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Chapter 19: Page 1

30 Jul

“Why is the windshield larger than the rearview mirror? Because what lies ahead is far more important than what we leave behind.”

Spending my first hour as a 19-year-old going through pictures of the last few days and heart-warming birthday greetings (will get back to each of you lovelies soonest!).

The universe and the weather system conspired to cancel my morning PE class (I’ll miss touch rugby for another week, but hey, I’m not complaining).

Thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey thus far.

Thank youuu as well to Mamao, her chief accomplice Raine and the sneaky — and special! — creatures who connived to present a birthday surprise like no other.

Together, we rediscovered “adobo”, tested our innuendo mettle with What’s Yours Like?, vented through a strictly-timed round of Apostrophe, and got ultra-competitive over Taboo and Wordi. Besides good times and goodwill, we had our fill of tongue (thanks to my favorite lengua), the staple birthday noodles, barbeque, sardined milkfish, cheesy laing, pretzels, pretentious junk food organic fruit chips, wine, Gouda and Colby.

Sneaky, sneaky.

By sunset, we had made the following all-important realizations:

1) Say “Lady___” as a clue for the “bug” in “ladybug” and you’re just as likely to be answered with: “Gaga!”

2) Unicorns can, in some ways, resemble bulls.

3) To some (and by some, I mean to Suzette Dalumpines), “hulk” is a perfectly acceptable rhyme for “honk”.

4) Making jokes is easier than making love.

5) America — not just flying or super strength– is a superpower.

6) “Royalty” is what jacks up after the EO on mining is passed.

7) Giraffes can’t really reach their ears with their tongues.

Thank you for sharing today — and so much more — with me, you precious sneaks.

Cheers to the sunshine in each of us, and to the company of people who keep downcast skies at bay!

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This clock never seemed so alive

24 May

To say that I am a fan of Lifehouse is an understatement. To say that I would exhaust all means to watch them live again is another one.

The truth is, though, no matter how much you love a performer, there’s just no reasoning with a wallet that has other priorities.

But just the same, there’s no giving up for this persistent fan.

Four years and about a dozen hairstyles ago, here was my 15-year-old self gushing over their 2008 “You and Me” tour — shaky point-and-shoot camera, braces and all.

What has changed since then?

Not my gratitude to Mama for surprising me with that ticket four years ago.

Not Lifehouse songs’ ability to stop me in my tracks, be it heard via iTunes, on the radio, or over the supermarket’s PA system.

Not that overarching desire for Jason Wade’s eyes to meet mine, the way it did for three seconds during their 2008 concert.

Then what’s new this 2012?

If there’s anything of value I’ve learned in the previous years, it’s asserting oneself and always, always finding a way for everyone and everything that matters to me.

So when upon reading Juice.ph’s concert tickets giveaway, I pounced on the opportunity, justifying why I deserved two tickets thus:

Winners were to be announced at 3 p.m. today, but an hour later, no results were to be found. Turns out they announced over at the Juice.ph facebook account that the announcements would be made at 5 p.m.

Mama called a little after five, asking to be fetched from work (another one of our straight-out-of-Freaky-Friday moments) because taxis were hard to come by. Before leaving for the parking lot, I hit refresh on the announcement page one last time and saw this beaut:

The grepa winning streak continues!

Mama was beside herself when she heard the news, gushing: “It’s the first concert I’ll ever watch in Araneta!”

Welcome back to Le Manille, bebeboy!

There are just some things for which a one-time occurrence is hardly enough. A Lifehouse concert is one of them.

And what makes my ear-to-ear grin wider is the thought that this May 26th, not one but two gushing fan girls will be rocking out to every riff and hanging by a moment (and eons more) with Jason, Ben, Bryce and Rick. ❤

Everything I’d like to be

15 May

 

 

Because we’ve got each others’ backs. Always.

Ever so slightly overdue, but every bit as sincere as if this were posted last Sunday. ❤

Mama and I look very much alike. We’ve been called each other’s twin, photocopy, carbon copy and what-have-you almost every time someone sees us together for the first time. Despite our uncanny resemblance though, there lies a stark difference in our dispositions.

