Sunday, April 29, 2007

We Should Walk More Often

I need to come up with a short story by Monday. I decided it would do me good to go on another one of my nightly walks around the city.

I passed by C.M. Recto and walked past a throng of black-shirted and sleek-haired punks outside Frissan's, and rolled my eyes. I snorted at them, too. Also saw some cute commercial sex workers outside Apo View. I'm not sure if they were CSW's, since some of the girls spoke Tagalog, but I didn't care to ask since I was walking too briskly to avoid being mistaken as one by passing drivers (as if!). I then stopped by TaTuTs at Duterte street to have a late dessert. I initially thought of going to McDonald's nearby but then I only have contempt for that outlet since they offered me the worst-tasting Chicken and Beef McRice Burger ever (and I haven't eaten one since--sorry Ronald).

They didn't have much of a dessert line-up--only the usual leche flan, buko pandan, and whattelse--but there was no turning back--I had already settled in my seat and the door was too far behind me--so I settled for a full dinner. I ordered SaKaNaDon(P75), which, I read from the menu, is an oriental rice dish of fish and swish cheesh. Okay, I was pushing it with the Swissh Cheesh, wasn't I? And a glass of iced tea(P25). And french fries too, but the waiter told me they had already run out of potatoes.

TaTuTs interiors is country-themed; to give you a clue, the walls are filled with ceramic cows and ornaments. Painted aluminum milk pails,ingeniously used as lamp shades, hang from the ceilings. I also found it very cute how my iced tea came in a reused jelly jar(5 points for being environmentally-friendly!), and the spoon and fork were wrapped inside a tiny brown supot--the kind you buy 5-peso peanuts in.

My dinner arrived in a ceramic bowl the size of a medium flower pot. The servings are huge in this restaurant, so huge that I swore then and there never to waste my money on Chowking or Mandarin ever again.

With the arrival of my order, I learned that SaKaNaDon isn't just plain breaded fish fillet and rice. It's the whole thing with minced cabbages, carrots and onions sauteed in egg (by now you should know I'm no cook, so I'm only wingin' it with my cooking terms here),and splashed with a sweetish brown sauce, whose taste, again I second-guess, reminds me of Worcestershire sauce, or barbecue marinade.

The first bite gave me that Cooking Master Boy/Yakittate Japan moment: my eyes suddenly lit up as a thin streak of electricity shot from one ear to another; and then, a blinding, powerful ray of light shot from my mouth, the bench I was sitting on turned into the head of a bearded blue dragon, and it carried me up to the sky and set me gently on a puffy white cloud. "Huwaaaah, How Deliciooooous!!!"

But the impression quickly wore off. I wonder what happened? I guess my sissyful appetite ruined it for me; I wasn't really that hungry, so after a couple more bites I already felt like opening the button on my pants to give me enough breathing room. Still, I swear I'll return to this place. I'll just ready my stomach by starving myself 12 hours beforehand.

After the meal, I paid P100--plus a P10 tip, haha, and surreptitiously left a note thanking them for the meal and an apology for not cleaning-up my plate. I'm not really that kind; I just felt like leaving a note since I had my handy-dandy notebook out there on the table.

I hurriedly scuttled out of the place, and continued walking to burn off the calories. At Bankerohan, outside Metro Circle, I saw kids peeling red onions on the sidewalk, while their mothers and aunts transformed carts and pulleys into makeshift vegetable stalls beside the street. I was moved with pity, but I scolded myself because I should reserve my pity for lowlifes and criminals and soul-less politicians, and not for helpful kids earning an honest living (*feel free to question my logic*).

Moving on, I then traversed the remaining operational Generoso bridge. There was nothing much to see of Davao river at night. Crossing the bridge, I actually realized that the river is wider than it appears when you're going over it by foot. I went past the bridge, overcame suicidal thoughts, and saw a billboard in the distance. "Boni Lami," it said. A political ad for Bonifacio Militar and Peter LaviƱa. However, it sounded somewhat obscene to me.

I made a short stop at MTS to buy Modess Cottony Soft Sanitary Napkins(with wings) and pantyshields. I also stopped by the comfort room, and saw that after walking more than four kilometers, I had begun to look like someone who had walked more than ten kilometers.

