Saturday, June 29

What you do with very idle hands: You tweak your blog template a bit.

Friday, June 28

Now this is more bizarre than I hoped for: "Giraffe 'jumps to death after killing priest'" Buti pa yung giraffe may konsensiya. Not much can be said of our politicians.
[ via the morning news ]
I am discovering my inner Angelina Jolie:

Which Angelina Are You?

Hm, really? Or maybe I'd rather not.

[ stolen from A View From The Bottom of a Glass ]
Yes, yes, we're living in a postmodern world with its pluralities and all, where truth is like the many versions of the same thing (as in Rashomon), but this is not a mere plurality or a confusion, it's a frigging royal f**k up. One day you're the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines and you hold the most important cabinet post in the land. Ten seconds later, you watch the tv news and find out that you resigned from your post and it's being offered to somebody else. Wtf? They can't just claim a mix-up. It's the bloody political machine rolling out early. It's still 2002, or did the calendar change already?

And this is from the sci-fi section: Some very nasty elements out there are in possession of highly toxic radioactive materials. Finally, some ingenuity from our routinary underworld. I'm getting tired of reading about cellphone snatching and corruption. Perhaps some masterful villain out there is preparing for world domination. Or else s/he just wants to make some radioactive sago and gulaman. Care to pass me the Iridium 192, Cesium 137 and Americium 241?

But alas, even without the radioactive thing, we might still end up mutants down here in Manila. Apparently, our mayor can be talked out of busting the petrol bullies. He signed an MOA which allows the petrol companies to continue their operations in Pandacan for six more months, on a reduced basis. I realize that the depots contribute to the economy of the town, and a lot of employees will be displaced. As one gas worker put it: "We push oil barrels. We are not graduates of De La Salle or Ateneo. Taga-UP lang. UPian ng lata." But consider the consequences. Jobs can be created without putting the whole town in danger of being torched down. Now that, Mayor Atienza, is the real challenge you must be willing to answer.
Anyone of you Manila-based bloggers out there interested in a get together? You might want to check this out later today:

Likha-Diwa sa Gulod, C.P. Garcia Ave.
Krus na Ligas, Diliman, Q.C.
June 28 (Fri) 5:30 pm onwards

[ via mojoflea ]

The way my day is shaping up, this and the Rock Enroll concert at the Bahay ng Alumni might be the only things I'll be able to do out of the house. Still have a deadline to beat in the afternoon. For the cineastes out there, check out the screening of the 5-hour opus by Lav Diaz, Batang Westside, which is showing at the UP Film Center at 3pm. Tickets go for Php 60.

Thursday, June 27

I can type without looking at the keyboards, using all my fingers, with my wrists properly elevated. It's probably the single most useful thing I learned in high school. We had typing classes starting junior year and the teacher had us put one peso coins on the back of our hands. If you even so much as lowered your hands or attempted to look at the keys, she would surely know because of the battery of coins hitting the floor. Our typing room was filled with huge, antiquated Remingtons. I liked the elite fonts mostly. The huge new typewriters with the pica fonts are heavy, and the spaces between keys too huge for my hands. So enough about that, and check out this Classic Typewriter Page.
Se Souvenir des Belles Choses is a really interesting dissection of what it means to be in love. And I mean really be in love, not the fleeting, easily discardable fancies we usually think to be the real thing. It means leaping past the difficulties of living with the other person's previous relationships, of putting up with all of your lover's neuroses, psychological disabilities, of how someday, she wouldn't even recognize you if she ran into you on the street.

The film started with this girl Claire Poussin checking herself into an institution. She was 32 years old, and seemed in perfect health. But one summer evening in the middle of a walk in the woods, a storm started and she was struck by lightning. Then she started having difficulties remembering things. She suspects she might have inherited Alzheimer's disease from her mother, who died from it. It couldn't possibly happen to her, her sister insists. But she submits herself to a series of tests, and meets a variety of people who really are troubled. There was a guy who wouldn't take baths and constantly wore his pajamas. To every question he would only reply "Up yours." Two elderly men spent their days bent over an unending game of chess. And there was Philippe, a nicely man with a scar his left eye. His wife and child died from a car accident, but he couldn't remember anything. He spent his time raking leaves and sniffing wine he stored under his bed.

One day, Philippe's parents visit him and his mother bursts into hysterics, blaming him for the deaths for which he couldn't even show remorse. At the canteen, Philippe catches Claire staring at him and he attacks her, screaming that she must blame him, like everyone does. How can you grieve for something you cannot remember? How can you feel an emotion when you don't have the memories to link them to?