I am deliberate (if sometimes cautious, but never anti-social) with my words and actions, while Mama tends to be spontaneous and bubbly.

Mama was at the graduation rites of our college this April — this isn’t at all odd or surprising, except for the fact that my own graduation is slated for next year. She came to cheer on my friends who were graduating, most of whom she had already come to know and love as her own children in the course of countless meetings, hangouts, movie marathons and sleepovers we’ve hosted at home.

To my surprise and slight horror, she strode right up to my friends and gave them cheek-air kisses as the others were being called to the stage to receive their certificates. She even brought the graduates gifts that would be of use for them in the work force, which she insisted on “delivering” to each of the recipients as the ceremony wore on.

As an usherette, it was all I could do to tell my own mother to behave and wait till the rites were over before approaching the graduates. The whole scene felt like it came straight out of a Freaky Friday sequel. Even if she tends to be boisterous — and even if her quirks make me feel like the parent in the relationship sometimes — Mama is never pompous. And more importantly, she continues to amaze me with her propensity to be generous.

I love you, Mamao!

Getting it Write

4 Apr

Photo by Gian Suyat

The past few days marked a milestone for the UP Journalism Club and for its members. A year’s worth of brainstorming, troubleshooting and preps concluded in the organization’s first Campus Journalism Workshop Summer Camp.

For five days we subsisted on C2 Green Tea Pandan, cup noodles, fast food takeouts, caffeine kicks, the participants’ enthusiasm, and the contagious dedication of fellow JCers.

Each lecture, workshop and team-building activity — be it planned or spontaneous — was pegged to be instructive, interactive and insightful. We hope that these were instrumental in enhancing the students’ and campus paper advisers’ proficiency in and appreciation for the different facets of campus journalism.

Now that the event has come to a close, we say collapsar hoping that all those involved in the project took home more than just the camp shirt, kit and pictures.

We also look forward to a time when one (or more!) of our former participants will join our ranks as a CJWSC organizer.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who helped out in ways big and small!

Cheers to a summer that’s off to a super achib start!

Some lessons are hard to unlearn

19 Mar

And no, I don’t just mean the classroom kind.

It’s that time of the semester again — when laptops/computers become the household’s main appliance, coffee replaces water in jugs, the library draws more traffic than the cafeteria, and the pillow becomes our greatest fear, simplest joy and most persistent seducer all at once.

Before I evolve into a lean (?!), mean requirement-conking machine, here be a few realizations over the past weeks.

People who make you smile and laugh even when you don’t feel like it are friends for keeps.

Talk and promises are cheap. Initiative gets things done, but is harder to come by.

Your best competition is yourself.

If you’re going to judge others, make sure you pass your own standards.

It pays to learn from the bottom up.

The good times aren’t always where the loud music and the strobe lights are.  There is joy in late-night beach strolls, overpriced tricycle rides,  Tuxedo Mask’s existentialism, and swapping stories over communal grilled squid and pizza.

The truest artistes can’t recognize Justin Bieber lyrics when woven into casual conversation.

Passion is to ignition as skill is to the steering wheel.

The view may be awesome from a high horse, but it gets pretty lonely at the top. And try as you might to get back down, you’re never quite the same person after.

The success of an activity shouldn’t just depend on how many people attend, but rather how much the participants take from it.

The best buddies can spend a whole afternoon studying and sitting in comfortable silence with you and still make you feel like you’re home.

If an eatery disappoints you the first time, don’t give up on it — just make sure you order something entirely different every time. That way, you’re sure to uncover that unheralded culinary gem.

What you say or don’t say about others reflects your character more than it does theirs.

Too little people deliberately exercise their right to say no. Too many people abuse it.

And lastly: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Preach it, Yoda.

 

 

Namnam

27 Jun

No, this isn’t about Lucky Me.