I walked some more to NCCC mall to take a jeepney ride home. By this time, I had adopted the unstable swagger and carefree disposition of a drunken sot, because it was the best excuse I could find for the flushed cheeks, the wind-ravaged hair, and the oil-slick face. And I smiled at the passengers with droopy eyes as I slumped in my seat. And they averted their eyes and pretended to be sleepy from the trip. Meanies.

And I guess I forgot about the short story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mercury Rising

I don't think I've ever experienced a summer this hellishly unbearable. Commuting in this weather,coupled with the heavy traffic generated by the collapse of Generoso Bridge 1,has evolved into a test of one's patience, physical& mental endurance, and the effectivity of one's antiperspirant & deodorant.

A friend told me to expect hotter weather until May. Yay. This can only mean more sauna sessions in jeepneys packed with sweaty-armed and occasionally funky-smelling passengers.

Ah but it rained tonight.

And there's just something so liberating about playing & taking a shower in the rain. Especially if it's been over 11 years since you've given the pre-pubescent activity a rest.

But who knows? This might be the last good rain in a couple of months. And the sun might explode tomorrow. Kiver was thus thrown to the wind.

Thereafter I did one thing I've never done even in my adventurous childhood days: I climbed to the rooftop and lay down, my face to the sky as it rained endlessly on me. And the sound of raindrops drumming on corrugated steel sheets drowned all thoughts of summer classes, workshop entries, feature articles, May 14, and Pompet/Pi; for a moment I forgot everything and just relished in sheer child-like happiness. XD

Sunday, April 15, 2007


my hearts beating too fast. i just woke up from a
potentially fatal bangungot. or something.

ill explain. i was in the middle of a dream. our maid,
she asked me, nikaon na ka Day? I was about to reply,
when suddenly my eyes open up. thought i was already
awake--until i realized that i could not move. in the
dark i could see a portion of my room, but something
was blocking my view--a lettuce or cabbage spinning in
mid-air. i knew this image came from a
still-half-unconscious mind; a few hours before
sleeping, i had read a cookbook on salads.

first the lettuce. next, i discover that i could not
open my mouth. in my mind i could hear myself moan. in
my mind i was thrashing about in bed. but nothing; i
knew i was helplessly silent and immobile, and nobody
could possibly hear or know that i am violently
struggling to regain consciousness.

then my attention went to my breathing. i could not
even will myself to breathe in deep. and then i
realize my breaths becoming shallower and shallower.
until i think i stopped breathing.

panic set in. i try and get up. but when it seemed
like i had finally broken free, i was only made more
aware that i was actually still held fast in bed and i
still cant breathe. the act of getting up from bed is
a only an image confined inside my brain.

then i remember Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: wiggle your
toe. i try and wiggle it. nothing. my chest hurt. for
a moment i think, I really just might die tonight.

after a few more desperate attempts, i finally,
finally wake up. the first thing i did: inhale damn
deeply. my head felt like it had its own pulse and i
felt so weak--like i had just come from running a good
few kilometers. but ive never felt more grateful to be

p.s. ak0 lang ba naay ani na experience??? mao ba ni
ang ginatawag na urom, aka the nightmare from which
there is no waking up? sa tinuod lang ha, kapila na ko
nakasinati ani. pero this time, abi jud nako madayunan
na ko kay dugay kaayo ko naka-recover. Nyeta. gigutom
na lang hinuon ko.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Lost my Summer

I'm never one of those people who look forward to the start of classes. The only consolation I find in coming to class is the allowance, the library, and the boys. Or the girls. No, definitely the boys.

And now I'm back to class again. 'Takte!

This summer I'm taking two Philosophy classes: one on Religion, the other on being Human. Philo 106 is okay. The instructor just graduated barely a month ago, and he keeps telling the class, "Relax lang mo, relax lang ta diri sa Philo." Which is probably his way of saying:

1. "Please don't expect to learn too much from me 'cause I just graduated, and now I'm here and I'm sweating too much and you all scare the sh*t out of me."

2. "Im your friend. Please like me please like me please like me."

We're a big class (a block section of Education majors+a few dozen mixed in), and I know a few of the people in front. I saw my two classmates from my BS Bio days, and the English Education majors I met from my Linguistics class, and TY, someone I knew from grade school, and who I remember still owes me money.

In the afternoon, I have Philo 104. The instructor somewhat reminds me of Mr. Clean or Bembol Roco. He scares me because he's very keen on Punctuality and Attendance, which means he'll never miss a single class from this day until May 19. And he doesn't know how to speak Bisaya.

