Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Take a Bow

So this is it. The last day of the year 2008. The day I've set to take my pre-announced bow. My pseudo retirement at blogging.

Which may well be just a dramatic vacation.

While I pursue a more tangible medium of writing.

Yes, contrary to how desperate or depressed I may have sounded when I posted that thing about me quitting this blog, I was thinking of something bigger. Because I really am not the type who'd accept defeat sitting down. The cosmos may work against me and my dreams but I have only one life to live to prove that I am better than how chance thinks of me.

So, yes, you won't probably hear from me for a while especially now that I am determined to complete my "project"--whatever that is.

Now come my thanks. For everyone who's taken the time to read my musings and rants. For those who supported my causes and "crusades," and efforts to hopefully help make this world a better place. For those who bought my humor, no matter how crooked it sometimes went. For those who left comments and shout-outs. For those who, consciously or unconsciously, made me think that I make sense and that my thoughts are worth-hearing (or reading). Thank you.

Now I know it won't be easy--keeping my thoughts to myself starting tomorrow until the day I decide to return. But as I've said, it is all for something bigger. I only wish I'd be able to do things right just so I can be back soon.

So there. My blogging hiatus starts when the new year begins.

For now, I am taking my bow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Distributing YOUR gifts to some of the brave kids of PCMC was an honor!

I know that a couple of pictures below will make it look like I were running for public office, if not for saint-hood, so I strongly suggest that you don't mind the blue blob with a ponytail and a black sling bag otherwise known as me. Because, really, I am just many GOOD PEOPLE's representative.

Now here's the deal, it may seem like I and the rest of my family who are not in the pictures were the ones who were making the children happy. But I will personally say that the truth goes otherwise. These children to whom I handed YOUR gifts, THEY were the ones who made us happy, who made me happy.

I wish to thank all of you who supported this year's "efforts" to give gifts to the brave kids of PCMC: My berks and their officemates and families and friends, the people whom I used to work with at Hallmark and some of their relatives, my brother's officemates in Accenture, one of my high school classmate, our family friend and one of Nichi's ninang, Doc Luis and Ms. Gracia of OMF Lit., and Ms. Mackis of Purefoods. As I've said, it was an honor representing all of you and handing out YOUR gifts to these children.

Our initial goal was to give away 150 books to 150 children but with your generosity, we were able to give more. Two Activity books from Purefoods Chicken Nuggets (believe me they were nice, with colorful pages, stickers and all), a third activity book (Hunchback of Notre Dame), a box of crayons, a pencil and sharpener also made it to the kid's gift bags. Plus, we were able to donate one set of the Tito Dok series of Children's book to the PCMC Hematology and Oncology OPD to hopefully start their mini library for the kids.

Thank you! The smiling kids you see in the pictures said "thank you po," too.

Aside from giving gifts to the children at the OPD, we were also able to hand out presents to some of the kids at the ward especially since we were escorted by Dr. Fernandez who, by the way, would also like to extend her "thank you." (Forgive the scarcity of pictures. We had to honor the privacy of most of the patients.)

We had a brief chat with Dr. Fernandez. And although she was very grateful for the good souls who remembered her patients this Christmas, she wished to say that the PCMC Hema and Onco OPD is always open for those who are interested in helping any time of the year. Simple things like cotton balls, alcohol, syringes, needles, bandages, vitamins, etc. will be of great help to their patients. She also encouraged us to invite people to donate blood at their blood bank so that the families who can hardly afford their child's treatment will have one less thing to worry about in the event that their child will be needing transfusion. Plus she shared to us how she hoped that a teacher will come to the OPD on a regular basis to teach basic lessons like the ABC, to read stories and to conduct art workshops for the kids who find themselves somehow stuck at the hospital instead of a school.

If you are interested to address their needs, you can leave me a message so that I can lead you to them or you can personally go to the Philippine Children's Medical Center's Hematology and Oncology Out-Patient Department and approach whoever is the doctor in-charge for the day.

Again, maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tumulong para mabuo ang mga regalong naipamahagi namin noong Dec.23. Maraming bata po ang inyong napasaya. (Isama na po doon kami ng aking pamilya.) Salamat! Salamat!

All the gifts. Thanks to everyone whose donations made it possible for us to come up with these much gifts.


