Pictures burn

Kid's Dinagyang held January 26. Never found out who won the kid's competition. But they were nice enough to pose for me.

Kasadyahan, January 28, 2006. Tribu Manuggama from Maasin won first prize, besting Tribu Tultugan, also from Maasin.

Dinagyang January 29, 2006. Tribe Ilonganon won this year taking the crown away from Silak. Think they deserved to win although it was a close fight. Didn't post pics for those tribes though. Chose only the shots I really liked.

The result of my day in the sun. The line on my wrist was where my watch was. I am now tri-colored. I have a different skin tone in different parts of the body. No sunblock. I did bring an umbrella but handed it over to a pitiful father who had small kids watching in the heat. I told myself, this only happens once a year. And hopefully, the damage can be remedied by Likas Papaya. Hehehe. It damn stings! I also have a semi-permanent uneven blush on my cheeks. My friends thought I was wearing make-up. Lol. Promise to wear long sleeves and some sunblock next time :)



Im tired. Was up and running at 5:30 am to help out check tickets in one of the stage areas for the Kasadyahan Festival. I had to deal with difficult people. There was this lady who claims she's from Mandurriao and that she's a senior's citizen. She didn't have a ticket but she won't budge. Like I don't care madame! These seats have tickets and if the ticket holder comes, I will have to ask you to leave. But I didn't. The ticketholder did come. And I asked her to move to another empty seat. Stubborn woman.

The short rainshower pushed everyone to take cover. That only made my job harder because the nearest roof would be the booth I was manning. Kept shouting tickets! Tickets! TICKETS!!!! Mad woman. I think everybody turned deaf at that point. No thanks to the drums that made themselves comfortable right in front of us. My ears are still throbbing.

Some shmuck pushed the leaking roof to drain it with water. The water emptied itself right in front of me. I dodn't mind that my jeans got splashed; but dammit! the water hit my camera. !@!#!#$@$! Good thing water didn't reach the lens although it got my filter. Fortunately, after the rain, the sun made up for lost time and turned on the warmth. It dried the filter and I was able to wipe the moist area with my shirt. But then, it started getting really hot. And since the guests have the priority seats, I got myself suntanned with my t-shirt on. :D Sheesh!

There are fewer groups this year. There were also celebrities I really didn't care about. Saw cast of Etherea and Pinoy Big Brother (they say those are TV celebrities. Hahaha. I didn't know who they were.) Didn't really care either. There was also this Christian Bautista. I think I heard of him. Poor guy got mobbed and got scratched. He developed a fear of shrieking ladies after that. The only grouped I lined up to see was Parokya ni Edgar. Chito was surprisingly cute. But even when pushed, I never allowed myself for a picture with Chito and the group or even try to get their autographs. Been there. Done that. (I was young! It won't happen again! Hahaha. )

Will post pictures soon. Right now, I just want to crawl to bed and dream of festivals without stubborn woman and no water leaking on roof. One more day to go.


Another missed Kodak Moment

There are several instances when I would like to kick myself for not bringing my camera with me. Another such occasion happened a few minutes ago. I left my SLR at the office. My digital cam, which I always carry with me, is with my sister for her trip to Boracay.

Went to the mall to grab some lunch (which for me comes after 1pm when I'm at work). Upon entering the mall, my eyes met hundreds of faces all looking at the same direction. Sprawled across the lobby was a crowd of spectators all looking up at this huge wide-screen TV. (I kicked myself mentally right about here.) On screen was the fight between the Destroyer, Manny Pacquiao and Eric Morales in Las Vegas. And the whole mall stopped to watch the fight. Men and children were sitting, cross-legged, on the mall's lobby floor. Nobody seemed to notice that it was a mall floor. To them, it was as comfortable as the floor of their own living room had they had a TV in it. On the second and third levels, people hugging the railing looking down at the make-shift cinema made just for this event. Thank God for small cities. :)

One of our own had come to fight and the world will see it. All eyes fixed on the TV, shining, hopeful, excited. This will be our fight. It has Pinoy marked all over it. This will prove that we are more than just household help foreigners hire, more than just the yayas who guard their children, more than just the caregivers, and nurses who take care of their sick. We are a race within a race. There’s more to us than just brown skin and the ability to comprehend English anywhere in the country. With us, is the mark of Manny's provincial background, his Bisaya accent and his small town gait. With him is the Filipino sense of humor, the ability to make ironic jokes in the midst of suffering. He reminds us of our next door neighbor, the nice guy who helps us with farm work, the humble uncle who is all quiet but packs up a punch when needed. We can relate to him as we do with Efren Bata Reyes. We can win. We can conquer. We can be best the world. Pacquiao is one of us.