There was this moment in the film where Philippe tried apologizing to Claire about his outburst. They were in the canteen, crowded as it were. But the way the director filmed them, with Philippe facing Claire against a background that was filled with light, they seemed to face each other, when in truth they were in separate tables. You could see how their smiles, hesitant at first, started to widen and brighten up their faces. You could see how Claire pushed the hair out of her eyes, and we could not help but see how graceful her hand was, how the slow start of a smile was enough to fill that canteen with light.

Then at the museum, they sit in front of this painting of an angel. Philippe sits beside Claire, and he starts to tell her about the story of the Angel of Oblivion. "When babies are born, they know everything that happened from the fall of man, to the plagues, I want to kiss you, to the great war, the creation of instant soup, I want to kiss you." Claire turns to him, "What was that you said?" He says he couldn't remember, then repeats it again. "Then the Angel touches the baby's lips, so he wouldn't remember. The baby has to learn everything all over again. What's left of the Angel's touch is this cleft right above your lips." Then he hushes her. They kiss.

We know that they were starting to fall in love. It's strange how our remembrance of things create our feelings. We remember love by the way our fingers brushed together, by how the light brings out the most brilliant smiles, and the gracefulness with which you brushed the hair out of your eyes. It's the little things which attach themselves like glue to our memory. And those are the little things that make us smile when we remember them. Se souvenir des belles choses. Try to remember the small beautiful things. It's what makes life worth living, even when things start to get difficult. Even when your ability to retain those memories begin to fade and disappear.

That was the very thing that Claire feared. She cannot remember things anymore. She doesn't have the word for these things. And how can you remember love when you cannot even remember your lover's face? She knew that her memory was going to fade soon, but she wanted her life to be worth living, and the only way was to be in love, and to be enveloped by that love.

It was a crazy thing for a woman who is starting to lose her memory to live with a man whose very painful memories are starting to surface. But they took the risk. Their apartment was filled with post-its and clocks. They wrote their itineraries, a per hour guide of the day's tasks. It's like learning things for the first time.

Philippe cannot remember how it was to be with a woman, even though he had a wife and child. Don't worry, it will come back to you, the doctor said. In time you will remember, the way you can never forget how to ride a bike. He was falling in love with Claire as though he were an adolescent experiencing it for the first time. Philippe's awe was fascinating to watch. If only we can retain that awe every time we fall in love, but then it would require losing our cynicism accumulated through the years. [Unless we all decide to have collective amnesia, but that would be too difficult. I digress.]

It warmed me to see how these two people worked hard at building their life together. Philippe would repeat every so often the route of how to get to the hospital and back home. He would outline it on a map on the wall, and enumerate every corner and bus stop, to make sure that Claire gets home safe.

It breaks me when Claire really started to lose her memory. She was trying to bake a cake for dinner. She needed three eggs: one, two, three, she counted. The second she put the eggs in the bowl, she would read the cookbook and see that she needed three eggs. Start all over again. It was funny at first, how she repeated things. Then we see her staring at the schedule on her blackboard: 6.30pm, light up the oven at 180 degrees. As she does so, she sees that she had not completed the task for 6pm, prepare the cake batter. She turns and sees that the eggs were still there. Over their candlelit dinner, we see Philippe crunching on burned buttercake. But he smiled all throughout, insisting it was delicious. Claire is not convinced, and comes back to the table with a bowl of sugar. She forgot to put in the sugar. "So what," says Philippe. "We had a sugarfree buttercake."

Any man who would willingly eat sugarfree buttercake and patiently prepare audio guides for me must be a treasure. Philippe is like that. He realizes that he was happy with Claire, and it doesn't matter if the bad memories are coming back. He wants to be happy and he's willing to work at it even when it's becoming obvious that Claire's condition is going worse.

Claire disappears after one of her hospital visits. Philippe has convinced her to use the audio guides he made for her, but after making a wrong turn she couldn't find her way back. She roams through the streets and ends up in an out of the way warehouse and into the woods. It starts to rain. Meanwhile, Philippe searches the city all over for her. When he finally finds her the following morning, Claire sits, babbling, dancing around, with a gone look in her eyes. She can't even recognize him. He shows her his scar. "This is your nicely man." He kisses her. "This is how I taste." He hushes her and tells her the story of the angel of oblivion. But she doesn't remember. Not even the beautiful things.

Tuesday, June 25

You are my fire. The one, desire. Believe, when I say. I want it that way.