Purefoods Chicken Nuggets Activity books + a third one. Thank you, Ms. Mackis Tuazon, for these; Ms. Maricel Gaskell, for leading me to Ms. Mackis Tuazon; and Sara for "introducing" me to your aunt, Ms. Maricel.



All 164 OMF Lit. Books. Thank you, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan (Tito Dok), for helping us get a big discount for the books and for referring us to Ms. Gracia Lopez. Thank you also to, Ms Gracia, for graciously accommodating us from beginning to end.




All these for a brave kid. Each gift bag contained a Tito Dok Storybook, 2 Purefoods Chicken Nuggets activity books, a third activity book, a box of crayons, a pencil and a sharpener.



Gift distribution at the OPD






"Thank you, Po!"



***If I may add: Thank you also to those who helped us during the Project: Brave Kids Party last December 19 and became instant volunteer face painters and balloon distributors: Mark, Tonette, Krisleen, Ming, Rovel, Jeff, Arjane, Ronaldo, and Joy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Books are Here!

They arrived this afternoon, 150 books from the Tito Dok collection plus one complete set (14 books) that's supposed to start a mini Library for the kids at the PCMC Hematology and Oncology OPD. Yey!

The Package:




The Christmas Stack:




The Books:



I got busy preparing the gift bags. (I'm done with 100 bags! Ang bilis ko na compared last year. Haha. Expert?!) I failed to take pictures of the 150 Hunchback of Notre Dame activity books, and the 300 Purefoods Chicken Nuggets Activity books donated by , well, Purefoods.

I promise to take pictures of them tomorrow :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Project: Brave Kids Christmas Party

Where: at the Riverbanks Center at Marikina
When: 19 December 2008, 1PM-ish

It was rather more simple than last year's party but was more intimate (if that may be the right term.) The stars for the day were the brave kids and their family.

I wish to share some moments:

During the Mass




Queue




Three faces in progress




Little Girl




Spiderman Fan




His Three Stars and a Sun




Audience




Tools




The Group Pic


All photos other than His Three Stars and a Sun, Audience and Tools were taken by my brother, Jowin. The three that I mentioned were all by me.

You can check out the complete album by clicking here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Day the Music Died

I lost my chi. Either I dropped it somewhere or someone stole it from me.

Whatever it is that's keeping me up is gone, down the drain, into the shit basin below the ground we stand on.

I guess there comes a time when even the best warrior gets tired of fighting.

Today I realized, I am tired, not of fighting but of finding a way to fight. I've been trying to come up with the best combat move but nothing seems to work. My efforts have consistently been futile. For the past months or years, I have that kind of consistency.

Definitely not something to be happy about.

I must be doing something massively wrong. Or I am the wrong.

I don't know.

Right now I feel bad, really bad. Not-your-ordinary-I'm-on-a-drama-spree kind of bad. Nor the I'm-gonna-kill-myself kind of bad. I feel so bad to think of such things.

All I want to do is retreat to my tent and find out what is there for me as reality intends. I could start with that.

But if I don't bounce back, if I don't recover after this, I'm going to have to take my bow.

After all, my workshop cannot stay open forever.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another set of Quotes from Caramelo

Before I sleep, allow me to share a couple more poignant lines from Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo. (Notice that it's only now that I made remarkable progress, in my read that is.)

From Page 272:

--Why is it sadness comes and gets you when you lie down?
--Maybe it's because we talk too much in the day, we can't hear what our heart is saying. And if you don't pay attention, then it talks to you through a dream. That's why it's important to remember your dreams....
From page 275 (A cheesy bit):

To love is a terrible, wonderful thing. The pleasure reminds you--I'm alive! But the pain reminds you of the same thing --! Ay! I am alive.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Let me Tell you about my Latest Hypochondria Attack

It is difficult to know for certain if there is something wrong with my system or if it’s all psychosomatic—the symptoms that seem to manifest whenever I am faced with one major fear: getting sick.

Lately, I feel my limbs are especially weak; my joints, “mahapdi,” and my heart, like someone is squeezing it from the inside. I get occasional headaches and either of my eyes sometime involuntarily twitches.

I worry that my blood pressure will plummet because prior to keeping this lifestyle, my BP has been a bit low. I also fear that my blood count gets messed up—but that’s thinking in extremes.

I rarely get any decent sleep these days and I blame that for the so-called anomalies in my body. It’s either I can’t sleep, I have to stay awake, or I am trying to keep up with the rest of the waking world, thus sacrificing sleep.

