Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Finally!

It's Wednesday!

This means around this time tomorrow we are in Baguio already, probably scouring the ukay-ukay shops of Session Road. I'll also get to fulfill a 2-year-old dream of seeing SM Baguio. Hehe, for all the silliest reasons nga naman.

We will also be going back to Sagada National High School; I offered to monitor the project there. Might as well do that, since I'll just be lounging around the town with my kiddies tagging along.

Wish us a safe journey...

See you Monday!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Great

Just when I'm in an "almost vacation" mode because of the Sagada trip, work comes. Ganda ng timing. Bad trip.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Don't Think I'm Supposed To...

be eating too much


cos I'm supposed to be on a diet.

----------------------------------

like the teeny bopper novel

But I did, and it gave me butterflies in the stomach. And I think I'm too old to feel that way. But I've been giving myself stomach cramps about love lately, and maybe it's a good reminder that love is supposed to feel nice. Like that tingling belly feeling. I have forgotten.

------------------------------
be happy about the break-up of

But I am.

I infinintely am. I'm evil.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sometimes

it really scares me what this world
has become









Copyright- all pictures by AP

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Praying to Exhale

This morning, I woke up and I felt just so tired.

My body was alright, probably had a circus when I slept for 11 hours straight after having minimum sleep for the last few days. Or maybe I woke up in the middle of my sixth REM leaving me flubbered.

It was no consolation to go to work. Or was it? At least it would provide me the facility to pretend to exist. I know the weariness isn't something physical. It's about being at a loss. I absolutely have no idea what I'm doing, supposed to be doing, going or being.

Have been holding down the fort by my lonesome for barely two months and I'm cracking already. Surrounded by my responsibilities, the people I'm supposed to be watching over, the minstrations I have to see to, I am drowning alone. Except maybe for the ants that seem to follow me everywhere I go nowadays.

I'm praying this will be over soon.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Windows

I am strangely addicted to other people's open windows.

Commuting from house to work takes 2 hours. In that span of time, I often find amusement in watching the other passengers of the bus or FX. But then again --- this could get old pretty fast. My second line of defense against boredom is to look out the window. I love it everytime we pass residential areas, especially at night. Sometimes, I'll chance upon an open window illuminated by indoor lighting and it allows me to see beyond the concrete walls. Often times I get sucked into the lives being lived within.

It jumpstarts my soul to imagine how they exist inside their houses. Every window I see lends me sight into a different life. Happy, sad, miserable, quiet, contented...

Once, I saw 2 little boys inside their bedroom playing and hitting each other with their pillows.
Another time, I saw a little girl hugging an old man, probably her grandfather.
I saw a man and a woman kissing.
I saw a man with nothing on but a towel around his waist reading the newspaper while standing.
I saw maids hard at work.
I saw kitchen tables laden with gorgeous food.
I saw a room empty as a Spartan's cell.
I saw countless crosses, pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Divine Mercy, Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary and huge, wooden rosaries.
I saw pictures of teen idols, presidents, and pandas posted on the wall.
And the sight I loved most of all --- rooms full of books and shelves and mysteries that beckon.

I love open windows if only because it affirms me that people are living their lives everywhere the way they know how. It tickles my brains, it provides me with other-seeing --- a focus on others and a reminder that I am not the center of the universe. Oddly, that comforts more than it disconcerts me.

The next time you open your window, think of me, the hungry observer, hungry for life. No need to be scared. I just peruse after all. Hoping that in the midst of all that living, I'll find ways to live mine too.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Geeks Guide to the Theater: The Reaping

"The only miracle is that people keep believing." - Katherine Winter (portrayed by Hillary Swank

This movie had "B-class horror film" stamped all over it and its singular actress with mass name-recall seemed to prove it. But I wanted to watch The Reaping because I wanted to know how they would murder the Bible's teachings on the 10 plagues this time around. I guess it's just like not being able to help but want to witness a tragedy in the making. Thus, one boring Sunday afternoon, I managed to convince my sister and cousin to watch it with me. Despite my natural aversion to horror flicks, I still paid the fee to get the bejeezus scared outta me.