I curse the Backstreet Boys for singing this forever in my head today. Argh.
Bloggers are like superheroes. Superheroes have secret identities. Therefore, bloggers can assume secret identities as well. Hm, does that mean I can wear a cape and hang upside down from very tall buildings? And more importantly, do we like it that way? [ via jill/txt ]

Monday, June 24

Just returned from the Cecile Licad solo recital held at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo at the CCP. The concert was set for 8pm. Something came up at work and I was occupied until a little before 7pm. I took a cab and got there in ten minutes, a miracle since I thought there would be hellish traffic since it rained earlier. None of the friends I was going with were there yet. One was still stuck in Bulacan, and she said it was raining heavily, and the other two were still somewhere in Fairview. I milled around in the lobby, where mostly everyone wore black. Now most of my clothes are either black, grey or blue, but for some flimsy reason I can't remember now, I ended up wearing white and khakis -- perfect for daytime wear, but not for evening concerts. Five minutes before the recital started and they still weren't there. I went into the theater, found my seat, looked around and saw that mostly everyone in my section was like 40 and up. I ended up listening to all of Chopin's Etudes with the seats to my right all unoccupied.

Now it was my first time to watch Cecile Licad perform. I didn't know what she would be playing until I got there and browsed the program. So I didn't have any expectations, no clue, except that it was going to be a night of classical music. She came in wearing a black dress, sat down, and from my view high up in the balcony, all I could see was black hair billowing around her face, and I noticed how fluidly her hands and fingers were as they moved across the keys. There was a projector at the side of the stage, and there the movements were magnified. You could see her mouth as she pouted and the way her eyebrows furrowed. Her hair fell in black pools over her shoulders. Sometimes her whole body shook and hunched and bent low, face near the ivories. Sometimes more than the music itself, I was absorbed at how absorbed she was at playing the piano. She seemed in rage or in ecstasy, and her fingers either caressed or flew all over the keys. It always amazes me to watch someone who wasn't just playing the music but living it. By the time the intermission came, it was only then that I realized I was sitting there by myself.

I went out and found my friends in the lobby. They came in after the concert started, and they were wearing black. I spent most of the intermission chatting up my friend Ross's sister who is a music major. Then we went back in and there were more people in our section. The second half, she played Schubert's Impromptus Op.142, D.935, Liszt's Annees de Pelerinage and Walking on the Waters, and the Mephisto Waltz by Liszt and Busoni.

The encores were also delightful. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what they were, because I have absolutely no idea. It was weird being around music majors. When they started discussing the second movement of this piece and how the No. 1 in F minor as played by this musician was a bit more fluid. I was lost. Then they asked if I wanted to see another concert with them this weekend, classical of course. I said I already planned to go with another group of friends to watch Cynthia Alexander. Who was Cynthia Alexander. Er.

But the recital was fun. A bit different from my usual fare of "angry sounding people who are making life for their esophagus difficult" -- this was how a friend of mine described the music I listen to. Originally, my friend wanted to watch the June 17 concert. But the guy who bought the tickets for us said that there was no Cecile Licad concert on the 17th, my friend's birthday. Instead he got us the tickets for these. So no birthday concert. Then later we learned that Cecile Licad did play last week -- she was guest pianist at the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra concert. Anyhow, I think this was better because there was no orchestra to crowd out her music. And she really was fascinating to watch. It's like watching a demon possesion, and I mean that in a very good way.

[ p.s. After the recital I milled around the lobby some more with my friend's sister, with the crowd waiting for Cecile Licad. My friend's sister wanted to have her Chopin's Etudes lyric sheet signed. She told me about all the times they waited for artists to sign their tickets/programs/books only to discover they didn't have pens. This time she was ready and determined. When we finally got close to Ms Licad, all she managed to do was sort of squeak. But Ms Licad signed her book and said in a really low voice, "Thanks for coming." Then several seconds later, my friend's sister said, "It was like she was saying 'Pare..'" Weird. We love her nevertheless. Feh. ]
As if by strange coincidence or divination, today's Yahoo Travel Destination presents the City of Manila! [ insert beauty pageant pose here. ]
Happy Manila Day to you ManileƱos out there.

Manila is a really old city. We're celebrating our 431st foundation anniversary today. According to the city's webpage:
Manila began as a small tribal settlement on the banks of the Pasig River near the mouth of Manila Bay. It took its name from a white-flowered mangrove plant - the Nilad - that grew in abundance in the area. Maynilad, or "where the nilad" grows, was a fairly prosperous Islamic community ruled by Rajah Sulayman, descendant of a royal Malay family.
How my city got its name, and it's not from the manila envelope:
I haven't seen a single nilad plant in all my years in Manila. For all we know, it could be extinct already. There is, however, a vehicle underpass in front of the Manila City Hall called "Lagusnilad," a wordplay on lagusan (tunnel, passageway) and nilad. The tunnel used to get really flooded, and one time the street sweepers discovered a guy who hung himself in one of the wedges they used as storage space.

I come from Pandacan, which contrary to the popular notion, isn't populated with the vertically challenged. My town celebrates its fiesta every January, in time for the feast of the Child Jesus. Usually there would be street dancing,
the buling-buling. It's a huge event where all the schools and baranggays send delegations of colorfully dressed dancers. Even ordinary folks get to go and sway to band music, maskipaps. The roads are usually closed around that time.