A friend told me to take Vitamin B complex supplements. Her mom is a nurse so I believe her. Plus last year, when my knees felt the same way they are feeling now, the doctor prescribed me the same vitamin.

I Googled “Vitamin B Complex” and landed on Wikepedia. I found out a few alarming symptoms for people lacking any of the eight variety of Vitamin B: weakness and pain in the limbs, irregular heartbeat, cracks in lips, high sensitivity to sunlight, insomnia (?), weakness, mental confusion, anemia, water retention (weight loss is also a symptom but apparently I am not any lighter), hypertension (which I believe has the same symptom as low blood), to name a few.

See, I get paranoid this way.

I guess, I would just have to relax and hope that the “ailments” go away.

As much as it is tempting to sign off at times, I believe I still have a mission down here. I would hate it if I get sick.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Drops by So Quick

There’s been positive response for the Happy Kids 2 project (or movement—I really don’t know how to call it). Despite the short-notice, a few people I emailed have already expressed their intentions to help. Yey!

A friend has collected P220 from her friends from work and says there’s still some more to come. We already have 150 small Hunchback of Notre Dame activity books to pack with the main gift. And someone just told me she’s willing to donate pencils (which will definitely go well with the activity books).

Last Sunday, an angel came by and shared P2,000. Now I am confident we can get the books we plan to give away! (I admit to being skeptical at first especially since the fund-raising seems to be at the last minute, and the books we are aiming to purchase are worth P65 each. Then again, I relied on faith.)

This morning, I received a text message from one of the people from OMF Literature. Incidentally her name is Gracia. She just delivered good news! Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, otherwise known as Tito Dok and is the author of the books we intend to give out, requested that the publishing house extend the discount they were previously giving us. So now we’ll be getting the books 10% lower than the initial discounted price! (I am not sure if I am allowed to disclose how much we will be purchasing their products given all the deductions.)

I have personally exchanged emails with Tito Dok and he is very supportive of our cause. He is actually the one who gave Gracia my contact details. As it turns out, Tito Dok and our family share something in common—we lost a loved one due to leukemia. Tito dok also happens to be a pediatrician so he naturally has a soft spot for children.

I didn’t really know about Tito Dok until last year when I attended a workshop on writing and illustrating for children’s books at UP Diliman. Tito Dok was there. And he has this line of books that talks about health and the human body from a child’s point-of-view. I think these books will help children understand their bodies more without intimidating them. Somehow, our target beneficiaries will feel power over their bodies when they get to read Tito Dok’s books.

The books are attractive, too. Their glossy pages come in full color and with interesting illustrations. On the other hand, the stories are printed in both English and Filipino. That’s two languages in one book! An added value for the kids.

The books below will comprise our future Christmas blessings for the kids:










Hurrah! Christmas is here!

If you wish to know more about OMF Literature’s list of books, you can visit their website at http://www.omflit.com/home/index.php

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Sweet End to November

My brother treated us for a meal at Burgoo. He was supposed to introduce us to a special salad elsewhere but we were trapped at Podium due to the late night drizzle, so Burgoo had to do.

It wasn’t at all bad. Burgoo, that is. Their servings are humongous and they give you free food when you use your HSBC card. A bit pricey for someone on a tight budget but if you’re after quantity and quality, Burgoo is all worth it! Plus Burgoo allows you to doodle on their table (lined with a wide sheet of paper) while waiting for your food. Migs found it interesting.

We never got to see High School Musical 3—that is for my high school brother’s sake. But an even better movie opportunity was Twilight. As I’ve said before, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re up to something sweet but not too much. I guess, my brothers liked it, too. I’m not too sure about Igan, though, who was sitting two rows behind us.

After finishing the last full show, we headed home but segued to a footbridge nearby. Our streets are decorated with Christmas lights, they might as well serve as backdrop for a romantic Christmas movie.

We got home past midnight. Dad was watching Titanic. I could not help but watch with him. It still bothers me that the ship sank and a lot of people died. So I decided not to stay for its ending.

My November is good as it is. I wish to remember it ending sweet.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Into the Twilight (Zone)

Think teen romance with an Anne Rice twist. That’s Twilight, the latest book-turned movie sensation to hit the world. Or so they say.

Amazingly, the juvenile flavor of Twilight doesn’t work against it. If it were not for the story’s high school back drop, one can fairly say that the teenybopper mist is barely there. We are, therefore, spared from the typical cheesy love story and the usual youth angst we are tired of seeing on the big screen, not to mention on the boob tube.

