Tuesday, February 10, 2009

25 Untold Secrets

1. I was born in a clinic and grew up in Navotas. A Beatles song was playing in the radio (inside the clinic) while my mom was giving birth. She doesn't remember the song anymore, but I hope it's not 'Get Back.'

2. My first drawing was a car. I vandalized it on a then brand new set of Colliers. It still exists today.

3. I was a Colliers addict. One day in 1982, my mom told me she'd go to Mercury (drug) to shop. I was stunned and asked her what she'd ride to get there. She replied "jeep!" I was amazed. How could she ride a jeep to Mercury, the planet?

4. I served the altar as a sacristan who had a stage fright.

5. I used to be an avid collector of religious images. My grandma would take me to Baclaran every Wednesday and I always looked forward to her buying me statues after every Mass. St. Therese, St. Anthony, and Saint What-have-yous were my first G.I.Joes.

6. I played Mass with my siblings, cousins and neighbors. I was the priest and I'd use pandesal as the Holy Host and I'd dip it in a glass of Milo, the Holy Wine. I'd give the iconic Chinese brown flat candies (darn I forgot the name) during Holy Communion. After that we'd parade the Sto.Nino around the house and swing a lighted mosquito coil as the incense.

7. I almost burned down my aunt's house in Baguio when I left the iron on accidentally. It branded the tegula floor with a nice black mark and can be seen until this day.

8. I used to laugh when someone is crying. Weird. When my grandpa died and my cousin cried inside my room, my laughter was uncontrollable. When the 1990 earthquake shook our classroom like hell, my best friend and I laughed like lunatics after our classmates wailed in terror. Good thing that quirk is gone now.

9. I was a Beatlemaniac painter during high school. I dressed up like them, customizing my uniform with wide collar, bellbottom pants, high-heeled boots, and mopped hair. I even wore round glasses. I learned to play guitar and compose songs. I also drew a lot and won so many contests, and my teachers asked me to decorate the school every day. I was very eccentric then and I refused to accept that John Lennon was really dead.

10. I was haunted once by an evil dwarf.

11. I feel panic whenever I hold a flying kite. It's as if I'm gonna be taken away into oblivion. We used to make kites held together by sticky steamed rice.

12. My favorite breakfast is champorado with powdered milk, cheese cubes, and pandesal bits.

13. I'm a Lego addict. Right now I'm planning to sign up as Lego Ambassador in Lego.com. I used to have a Lego club in Navotas, where I met with people and traded Lego sets.

14. I'm a frustrated athlete. I have a problem with sports that require chasing objects like basketball, volleyball, etc. I dread injury. There's one sport I excel though, it's air hockey. Hehe!

15. I had a cruel past when I was a child. My cousin, brother, and I used to loathe babies and toddlers. We'd pinch them til they cry.

16. I had a pet named Kathybird, a roaming big pigeon, who took a set of kittens under her wing, literally. It was a message that she wanted to have a partner and chicks too. I ignored her and she left me for another male bird.

17. In my campaign to rid my house of a rat, I used Racumin. I caught the rat, slow and apparently intoxicated. Before I killed it, I was very guilty so I recited to the rat the many reasons why he needed to die. He looked at me as if listening. He didn't protest.

18. I was walking home when a kitten followed me. I took her and fed her. For the first time, a kitten licked me and slept on my lap. I had to send her back to the street because no one would take care of her. I also couldn't handle a pet who may die anyway, after my traumatic experience with my dead dog. I couldn't love again someone and lose it. That was one of the most heart-breaking nights of my life. I made a short film inspired by the experience and dedicated it to the kitten, whom I named Mussy.

19. I bought a mountain bike in 2003 and gave it my father in 2008. Unused.

20. I used to sing my country's national anthem before I sleep.

21. I can see water molecules.

22. I can control the rain.

23. I'm a frustrated ramp model.

24. I have a weird feeling that I was a ruthless king in my past life. When I looked down from the flyover during Edsa Dos and people where screaming 'Erap resign!', a similar experience flashed before me. I was a king looking from my balcony and people were asking for my head.

