Friday, May 31, 2013

Mabuti pa ang biglaang lakad, natutuloy.

Naujan, Oriental Mindoro (May 18 and 19, 2013) 

At the beach, life is different. 
A day moves not from hour to hour but leaps from mood to moment.
We go with the currents, plan around the tides, follow the sun.
We measure happiness by nothing we can hold... 
nothing we can catch…
Life is jumping and elusive and momentously momentary.
We want to [stretch] the days, distill the memories, make them last.
At the same time, we know that the beauty is in the evanescence.
Every wave comes in, then retreats.
Every day promises, then turns its back and slips away.
Every joy has a little tease in it, a give and a take, 
and leaves a wake of longing.
*captions from How to Live At the Beach by Sandy Gingras

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Puppet*

If for a moment God would forget 
that I am a rag doll and give me a scrap of life, 
possibly I would not say everything that I think, 
but I would definitely think everything that I say.
I would value things not for how much they are worth 
but rather for what they mean.

I would sleep little, dream more. 
I know that for each minute that we close our eyes 
we lose sixty seconds of light.
I would walk when the others loiter; 
I would awaken when the others sleep.
I would listen when the others speak, 
and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream.

If God would bestow on me a scrap of life, 
I would dress simply, 
I would throw myself flat under the sun, 
exposing not only my body but also my soul.
My God, if I had a heart, 
I would write my hatred on ice 
and wait for the sun to come out. 
With a dream of Van Gogh 
I would paint on the stars a poem by Benedetti, 
and a song by Serrat would be my serenade to the moon.

With my tears I would water the roses, 
to feel the pain of their thorns 
and the incarnated kiss of their petals...

My God, if I only had a scrap of life...

I wouldn't let a single day go by 
without saying to people I love, that I love them. 
I would convince each woman or man 
that they are my favorites 
and I would live in love with love.

I would prove to the men how mistaken they are in thinking 
that they no longer fall in love when they grow old -- 
not knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love. 
To a child I would give wings, 
but I would let him learn how to fly by himself. 
To the old I would teach that death 
comes not with old age but with forgetting. 

I have learned so much from you men....

I have learned that everybody 
wants to live at the top of the mountain 
without realizing that true happiness 
lies in the way we climb the slope.

I have learned that when a newborn 
first squeezes his father's finger in his tiny fist, 
he has caught him forever.
I have learned that a man 
only has the right to look down on another man 
when it is to help him to stand up. 

I have learned so many things from you, 
but in the end most of it will be no use 
because when they put me inside that suitcase, 
unfortunately I will be dying.

translated by Matthew Taylor and Rosa Arelis Taylor

*Attributed to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

30 before 30

A friend sent this link to me last Monday, and the following day I heard about Jill’s passing. It reminded me of how fleeting life is and how people are too scared to get out of their comfort zones and end up leading “buried lives.” I figured I don’t want to live my life wondering why I didn’t live more so I started the SAP recently, but somehow it is wanting, perhaps because I am under no pressure to actually get things done.

And so I am reviving the “Things To Do Before I Die” list I had back in college, renamed it "30 Before 30", and revised it to make it more attainable (ish) since I only have sixteen months to accomplish everything. Talk about pressure. :-)

30 Before 30

1. Climb a mountain. (March 23, 2013)
2. Learn to drive
3. Master a sport. I tried to learn muay thai, I’m learning karate, but this item will not be crossed out unless I really learn them by heart.
4. Learn to dance. Because I’m the most stiff and clumsy person on earth.
5. Learn to swim, damn it! May halong galit talaga. I tried. Seriously. Maybe I should give it another chance and try not to panic when I no longer feel the floor.
6. Skydive
7. Surf (May 5 & 6, 2013)
8. Try speed dating. Once lang. Hehe.
9. Learn to fly. Not Icarus-like but to pilot a plane.
10. Drive across the country. But first I have to do #2.
11. Learn photography
12. Bungee jump
13. Get something published
14. Go camping (March 23-24, 2013)
15. Practice yoga
16. Learn a song on the guitar
17. Try wall climbing
18. Play golf
19. Go zip lining
20. Witness a meteor shower
Now this should be easy.
21. Ride a hot air balloon
22. Help a stranger in need whenever possible. This is a continuing mission and doesn't have to stop at 30.
23. Fire a gun
24. Dye my hair
25. Use my passport. Anong petsa na?!
26. Cook something for someone
27. Travel solo
28. Appear in a John Lloyd Cruz movie. Kahit passerby lang haha. ATTN: Star Cinema
29. Graduate and pass the bar exams
30. Do something crazy for fun

Why 30? I don't really know. Uso yata e. There are lots of lists like this on the web. Some friends are also working on similar projects. Maybe because people generally have more time and energy before that age, and after that, we are expected to be settled, stable and contented with our lives. But unlike a news story, life does not end at 30. So let's do more, live more.

Carpe Diem!