In its subtle way, Twilight is refreshing. It presents stereotypical characters who find themselves in situations outside what is normally expected for them.

The main character, Bella, who was used to not fitting in the “in” crowd suddenly becomes the community and school darling when she moves back with her dad in the small town where she grew up. It has been quite a while since Bella and her dad had spent time together after her parents’ divorce. But Bella and her dad are far from being estranged. They know that they have lost precious time together but they don’t hate each other for it. There really is no you-weren’t-around-so-don’t-stick-your-nose-in-my-life moment between the two.

In school, Bella, becomes the latest sparkling new toy everyone wants to a get hold of. But it is Edward, a member of the gorgeous freak clique, who catches Bella’s attention. And it is not exactly love at first sight.

During her first day in biology class, Bella was assigned to sit beside Edward who didn’t display the most welcoming decorum in the world. Aside from appearing like he was about to throw up at the sight (or scent) of Bella, Edward goes out of his way to demand that the school administrator transfer him to a different class—a request denied by the school. Bella isn’t about to take Edward’s blatant gestures of avoiding her passively. She was ready to confront him but then, Edward skips school for days.

Finally Edward shows up in biology class, now more friendly to Bella. They chat but they don’t get to know more about each other until the parking lot incident.

Bella was standing beside her pick-up truck, absorbed in listening to her i-pod while taking an occasional glimpse at Edward and his fellow pale adoptive siblings. A car goes out of control and heads toward her. In a blink of an eye, Edward is next to her, shielding her from the car with his with super speed and mighty strength. Bella is unscathed unlike the car driver.

On the other hand, Edward and his special charms get exposed, at least to Bella. He saves Bella some more yet advises her to stay away.

Bella does her homework. The girl knows that cluelessness is outdated. She figures out that Edward and his family are vampires. She’s not afraid and she promises to keep mum about it. Edward clarifies the type of vampire they were. Like vegetarians, he says simply because they choose not to eat humans. Despite their obvious differences and after pointing out that Bella’s scent specially stimulates Edward’s appetite for human blood, the two grow fond of each other. And just like that, Bella and Edward were an item. None of that will-they, won’t-they drama, thank God!

I especially like the meet-the-vampire-family scene. Edward’s cold-blooded family, the Cullens, were nice and warm to Bella. I have to say it was cute!

The conflict enters when tracker James, a variety of the more vicious vampire-kind, thinks of Bella as his next hunt. Protective Edward and his supportive family work together to save Bella and to slay James for good.

I shall leave what happens next up to you to find out. After all, I recommend this movie.

Twilight is light, in that one does not have to sit and watch characters spend too much time attending to their inner struggles which is always painful to do. For a change, we witness individuals who have managed to accept themselves despite their imperfections.

The story could have easily indulged in good old sickening drama given that the main character is a 17-year-old girl with divorced parents; who moves back in the small town she left when she was a kid; who falls for a guy who, other than being a vampire, is pretty much OK; and who’s on the verge of being a fanged hunter’s next meal. Of course, the other characters have very convenient issues with themselves, too. But we are spared from those. Instead we are given the luxury of a plot that is not very much character-based, but rather rests more on circumstances.

The actions in the story just happen and the characters know how to react. If the plot were a beat, it will go bam-bam-bam.

Suffice it to say, nothing about this movie is dragging. The white foundation on the vampires’ faces was a bit distracting but other than that, I find nothing more to contest.

Needless to say, I am in the Twilight zone.

Tinin-ninin-ninininin-ninininin…

* * *

Check out the trailer:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

I had the night off thanks to the good old American holiday called “Thanksgiving.” (Despite living miles away from Uncle Sam’s people, they have power over me now, and as a requisite, I abide by their holidays.)

I don’t know much about Thanksgiving other than it is spent during the last Thursday of November and that a lot of Turkey turns into every dinner table’s superstar during its celebration. I had to Google “Thanksgiving” in order to be reminded of what the essence of that day is for Americans, and apparently, for Canadians as well. I think I Google it every year but the facts never stick to me. Perhaps I really am no American!

But then, my brain’s refusal to absorb Thanksgiving facts is no reason for me not to indulge on my own thanksgiving dinner, especially since apart from the night off, I have one more thing to be grateful about: I got my first real paycheck after 6 months of financial lull. I found it best to treat my family with my latest hard-earned cash.