I don't mind that. Except that these days, when they close the roads and bridges leading to Pandacan, it's because of rallies against the oil companies. Shell, Caltex and Petron all have their refineries in Pandacan. It would be a good riddance if they move out, when their contracts end on July 3. But by the way things are going, the companies will probably argue that transporting all that oil to Batangas or to some other place could take years. So in the meanwhile, we have to live vicariously. If you happen to drive by the Paco-Sta. Mesa bridge, and you are in possession of a grenade launcher or a cigarette (whichever you can fit in your purse) don't light up, or cause the whole town to burn down, what with all that petrol. So please don't.

And now for your reading pleasure, you can pick up a copy of Nick Joaquin's Manila, My Manila. I've always wanted a copy of that one. The hardbound edition costs something like Php600+ printed in nice paper. It's something every Manila boy or girl should have, and it's something I'm saving up for. While I still don't have the funds for it, I thumb and salivate over it in Powerbooks.

Or you can watch movies with "Manila" in the title. Off the top of my head, there are several you can choose from. There is Lino Brocka's Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag. People often get blinded by city lights, and the promise of wealth and the good life awaiting them in the city. Urban life can be scathing and drive you to desperate means. That last shot of Bembol Roco's visage frozen in a scream is one of the most haunting moments of cinema.

Meanwhile, Manila by Night (aka City After Dark) got banned by Imelda Marcos. She reportedly cried because she cannot accept that the depravity, general poverty and the mean events in the film can actually happen in her very beautiful city. This display of humanity from someone who ordered the slums whitewashed, because the sight of poor people distresses her. Ugh.

Bulaklak ng Maynila has been adapted from a novel by Domingo Landicho, who also appears in the movie. It can be best remembered for its jumpcuts (distracting) and Angelu de Leon's awkward burlesk dance sequences. There's also Anak Maynila, an animation short which also focuses on poverty.

Over the years, Manila has gone from capital city to just plain rundown. There's been a lot of hell raised over the destruction of several landmarks, like the Jai-Alai building and the Mehan Gardens. Instead of preserving them, the city government opted to tear them down and build more malls. What defines a city is not the bland, generic structure of malls. It's the little places that strike a chord in you. As for me, my favorite places include the walled city of Intramuros itself, especially the Puerta Isabel side, the new Museum of the Filipino People in the old Finance Building across Rizal Park, Binondo, the whole stretch of C.M. Recto avenue all the way to Avenida and Quiapo.

So go forth and discover the city. Word of warning though: Manila is not for the sheltered. You have to be streetsmart and you must not whine when you find yourself lost in the dingy little streets and alleys. Have fun.
I am off kilter. I put off writing over the weekend because I thought our place would be quiter on a Monday morning. I completely forgot that it's a holiday, at least in Manila. My Blade watching neighbor is home from school, and is feeding my ears with nonstop Bob Marley. Which isn't bad, as I even enjoyed the reggae music at the fete last weekend. But if you're forced to listen to it even before your mind is actively conscious, you need something to counter it. My apologies to Marley fans out there. I've switched my ear candy to Suzanne Vega's Nine Objects of Desire. It's a nice antidote to doobie madness.

Sunday, June 23

Sometimes I am shocked at how people find this site. I like having fun with google, but some of the entries in my site referral reports just don't make me happy at all. Fyi, this site is a hodgepodge of a lot of things. But you definitely cannot find infor on this site about:

[1] 16+years+old+girl+naked, Portugese or otherwise
[2] how+to+finger+your+girl
[3] i+cannot+get+a+girl+friend
[4] how+to+make+conversation+with+a+girl+on+the+phone.

Go someplace else, you perverts.
Here's another proof that nearly everyone you know is online: Mary Ann of pile o'smeg was actually the faculty marshall at my college graduation. I just didn't know her then. So all I could do was stay in line, lost little sheep that I was. Hello, fellow blog stalker.
Just got back from this year's Fete de la Musique over at El Pueblo's. I didn't finish the entire thing because most of my friends already went home, and we were already tired. There was some rain earlier in the evening, which made it difficult to get there from Megamall, where we all met up. People were huddled under the awnings because of the rain, and nothing much has started yet, save for Makiling Ensemble in one little part of the Pueblo. So we repaired to a dark dingy little corner of Tequila Joe's, had some beer and nachos, and grooved to some reggae by Brownman Revival. That was fun, but when it was time to go out, the place was ultimately swamped. And the waiters didn't want to let us go, they held our bill hostage. Service in that place took forever, which meant that we missed Cynthia Alexander's opening act.

The main stage outside Racks saw some action at around midnight, and while we waited for that, the Coke Light people kept following us. Bugging us to try their new product. Which we accepted, then dumped someplace else.