25. What I want, I get. For some strange reasons.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Breaching 30

Kabaligtaran ako ng piso ngayon. Sya bumabata, ako hindi. Nagdedepreciate ang lolo nyo.
While thinking of how I would reflect on my looming 3rd decade, I browsed through some of my earlier blogs about aging (hate that word). I’m quite pleased I wrote this some 3 years ago. And I still feel the same way 3 years later:

“Growing old used to spook me. I thought age was a standard for looking good and catching love. Sex was a constant staple of men and to get it, one must stay young and lie when not young anymore. But life does make one learn. Age turned out to be an achievement, a continuous discovery of different levels of manhood. Boys love sex, and men love more than that. Growing further tends one to long for a more substantial basic need. I was a boy when I was 18 to 25 years of age. And I turned into a man after that. Being a man makes you more in control of your ego, emotions, and perceptions. It makes you stronger and solid in spirit. Being a man is a great gift indeed and I’m happy to have reached that. Some guys remain boys until 30, although quite a few are already men early on in their life.

To be a man is something every boy must look forward to. This I think is the gift of growing. Boy, I just couldn’t imagine myself remaining a boy all throughout my life.”

Did I change after writing this? I know the defunct Mean Gels would raise their eyebrows again, but I still am the same person whom I wrote about.

Ewan ko ba, I feel depressed everytime my birthday’s approaching (since I turned 25). And whenever I read this past blog I feel relieved. I remember when I turned a quarter, my tears spontaneously burst and I cried on my partner’s shoulders. March, especially my birthday, is the sad point in my every year. I don’t know why. Whenever this darned date approaches, my wallet goes empty. Some illness (mostly flu) catches up on me. Work in the office becomes too hectic and people I know become too busy. And some other awful things.

One says that the bad thing about aging is when you haven’t achieved much in your life. Nasaan na ba ko ngayon? Bigla kong ina-assess ang mga narating ko na. I guess the best thing I managed to do this 3rd decade of my life is to finally break ground for my lifelong career – film directing. Nagkaroon ng direksyon ang pangarap ko, in fact, nagkaroon ako ng malinaw na gusto sa buhay and God made a way to make it happen. It’s all in my hands now.

Sa totoo lang, natatakot ako tumanda. One time I told my Bible groupmates, when I asked what age I would like to die, I said 40. Na-shock sila. Sabi ko I want to stay young forever. But I am realizing, at 40, nasaan na kaya ako? That’s just 10 years from now. May Hollywood dreams pa ko. Gagawin ko pa ang remake ng Titanic. At bibilhin ko pa ang rights ng Volta para i-remake ito (at bigyan ng justice, chos). Starring Carmen Electra (hehe, as if). So I need to extend it. So God, take me at age 70 but who still looks 40.

But then again, I guess katawan lang ang tumatanda. Ang puso, hindi. Unless choice mong sumabay itong tumanda with the body. I won’t let my heart age. Hindi naman sya exposed sa smog at pollution kaya ageless sya. It’ll always be the home of the same ageless little boy in me who just dreams to raise the Philippine flag in a school flagpole and ring the great bell in the cathedral’s belfry.

30 years na ko. Just a little more than week away to hold on to and savor my twenties. And then I’m officially a member of the 30’s gang. Sad? No… Because it’s now time to make my dreams happen. Those dreams forged in my teens and twenties. If 20hood is about finding and defining my dream, then 30hood is about making it happen.

March on, 30s!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

All-Aliens-Day at UFO

The post-Halloween party held at UFO last Nov. 3 gave me mixed feelings. I felt the strange disparity with those that we throw with MDAFI. I was so loose at the past parties held at Ina's and Dan's but I was quite behaved at UFO's. I guess it was the new people I met there. Or the ambience. I don't know. I was so happy to see and bond with my old friends there, the apartment gang, Yam-Otap Solid Fans Club, Neri, Emman, Ina, etc. There were the indie actors as well, Ping and Jason. I brought along my 3 Maculot friends Cosme, Tom, and Bon. They enoyed the party a lot.

