Tuesday, March 31, 2009
We were sitting in a coffee shop trying to compose first paragraphs and naturally I want to have all my brain cells focus on stringing words together. At the other table there’s this…creature…who was yakking on his cellphone nonstop. Like 120 mph nonstop. His voice was annoying, his accent was annoying, and his topic was annoying.
I can live with clutter but not with constant noise. I tend to avoid people who talk loudly because my heart rate and blood pressure shoots up when my eardrums are continuously subjected to extreme sounds. This person’s voice was like the sound of a drill ruining a peaceful Saturday morning. Finally the phone call ended when a lady arrived and they talked for a bit, then his phone rang again and he continued the conversation.
We daydreamed of hollow blocks to drop on his skull, and fiberfill to stuff his mouth with. When the coffee shop’s blenders whizzed, we actually welcomed the change of background noise. I think we endured him for almost two hours. I don't know if it was because of the stress -- I experienced minor vertigo and nausea, for real. I sniffed White Flower until they left.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
We knew it was a temple, but we were so tired of walking and it was so hot and dry. So we decided to try on the scarves Giles bought and clicked away.
I'm posting Cambodia and Vietnam pics at random, because I don't know when I'll be able to travel out of the country again. Poor.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
When I leave her/him alone inside the box with an old towel she falls asleep almost immediately, but when I dare move a teeny tiny inch she/he would wake up and cry. Like a freaking banshee. She/he wouldn't stop making noise and walking around until I pick him/her up, wrap him/her inside the towel and put him/her back inside the box.
Uhm, I need donations for the milk replacement formula. A smallish can of the powder costs P800 and Giff won't fork out a cent.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I'm practicing my lines when she finally comes to confront me about it. The way I see it, there can be several ways. One, I will just deny everything. What cat? I don't know what you're talking about. It must be my ringtone. Are you sure? I can check but I'm sure there's no cat in there. Gosh. Nervous laughter.
Two, just beg her to let me keep Alkie. But this is not the first option because I don't like doing things for people just because they're holding one over me. I like to do things BECAUSE I WANT TO.
Three, pass Alkie to Fifi and Chri probably. That's the most practical thing, except for the part where we get Giff to buy the supplies. Tomorrow I'm calling a vet for some feeding advice, apparently you can't feed kittens Nestle Fresh Milk.
I found myself taking a cab to UP for a food trip day, meeting up with Chri, Fifi, Giff, Ron and Romer. When I arrived they were done with the mais and manggang hilaw part of the trip, so I caught up with them at the Post Office isawan. After that, it was fruit shakes on the next street, which we consumed while sitting on the grass at the Track Oval.
For the main course, we went to Snackaroo for P130 T-bones, the most expensive food we've bought for the day. I think some of my arteries closed for business after I finished mine. To ease digestion, we walked along Matalino St. in search for coffee. So we're walking and walking (after deciding against Starbucks) when Chri and Giff noticed a hairball on a mound of gravel on the sidewalk.
"Oh no, is it dead?" A substantial amount of awwwws and nooooos poured from the three of us. Then the hairball moved. We looked at each other. Should we? No. Should we? I don't know. It's so small. It will die soon. It will get crushed by the passing vehicles. Should we? Ok.
The biggest concern was, where to put the little hairball. We entered KFC and begged for a box. No, we're sorry, we don't give out boxes so you can put stray kittens in them. How about a plastic bag? We took it, lined it with paper, and went back to get the hairball.
We then got a syringe from a drugstore and some fresh milk to tide the kitten over. (I googled it and it's apparently bad because it causes diarrhea.) Of course, we haven't forgotten our need for caffeine, so we took Hairball and rode Ron's car to Morato. Yes, we brought the kit inside the coffee shop.
Now he's sleeping in a box at home, quiet for the meantime. I hope he won't have diarrhea. We have christened her (or him, I didn't check) Alkie, short for Alice Elizabeth if she's a girl.
Photo by Giff.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Instinct told me to go to our trusty Ton-Ton's Thai Massage, but the sore points on my back can't be relieved by the stretching techniques of Thai. Good thing the cab took the West Avenue route, because there, in big bright shining letters were the words WENSHA SPA - Open 24 Hours.
I lingered for a while in the reception area, checking out the packages they have, but finally I settled on their signature Wensha Massage. I was given a locker key and a pair of slippers, and I went up the grand staircase. Upstairs, a dining area greeted me, with stoves on the tables and wide-screen TVs. And robed people lining up for a buffet. Am I in the wrong place?