Half of the people I know turned up at the Fete as well. There's Astrid, Mark and Petite(in their orange ensemble), Trixy, Shiloah with her brother Tom, some other people from school. Heck, even the camera guy from my old job was there. My friends and I waved like crazy. Yeah, like they'll actually use that part of the footage.

Then at 1 a.m. some of my friends went home. My other friend Jonnah and I tried to get into Sidebar where Barbie's Cradle was playing but it was packed tighter than a can of sardines. So we went to the bar next door, San Mig and listened to some jazz instead. We got this table way way back. Now I'm really bad at recognizing semi-famous celebrities, sometimes I even find it difficult to match names and faces of people I've already met. The table next to ours had this girl from the bar we go to for poetry readings. I think she sort of recognized me. (Ah, there goes the extremely naughty girl who giggles quite loudly. Zut.) Then my friend goes, "Hey, isn't that one of the Flower Pot Girls?" Of course I tried to look. Couldn't place her for several seconds. It is the Flower Pot Girl/Soap Opera Villain. But all I cared about at that moment was my still missing roast beef. My hunger goes first.

Half an hour later, I wasn't hungry anymore, and I even started to enjoy the music. THen I had to go to the bathroom and had to pass by the crowded bar. I was already yawning, and sort of bumped into this girl who was hanging at the bar. Sorry, crowded floors. Guess who it was? But before it actually dawned on me who that was, I was already halfway inside the bathroom. Darn. They went there right after their set. Well, I can always catch them in some other gig.

Saturday, June 22

I don't know if I should be running scared by now, but my next door neighbor has been repeatedly watching "Blade" and its blood lusty sequel for several days now. I don't want to be his dinner. Shudder. I think I'm going to say goodbye now, before he gets hungry and wants to do lunch.
Was fixing my things yesterday and found a couple of Youngblood articles that Marge clipped and gave me from over a month ago or something. As it is, I'm not too fond of "strawberry moments" and the other cruddy sentimental sap that crowds Youngblood these days. But I have an affinity for this one: No more "Macho I Love You's." The author makes a few points well taken. While it is cute (aww) to find guys with their S.O's tiny little handbags, I still believe in bringing your own stuff. Unless it is absolutely heavy. Guys who offer to carry bags and open doors can be sweet, but please not too much.

It's actually scarier to realize that you like someone and would want to be with that person, rather than being alone and self-sufficient. It takes a lot of guts to actually admit that to the object of your affection. People say "I love you" too much these days, when they're not exactly sure they mean it. I would rather hear a heartfelt "I really really like you." than a half-meant "I-you-know-you."

Holy crap, I'm turning sappy.
I am despondent. If I stay more than 2 days at home I start to itch and pace. It doesn't matter if it's ten o'clock in the evening and the last full show at the nearest mall is halfway through, I just have to get out of the house. Now going out of the house requires a budget, and after last summer's going out binge with the usual suspects, I find that it's [a] not practical and [b] you will be appalled by the vast sums of money you have just thrown down the drain, as evidenced by last quarter's bank statements. So for every chance I get I try to stay home and do something productive -- laundry, reading, write a bit. Which would make me shift and squirm in my seat after some time. I just had to go out. Now that's bad. Like an addiction going on overload. And since the usual suspect has also realized that going out can cost you an arm and a leg, there is no one left to roam places with. It's not that I can't go out now without a companion. I used to do that a lot before, and I still do, and was perfectly happy being alone. But after getting used to company, and how fun it could be, you miss it a bit.

So I propose that we have a budget. It doesn't necessarily have to cost you much. And I really would like to avoid the malls as much as I can. Unless it's a film showing, or something else that doesn't require shopping and spending too much. Really, you really don't need that much money to really have fun. It can be a "you, me and five bucks and some conversation" sort of deal. And I would be perfectly happy with that.
Looks like my so-called vacation is going to be cut short next week. I stayed home yesterday with my mom, who wasn't feeling very well. (Whoa, 2 days in a row!) She's okay now. While I was trying to take a nap yesterday, I got a message from my headwriter asking me to call him immediately. Since the latest script I wrote was scheduled for taping yesterday, I was sort of worried that they needed a rewrite or something. It turns out that the other writer who'll be left in Manila and was scheduled to write the next script will be busy writing for another show. So could we trade slots? It's not like I could say no. It's more like, "I already have things scheduled for this weekend and would you mind if I do the darn thing next week?" To which he said okay. But it's not going to be a really rush thing, or so I hope. So I still have my weekend, and I intend to keep my appointments for next week and just squeeze work on the days I don't have anything scheduled. I'm still bummed I won't be going to HK, but then again maybe I'm not meant to go. Some other time, when I won't be asked to carry microphones and assist kids in learning their lines.

Thursday, June 20

I am but a small voice..