Tiendesitas seemed convenient. It had the perfect ambiance, it was relatively close, and I can afford the food and the trip. The last time I brought my family there was two years ago, after I got my 13th month pay. We had dinner and then rode the kalesa. Twice.

I hate to compare but Tiendesitas then was better. Perhaps because more of us were present then and none of were dead. This time, Nichi’s gone, my mom’s away, and my brother was late. I think I am being objective when I say that our table, with the bilao meal as center piece, was the most somber table that night. I notice those things and I feel pangs of sadness.

But I still am thankful for what remains of my family. They never cease to be special to me, after all.

* * *

I think it is interesting to note that on our way home, I felt compelled to mumble (or hum), “It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.”



If you live around here, you will sing that song, too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let’s Make a Brave Bunch of Kids Extra Happy this Christmas—Again!


Last year, we were able to make a little over 150 children extra happy by handing them Christmas gifts (containing a drawing book, coloring book, pencils, eraser, sharpener, box of crayons, and sticker sheets), painting their faces with fancy characters and figures, and giving out sculptured balloons—all of which were made possible by a number of generous hearts who supported our cause.

The 150+ warm smiles we saw were definitely well-deserved by the brave bunch of kids from the hematology department of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC). They are the 150+ (estimate count) extra special children, ages 2 to 12, who, at their tender age, are faced with life-threatening illnesses such as Leukemia, Thalassemia, and tumors.

This year, let’s give these children another set of gifts that will keep them busy while waiting to be treated at the PCMC-Out Patient Department (OPD), or while being homebound due to the sensitivity of their health. Our target gifts this time are children’s books which have the power to both entertain and enrich the young minds of the bravest kids on earth.

As of the moment, we are coordinating with publishers of contemporary Filipino children’s books to give us a generous discount on their merchandise in order to make it possible for us to acquire at least 150 books. (There is no word yet as to how much each book will cost.) Even then, we will greatly appreciate it if you will help us raise the sum that will allow us to purchase these books. (Any amount will do its magic to these kids.)

If you wish to give anything in kind (pencils, toys, etc.), we will appreciate it just the same and pack it with the books we are hoping to give away. We are sure that the children from the PCMC-Hema OPD will be glad and surprised to receive gifts they deserve yet never really expected.

We plan to purchase the books before December 15, wrap them on the third week of December (December 15-19), and distribute the gifts during the Christmas week (December 21-26). We hope that your contributions and donations will be in by then.

We are looking forward to your support. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

The family and friends of Nichi, a brave kid, turned angel


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!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A bit of Caramelo

I am proud to say that I have made progress with the thick book I’m reading and by “thick” I mean 439 intimidating pages.

I am done with more than half of it. So I’m thinking that I will be able to finish the book before the year ends, if not before the stroke of midnight at the last day of this year (granting I will not be working on New Year’s eve). Not bad for a slow reader such as myself.

At the risk of being sued for plagiarism or any copyright infringement case, I shall share a few paragraphs from the last chapter which I read. They fall on pages 262 to 263 on copies similar to what I have which was published by Vintage Books on September 2003.

Let’s just say I find the following parts poignant, texts that may hide some thoughts in it—debatable or otherwise. A course of habit, spotting poignant lines. Something I developed in my Masterpieces of World Literature class back in college where our instructor forces our minds to speak, even beyond any author’s voice.

So here goes an excerpt from Sandra Cisneros’ Caramelo:

—You’re selfish, you’ve always been selfish, the Grandmother says, banging both fists on her daughter’s body. Thunk, thunk, thunk. —You’ve always done what you wanted with your life, always, always, always. I hate you!

Stunned, Aunty runs into the bathroom and locks herself in, her body heaving into tears.

—Come out of there, you spoiled escuincla.

—No, I won’t. Never!

Never. Forever. Never. But life is short, and “never” long.

The Grandmother feels as if her daughter has stabbed her with a fork. Cruel daughter! Vice-ridden, selfish girl! Aunty feels as if her mother has knocked her out with hammers. Scandalous crazy old woman! After a while, Aunty can hear the Grandmother stomping over to her bedroom, the door slamming, keys turning in the tumbler, doors from the walnut-wood armoire creaking open, drawers shuffling, then the bed springs groaning like a sigh. Aunty had only wanted what the Grandmother had wanted. Love. Is that too much to ask one’s mother?