I hesitantly peeled away from the crowd and went to look for lunch. I ate my pantat at an empty food court, bought my coffee at the vacated donut shop, the whole time listening to the sounds of the announcer on the boxing ring. The shops are empty. All people are glued to their TV watching the fight. Lingering on my last look at the fans who had probably made their bets within the week, I regrettably walked back to work. The Kodak moment would come when Manny lands his knock out punch. Click! I imagined the whole mall to be in uproar. What a sight it would be. :) With this in mind, I smiled my way back to the office.

When I entered my office building, the guards had stopped listening to the radio. The radio broadcast was in real time and about one hour ahead of the TV broadcast. I asked one of the guards: "Who won?". The image of the mall crowd flashed on my mind. Click! What a Kodak moment it will be. Kick self.


Street Blues

listening to: Hill Street Blues - Mike Post. I can't sing it because it doesn't have lyrics.

Nothing can make overtime work more bearable than listening to cool songs that makes you think blue skies, beaches and sunglasses in the midst of low air-conditioning, bright sunlight and the monitor. :)

Been working weekends since last week in preparation for the upcoming Dinagyang Festival. Making graphics for stage tickets and printing and cutting them so people could throw them away after the show or for the more sensible, use them as bookmarks. I will be working tomorrow too and next weekend. I don't have a life! There. I said it. Will that make me feel better? Hahaha. NOPE!

Spent my lunch break on a stroll on streets covered with different colored banderitas (tiny flaglets hung across streets to remind people that festivities are ongoing and thus, they have to at least grin! - hehehe). The good thing about banderitas is that it covers the ugly electric lines hovering above the buildings like stains you can't get rid of even with Ariel Laundry Detergent. Do the banderitas beautify the city? Nope. They just hide the chaos with a coat of paint which would soon peel off.

On my stroll, I took my camera with me. I realized that I would never be a good photographer. I'm too self-conscious. When I stop to get a picture of something interesting, people would stop and look. Like they've never seen a camera before! Eaghhhhh! (Karate chop to passing onlookers). I hate it. Can anyone tell me how to be oblivious to people? If I can have super powers, it would be invisibility. They will see my camera but hey, they won't see me. I will be needing invisible clothes too. Too cool and hot this time of year.

Had my braces tightened last Thursday. It hurts like hell. For two days, I've been eating oatmeal. Wonder if researcher friend had his removed. Wonder if he has discovered that Quaker Oats now have strawberry and banana and honey flavored oatmeal. Anyway, had pancakes for lunch. It's the only food I can buy and chew without me squinting at the pain each bite would cause. Sigh.

Back to work. After listening to: I will be in love with You by Livingston Taylor, I will now end this post with Michael McDonald's (sings) I keep forgetting I'm not in-love anymore.


M. Night Shymalan's The Village

I once saw a documentary about M. Night Shyamalan while he was shooting this movie. The documentary wanted to show him as a dark guy who delves into the occult, gives details on his eccentricities about contracts and his clandestine movie sites. In my opinion, everything in the documentary was deliberately misleading. They had failed to produce proof of anything abnormal. What they did succeed doing was to cover the movie with more mystery and therefore giving it more publicity. And if they had understood the movie, the documentary producers would realize that people are the only living creatures capable of instilling the greatest fears to other people. The producers just showed themselves the primary example of this. All great minds are eccentrics. Look at Einstein with his hair and Da Vinci with his boat shoes. It’s thinking outside the box that makes them great.

I was watching the last part of the movie last night at HBO. Missed the first part because I was watching something else. I normally wouldn’t watch a suspense thriller movie because monsters tend to appear in my dreams to haunt me. But I’ve been a fan of Sixth Sense and Signs so I know it’s a must-see. When I freak out, I quickly press the MUTE button. Lol. I know I’m missing out on some of the greatest dialogues but it’s the only way you can make me sit through a suspense thriller. Anyway, I LOVE it! The screenplay (the ones I didn’t miss) was brilliant. The blind girl, Bryce Dallas Howard, was a superb actress and the sounds (the part without the Mute) all make up a wonderful movie. M. Night Shyamalan is the Alfred Hitchcock of the 21st century.