I spent part of my afternoon rummaging through my old stuff looking for the framed drawing my uncle made for me when I was little. It was copied from this album cover, and the drawing used to hang behind the door in my room. People thought the girl in the picture was me, which of course wasn't. But for the life of me, I can't find where the drawing ended up. I moved several units down a couple of months ago from our old house, and lots of stuff got moved and thrown away. And it might have included that portrait. Bah. Had it happened when I was in grade school, or early high school, I might have been bawling now. It's a bummer though.
Umuulan. Masarap matulog. Masarap iburo ang sarili sa ilalim ng makapal na blanket sa isang madilim na kuwarto. Buti na lang nasa bahay ako. Wala nga lang kasama matulog. Pero ayos lang. Sanay naman ako mag-isa.
It takes a good fifteen minutes to fill up a pail of water in our place, especially during the morning rush, when all the kids in the compound are racing to take their baths and do their other going-to-school rituals. So sometimes, when they're not being lazybums, my brothers fill up the giant plastic containers we have in the bathroom. When they're being extra nice, even the water gallons and the pails get filled with water. If and when they feel like it.

Now this morning, I went straight to the bathroom, and barely nobody's
home except for me and my mum. I switched on the lights, and reached down to find a covered pail with a note written on grade school paper and in red marker ink:

Don't make dekwat the water.*

Jesus lord, my brothers are turning konyo.

*Literally means: "Don't steal the water." I don't know the etymology of the word "dekwat" (to steal) but I suppose it's some sort of slang, kanto lingo. I've heard it used before, with its variations along with nenok and pitik, also street lingo for the verb "to steal." If anyone out there knows the history of the word, give me a yeller.

Also, the note reminds me of a Woody Allen play, called "Don't Drink The Water." Now that was hilarious.

Wednesday, June 19

No Fuss NonVacation Day One:

Woke up early today and devoured a very healthy breakfast consisting of potato chips (thin, crisp, the sour cream and onion kind) and coffee. Just all the nutrients I needed to clean my room. I now have soaped and scrubbed, dust-free floors. My desk is a wee bit neat. I threw out reams of paper which cannot be recycled anymore, plus I don't really want to see those ever again. And the phone doesn't have cobwebs on it. (Ewww.) My shoes are all arranged under my bed. I did my stretching exercises on the mat with Rufus Wainwright screaming from the speakers. Did e-mailing chores.

I was thinking of going to the Shang to watch some more French movies, then decided that I'd rather go to the good ol' UP Film Center. (Btw, their website looks different. Or is it just me?) They are holding a Chinese Film Week. Today's feature includes Zhang Yimou's Not One Less at 4pm (which I had already watched, but will watch again) and The Road Home at 7pm, which has Zhang Ziyi in it, pre-Crouching Tiger and Visa commercial days. Go check it out if you have time and you're in the Diliman area.

This is where I'm going on Saturday night. Astrid has the schedule of the night's performances, which you can check out here and here. Invited the angas people, my other college buddies, random strangers, my high school batch. It's going to be like one of those giant EBs where all the guests are people I somehow know. Or don't know. Whatever. It seems like fun. That's all that matters anyway.

I got together with a group of people last Monday night. They're mostly interested about performance poetry, spoken word, slam -- that sort of thing. Some of them perform in venues like Sanctum. They're very hyper and frisky people. Let's see if they can infect me with that friskiness.

Tuesday, June 18

I will have 11 days of vacation starting tomorrow. Or should I feel bad because I'm not going to HK? They're taking along 5 production assistants and just our headwriter. Bah.

[ update: Our director said that he'd rather have an assistant director (Ad) and another writer than have 5 PAs. So one of the episode writers got to go, which isn't me, of course. Anyhow, I will console myself with the fact that I have 11 days off. I can do whatever I like. Actually I intend to do something productive. Will work on a personal project, and maybe go to a movie watching binge, read, do my laundry. Do all the mundane everyday stuff I didn't get to do while I was slaving over the freaking scripts. Do I sound whiny or what? :) ]

Sunday, June 16

Okay, so there's some sort of confirmation now: seems like the Rhyme & Rhythms poetry gigs have been so successful, and which I raved about here and here, that there will be another series featuring, among others, Cynthia Alexander and F. Sionil Jose. Woohoo! I think I'll be hanging out in Greenbelt more.

[ via mojoflea ]
Mick Jagger's son on knighthood:

"Well, he goes to the castle to see the king and gets to be a knight, and, from then on, gets to wear armor all the time."

Yes, the Arse of the World in armor. Ooh. Quite appetizing. And he's getting dubbed as Sir Mick Jagger comes in the same year as the knighthood of Harold Pinter (who wrote "Betrayal" -- a play that goes backwards, sort of like "Memento.") and Peter Blake, who is most famous for doing the cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album. Yep, those British royals sure have a funny sense of humor.