The grandmother throws herself on the bed and draws the caramelo rebozo over her face to still the pain behind her eyes. Ungrateful girl!

At the same time on opposite sides of the house they each swear never to talk to the other as long as they both live. But life is very short and anger long.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Comfort food of the day

Chocolate milkshake from McDonalds, and pizza, nachos and baked mac from Greenwich, that's what.

I guess I needed a whole lot of comforting, huh?

Friday, November 21, 2008

What a Day for a Daydream

If you’ve been awake since 12am and your waking hours in the morning are sure to be longer than at night, then wouldn’t you agree that it is a great day for daydreaming? For starters, you are conscious for most part of the day; thus allowing daydreams that run longer than Doctor Chivago, intermission included.

I am not too psyched with my present working schedule because I have a thing with connecting with the people around me who happen to be asleep when I am required to be awake, and who are awake when I am hopelessly forcing myself to lose consciousness. I cannot very well do that if we don’t see each other.

However, if there’s anything that attracts me to this new “challenge” which at the same time poses as my new personal “issue” (note that I am placing in quotation the words abused by my so-called Adarna—annoying!), it probably has got to be being blessed with the opportunity to have a glimpse at the Ortigas heavens at sunrise.

Even with the smog, I say it’s priceless.

It comes as a bonus that a darling-of-a-man (hmmm sounds kinda gay) is singing on my MP3 player.

Bring out the popcorn and let the daydreams roll!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Michael Johns Will Have To Do For Now

Michael Johns wasn't bad at all. To tell the truth, he was not my favorite during the 7th Season of American Idol. (Did I get the season right?) However I found the way he was voted out a bit premature. He could have shown more if he stayed longer, I guess.

I was vying for David Cook who did win. At the same time, I was cheering for Jason Castro who was soo cute. (Imagine me say this in a high school kind-of-way.) I learned that David is coming here this January. I would have made time to see him if I were in Singapore, but I am home now and I ain't going nowhere so I don't have any problem.

Jason Castro, on the other hand, is a different story. No word yet if he will fly here, but if he did, I will see him no matter what. And I'll make sure I will not be limited to staying at the sidelines. Hah! May gameplan na kami ni JO, ang fellow Jason Castro fan ko!

In the mean time, Michael Johns will have to do.

So I thought I had to see him tonight. And that I did. Actually, it was what kept me up while I was trapped in my hell hole sooo early this morning. Yes, I had to sacrifice some precious sleeping time but what the heck? I'd be sleepy just the same.

So here, indulge in some of the photos I managed to snap.

Michael Johns at Glorietta


The Clean Rockstar


Yeah!


Meeting a Pinoy fan


Kinilig ang sangkatauhan


Astig, may bouncer pa!


My paparazzi shot when he left the Glorietta Activity Center

Meme Ang Himig ng Adarna

Someone get me a knife. Quick!

Konti na lang talaga, maghihiwa na ako ng balat para lang hindi makatulog habang “inaawitan” ako ng tinatawag ko ngayong “Adarna.” Shet. Kaso I swore hindi na ako magpapaka-masochista pa mang muli. Kaya, ewan, bahala na. Baka mabalitaan ninyo na lang next time na naging bato na ako dahil naiputan ako ng Adarna.

Either that or ginilitan ko na lang ng leeg ang Adarna. Yikes! (Magpakamorbid ba?)

Hanga na ako ngayon sa mga hasler ng mga graveyards shifts. Ako, keri ko ang puyatan. At may three times ko nang nagawa ang walang tulugan ng 24 hours. However yung 2x doon, namatayan ako ng mga taong malapit sa akin. You can just imagine the adrenaline rush kaya daig ko pa ang nakatira sa pagka alive, alert, awake. Pero hindi ko kayang mag-stay awake kung humihiyaw na ang katawan ko ng, “Tyrene, meme na!”

Chances are may kaka-blag talaga dahil ang panuntunan ko sa buhay, “gutumin ninyo na ako, wag ninyo lang akong idedeprive ng sleep.” Mas matakaw ako sa tulog kesa sa pagkain. At mas hinahanap ko ang tulog kapag hindi ako pwedeng matulog. (Syempre masarap yung bawal!) Pasaway ako by nature.