I haven't done any cinemaholic criticisms for a long time. Too long perhaps that I sat rooted to my seat during the opening scene. On-screen, this oldish, unkempt guy woke up at the middle of the night because he felt something was wrong. It turns out, all his pictures of this woman Katherine (Swank) were burning. Her faces were obscured by the scorch marks. And then! He realized that if he places all his pictures together, it forms a kind of pattern : a sickle turned upside down. Whoa! Okay, wait just a minute...

So early in the movie, the story was already down on its knees begging us to accept that this non-descript man which turns out to be a priest, instead of calling the fire department or running out of his room death-scared, found the brain power to leap into the conclusion that it actually was a message and that if he just finagle it a bit, he'd see something otherworldly. Like in 20 seconds flat.

I hate improbable scenes like this. It would probably impress Paris Hilton, but give credit to the non-automaton part of the population with functioning brain cells, won't ya? But I'm glad I stayed because, it got better from there.

The next scene showed us Katherine Winter in Southern America investigating the miraculous non-decaying body of a priest who died 40 years ago. A progression of brief scenes led us to the resolution that the reason for the "miracle" was a mixture of chemicals improperly disposed by a nearby company, resulting to the non-decomposed body and a slew of "possessions" in the masses (due to the hallucinatory effect of the gases).

She presented this to her class in Louisiana where she stated: "I've investigated 42 miraculous events with 42 very scientific and logical explanations." She teaches students her belief that there are no miracles, and therefore, no God.

Not bad now, and some of my brain cells were engaged to how the story will play out. It was not long then, when she was approached by a small-town Math teacher who asked for help to solve a mystery in their town. In the little county of Haven, a whole river turned into blood and the townsfolk are afraid that it is the first of the biblical 10 plagues wreaking havoc.

New York, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Manila... Why God will choose to manifest His anger in a small town in the outskirts of Louisiana out of all the sinful cities in the world was definitely a puzzler. But I quelled my rambunctious inner critic and decided to stay with the plot.

This is where it all unravels as Katherine, along with her colleague Ben, tries to make sense of the plagues dropping on them one by one like irritant frogs from the sky. All the weird manifestations seems to be emanating from a wisp of a girl and it was soon that the whole town was in a rage to kill her, innocent-looking as she may be. They are convinced that she is the Devil Incarnate and she is the source of all evil plaguing the town.

Katherine as it happens was an ordained pastor in the past, losing her faith only when she lost her family during a mission. She is now perfectly in time to save this little town from being destroyed. And by helping the small town, she saves the whole world (as per usual)! But she was shown as quite unsure how to help. Gut feel tells her the child is innocent, but the proofs she gathered shows that the girl might be at the center of satanic events.

In a whirlwind twist of events, the epiphany comes when we realize that perhaps the greatest evil is not wrought by innocent hands but by the continual fear and loss of beliefs of the people around her. And yes, we get the whole slew of the 10 plagues up to the death of all first-born children.

I have to stop here because it would ruin the movie for you, if ever you plan to watch it. I would recommend it with only the slightest of hesitations. It is NOT the world's greatest movie on the plagues, but it is enough to bother you. And that bothersome feeling usually leads to introspection and hopefully will lead to the question I asked myself after finishing the film:

Is my faith strong enough?

That's the end-all and be-all of it anyway.

Happy Harvest, everyone.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Confuscator

"Is it true that women should marry men older than they are?" I asked.

Juvy, married with children, nodded askance. "Yeah, I guess so. It has got to do with maturity, I think."

I can't help but raise an eyebrow. Older, older, older... but.... "But all the guys I've liked in the past are either my age or younger. What does that say about me?"

"You like powdering baby butts?" came the quick reply.