Saturday, June 15

I accompanied my friend Ross last night (which is actually just several hours ago) to Sanctum. She wanted to sing a couple of songs she wrote this summer, after years of not writing anything at all. I first heard her demo tape early May, and I thought it was really good. Marge and I thought we'd go with Ross to provide her moral support. The thing was, I was stuck at home yesterday writing my project, and could only go out of the house for the open mic, which starts at midnight. I had dinner with my mom and was watching some TV. Then I told her, Hey, I'll be going out later with some friends to this poetry reading thing. They'll pick me up at this burger place later. That was 10pm. I shouldn't have told her. She said she'd go with me to the burger place and wait with me while I wait for my friends. Dums.

I went to my room and made several phone calls. Marge couldn't go and pick me up because she's the designated driver and had to accompany her sister someplace else first. I couldn't reach Ross on her mobile. There wouldn't be anyone to pick me up at all. If so, I doubt if my mom would just let me take a cab in Malate sometime past midnight. Trouble. My mom is a cool mom and all, but she still is my mother. And I'm her only daughter, and I'm the eldest so going out late at night still bothers her sometimes. I knew I should have left the house earlier.

But through sheer persistence, I finally managed to convince Ross to drive by and pick me up, in a different burger place this time so my mom wouldn't have to go all the way to Malate. It's hard to make conversation when you're standing around your local 7-11 with your mother and explaining how you met this people ("She went to this school, and she also knows Wendell. Everyone knows Wendell, mom."), what you intend to do ("It's somewhere in the wall crevices of Intramuros, and people go there to read their poetry stuff."), and how you're supposed to go home ("They'll drive me right to our doorstep."). After several minutes of that and a combo meal later, Ross finally arrives. She's with this guy who follows us around in a car. Bad bad thing. It was supposed to be a girls night out.

When we got to Sanctum, Marge was still someplace else. There's this girl Denise who sang some "Galileo" by the Indigo Girls. She also sang Lisa Loeb's "Stay" -- my last song syndrome for most of last week. We had to wait for Marge to come so Ross can go up there and sing. Finally, after a glass of bubblegum lambanog (for her, not me) and pithy conversation with the guy who kept on cooing "She's really good, you know," Ross' turn finally came. She read this poem first, and then borrowed somebody else's acoustic guitar. She did "River of Love" and "Set Your Soul Free." A bit nervous, but good enough for a first timer. We hung around some more, and then Denise did several covers more. She didn't know some of the lyrics, so she'd egg the crowd to sing along with her. Fun time.

We went home sometime around 4am. And just as I thought, my mom was in my room waiting up for me. Hope we could do that again sometime soon.

Friday, June 14

By the edge of a moonlit bayou, the Mistress of Names, descendant of the divine tribe of Ya-yas, now bestows upon me my Ya-ya name. Behold Queen Shedding Her Fears.

Kantogirl makes a curt, clumsy curtsy. I haven't read the book, nor watched the movie. But anyhow.

Parang gusto ko manood nito.
Been bumming around the past couple of days, mostly because it took forever to get revision comments for the project I was doing. Idleness doesn't become me. I begin to think up all sorts of weird things. So last Wednesday, for lack of anything to do, I asked my headwriter whether or not I was going to do any writing that day. He told me to go out first.

So I went out to met up with a friend so she can get tickets for this Monday's Cecille Licad concert. We needed student IDs to get discounts. Then I realized my card doesn't qualify anymore because it hasn't been validated since last year, so I borrowed some from my brothers. We needed two IDs because I needed one for my other friend who lives at the end of the world. All for that discount. We're such cheapoids, I know. I have yet to get word on those tickets later.

Then I went over to Booksale, and got this book. I mean, how can you resist a pig on the flying trapeze? Then raced home for a quick lunch and a shower, then called my headwriter who told me to go ahead and go out. Went to the Shang and caught Pas de scandale. I don't know if it's just the heat, or my boredom, but I'm afraid I didn't fully understand that movie. I just sat there, thinking, what the hey?

Yesterday, got dragged to a thank you lunch for the show's temporary director. It was a surprise lunch, and I was surprised too, because I learned about it at seven in the freaking morning yesterday. The call time was for 11:30 am and I woke up to that message at seven. Such short notice. I guess I could have thought up an excuse not to go, but like a good servant, we got up from bed, grumbling and all and went. All the kids were there. They were all bubbly and giggly and cheerful and kept addressing me with the "po" and "yes, ate" sort of thing. The other writer took me aside and said, "So how does it feel to be 22 and being addressed with this po bit?" One of the girls kept repeating the story of How She Managed To Flush Her Latest Model Nokia Cellphone Into Rockwell's Gleaming Toilet Bowl. She put it on the ledge and the phone vibrated itself into oblivion. In between repetitions of those, they kept giggling over how Shane West was so cute and how Mandy Moore had to wear flat shoes all throughout the movie because she's taller than the cute boy. I feel freaking old. Lunch lasted for nearly four hours.

