 35 minutes left to keep myself distracted. All Soul’s day will be over soon. Hopefully, the magnitude of my pain will decrease.

Until then, I’ll have my everydays to deal with.

I guess, I’ll worry about Christmas later.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On All Hallows Eve

All Hallows Eve or as modern times may call it, Halloween, found me sitting on a bench while gazing at the stars amidst the light-polluted heavens of Ortigas.

No, I wasn’t drunk—like that’s even going to happen. I had my caffeine fix which kept me wide awake in the company of the living. And the stars that decorated the night—or midnight—would have made Halloween romantic rather than spooky had it not for what I was wearing. While my friends wore decent, fashionable clothes and those that pass by us sport colorful costumes, I was in my frigging uniform.

But my NOT being dressed for the occasion makes me dressed for the occasion. As I would put it now, my costume for the night happened to be that of an employee. So when we bumped unto a former college classmate who asked us what we do nowadays, I told him I was actually a bum.

So the stars stood witness as we made fun of ourselves and of others which is really, really worth it especially at this time of year when things are especially different for me.

As I see it, laughing is better than what the Celtics, the original foreparents of Hallows Eve, did in driving away ghosts, goblins and witches which they believed returns and mingles with the living at around this season. But then again, the Celtic masks and bonfires have today evolved into the wearing of costumes and lighting of candles so who am I to say that their gimmick in the past was a bad idea?

Ancient people really threw in a lot of effort to shoo away the souls of the dead. It just goes to show how humans inherently repel those associated with death or dying—something which is ironically an integral part of living.

I guess, it’s not the ghosts they and us are really trying to evade. It’s the idea of the coming of death that spooks us all. I mean, don’t you agree that dying—whether it’s us or anyone dear to us—is a hundred times scarier than saying, “Hi!” to a monster?

I should know…

Still I don’t think spirits would bother to return to our world for no good reason. No matter how I look at it, they are better off up there, sitting comfortably in the twinkling thrones they earned while living. Because just like little Simba, I was brainwashed by King Mufasa that they who have come and gone before us, they are in the stars, constantly looking down on us, checking if we are doing well.

So really, Hallows Eve is a great time to celebrate the uncut connections between the living and the dead. It marks the beginning of the moment when we can talk to our departed loved ones without being judged insane or without anyone feeling sorry for us.

For that, we can indeed be glad. I therefore leave you with this, “Happy Halloween, everyone!”