Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Of Eye Bags and Foot Spas

I just had one of the most hectic weekends I will most probably have in my senior year in college. I presented a class report, prepared for a major school activity, and attended a business summit. Sounds chicken. But put them together in consecutive days and what does Vianney get? Additional pounds, lack of sleep, and a heightened determination to implement world-extermination strategies. All the madness and the mayhem started with the preparations for my report in class.

My report was about the extent of the independence of the television documentaries, considering their ownership and the timeslot they occupy, which is always past the primetime. (as in the case of the two major competing stations) The topic was a bit hard to explain because one, I knew those two factors weren’t the only factors surrounding the situation. Two, there was a dearth of materials dealing on the issue. So it took me long to figure out how to make do with the little material I had. (which were taken from email interviews with Kuya Tops Brugada, Executive Producer for I-Witness, and a few media people including Kuya Don Gonzalez, a creative writer who just slammed his way to victory in a story writing competition. Thanks so much to these two heaven-sent angels who saved me from total doom.) I started preparing last Wednesday night. So there I was, typing my way to the completion of my report. But in the middle of it all, our PC shut down. I panicked. I had no back-up file saved in my flash disk yet! After a few minutes of praying over the computer, it functioned again. I ended up sleeping only for 30 minutes and had to rush to the 7AM class for the report. The whole day on Thursday went like a blur. I stole hours in between classes to go home and catch up on sleep. On that day, last-minute preparations were also being undertaken for Cookout 2006, the annual “acquaintance party” of UP Cebu. Meetings here. Stuffs to do there. Good thing I wasn’t in charge of any major committee. I had the luxury of napping in between meetings. At the end of the seemingly long day, I decided to drop by the salon to do the one thing I haven’t done in my “teen” years – get my nails done. I’m not too vain with nails and stuff but I was attending a business summit the next day. Under normal circumstances, I would have cleaned my nails myself using just a nail cutter and alcohol for cleansing, but I was so dead tired that I knew if I went home, I would only collapse on my bed and snore to sleep.

At the salon, my eyes caught the sign “Foot Spa with Pedicure.” It sounded like a good deal so I decided to try the service. Before the procedure, I casually talked the manicurista into being extra gentle as images of bloody nails and girlish shrieks flashed on my mind – recollections of my high school Home Economics class when my classmates experimented on each other’s nails. But the manicurista adeptly cleaned and polished my nails to a perfect finish. I enjoyed the small chitchat as I found out she was from Leyte and knew the people I knew. (Whoa. The world really is small.) I loved the ticklish feel of the foot scrub. I felt relaxed as I imagined that my soles were inches thinner. Wow, I so savored the moment.

I went home and as expected, I went straight to bed.

That would have been a perfect ending to an exhausting day but why else would I be yakking about eye bags if I didn’t have them? Somewhere in dreamland after the manicure and pedicure, my alarm clock popped me awake at 2AM on Friday to prepare for the summit. I had to iron my business casual clothes – yellow polo, black slacks, and black blazer. In between, I had to answer text messages regarding the Cookout preparations, as well as rantings from my friends who were already complaining how tired they were with the event. My Friday was overloaded with educational and interactive talks with Aboitiz leaders and food. Yup, one thing I notice when you’re holding your conventions or seminars at Waterfront Hotel (Lahug) is that the participants never go hungry. From the Sun Star Economic Forum 2005, to the 19th Philippine Advertising Congress up to the Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit, the food was absolutely overwhelming! (And the best thing about all those I have attended is that I never spent a single centavo on them. Hahaha.) At the end of the day, I had to rush back to school for the Cookout. I had a quick change of clothes and went on duty – FROM THE WHOLE EVENING UNTIL DAWN. I ended up being a mobile production assistant. I barely noticed how tired I was until around 3AM, when all the running and walking took a toll on my already aching feet. I did enjoy the Cookout though, especially when my friends from the Math block danced Britney Spears’ Toxic, wearing trash bags and neon green gloves. I kept on jumping up and down while my tears rolled over my cheeks in too much amusement. I did not really expect to see my Kapatid na Jasper, Mark, Joseph, Tepoy, and Val dance like that. Hey, if you see them around campus, you’d think these were a bunch of serious guys talking just about numbers and here they come dancing like crazy onstage with the weirdest and wackiest steppings that you wouldn’t even dare doing in a dance. And in front of a lot people, at that! Yoohoo! For me, that was just a masterpiece. I confronted my foster brother after their number and told him, “Kapatid! Napakamakabag-damdamin ng iyong ginawa at ako’y pinaiyak mo.” Anyway, after all the fun, the exhaustion set in and at 4AM, I could no longer keep my eyelids open and I was murmuring a lot (um, that’s what you call pre-sleep mumbles). When the program ended at nearly 5AM, I dashed for the exit, went home, and slept. At 7:30, I woke up startled as the second day of the summit was supposed to start around 8. That day, I forced down a lot of caffeine in my system to keep me awake in our brainstorming, deliberation, and defense of our case study. Phew!

The loooong weekend is finally over. The pounds are in and the baggies are taking shape. But the loooong, intermittent sleeps are still coming…

Post-Entry Comments:
Welcome to the world Jakob Emmanuel “Yanis” Labra-Yap! I haven’t met you yet but rumor has it that you’re the next singer in the clan, judging by your “singing” [actually, wailing] moments. Hehehe.

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