Maybe I was too tired because I just came from a climb.

A PBB person brought mistletoe but I didn't dig in. I sorta got turned off prior because he was asking for paraphernalia that's obviously extreme for me. Form thence I didn't feel comfy with him.

The poker game brought by Mitch was a hit. I liked it. But it alienated some so we thought of something campier. And so we played Hi Jack.

Oh I also felt a little down maybe because I didn't have the time to bring contributions. Well good the food overflowed.

We could have danced. Sing, even. Even if there's no music.

Many went home early. Many arrived in trickles. MDAFI advanced class visited briefly. Later it was PBB Housemate Zeke's group. It was like 3 different parties.

But I was so glad there was a party like this. It was my first time at UFO. I longed to feel that wonderful feeling I had when all indies partied at Ted's house. I felt that again this time, though not as strong.

Happy pa rin!

Batangas Escape

My 5-years-in-the-making mountaneering plan has finally happened. On Nov. 2, Fri, (a favorite date 2 and Fri), Mitch, Jeck, Mylene, and I climbed Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas. I was the only first-timer climber. I asked them if we would see animals, obstacles, hanging bridge, river, and all sorts of wilderness stuff. None, sad to say, but not a problem. Geez, climbing that big pile of earth was like buying vinegar from a store... Yabang! Honestly I guess it was my excitement that made it easy for me to endure the 2.5 hours-long ascent. Jeck was the life of the party type of guy. He cracked jokes all throughout the day. It was hard climbing when you're laughing but it was equally hard if you're too serious.

I had my first bruise when someone called me in my cellphone. Yes naman... ang lakas ng signal kahit sa bundok na. I was also amazed at the "protocol" of mountaineers - that of greeting each climber as if you're old friends. We got to make use of that after we made friends out of the men we met in the summit.

The vegetation changed near the summit. Sharp blades of grass which gave me few cuts on my fingers. It was hot, but then the weather was swiftly changing once you're on the top. There was a mini store there, selling instant food, halo-halo, etc. Many have camped there, mostly stayed over the night. My friends ate but I didn't have the appetite. We then went to the other side of Maculot, her rocky side. That was the best part! Rock-climbing experience. Stunning views of Taal Lake. The wind was quite strong but comforting. It rained and I was afraid that our electronic gadgets would be destroyed, not minding the scarier part that we would be frozen and blown to smithereens by the wind. Fortunately the rain stopped when I used my secret power over it (yeah i got one superpower!).

Our new friends Cosme III, Bon, and Tom, joined us in our return to the flat world. It was fun going down because Mitch was always making a Miriam Quiambao scene. The Jeck-Tom loveteam was also a blockbuster hit. Cosme's horror stories, on the other hand, didn't affect me a bit.

After taking a bath at a bathroom-for-rent, we 3 addicts minus our new friends went straight to Calatagan for our beach binge. The trip there was epical. More physically strenuous than the climb itself because we had to commute Pinoy-style, siksikan to the max. Then after an eon, we already smelled the sea and saw the mangroves. T'was night. Then the beach opened its doors.

It's Piolo's beach! I mean it's like the beach resort in 'Paano Kita Iibigin.' Rundown. No electricity. No cottages and clean restroom. We had no choice but to camp on the sand. Jeck hung his hammock and we made a bonfire. Mitch and I braved the night seabreeze and the cold stare of the stars but eventually gave in, joined our 2 other friends tucked in the tent.

The next day, the nice water greeted us. No waves, shallow water, fine sand, and sea creatures abounded. We ate trail food for breakfast. No other choice, we forgot to buy food prior, because we thought there's a food stall in the so-called resort. Nonetheless we enjoyed our beach beach-an. Went far from the shore with Mitch and Jeck, though the sea level didn't get deeper. I picked up 3 large starfish and one sea worm. I played with them. It was fun. Touching animals was really therapeutic.

