Sunday, March 26, 2006

Why don’t I talk about LOVE?

One evening, in the midst of what was yet another overnight group project session, the small talk shifted gears from the scholarly, academic discussion to blogging. One classmate of mine commented that my blog posts were mostly about serious stuff (really now!). Then I found out the reason a little later:

“You don’t talk about your love life.”

Jeepers creepers!

Well, well, well, we need a little clarification here, don’t we? For the information of everybody, I don’t talk about love life, precisely because I don’t have one. What else is there to talk about but me, (yeah, call this a slight manifestation of narcissism) my experiences, and my thoughts. Things about love and details of my past flings and short-lived romances are things that are kept locked away in the deepest recesses of my memories – they’re personal and I intend to keep it that way for now until a meteor crashes into my head and causes aberrations in my brain functions – for one of the greatest puzzles in my life is (romantic) LOVE itself, what it is and what is the logic behind people falling madly and crazily in love. The bits of vocabulary I have about “love” are the faintest recollections of my childhood crush(es), high school flings, text mates, one-minute flirtations, and hopeless romantic moments. Period. If it goes more than that and I talk about it, congratulate me – I solved my own riddle.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Politics in a salon

Filipinos love to talk of three things: aside from basketball (and boxing, too, after the media hype of Pacquiao’s series of victories), there’s POLITICS and SHOW BUSINESS, a.k.a showbiz. (Little wonder then why frogs have long been jumping from politics to showbiz, showbiz to politics, basketball to politics…etcetera, etcetera… hoping to kiss princess luck on the way.)

Last week, I had the privilege of engaging in an “intellectual” discourse on politics. Who would have though that of all the nooks and crannies this earth could ever hold, politics would find its niche in the most unsuspecting place: ladies and gentlemen, (drum rolls) the salon – where beauty is all abuzz and where most smiling workers would gladly kick me out because I always refuse to give in to their heed to rebond my hair. So there I was, accompanying my mom who needed a haircut. While waiting, I sat between two older men and browsed over the day’s paper for my dose of news. The man on my right, most probably in his 60’s and with graying hairs, suddenly started asking questions: “Where do you live? How old are you? Are you still a student?” My curt answers only urged him to ask more. The man on my left told me, “Nag-abroad baya na siya Day.”

Er, was he implying… (Jeez, why do I get the feeling that I’m always linked to older, no wait, change that – ageing men when I’m in the salon?!?) I braced myself as my instincts told me that wasn’t going to be a smooth conversation at all. I gripped the edges of the newspaper, ready to swat it on my seatmates’ faces.

The dialogue took a different turn, however, when:

Man on my right: “Asa ka nagskwela Day?”

Me: “UP Cebu.”

Man on my left: “UP?”

Me: “Oo”

Man on my left: (suddenly inspired by his brain waves) “Ngano man mong mga taga-UP magsige man mo og rally? Gipa-eskwela na gani mo sa gobyerno, magsige pa mo og ing-ana.”

I stopped reading and sputtered forth a concoction of English and Cebuano response, hoping so hard that they’d stop pestering me in my solitude. I don’t participate in rallies unless I feel strongly about the issue but I felt that I have to defend other students at that point.

“Dili man sa wa mi utang kabubut-on pero we have to hold the government accountable. We have to be vigilant.”

The debate went on. We touched on the subject of the Presidential Proclamation 1017. I was so thankful that my mom had her haircut done at that point. (The OFW kept laughing at us.) It gave me an excuse to leave the place. But oh no, they weren’t as enthusiastic to just let the topic go. At that point, my mom cut in but it seemed as if she favored the side of the men. Blame it on generational gap?

Final words on the issue: It’s not that we are looking for trouble. Being funded by the government, by the people, we have a responsibility to look into and critique the actions of the government. It does not stem from mistrust nor cynicism. Rather, it comes from the spirit of true democracy in that by trying to be vigilant, we are protecting the very core of our freedom.

No matter what they say, I still am an Iskolar ng Bayan.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Purrfect Moments

A tribute to my multiplying breed of cats and to all the cats in the world!

Yesterday, I reached the front doorstep to find one of our friendly neighborhood cats sitting prettily on our doormat, refusing to budge until I blurted out, “Excuse me!”

Then I remembered that animals have feelings, too. I know a few people who hate cats for a number of reasons: they're a bunch of dirty, stupid, and asthma-inducing omens of bad luck. But they should know that cats are also very loving. They are not as domesticated as the dogs, though, which explains their feral and sometimes their rough nature. They're definitely insensitive to their masters in most instances as they espouse an it's-me-against-you outlook in life. And in my case, they poo on anywhere they wish to.

My very first orange adopted cat, which I found outside our house in Leyte, turned our humble dwelling into a site for the perpetuation of their species. To date, I have around 7 cats at home and counting. I always place a value to my firsts. I adored my cat and named it Clovis after Sleepwalker’s lead cat star Clovis. I even have a picture where I was hugging it so tight I feared I choked it a bit. Clovis was my companion during my times of grief. I cried in front of it and it just stared at me with consoling eyes. When it died, I gave it a proper burial place near our garden and I visit its grave from time to time when I feel like reminiscing our moments together.

Of course, cats as they are, they’ve had their share of mischief: stealing my dog’s food, snatching our dinner from the table, and just wiggling their butts when they feel like playing with yarns and insects outside the house.

Back to the cat on the doormat, it was still there when I went out to buy dinner. Feeling cat-friendly now with the feline and nostalgic of Clovis (which, by the way, is always mispronounced by my nanny; she spits out the word “Plubis”), I told it, “Stay there okay. I’ll get back soon.” And to my surprise, it did.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Good old friends

Destination: UP Diliman
Date: February 22 – 23, 2006
Entry # 2

Much can be said of my brief sojourn in Manila. The campus tour in Diliman. The induction ceremony. The people. The traffic. The pollution. But what made my trip a blast was the re-connection to my high school friend cum ally cum twin/alter ego Allen. Three years of enculturation in different worlds have changed us in terms of perspectives, ideals, and values. Despite that, it’s as if nothing has changed. We still have our literally wide foreheads. We still laugh about little things and we still talk about guys, guys, and oh yes, guys. LOL.

In general, I feel good when I’m with old friends because they remind me who I was and who I am still. They pull me back to my real self; not that I have been pretending all along, but that oftentimes, the cares of the world blur my vision and stray me to the real and not imagined passion burning within me. Old friends put that passion back in you because they can see through all your pretensions. They let you see whether you have grown up the way your heart wants you to grow up.

Hence, I wish to thank the following people for helping me grow up through the tough times. Though physically, you may not be here with me to walk with me through the treacherous path of life, just the sheer thought of having true friends like you in this world makes the journey worth enduring:

Athea Myles: Come hell or high waters… come failed internet connection or zero phone card balance, you will always be my spiritual inspiration. You help me strengthen my faith in that One being, who has never left me through all the ordeals.

Christine Jane: My best friend forever… Your cheerful and lively spirit lifts up my soul and helps me see that beyond the darkness, there is still light, beyond the distance, your faithful friendship remains.

Allen: A shining ally… Literally and figuratively, you have proven to be a shining example to me and have never left me even when my strength was stripped and my weaknesses unveiled.

To these women, your humble friend remains proud because she has you for friends – a truly remarkable thing, more precious than grades and all the jewels in this world.