Tuesday, June 29, 2004

emotional investment

the two things i will rescue first if our house goes up in flames:
1. the very first toy i consciously treasured. this bear is as old as i am.
this saw me through typhoid fever in car. santos, through a
major surgery in perpetual succour, and through cosmetic reconstructive
surgery in cebu doc.
2. dimitri from paris' sacrebleu album. if music calms the savage beast,
sacrebleu civilizes it and infects it with emotion.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

rizal's house...

...is our backdrop in dapitan where he was exiled. whatever you see of it.

with mia and maje.

summer high '03

our group bagged the grand prize in last year's summer presentation with this "one in a million" comedy, a parody of a pageant for overworked staff who have a knack for laughing at themselves, especially if it makes them look like complete idiots. this was a collaborative effort among the disgruntled beauties of the intermediate department.

opening number. choreography thanks to mattit. chona, alma, me, angie, mattit, sol, deb, eunice

four finalists. me, angie (conveniently hidden), chona, mattit

2nd runner-up chona on centerstage (we worked soooo hard on the script). judges are mrs. b and mrs. c

finale. crown is made of prop stars i kind of stole from shsj. scepter is a ladle

the entire presentation lasted around 20 minutes from opening number, interview portion (which was just insane! deb as the emcee and sol as interpreter. huge riot!). we were dressed in filipiniana tops and baduy shorts.

just looking back makes me laugh.

btw, check out the beach. it's on a small island off the coast of mactan. maribago bluewaters.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

20something ways to cope

person on the left is gingging. accomplished lawyer, broadcaster, president of cebu lady lawyers association, bulwark in huni (one of cebu's premiere chorale groups) and district (national) officer in toastmasters. among other illustrious credentials. guys grovel at her feet. some girls say they are intimidated by her.

guess how old she was when that pic was taken (last year).

turning 41. and she doesn't look a minute over 30.

person on the right is me. resident eccentric of the company, designated freeloader of the family, big spender of useless items, perennial fling to the happily married. among other absurd credentials. girls step on my feet. some guys say they are intimidated by me.

which gets me thinking... look at me, young(ish) and supposedly at the time of my life when i feel invincible. i have a job that i enjoy, friends for moronic escapes and spanking new shoes from yesterday's sale. so what on earth am i doing still "flinging"?! what the hell was i thinking, throwing away that one opportunity to be happy on a more legitimate basis?! (see "a swig of authentic life" entry)

so a toast to the start of my quarter-life crisis! WHOOOOOO!

quarter-life crisis musing number 1: the mathematics of uneven numbers

5:1. that's the ratio of males against females during our mothers' era. ang gaganda siguro nila noon sa paningin ng mga boyses!!! this is unfair...

3:1. that's the ratio of females against males today. take away gays, priests (and other orders vowed to a life of chastity), crooks, criminals, women-beaters and common weirdos. how much does that leave us now?

is this the excuse for polygamy? (aw man, don't look at me, jill....)

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

yesterday i almost knocked over a huge flower centerpiece in the lobby...

but that doesn't stop me from hovering all around the place like an apparition. i'm in bohol.

travelling alone all the time has leveled my head. it has proven that the bottom line is we have to fend for our own hide.

here are some of what i have to go through to get the job done.

ormoc. i was down with the flu, but it was too late to cancel. so all red in the face, i lug the manuals, the transparencies and the overhead projector into a tricycle (yes, tricycle. some cities don't enjoy the luxurious volume of taxicabs that manila and cebu take for granted). the tricycle jolts as it traverses a pothole and hurls the bag of manuals and transparencies into the busy road. i yell "HUNONG SA!!!" to the unknowing driver, pounce dangerously into the street, play patintero with a swarm of vehicles, retrieve my precious cargo, and sprint like mad back to the tricycle. all that with flu.

minutes later, i try to figure out how to set up the ohp i carried with me from the medieval ages. when i finally get it poised and ready, i hit the switch button. no light. i visualize pushing it off the pedestal.

dumaguete. valentine's night. i was hungry like hell. i walk the whole boulevard stretch. i must have seemed like joseph in bethlehem, moving from house to house, asking kindly for lodging. and getting refused over and over again. "sorry, ma'am. fully booked ang restaurant." i hate valentine's night as lovers out on the most hackneyed date of the year shoot pathetic glances at me. they think, "awww...kaluoy niya, wa siya'y date." i wish they all choke on their carbonara ("can't think of anything else to order, eh? i bet you just can't pronounce the names of the other dishes...").