Having climbed my first mountain, I couldn't wait for the next one. Cosme, Bon, and Tom were inviting me to join them in Mt. Sembrano, Rizal this Nov 17 and in Mt .Pulag in Dec 26. Christ! Career na ito! May bago akong "high" na natagpuan.

And a new community.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dancing Priests

Last Friday, I attended a birthday party at E.Rod ave. But it was a little different because I haven't met the celebrant yet, he's not Filipino, and he's pursuing an extraordinary job.

His name is Alexis, African, and seminarian of CICM, a congregation for international missionaries. Our common friend, Tita Linda, invited me there. I went to their residence building, a big, simple, and clean complex one trike ride away from St. Luke's. Tita took me to the dining hall and introduced me to the celebrant. I saw familiar faces like Tiago, Steve, and Zebedee. Tiago, Marcio, Fabio and another guy were the Brazilians there. Alexis is from Mozambique, and a new friend, Bavon, is from Congo. I also met other black guys from Haiti.

It took me a while before I joined them in their Congolese dance. Every song was quite long, 15 minutes. I just followed the guys in their dance steps. They were dancing in unison all throughout. The primary move is the rotating of the hip bone. I enjoyed the dance a lot. They told me I had talent, contrary to what I was saying that I had 2 left feet. They cheered me on like crazy. Masarap sumayaw ng may kasabay, lalo na pag pareho ang sayaw nyo.

After ko ma-high sa dance, my attention was then taken to booze. Beer, wine, and brandy. I drank with the would-be-priests while talking about heaven and hell. We also talked about Wowowee, their favorite TV show, along with Walang Kapalit. They also love beauty pageants, especially the Brazilian Marcio. He's proud that their Miss Brazil is this year's Vice Miss Universe (1st runner up). I promised them that we'll watch Miss Earth live in UP next month.

During our round table chat, I felt like I was being taped for the Colors of Benetton ad. I was the only Asian there, 3 blacks, and 2 Caucasians. I also felt that I was in a different country, being surrounded by so many blacks and whites, and I being the only Pinoy and Asian there. It was a little surreal.

When it became so late, they asked me to sleep over because it's already dangerous to go home. I was a little hesitant but then I agreed. I was given a studio. It was simple but clean and complete with the basic stuff. They didn't leave my room until they were able to fix the electric outlet for my fan. I slept thinking that what a new batch of berks I've made, so unique, and yet so interesting.

Despite a bare 3 hours of sleep on a bunk bed, I woke up from one of the most peaceful sleep I've experienced. There's something to the place that comforted me. I woke up to the faint wonderful sound of Church Mass songs being hymned by the seminarians. The morning was cool and the leaves of the trees clasped from the tentative wind. I roamed about in the empty space, marveling at the Igorot statues adorning the walls.

I'm happy to have found new set of friends. Another new community, I hope. This is really getting exciting and inspiring : )

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Unfaithful Husband

Our class last Tuesday and the mandatory gimikan thereafter, were as expected, fun-filled. It was an MDA class so we were kinda physically drained (unlike Meilly's where we're more relaxed). Nonetheless, buhay na buhay pa rin ang dinner club that night. Of course Henry's birthday added to the glitz, after all, libre nya yun a! Ang saya talaga kahit bitin. Limited time eh. It was the biggest dinner ever, Enrico and Vivian joined us, even Vallez and his gang of elders (hehe). We ate at our new fave resto (move over, Old Spag) - Dampa, Ortigas.

May bagong quotable quote na nabuo during debriefing.
"Parang hindi pa ko na-devirginize sa ginawa ko. Kailangan siguro akong ma-gangrape."
- Newt
Kabog! All-time classic! Hindi lang ang mean girls ang dinugo ang ngala-ngala sa tawa! (Si Yam nga natanggal ang ribs sa katatawa at si Dado naihi)

Getting back to the topic.