The only time I felt that terrified was when I was seven years old. My younger sister and I were playing at our neighbor’s house when our older playmate started telling us stories about a beast outside the house waiting to eat us. Her stories seemed real enough because it scared us shitless and since we can’t go home, we felt like we were sitting ducks. She even had the doors and windows closed to prove that the beast was actually circling the house. When I can no longer stand the stories, I summoned all the courage my one meter frame could hold, took my sister's hand and walked out the door. My playmate's voice followed us, taunting us that the beast was behind us and was following us home. The long walk six houses away was the longest in all my 7 years. Keeping my eye on the house, I walked determinedly, with my heart beating so loud I was convinced the monster could hear my fear. The moment I reached our gate, I looked back and almost cried because the only monster there was my playmate … ex-playmate. After that incident, I never went to her house again. Anyway, the scene where Ivy was walking blindly in the forrest, that is exactly how it felt like.

I don’t like to be with people who would limit my movement by scaring me out of action. As far as I’m concerned, those people are the real beasts. And the best way to conquer them is to battle your own fears.

Hats off to M. Night Shymalan.



Finally finished reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding last night. There was a certain dread in turning the pages of that book. I was afraid to find out who dies next. And I was more afraid of how savage little boys can be. It reminded me very much of HG Wells' War of the Worlds. I'm beginning to think that if I had to fight for my survival, I don't think I'd last very long. But they say, people don't know to how far they would go just to live.

A friend of mine once joked that rich people are afraid of death because they have so much to lose. Poor people, on the other hand, are not afraid of death. They even welcome it most of the time. I belong with the latter. Well, at least I'd like to think I belong with the latter. As writer friend would explain: Death is the only thing that is predictable in life.

I know! I know! I talk too much about death. It fascinates me. But that doesn't make me suicidal or a homicidal maniac, does it? Was Edgar Allan Poe suicidal? Was William Golding? Maybe I should check with a psychiatrist. I have a sister-in-law who is a psychiatrist. She told me I had the symptoms of an obsessive-compulsive but they were not clinical or psychological so I will be fine. (Insert Twilight Zone theme here).

Bad news pasted itself permanently in every local newspaper this week. A prominent Chinese businessman in this city was murdered inside his mansion. Killed with him were his wife and 6-year old daughter. They all died of stabbed wounds. They had a security guard, several housemaids and a houseboy but nobody heard them. They had a ten-foot wall separating them from the rest of society and it was suppose to protect them from the bad elements. Was it robbery? Was it murder? Everybody in the household is now character to a who-dunnit movie including the rich man's two sons from his first marriage who discovered the body. Only it was not a movie. It was real.

I'm tired. My back hurts from facing the computer for too long. I wish for a day in the spa. I should go home; but I don't think I have the energy. Wish I lived nearer work.

I got an email from a Robert Redford last night. Too perfect, I said. I think he's looking for a Rachel Weiss and not a Barbara Streisand. Hahaha.

I've learned to keep my blog a secret. It scares away the men I meet. WAHAHAHA! I believe I am not for the faint of heart. The Viking would agree with me on this. :)



Spent the whole Sunday with my newly married friends around the mall. Had small talk drinking fruit shakes and munching on Otap at the Thirsty bar. Had lunch at Krua Thai with delicious soup, vegetable and pork and their wonderful prawns. Had coffee and mouth watering bananafett at Blue Jays while couple showed me wedding pictures and Boracay honeymoon. Together we discussed the changes of married life, how it is different from being single, names of future kids and how they wish I would get married someday. It was a fun and wonderful afternoon.

I skipped an important community meeting just to be with them. So felt a little guilty when I got home and received late Christmas presents left by friends from my no-show meeting. To compensate, I tackled gift-wrapping late Christmas presents to priest-friends with zest and with the spirit of the hunted escapee. No escape there.
I consoled myself that I will be retiring from this community. I've sent in my notice yesterday and hoped they don't include me in the 2006 calendar. I even had my speech ready:

There was this story (by Henry Nouwen I think but I'm not sure) about a monk who lived in the mountains. One day, he woke up as saw mountains and trees and asked himself, is this all there is to it? So he left the monastery, travelled and experienced God. When he came back he saw the mountains and saw how great and big the world is; and when he saw the trees, he saw life and hope there. And he saw how stupenduous and wonderful it all is. He left again to experience the world and after returning in the monastery for a few more months, he started to view the mountains as mountains again. And the trees as just trees. That, he said is enlightenment.

That will be my argument. I have found enlightenment and need to move on.