miles later, i end up in the same restobar i usually haunt. no more spaces at the tables, so i to squeeze into the bar. i've never seen so many foreigners within a few square meters of me before (except moalboal, but that's a given...). i don't look up as i eat my fries and pasta. i ignore the waitresses rushing past me as i drink my beer. this place is busier than an anthill. a foreigner tries to strike a conversation. i pretend not to hear. i was hungry like hell.

same place. i'm not hungry, but i'm bored like hell. randall (a&h marketing officer) and i have finished our respective meetings before lunch. now we have four hours to burn before the boat ride back to cebu arrives. we check out of the hotel at twelve noon and take our lunch. now what? i buy me a pack of luckies and a bottle of bubble solution. we find a shady spot where we could sit along the boulevard by the sea. just to see if it works, i try to blow smoke into bubbles. you know what, it does work. and it's so wonderful watching those smoke bubbles float and pop in the air, releasing isolated puffs of lucky strike menthol. randall laughs at me because he thinks i look ridiculous.

later on, we're still bored. we drink two rounds of stong beer at shakey's. and it was still 2:30 pm. i propose a bet as to what sort of movie will be shown on the vessel. he says war movie. i say superhero. winner gets a bag of popcorn.

"just married." so we split the popcorn bill.

bogo, cebu. the satellite office is still under construction, so we had to book a place for a seminar. this one we got is a function room by day, discobar by night. naturally, our closest neighbors are videoke joints. i talk about risk factors and underwriting guidelines while an amateur belts "AAALLLL BYYEEE MYYYEEESSEH-EE-ELFFF..." so the proprietor (a rotund british guy who seems genuinely concerned), hands me a microphone so i could be heard above the poor wailing woman. just as i speak through the mic, some guy from the other side of the street sings "oh baby baby... my baby baby"... so i sing with him. really, i did.

there are more... but that'll wipe me out today.

man, i love my job!

Friday, June 04, 2004

a taste of things to come

here's a tremendously promising artist. meet kat, she's a fine arts major in usc-tc. check out her site. it's among my links.

just a sample of what you can find there.

kat, akong commission ha! i want them tall, intelligent and makulit!!!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

losing custody

in the case of the people vs. tessa marie santos, we find the defendant.........

the crime: accountability for friend's loss of car's custody

crime scene 1: rockwell. sbc. 10ish p.m.

exhibit a: ash tray filled with cigarette butts. winston lights. lucky strike menthol.

prosecutor: "whose are these?"
tessa: "mine and his."
prosecutor: "did you disclose the fact that both of you smoked?"
tessa: "of course not. patay kami dyan. but she didn't ask anyway."

exhibit b: semi-luxury automatic vehicle (model and plate unidentified)

prosecutor: "does this car look familiar to you?"
tessa: "yes, sir."
prosecutor: "where have you encountered it?"
tessa: "nasakyan ko yan. rockwell to hotel"
prosecutor: "did you ask for the lift?"
tessa: "nope. i was offered the lift."
prosecutor: "which you accepted?"
tessa: "nakasakay nga! eh di, tinanggap ang offer! amaw..."
prosecutor: "what was your motive in accepting this offer for a ride?"
tessa: "ikaw nga, bayad ka 100+ para taxi o sakay ka for free? amaw gyud..."

crime scene 2: condominium 5 minutes walk to greenbelt

prosecutor: "have you been to this building?"
tessa: "passed by it, yes."
prosecutor: "what was your intention in passing by it?"
tessa: "la lang. he just wanted to show me the place, i guess."
prosecutor: "did you visit the particular unit he mentioned?"
tessa: "di ba sabi ko passed by? aling bahagi ng passed by ang hindi nyo maintindihan? unit ka dyan..."