Hay. I'm here pa sa office. Hindi ako makasulat ng 2 storylines which I need to submit tomorrow. Hindi ako inspired! Mas naiisip ko ang school. I feel like an unfaithful husband to Star Cinema. The other woman is MDAFI. And I like the mistress better (!). What should I do? Kasal ako sa isa until 2010, and I can't stop thinking about the projects we're going to make in MDAFI. I like everything in it. The core friends, the new friends, the mentor, the curriculum, everything. Syempre ang gimikin every night. New experiences. Parang bagong gising ako sa mundo ng pelikula. Dito kasi sa Star, everything is so mundane already. Walang bago.

Am I being unfair?

Dapat ako ang magbigay ng 'bago' sa mundo ko sa Star. But how? I'm not inspired anymore. I've been pitching concepts, they get approved, pero hanggang dun lang. I never get the chance to write a produced script.

Buti na lang may school. I'm so happy God gave it to me at this point of my life when I'm pushing thirty. That miracle affirmed my belief in His plan for me. After all I left Architecture because He let me watch 'Titanic' and that day changed my life.

I'm glad my marriage to Star Cinema has an expiration date.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My New Housemate

A few days ago there was a sudden change in my neighbor's chain of command. A new superior was squeezed in, forming the middleperson between our Grand Lola and a peer. My peer had to transfer his workplace from a spacious room to a smaller one, which is "inside" my office cove. Now he's literally my housemate! Buti na lang he's a very kind person and I'm comfortable with him. Nahihiya lang ako minsan kasi mas naging obvious ang work time habit ko (justifiable naman ah!). Kasi my housemate would point it out to me. Ang aga kasi nyang dumating, sya ang nagbubukas ng gate ng ABS-CBN.

Well I hope he won't resign kasi the last one who sat here remained in office for just a few days (inaapi kasi ni JP).

One thing that I find amusing is that I can relate to my housemate. Both of us are paying the price for being famous haha:) Kung ako laging naquo-quote, sya naman laging nalalamutak.

Clone sila ni Francis Lua. Sa charm, childlikeness (or childishness?), wholesomeness, kayamanan, height, weight, and pati nga sa boses. Pero unlike Francis, he's one of the loudest friends I've had! Kung na-maroon ka sa island with him, hindi mo mararamdaman na kayong dalawa lang.

O ayan housemate, dito na lang ang testi ko sayo ha, copy paste mo na lang sa Friendster...

Oh by the way, his name is Kynan.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


It's getting obvious that I blog every time I attend my film class. Is it worth blogging than my work at Star Cinema? Hehe not really. I think the "change" inspired me to write anew, which I used to do in a conventional journal.

Well the class yesterday was ho-hum. I was quite sad, in fact. I don't know why. If it was a disorder I'd call it a sadness attack. Maybe the weather (raining while the sun was brightly shining), the existing family problem, or sudden break from the exciting series of field work.

It was quite an experience when I went out of the classroom while viewing a film (Volver). There were people outside talking and their noise was disturbing us. I shushed them - turned out that it was Noni Buencamino chatting with David Abaya (!)

Our "dinner club" ate at Tomatokick, Teacher's Village. I liked it more than Old Spag. Cheaper price for same quality food. After that, a spontaneous drinking spree took place at Ted's house. Fr. Francis sponsored the booze (thanks bro!). Sister Ina, Sen. Gabby, Ate Issa, Li'l Danna, and Kuya Nick joined us.

Part of the fun was sharing one's dark secrets (well, not really dark). I had apprehension but did it anyway. I didn't feel good afterwards. I dunno why. Parang binulatlat ko na naman ang sarili ko at nag-bold in a bad way. Nainis ako sa sarili ko. Ted was right. I should have chosen what to say. Well in the future di na talaga ako magsasalita. Or at the least I should tell less of myself.

Naiinis ako sa sadness attack na ito. This is the old me.