Therefore, nanganganib akong mag “run, Forrest, run!” muli. I am trying to not spoil myself by conveniently resorting to that option pero kung ganitong nahihirapan naman ako, baka i-take ko na yung lifeline na pinauso ni Mr. Gump. Apo pa naman ako ni Narcissus. I love myself too much to expose myself to absurd forms of torture, minsan nga kahit reasonable, ayaw ko. So talagang tinalikuran ko na ang aking masochistang nakaraan. Charot!

Nga pala, naiisip ko na probably nung past life ko, lalaki akong may asawang über sa pagka-nagger. Kaya I repel anything that sounds like “a nagging wife.” I mean, pwede naman akong pagsabihan and I believe I take criticisms well. Kaso ayaw ko yung halos pukpukin ako sa paulit ulit na mga salitang gets ko naman na sa isang pasada. Kasi kung di ko naman na-gets, ako mismo ang magpapaulit. Kaya siguro kahit nice ang Adarna, I feel the urge to repel her.

Sa kakasalita niya, di ko mapigilang magdrift off at talagang nagshu-shutdown ang utak ko. Kahit gusto kong makinig, ang nagreregister na lang sa auditory nerve ko e dumadagundong na “blah, blah, blah” na talo pa ang Uggoy sa Duyan sa sedating effect nito. It helps na may Dr. Phil vibe siya kaya kahit I believe she means well, medyo irritating. Bad ko talaga!

Hindi ko maiwasang itanong, “ano na naman ba itong pinasok ko?”

Putek, walang panama ang kape sa antok ko, aggravated by the Adarna. Nagtataka lang ako kasi pwedeng magyosi break pero nap hindi. Therefore mas ethical and corporately sound ang lumabas ng building para humithit at bumuga ng nicotine at tar kesa sa mag-engage sa harmless power nap sa mismong seat at desk mo.

Asaan ang sound reasoning doon? At saka tama bang i-promote ang yosi? Mas mamatamisin ko na lang yatang maging bato kesa maging tambutso.

Hay naku, I am ranting kaya chances are di ninyo ako magegets.

Pagbigyan ninyo na. Kulang lang po sa tulog.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Getting more from a Bazaar


So I was sort of forced to help my mom out in her grand idea of a bazaar in the place that used to be my playground (cue Madonna’s I’ll Remember). I haven’t been doing anything productive lately so I did not dare to protest and acceded instead. I’m not new to bazaars or to selling. We used to do it a lot, especially at the time of the year when things go commercial and people are in the mood to spend. Besides, I love giving customers their change. I don’t know why, but I enjoy that.

This time around, however, we’re doing our bazaar in very familiar grounds where some people have either seen me in my diapers waiting in line to have my immunity shots with the company doctor, or in my swimsuit trying not to drown as I learn how to swim, or in my school uniform lying down on the sofa in my dad’s office while he waits for his break time before he brings home his ailing daughter. Having said these, it was pretty much nostalgic hanging around the place which, in a special way, had witnessed me growing up.

Then there’s the part where my frustrations in writing have leaked to these same people, especially those pieces and letters concerning Nichi which moved them, by the way, to help us get through the hospital finances we struggled with. You see, bayanihan is alive at this side of the world. Thank God for sending us His angels! Anyway, these people would then ask, “ikaw yung writer?” Although I can hardly justify myself as a writer because of the fact that I don’t write for a living, I feel flattered to answer yes to their question.

Our sales weren’t all too great to tell the truth. But I hardly fell asleep even during the so-called “dead hours.” Our fellow bazaaristas kept me up. I probably fed on their energies. It helped that the organizers put up a white screen where they projected movies like Ratatouille, the Sarah Geronimo and John Loyd Cruz movie, For the First Time, and The Dark Knight. It made the bazaar area more alive. I didn’t have to see the movies myself. The way the people reacted to these movies were enough to entertain me.

With this bazaar, I was also able to reunite with my high school (and grade school) classmates. Betsy who now manages her own bakeshop while baking and maintaining a column in a certain magazine, Stef who works with the Interactive department of the other leading TV network in the country, and Ida who’s now a wife, a mom (!) and a Manager in my Dad’s former office.

Of course it was also priceless, having the chance to spend more time with my mom and see her do what she loves to do: Talk. But sitting with her in our “stall” brought back good memories of the past where things seemed tough for us yet less complicated than today. For the record, I loved the simplicity of our moments together. It was refreshing.

You see, I didn’t have to buy anything in the bazaar I was telling you about. Yet I was lucky to have gotten more out of it than I anticipated.