Mr. Clean grilled me this afternoon, all because he asked me if I find Philo relevant in my course, and I flat-out said NO. I don't know why I said it; probably because everyone else was saying "Yes Sir, it's relevant in my course 'cause I'm dealing with humans and this subject is about Being Human so ooga booga", and I just wanted to ruffle some feathers. ("You sissies.") Plus I thought he was waiting for someone to say otherwise 'cause he wanted to prove a point. And he did. And he didn't give me a moment of rest for the duration of the class, directing a whole barrage of dizzying philosophical inquiries at me which made me wish I had said "Yes" instead. Me sissy.


I haven't begun work on my 3rd and final Sarangani draft. Perhaps I'm just waiting for my Editor to SMS me with "Where are your articles? I need them tomorrow," which will electroshock my creative juju to panic mode, which shall render me invincible and capable of coming up with articles within 24 hours.

Also, I still have to come up with an article for Sir Don's Album launch. Huhu, this is bad, I don't know how to go about the article, especially since I wasn't at the album launch. And I hate interviewing. Damn damn damn!

Plus I still have my crochet project to work on. Oh man, I want to get my hands so badly on a yarn and a crochet hook and crochet all my rage away!!!

In moments like these, I always fall back on Nike's slogan.

Not a right, but a privilege.

Yesterday, I went to National Bookstore at G-mall. It was one of those rare moments where I had P500 on hand (gasp! Yeah, I'm that poor, I guess); I quickly jumped at the chance to buy for, for a change, a book whose pages aren't already highlighted or scribbled with notes (made by people from first world countries, who are probably already *shudders* dead), or whose pages are so old that they make crisp sounds when you turn the pages, and look like they may have been discovered along with the Dead Sea scrolls.

Books, especially new ones, are such a luxury for me. My mother snorts at any book whose price tag is above P200, which is why most of the scenes I have with mama at NBS or Goodwill always involves emotional blackmail and much sales talk (though thankfully, I haven't had to resort to throwing a temper tantrum or rolling on the floor). As a result, I have been reduced to lurking around P35 bookstores to ward off my booklust, although they seldom yield decent or attractive, titles. I'm guessing I'll be a suki of 2nd hand bookshops until after I've gained employment and "financial stability". I'm also guessing that will take me roughly 30 years.

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yeah--I was there at National, scouring the aisles, hoping to freshen-up my library with new title(s). I looked around, and all I saw were people standing motionless, their heads surreptitiously bowed low, eyes transfixed on the books they held with much care in their hands. At this moment, one hour after I arrived at National, something became very clear to me.

Books are expensive. Sad.

Why are books so damn expensive? I mean, c'mon, P699 for 200 pages of newsprint? Asa ang hustisya ana?!?

I'm no expert on the constitution or tax laws, but isn't reading supposed to be every individual's right? So why, oh why, does the government tax books?

Sheesh, no wonder we're breeding more and more stupid people. Because they don't have the "luxury" of reading a good book. And that is just sad. ='(

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

(Have to make this quick. Also, I'll compose the rest of this entry in Cebuano; pasensya na lang ang dili makasabot. Pikat ang bagay sa inyo.)

Abisohan lang nako mo daan na basi dili usa ko maka-blog-blog sa muaging mga adlaw (pero magbisita lang gihapon ko diri). Kabalo na mo, Semana Santa man ta kunohay--kinahanglan magpahulay usa ta ug mag...kuan, *unsa man ang Bisaya sa mag-reflect hah...* maghuna-huna sa mga gipanghimo nato sa atong kinabuhi, musaka ug Shrine, abrihan ang nikaging na nga bibliya, maligo sa dagat uban ang pamilya, ek-ek, bloom bloom.

Usa pa, na-okupar akong duha ka kamot sa karon sa pang-gantsilyo. Oo, gantsilyo--crochet man tingali ni sa inggles. Oy, dili pud baya siya lalim no; aron masayod mo, lisod siya--makalibat ug makasakit sa kamot, makainit pa gyud ug ulo usahay pag kanang dili jud ka kasabot sa directions bisan unsaon bali-bali(e.g. "Using blue yarn, ch 2, 6 sc in first chain, join with sl st into first sc--6 sts."). Pero ambot nganong ginabuhat nako ni, hobby daw kunohay pero mura man gihapon siya ug trabaho. Kung mahuman na nako ning akong proyekto, magbutang ko ug litrato diri--hatagi ko ug, mga, unom ka bulan siguro.