prosecutor: "were you aware that she doesn't know about your meeting up in sbc?"
tessa: "yes, sir."
prosecutor: "were you aware that she wasn't supposed to know?"
tessa: "no, sir."
prosecutor: "really? how's that?"
tessa: "i had the idea that she didn't know yet, but if she asked it's perfectly ok to tell her that we met up."
prosecutor: "that late?"
tessa: "that was late?!"
prosecutor: "how much of the alibi do you know right after you were dropped at the hotel?"
tessa: "absolutely nothing."
prosecutor: "but you do know there was supposed to be an alibi?"
tessa: "i do now."
prosecutor: "how did you come to know about it now?"
tessa: "he told me the details of the alibi."
prosecutor: "was this before or after you disclosed some information to her?"
tessa: "after po. parang nabigla sya when i told him that i talked to her."
prosecutor: "why did you talk to her?"
tessa: "she called up. asked about my permanent transfer. she offered the unit at greenbelt area. in all innocence i mentioned that he and i passed by it one time."
prosecutor: "and what did she say?"
tessa: "she seemed surprised, but she tried to stifle the emotion. she asked, when did we meet up and where. so i told her plainly. last month, rockwell."
prosecutor: "where does the alibi enter the picture?"
tessa: "right after our conversation. apparently, she called him up. i don't know what transpired between the two of them. basta, minutes later, he called me up to give me the details of the alibi, just in case she calls me up again."
prosecutor: "are you aware of the consequences of your ignorance?"
tessa: "yes. he's can't drive that car anymore."
prosecutor: "what have you to say about that?"
tessa: "nahala, ambot lamang. inki gyud ko. but i didn't know the real extent of non-disclosure then! can you blame me?!"
prosecutor: "no further questions."

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

to the pyre?

i am not one for burning articles in the interest of forgetfulness.

but it will take another few weeks before i pick up this book. i stopped reading mid-chapter.

can't bring myself to use lacoste pour femme...yet. no way am i giving it away, so whatever you're thinking of, forget it!!!!

i'll just put away the other stuff where thay could contentedly gather dust.

all five albums of beck will stay out in the open and will continue to create havoc. because beck doesn't deserve fire nor dust. beck transcends all understanding.

worth remembering

there's something about forgetfulness which brings people back to reason. amnesia occurs to every other bubble-haired heroine in siesta-time telenovelas, so we dream at 3pm that our realities can be distorted beyond recognition. we wish memory weren’t as persistent as that dali portrait of melting clocks.

you might notice that amnesia in telenovelas happen at the most strategic of moments: when the heroine is sick with unbearable longing. pining for her lost love, she listlessly crosses to the middle of what seems like a deserted street when out of nowhere a punk driver/car with breaks busted/ten-wheeler container van swerves sharply from the curbside and knocks her down on the pavement, conveniently tossing her head onto the gutter. as she wakes up to fluorescent lights amidst crisp-linen-looking concerned nurses and medical interns pretending to be busy with checking for vital signs, she is stricken with trepidation that she remembers nothing. shit, not even her own name. then, she is reborn.

she discovers a new love, this time more mature and more wealthy than the root cause of her amnesia. she builds a business empire of some sort and/or becomes a budding superstar while the new paramour looks on beaming with fatherly pride. and then she becomes famous all over mexico/philippines/puerto rico/wherever.

there's a jim carrey-kate winslet film coming up about a medical procedure that could erase recollections a patient might wish to dispose of. in this movie, kate has all images of jim erased from her memory and jim later follows suit when remembrances of their blissful past proved to be too painful to tolerate.

we could only dream it were that easy.

people try to rework the past by restricting our memories. they commit to flames (quite literally) every object that jolts recollections of a history once held in a position of sensitive merit. they were content. but with dust in their eyes and a swelling in their throats, they linger a little longer as they scrutinize a gradually dying fire that took away every last piece of a putrid past. ashes never really amount to anything special.

personally, i’d rather stack them away where molds would fester them.

but the now-famous telenovela princess, bedecked with glittering gems, hair chopped to a mod bob/jennifer aniston layers, runs into the old flame and is heaved into a stupor of aching remembrance. the face is familiar, but she can’t quite recall where it belongs… and the season ends with a wedding.

the amnesiac ends up with the forgotten.

we could only dream broken hearts were restored in such a fashion. pain would have been but a myth. but we wouldn’t really want that. there would have been less poets and more mortals.

p.s. about an hour after i saved a draft of this entry, i met up with a friend who was at the crest of a frightful breakup (man, her story takes the cake). over tall glasses of milkshakes and chocolate sundae (can you say comfort food?), she recounted how in the middle of her anguish who should resurface in her world masquerading as a concerned friend but an ex-boyfriend of whom she had virtually no recollections at all. she told me how she had forcibly driven this person into a chasm by burning every last item that might summon memories of their relationship. she can remember the pain, but she can hardly remember him. she can remember how she succumbed to tears in the middle of conducting a seminar in africa but she can’t remember how happy she used to be with this guy. i asked how that should be possible, actually forgetting something that used to be so special. she said she doesn’t know how, but it happened anyway.

she said, “so given time, i'm sure i'd also forget r______.”

but that’s a different story for an entirely different entry.