Following the Girls’ Night In tradition of our younger years, I finally got around to watching A Little Thing Called Love with my cousins AJ and Erika. AJ is still having a giggling fit as I type this. She even pretended to get a text message from the cute male lead declaring his undying love for her. I’ve known the girl all her life, but I only discovered tonight that a hyperactive imagination is among her strongest suits. That, and her firm resolve and even firmer bladder. To illustrate —

AJ: Kanina pa ko naiihi pero hindi ko magawa kasi nakakaputol ng kiliiiig!
Me: Sana kasi sinabi mo sakin, pwede naman i-pause diba?

Remember, kids -- the next time you want to impress your crush, go easy on the turmeric body scrub.

In one way or another, we could all relate to — and thus root for — awkward Nam (Pimchanok Leuwisetpaiboon) and her somekindofanotsosecret crush Shone (Mario Maurer), both of whom come to terms with insecurities, missed opportunities, trade-offs and that perpetual tug of war between love and loss, for better or for worse.

Product placement also figures in the movie.

Granted, the film is not without points for contention, chief among them Nam’s abrupt transformation from bespectacled, dark-skinned, metalmouth ugly duckling to long-haired and fair swan princess. This could serve to reinforce the notion, particularly among Filipinos and others from the Asian tropics, that only fair is beautiful. Second, Nam studied in the US after high school and became a celebrated big-shot after returning to her home country — two details that bring to mind and to the big screen strains of postcolonialist thought in Thailand. Transitions could have been more inventive too (really now, just a generic fade for a climactic moment?).

Compare.

But who am I kidding? I enjoyed the movie despite its misgivings, and even its inclinations for in-your-face comedy. As a matter of fact, AJ and Erika agreed that the comic figure Teacher Inn (Sudarat Budtporm) bore an uncanny resemblance to local comedienne Pokwang. The girls gushed that A Little Thing is something they could watch over and over again and not tire of.

Equal parts sweet, saucy and bitter, A Little Thing, like its protagonist Nam, isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself and the prepubescent experience of infatuation.  This must be why it has people gushing (and perhaps, as in the case of my cousin, waiting with bated breath and controlled bladder) the world over.

Of children and the darndest things they say

9 May

Today, I taught my younger cousins AJ (15), Erika (12) and Bea (8) the concepts of biological sex, sexual orientation and gender expression and the misconceptions surrounding them. (Because I try to be a responsible ate like that.) This involved telling them about LGBTs and what the acronym stood for.

Me: Ang problema kasi sa Tagalog, eni-eni lang ang paggamit natin sa mga salitang bakla at bading. Samantalang sa English, may iba-ibang termino para diyan. Ang taong pinanganak na lalaki na hitsurang lalaki at may gusto sa ibang lalaki, ang tawag dun —

Cousins: Gay.

Me:  Tama! Tapos, ang taong pinanganak na lalaki na hitsurang babae at may gusto sa lalaki, ang tawag dun, transgender o transsexual.

Bea: Ah. Eh ‘di ang tawag  po diyan, ate, transport gender?

Me: *tumbling*

_________________

Me: O, pag nag-birthday ako ngayong taon, lahat tayo kailangan naka-dress!

Bea: Yay! Ate, turuan mo naman kami kung paano magpapayat.

Me: Alam mo , kailangan kumain ka nang mga nutritious na, nakakabusog pa.

AJ: Oo nga. Paano ka naman papayat kung puro taba tsaka balat yung kinakain mo?

Me: Matuto ka kasi kumain ng gulay.

Bea: Kumakain naman ako ng gulay eh! Kumakain nga ako ng kangkong.

AJ: Ilang kangkong?

Bea: Minsan, kumakain akong dalawang piraso.

AJ: Tapos sasabayan mo ng balat ng fried chicken tsaka dalawang kanin? Iba ka din eh.

__________________

Bea to our cousin Ian (14): Ang dami mo nang atraso sakin, pangit ka!

__________________

Auntie B: Alam mo, Bea, lahi tayo ng mga magaganda.

Bea: Eh bakit si Auntie S?

Mama: Bey, bakit mo naman inaaway si Auntie S, siya na nga lang kakampi mo eh!

Auntie S: Minsan nga tinanong ko sa bunso ko kung maganda ako. Sabi niya sakin, “Oo, Mama, maganda. Maganda ang iyong kalooban!”