Why do I feel so sad? It's Vee's birthday pa naman. ;) I've lost 4 pounds in a week by just avoiding rice and exercising. I am elated by the thought that losing weight doesn't seem that difficult to me anymore. I'm not skipping meals. But I feel so !@#$%$#%^$ tired as if I've just run a marathon.

The Viking is still busy with work problems. He's handling it like a champion so I know he will be alright.

I look at my camera, now sitting on a borrowed tripod with a borrowed flash. It's the last thing I see when I sleep and the first thing I check on when I wake up. I love it. Yet I hate it too. I will be using it soon for the Dinagyang festival. And a certain muslim comes to mind and without really understanding why, I really wish I've never met him.

This is enlightenment, I say. To experience God, yet see the world at it is. I can almost hear God tell me: "You, daughter of Eve, YOU THINK TOO MUCH!". Hehehe.

Inshallah, sigh, I will get what I need this 2006.


painfully silent

I can’t sleep. The Viking has troubles. I worry but will leave him to it because that is what he wants. It’s just one of those days I guess.

Went out on a date tonight with … um, the crow (I call him that because he flies a lot, calls only when he’s in town, and there’s some darkness about him that I can’t penetrate). It’s become more of a get together than a date because … we’ll I don’t think there is really anything going on. It’s a non-date. We keep each other company. We discuss mundane things. Nothing really personal or deep. He avoids those questions. He says he doesn’t have answers to them. So I don’t push. I’m not the type to push. But I do like my questions. Even if they don’t have any remedies. They just need a response. He says they were nonsense. Maybe if he tries to answer them, he might learn why they were so pertinent. But I let him be. And he lets me be. This is me, he says. Fine. This is me, I say. We understand each other in that aspect.

So we talk about the weather instead; and if being gay is hereditary or not; and what we did for the holidays; and how he wrecked his car going to my house one night. He asked me why I never tried to call him during the holidays. I said, because he never tried to call me. And we left it at that.

So I guess I’m having a non-relationship with a non-date I’m not sure I’m attracted to. Confusing? Hehehe. Tell me about it.

He has this hi-tech phone that looks like a mini-laptop so he could email reports to work when he's on the go. He made me promise to call him before he dropped me off. What for?, I asked. He said to just call him any time, any where, whenever I want. And I thought again, what for? But I nod anyway. Somehow, having a long quiet argument with this guy is much more arduous than a raucous conversation with anyone else. More questions. But no replies. Not even an I-don't-know.

I really don’t have any clue what I’m doing every time I go out with him. I don’t even understand why I still do. He has become a habit. He said, “What you see is what you get”. Fair enough.

I don’t get answers. I stop asking questions. If I stop asking questions, I tend to be painfully silent. So, I repeat, what for? ... that is the question.


Oh God! I'm a Girl!

I’ve been trying to come up with my New Year Resolutions. Not that I take them very seriously during the year. It’s just that I’ve been doing it for so long that it just feels so wrong not to do it. Maybe my resolution would be to stop making resolutions. Hmmmmmm … but where’s the fun in that?

So far, I’ve come up with one. One I’ve vocalized to my friends and one I actually thought of at the strike of 00:01 of 2006. I’m resolving to be a G-I-R-L. :D

No, I was not confused of my gender or even inclined to follow the more graceful path. I’ve known I was woman since I grew breasts. I’ve been shaping to be pretty inside and girlish beauty had not manifested itself on the outside. I’ve decided I needed to be more girl-like, not in act or in creed, but in the way I dress. I’ve realized that my sisters’ criticisms of me have made me cower in front of gowns, huff and puff when trying out new clothes and break into hives when putting on make-up. It wasn’t because I was allergic to being a fashionista. It was more because I lacked the practice of being the fashionista. I never really tried to be one.

I thought I was unique in my jeans and t-shirt. Enter Queer Eye for the Straight Dee. Comfort had always been my priority that I’ve stopped craving for the attractive. I seldom measured comfort and aesthetics to be equal. They are after all, not alien to each other. Maybe it is high time I let them get to know each other more intimately.
Step 1: Start wearing heels
Step 2: Stop buying jeans and T-shirts and opt for slacks and blouses

So I went out after work and bought myself three blouses today with just 300 pesos at the 100 Peso Shop. Never felt this happy to be shopping. My sisters are now conspiring to borrow my cute blouse and so I will be locking by closet from now on. :)

So, I hereby declare resolution 1 launched. I’m going to start dressing my age. Goodbye flats. Hello platforms.

What inspired this resolution? See for yourself. I soooooo love the new shoes I got for the Bacolod wedding!