Do I? Shoot.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Juvy's last remark: "Don't worry dear, he'll come. He'll find you."

Then the phone rang. It was for me.

*wink, wink!* ;D

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

How long does one have to wait? And how do you know if you're the one who's supposed to make the move now?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

"It's all about pheromones." Mariel told me once, when we were in college. "You just like people your nose likes."

"So my future depends on this thing in the middle of my face? I was hoping it's fate or destiny or at least logic or something."

"If his smell makes you puke, could you stand being with him?"

"Well, I don't know... yet... Maybe it can be about liking a guy for being nice or smart or witty.." I scratched my head. "Maybe I should go try to smell a guy first."

Mariel nodded sagely. "You'll get there."

Olivia five years later: I haven't gotten there..... Tomorrow, I'm trading my nose for a functioning one. ;P
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Ella looked at me amused. "Ate, how old are you?"

"25. Geesh, do you have to ask? It's not like we live ten countries apart, y'know."

She shook her head slowly. "Wow."

"Wow, what?"

"Just one more year and you would be qualified to star in the sequel of Never Been Kissed."

"Well, look at it this way... At least I still have a long way to go before I make the sequel to the 40-year-old Virgin."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Calendar Watching

April 21 -- My sister's College Graduation. She's graduating as Cum Laude! ;p
April 22 - The University Graduation. This will be hellish, I know, but Ella deserves to be there and I promised to stand by her. Daddy went through the hellish thing for me, so the least I can do is to do it for my sister.

April 26 - We're leaving for Sagada! We'll take an early a.m. trip to Baguio and stay there for the night. Ukay-ukay shopping?
April 27 - We'll leave early a.m. for Sags.
April 28 - Day tour around the town
April 29 - Leave for home

Today is April 11.... Shucks, can't the days go faster than this?!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sketching at the Market Place

The Shrimp Vendor

The woman squatted at the side of the street and looked up to the crowd passing by. Her hands worked to put up her raven hair into a messy bun. She wiped the sweat from her brow with the back of her left hand. The right hand took up a makeshift flyswat and started moving over her dejected-looking shrimps.

"Hipon! Hipon!" She hawked.

"Hipon! Hipon!" She shouted.

An old man stopped in front of her. She turned up her face to the gnarly grandfather who was asking the price of a kilo. She responded with such energy that the man took a step back and shook her head.

Too pricey, the man muttered and walked away.

The shrimp vendor's shoulders sagged. She stared at her puny shrimps. She did not shout anymore.


The Beadmaker

"Which one you want?" he asked me. "This one, this glass!" He held a red stone up to the light. His hands were blue with veins and wrinkly. "Eh, beauty, this!"

He placed the bead on my palm. The glass had gold flecks on it. I looked up to his chinky eyes and saw them glinting. Like the bead.

"Pretty." I said.

He nodded happily. "I made it yesterday. Blow softly is secret of beauty glass beads. I give you 10 for twenty-five pesos, you like?"

I gasped. "So cheap?"

His mouth turned down a little on one corner. "Eh, competition everywhere. Have to stay cheap. Their glass beads made by machine. Whack! There's twenty in one go. Babap! There's one hundred. But you look, they're not beauty like this. Good for necklace."

I saw his pride well up into his eyes. It came from somewhere deep. I nodded. "Yes, that's true. I will take 50 pieces please, ten of each color."

"Ah!" the man exclaimed, extremely pleased. "Buddha bless you!" He was the picture of contentment as he wrapped my items up.

Inside me, hope swelled.


The Barker Boy

While waiting for the Beadmaker to give me my change, I looked outside and saw a boy. He had his shirt tied on his head to act like a hat. His chest was left bare and sweat slid in rivulets down his back. His skin was toffee dark creating a startling contrast with his white teeth. He smiled a lot to the people passing by. He shouted a lot too.

"Oh, Buendia dyan, dito, dito na kayo!" He ushered passengers into the waiting jeepneys. He motioned for five more people to enter the increasingly crowded vehicle. "Kasya pa yan!"