Paalam, Jill

Yesterday, I received a sad news from Golda. Our co-basketbelle Jill Hernandez succumbed after a year of battling with bone cancer. While I never got the chance to know her more, I remember her brilliance as a law student. One time, a power outage interrupted one of those super extended classes in Evidence under Prof. VAA. Jill, who has been reciting for several meetings, was asked by Prof. VAA, “Do you want to continue, Ms Hernandez?” The class let out a collective whine, but Ms Hernandez, unfazed by the darkness that enveloped the room, said, “Yes, Ma’am.” Good thing Prof. VAA was nice enough to dismiss the class when it became clear that no power restoration was forthcoming.
Rest in peace, Ms Hernandez. Like your Evidence recits, it was a battle well-fought. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dapat Tama

I’ve been LSSing on Gloc-9’s Dapat Tama, a song commissioned by GMA Network (lol plugging) for its Eleksyon 2013 advocacy campaign. I’ve seen a lot of election-related tweets and status updates using it as hash tag, along with photos of inked fingers, and I am amazed at how engaged netizens are in the triennial activity called elections.

The participatory mood is not limited to social media. Last Saturday, I was among the thousands of Pinoys who trooped to bus terminals and struggled to get tickets to their home provinces. My bus was SRO, people were still standing when I got off at our town plaza, which is five hours from Manila. It is heartening, seeing that so many people still care about exercising their right to vote.

And then we hear about this guy.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Baboy Day at Vikings

Vikings SM North EDSA (April 8, 2013 )

Filipinos seem to be becoming gluttonous, as seen from the rising popularity of restaurants offering eat-all-you-can buffets in the metro. My office barkada was also bitten by the buffet bug, and we planned to try the newly opened Vikings branch at SM North EDSA.
Lines could get really long and reservations should be made two weeks in advance so that’s what Bernice did. She also thought of a payment scheme for us to not cough out the entire cost in one go (Vikings was her idea, obvs).  
Ang mahiwagang savings card.
I wasn’t really keen on joining them because: 1) I get full easily so lugi ako sa eat-all-you-can thingees; 2) It costs ridiculously high. At Php888.00 per person, it is enough to feed a family for a day. I actually misheard the invitation as “Biking tayo,” so I thought the gang was being sympathetic with my sudden desire to be fit and trim. Haha.

The buffet spread was so extensive it is impossible to have a taste of everything. We all operated under one rule – get the most expensive and unusual items, those that we don’t get to eat during the normal course of things. But even with this unspoken rule, our selections differed from each other -- Dennis, Missy and Bernice feasted on crabs and lobsters, Ate Chinky on baked oysters, Joy on steak, Chino and Lito on everything (lol) and me on lamb chop and Japanese stuff.

I’m no food connoisseur but I didn’t find the taste of the food extraordinary. The ambiance was good and the experience was overwhelming so I guess the cost covered that. The most fun part of the night was when the waiters trooped to our table and sang Happy Birthday to Joy. She wasn’t celebrating her birthday but she got envious of the other diners who were being entertained with song-and-dance number from the very bibo Vikings staff so we requested them to sing to her, too. They called the crowd’s attention by introducing the birthday person as a celebrity, depending on who s/he looks like. When they got to our table, they introduced almost all of us as celebrities – Joy was Katya Santos, Dennis was Victor Neri, Missy was Jackie Forster, Bernice was Amy Perez, Lito was Kean Cipriano, Chino was Derek Ramsey, and I was Yeng Constantino. Masaya, medyo eskandaloso lang ang macho dancer routine ng isang kuya hehe. 

We were all in food coma before the night ended and had several cups of coffee so we wouldn’t fall asleep and suffer acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.

Post script:

The next meal I had after the pig-out was dinner the following day.

Photo credits:  

Friday, May 03, 2013

Labor Day Getaway

Tagaytay (May 1, 2013)

It started with a late night conversation on April 30th. 
Me: Do you wanna go to Tagaytay? 
Mary: When? 
Me: Now? Haha. Crazy idea.  
Mary: When will we go back? 
Me: Tomorrow. Just wanna try how it is to sleep with unfamiliar stars.*  
Mary: Like now? Do you wanna go or not? 
Me: I want to. Do you?  
Mary: No. Id like to sleep ΓΌ
*tears* lol. Sleep with unfamiliar stars daw. In reality I just wanted to get away from the city’s sound and fury. I was never the one to have “crazy urges to go away spontaneously overnight” (her words) because I’ve always been too careful, too practical with my approach to life, but I realized that I’m missing a lot by letting fear get in the way of fun. So, I’m sorry old self.

Twelve hours later,
Mary: Do you wanna go to Tagaytay?
Me: Sure. :)
And that’s how I got the nickname Karen.**

We got to Tagaytay two hours later. As we didn’t have anything planned and I was on a take-me-anywhere mood, she decided that we check out this place:
The requisite photo with Taal at the background.
We had mochi ice cream and an exciting game of
Minutes later, I was crying S.O.S. because she kept on crossing line after line without showing any sign of mercy. Boohoo.
Final score: Me-108, Her-156
We then drove around looking for Lily Boy’s Bed and Breakfast, but we kept on seeing signs pointing to Puzzle Mansion, so we agreed to follow them and check the Home of the Biggest Jigsaw Puzzle Collection in the World instead.