30 04 2009

LSS with that newish Datu Puti jingle thanks to all those hours spent watching Wowowee. Throughout tonight, the chorus just wouldn’t stop playing in my head. It’s maddening!

I realized over a bangus dinner (on yet another milkfish epiphany; I guess that’s why they call fish brain food) that it’s not possible, no matter how much one tries, to be completely rational. For instance, there are people who shower us with things we like but they have absolutely no chance no matter what they do (like Marnie in Funny Ha Ha when Alex told her again seconds before the film blacks out, “No dice.” Ouch.) On the other hand, there are people we desperately desire even though we get nothing from them except misery and suffering. Yes, a hackneyed irony is still ironic.

In other news, apart from billiards, we may also be possibly getting hooked on watching horse races. With these things, I think I’m slowly beginning to understand the ways of the world from the wise eyes of a middle-aged Pinoy tambay.


Walang awww

28 04 2009

Someone I haven’t seen for half a decade suddenly appeared on our front gate earlier and ambushed me for an instant (one-way) chat. He reminded me that he was a friend, despite not knowing anything about my recent past or even pretending to be interested. He declared that I was unhappy (?) and that I needed to reform my ways (??). I guess his telepathic skills need some serious sharpening.

Also, some lines I have been singing in my mind:

And secretly I want to bury in the yard
The gray remains of a friendship scarred

-The Shins, Kissing the Lipless


No cigarettes only peeled havanas for you
I can be cruel
I don’t know why

-Tori Amos, Cruel


Where have all sensations gone?
Where have all sensations gone?

-The New Pornographers, Letter From An Occupant

Three in one plus one

26 04 2009

Yesterday, we explored the northeast corner of Laguna. After wading in ankle-deep streams and crossing muddy fields in a Siniloan barangay (for a research project and yes we are serious), we lunched at the Beatles Place in Pakil, photographed the town’s picturesque church, and visited the HQ of a geography field class (where I devoured two luscious mangoes).

Then we hurried to the quaint town of Paete as the dark sky started threatening. We walked around the narrow streets, saw artisans with their trade, bought fried cassava drowned in delicious spicy-garlicky vinegar, and sipped beer from a plastic container with straw. The beautiful church facade, like that of Pakil, still did not prepare us for the wonderfully ornate (and golden) interior. The drive home across scenic landscapes was rainy, and we stopped more than once to buy mangoes and furniture from roadside stores.

Today was graduation day and seeing so many former students finishing college reminded me again of aging. There were 18 summa cum laude, 190 magna cum laude and 800ish cum laude graduates. During our time it was 4, 80 and 400, respectively. If I were born 6 years later, things would’ve probably been so much different. But then again, nothing beats the experience of growing up during the That’s Entertainment days and I would never give that up for anything. In other news, I was seated very close to someone from 2005 and I was expecting it to be Jan 2007 again but thankfully there was nothing. By this analogy, Jan 2009 will be completely nothing by around April 2011 (maybe much earlier). And that’s like next week when you’re in your mid-20s, so it’s not too bad.

Tomorrow, I’m getting immunization shots for measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria and polio. I guess my two upper arms will have to hurt.

Canned heat

23 04 2009

They say a picture can paint a thousand words. I say it can also derail the process of recovery. Yakisoba.

In totally unrelated news, Brillante Mendoza scores a spot among this year’s Cannes Film Festival In Competition Films with Kinatay. He will be up against an incredible line-up of Cannes luminaries that includes Pedro Almodovar, Tsai Ming-liang (!!!), Michael Haneke, Ang Lee, Ken Loach, Lars von Trier, Elia Suleiman and Quentin Tarantino. Raya Martin returns in the Un Certain Regard category with Independencia, while Manila, his other Cannes-bound film (co-directed by Adolfo Alix Jr), will receive a special screening. So exciting.

Bag of snips

20 04 2009

On travel:

Anawangin has lost most of its charms. The place has become dirty and crowded. On our last visit on April last year, there were less than 15 tents (and that was on the most crowded week of the summer). That number has multiplied by at least three times.  It is now  just a notch better than the stretch of beach in Pundaquit and is approximating the feel of a campers’ version of Galera (minus the loud nightlife). The best thing about our trip were the scrabble games. Scrabble on the beach by the candlelight under the stars while dipping corn chips in hot salsa is geeky paradise. Despite all this, Anawangin remains quite photogenic.

April 2008 (very few people)


April 2009 (flags, trash, campers under every available tree on the beach)


On health:

Drinking more than every other day for the past two weeks now for no reason. Bad for the liver and the abs.

On work:

Writing continues to escape me. It’s been more than three months!

On drama:

Love is gross. I want nothing to do with it and yet it follows me everywhere. Please be rid of me!

Kambal sa toma

17 04 2009

Lucky night at billiards. We  won 9-4 because I was so uncharacteristically good.

The 4th annual Anawangin/Capones pilgrimage may happen this weekend. Also, a despedida party partly for me (four months early!) is scheduled on Friday. Can someone remind me again why should I have to leave?

In other matters, I feel like I should at least be empathic to the plight of other people since, being in the exact same position as them three months ago, I should know how it feels. Yet I remain cruel and heartless. Someone’s bound to get hurt anyway and that’s perfectly natural.

Apo Reef

13 04 2009

Jellyfish sting marks and sandfly bites all over the skin of my limbs are a small price to pay for the loveliness that is Sablayan. Getting there is half the fun: a short bus trip to Batangas Port followed by a three-hour ferry across the Verde Island Passage before disembarking in Abra de Ilog for a scenic (and often rough) 3-hour drive across the northern half of Occidental Mindoro. Sablayan is a pleasant, quiet town and is the jump off point to Pandan Island and Apo Reef. A bridge over the Sablayan River:

Apo Reef, Asia’s largest atoll-like reef, is three hours southeast of Sablayan town. It is breathtaking above and below water,. Wildlife spotted: diving sea turtles, crawling baby sea turtles, escaping mantas, soaring raptors and various other sea creatures. No sharks and dolphins however. At night, sandflies swarm and they bite on any exposed skin and they are probably one of the most horrible creatures to have ever existed in the universe. A shadow of a lighthouse falls on the island’s white beach and clear waters:

Pandan Island, 20 minutes from Sablayan, has nice, white sand beaches, good snorkeling and plenty of foreigners. Nice place to relax. Spotted wildlife: lionfish or parrotfish (couldn’t tell!), sting ray, clam and many many colorful fishes. Pandan Island beach:

Damage: less than 4k for 4 days. Super worth it.

Next stops for me: Polilio/Jomalig, Caramoan (again!) and Calaguas. Crossed fingers.