He moved as if he ran on inexhaustible batteries. He was kinetic, personified. His hands did somersaults in the air as he tried to entice people to squeeze into the jeep. His feet moved as if dancing to a complicated jig. Finally, somebody took the last seat. The Barker Boy slapped the side of the stainless steel body of the jeep and announced. "Larga!"

The jeepney driver nodded and handd him five pesos. Barker Boy saluted.

Five pesos. I shook my head, amazed.


The Boy In The Blue Shirt

The sun rose at exactly 11:35 a.m.

That was the time announced by the big clock in front of the plaza when the Boy in the Blue Shirt appeared. I just came out from the Beadmaker's Shop and hope was swelling in my chest like mungo seeds shooting up in hyperspeed. Now here comes the sun to shine on my happy green leaves. He was tall like a narra tree and brown like a cup of mocha frapuccino. He wore Elvis Castello glasses and his hair were spiked up in little exclamation marks. His walk. Was. Fluid.

I wondered if the One was about to meet me after all these years. The thought made me smile involuntarily. He thought I was smiling at him. He raised one eyebrow and averted his gaze.

The mungo plant wilted and died.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter

I want to understand religion. I wonder if it is at all possible.

Christianity wants so badly to be differentiated from pagan religions. But why is it that Easter falls on the same pagan celebration of the Sun? To us Catholics -- the Son rises from the dead and brings eternal life. For the pagans -- The Sun rises from darkness and brings spring.

Did our forefathers think we'd never notice the similarities? Is there after all, just one religion? Should pursuit of understanding it lead to my insanity? ;p

Oh well, be one or the other. All I'm sure of is I have Faith, and I suppose that's all that matters.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Heroes

I don't often gush about TV series. I don't watch that much TV nowadays with our cable connection cut and everything. And now that I have outgrown the melodramas of the Gilmore Girls, all that is left is CSI Las Vegas and House. That's what? Two shows to wait for every week. Hardly comment-worthy. But I heard of this new show which could possibly revive my interest in the boob tube. I was able to watch it once and I was sold. It's called Heroes.

Interestingly, a friend lent me a DVD player and that led me to the opportune (if illegal) purchase of a dee-bee-dee copy of the show's Season One. My God, Heroes overload and loved every minute of it!


The plot is fairly simple: individuals across the globe woke up one day and realized that they can do extraordinary skills, such as fly, teleport, regenerate, paint the future, etc... You name it. They go about discovering their powers and then ultimately learning their mission to save the world from a nuclear explosion.


And yes, Gilmore Girl's Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) is in it. Ahloveeet!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Slow News Day

Just ordered a few books from www.booksale.com.ph and wished the next 2 days were done and over with so I can just chill at home.

I have loads and loads of books to get back to. I've missed reading with the speed of light and getting immersed in worlds where the reality of the Unwashed Laundry exists.. :p

Who knows, maybe I'll even finish one of those short stories, eh?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Getting started

Enrolled in a fitness gym today. I'm dead intent on pursuing that healthy self I have always known is lurking behind all these flab. I certainly have all the motivations cleared up today:



1. It was my parents' last wish before they passed away.

2. I would gladly say goodbye to the excess weight that's making my feet ache after prolonged periods of standing.
3. I want to fit into pretty clothes and not the sofa upholstery they sell us biggie people nowadays.
4. I want to shine and make them (?) see me in a different light. ;P
5. The driver of the taxi we rode to SM North today told me I look more like KC Concepcion than Nadia Montenegro whose electoral motorcade passed us on the way. Ella started teasing me kasi that I could roll down the window and wave and pretend to be Nadia. Erk. I'd much rather be KC, idol ko siya sa kagandahan at kasimplehan. I also like the way she behaves. Hay, Mo twister has got his man-crushes. Well then, KC's my girl-crush.









Nope, to look like her wouldn't be so bad at all...