I'm at home working today. Earlier, I watched Manhattan again. Mariel Hemingway reminds me a lot of Clea Duvall. Later I'll be meeting up with a bunch of people at Sanctum to watch another friend make a fool of herself perform at the open mic. That's it, I'm going back to work.

Wednesday, June 12

I have zero brain activity for the past week. As if you all wanted to know that. I don't have any thoughts of importance for this year's Independence Day celebrations. I will let other people do that for you.

Let's see, for the past week I've seen a grand total of six movies, 5 of which was from the French film festival at the Shang. I also saw Panic Room, which is so much like a one-act play: one setting, one particular time frame. I'll talk about it some other time. My brain refuses to function.

And oh yeah. I am happy today because I found this at the video store. Manhattan is absolutely one of my favorite Woody Allen movies. Woody Allen has been haunting me for the past couple of days.

News for those who take the train: the MRT stored value tickets now come in Php100 denominations. It's blue and has Ms. Macapagal's visage on it. She looks like an endorser for a laundry detergent. In fact, the back of the ticket has the logo of a laundry detergent. Do not mistake your tickets for discount cards.

Thursday, June 6

You say I only hear what I want to.
This seems like something Manila can use: Be creative or die! [ cue evil laugh track ]

Yes, seriously, especially with the Manila Film Festival approaching again. I understand they want to showcase films of artistic value [ put your own equation here: sex + violence + rotting storyline = crap ], and I don't ever believe that. "Utang ni Tatang" seems interesting. "Super B" is well, another Booba, most probably. But what's the point in having the same pathetic movies over and over again? If they really want to have a city that breathes, and I'm not just saying clear the pollution, or put up another shiny gimmick place. Support a cultural and artists colony. Or something resembling that. Make poetry/literature/good cinema/music available to the people. For a reasonable price. People will be willing to shell out money for that. Or even better, have some of these for free. Then maybe we can start living our lives again.
The movie line up for the French Film Festival is out. You can check out the Alliance Francaise website, and go to their Events page. Or you can see the sched from Mark's page. I'm looking forward to Amelie* 8 Femmes de Francois Ozon (Virginie Ledoyen!), and I'm also asking all my favorite movie buddies to drop me a line. Which films will you be watching?

*Somebody has better explain to me why Amelie is not part of the general program for the film fest. So this means that if you are without an invitation for tonight's gala, you have no absolute chance in watching it? This is so bad. If only I weren't out of town when they showed Amelie over at Alliance a couple of months ago. Darn. The reason has better be good.

And there's no Taxi 2 either. You know what they say about beggars. No choose. No. Oh well.
Rules of the New Restroom:
'Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning To Work, Also Their Penises Or Vaginas'
'Patrons Must Only Copulate Behind Locked Stalls’
Please Only Put Paper In Toilet – Not Your Beliefs’
And, my personal favorite
Steve Wishes To Thank All Graffiti Writers For Helping Him Work Out His Gayness’
Washroom graffitis are really interesting. I used to follow graffiti conversations about some girl's pregnancy, gayness, in love with an unattainable male, or even calls for a potential partner (call this number) to topple the governments. All these behind the doors of the Main Library washroom.
Here you go: The Social Science Guide to Flirting. Because the last thing you want to happen is that girl wrapping her arms all over the person you're going out with and you cannot even get five minutes to talk. Blast it.

Sunday, June 2

Joeri says: Ik mag gezien worden. That's the tagline for a site sponsored by the Flemish government. It roughly translates to "I'm proud of my body." What we should all aspire to say when looking at ourselves in front of that mirror. [ via feral living ]
My life is becoming over run with short notices. Was out with a friend last Friday. We were planning to watch a movie, and walk around. But unfortunately, Makati traffic that day was so terrible I arrived a bit late, and the people were running around the mall for the midnight sale, and just when we had decided on what movie to watch, my friend's brother announced that their mom called and was expecting them home early. Drat. So instead of having the afternoon to our own, our plans have been junked by the big brother. And he's really the sort of big brother who can sometimes intimidate you. You know, works out and stern looking and all. Doesn't speak much. It's like having a chaperone around. And I'm not used to it. I don't have any older siblings and I don't go around telling them to go home. Hm.

Good kind of short notice: Hung out with the angas people for a sort of belated celebration of Dennis' birthday. We had dinner, shared stories, was entertained by the mere presence of Jol, watched television, slurped ice cream and brandy. [ Plain h2o for me. Ah. The pains of having tonsilitis. Anyway, don't forget to greet the old guy!