Ikaduha, magsugod na pud ang klase para sa summer. Mao gani ko nagdali kay kinahanglan nako matulog ug sayu-sayo karong gabii kay magsayo pud ko ug mata ugma para maki'gbisog sa mga libo-libong estudyante nga mag-inilugay sa usa o duha ka klase sa Philosophy 104 ug 106.
Sige, hangtod diri na lang. Lisod man diay mag-binisaya no? Nadugayan hinuon ko samot kay puros lang "kuan" ang musulod sa akong huna-huna samtang gahimo ko ug mga sentences. Pakaulaw ra jud ko; Bisaya pa naman ko!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Of all the things to write about..

I could write about that Jun Ducat-hostage-taking-but-not-quite brouhaha, but that issue got stale fast. I could write about watching watching and listening to Mario Ongkiko (of the 'Ang Kapatiran' Political Party, whose three senatorial bets I will vote for, regardless of the stinking fact that they prolly will never make it to Magic 12) speaking candidly on Forum:2007, and shaking my head 'coz I know the rest of the voting public will never EVER know better than to vote for Gringo, Ping, Chavit, or--gasp--Victor Wood(!). How mature. T-T

--Wait, maybe I'll write about this one but not today, 'cause it's early morning and I don't want to get my brain all worked-up and bothered until the next morning.

But what I really want to write about is...(deep breath) my failure to take a bath for this day. Yes, I have gone without soap or water for more than 24 hours. It all began when I took a look(took a look, took a look, took a look--it sounds stupid nu?) at my white bath towel, and noticed that it looked...unclean. Like--even if I took a bath, I wouldn't feel too clean if I wiped myself dry with something that looked like someone had wrapped herself around it and rolled around in dust and dog hair or something. Plus, I saw some very visible, dirty handprints. 'The hell? Is my househelp mad at me or something, and so now she's decided to take all her frustrations out at my one and only bath towel? I don't think she's taking care of it very well; perhaps she just drags it around outside the yard, and hangs it to dry where street-dust can have easy access to it.

Anyhoo, I convinced myself that I won't need to take a bath since I'm pretty sure I won't be doing any strong physical activity for the rest of the day. But that was 14 hours ago and now yesterday's deodorant has broken down and my head itches and I feel a serious dandruff attack coming on. I feel so bad.

I don't know why I'm blogging about this. All I've been doing these past few weeks is whine and complain, whine and complain, bitch about something, and then whine and complain. Wah wah wah, my towel isn't clean. Boo hoo. When did this become a big deal for me anyway?

I don't know, really. I'm sorry, at first I thought it was fun to air my trivial grievances, but I realized in mid-typing that I'm just being lame. Laaame. And now my post is too long and too precious to delete and so now I can't stop typing lame-ness. Plus I just realized that I am being incoherent, and Lord knows how incoherence is such a big issue with bloggers, 'cause every blogger I know always ends up feeling bad or saying "I'm sorry Im sorry please bear with me precious reader, please dont give me forty whacks" when they type-up something incoherent.

But what the hell?!? Why am I apologizing to my dear, precious readers now?!? Am I obliged to kow-tow to them, and offer them flowing verses and intelligently-phrased thoughts and well-planned posts? Is there no place for incoherence and mediocrity and just plain spontaneity in this world?!?

Now you know there is.


Anyhoo, my friend Claire finally sent me an SMS--the first in almost 3 months.

"Plip, inom ta."

Oh, the economy of her messages never ceases to touch me.

I really don't like to drink (I remember, the last--and first--time I drank beer, my whole body swelled-up and broke out in red, itchy patches. How sissy-full.), but she likes to drink. And that's that.

Whatever. I will not be coerced into chipping-in for a bottle of alcohol whose taste I will probably not enjoy. I don't care for getting into that whole 'getting-drunk-and-light-headed and-forgetting-all-your-problems'-state, 'cause I'm guessing the whole thing's just overrated. Plus, I never enjoy throwing-up. It's the only reason why I'm afraid of getting fevers: I hate the taste of vomit.

But I'll probably take her up on that invitation, 'cause I miss her, and I terribly need to be with my friends. My good friends. No, my better friends.

There are no best friends.