Ok, there was another mini-reception table: males to the right, females to the left. Upon entering the Female door there was a long hallway with several rooms on both sides, some with VIP signs. I came to a locker area where I changed into the uniform robe. After changing I wasn't sure where to go, when a uniformed staff directed me to a common room.
Hellooooo naked ladies. There were six massage tables inside, four of them occupied with women in various stages of undress. I could see one's butt, the other her boobs. Oh Lord. Am I expected to show things too?
Yes, I was. When the therapist arrived she ordered me to strip off to my underwear while asking me what oil I prefer, ginger or mineral? I didn't want to smell like tinola so I chose mineral oil. I settled on the bed with face on the hole, and she began to knead. She was good. Except for the part when she kneeled on my back without any warning, I imagined my ribs cracking.
When she flipped me over, I put my hands on my girls because I didn't want them to be there for all to see even if the room was dark. Then she took my hands away and I wanted to melt. I'm not bashful, but I know where to draw the line. But apparently it's not the line I was looking for, since she just continued to massage... things...that doesn't usually get attention in massage rooms. I just kept my eyes closed.
At some point in the session, she stretched me while on all fours (I think) while naked. Oh my God oh my God oh my God. With ten other women in the room. Then it was over, she had me sign a little piece of paper and indicated how much tip I'm giving her for later. She told me I can sleep for a bit, so I did. I slept for an hour draped in towels and it was a dreamless sleep.
Then I woke up a bit disoriented, and walked back to the locker room. I was looking for a toilet when I saw the jacuzzi and steam/sauna room. It was big and nice, and almost deserted. I didn't try them though, but I brushed my teeth. Yes, they had toothbrushes. There were shower stalls on the opposite side but the therapist told me not to, so I didn't.
I changed back into my own clothes and checked out the buffet. It wasn't bad, the fish and tofu dish was good. There was a Smoking Room so I went there to eat and read some magazines I picked up from their stand. It was quite nice, just lounging on cushions eating and drinking. It was peaceful. Then I looked at my watch and it was almost three in the morning.
I went down the stairs, got my slippers, paid the tip and jumped inside a waiting cab. Humiliation aside, it was a pleasant experience and the crick on my neck was gone. At least I still had my underwear on while having the massage, unlike some people I know.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Towards lunchtime the place slowly comes to life, and some stores switch on more lights. Men in ties and ladies in three-inch pumps , and young mothers toting their pre-schoolers in search for a meal. Sometimes I look, sometimes they all become a blur, as if they were made from the same template - cookie cutter people.
Then I just take another drag of my poison of choice, just glad to still have the money for a caramel latte.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I hardly ever blog about celebrities and the triviality that usually comes along with them. I also hardly ever feel patriotic, given the state of our politics and the godforsaken greed they all have been blessed with.
The rare cases where I truly felt goosebumps borne by a sincere hope to make the Philippines a better place, was probably the Rock the Riles events when Lomomanila partners with RockEd. When I hear the national anthem played on an electric guitar, when I see the messages from the youth (on paper taped to the board), and when I see other organizations really try to save this country from total destruction - that's when I get my goosebumps.
Francis Magalona died while I was in Bohol. The other media guys were talking about it, and I couldn't believe it. I knew he was sick, but then it wasn't discussed much after disclosing to the public that he indeed has leukemia. I heard of the fundraisers and the get-wells, but the last thing I heard about was that he was in remission.
I like FrancisM. He was never jologs with his rapping, and he was patriotic. He was proud to be a Filipino, and incorporated it in his songs. In 1989 he came out with Mga Kababayan Ko (and I can still dig up a few lines from memory), and "Yo!" is a word I still use to greet people. He had influenced my life in ways I haven't realized until now. You see those shirts with the Philippine flag-inspired design? He started it.
Yesterday we were able to watch his necrological service on TV. I don't know him personally, but dammit I cried with the people who were close to him. It was a heavy feeling, knowing that someone who actually cared for our three stars and a sun is actually gone.
Thank you for the music, the art, and the nationalism. Rest in peace, yo.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
7:30 a.m. Roommate was locked out of the room and rang the doorbell. My subconscious was screaming “You’re late, they’re all in the van and ready to go.” But of course subconscious was wrong.
8:45 a.m. Finally managed to get breakfast, piled heaps of bacon on plate. I declared Bacon as a food group a long time ago. They also have Spanish longganiza on the menu, and they were small but deadly.
10:30 a.m. Met with Box Office Star. She’s very very polite.
11:10 a.m. Listened to the guide explain that cosmos and bougainvillea flowers are actually edible. No, thank you. He showed us a honeycomb panel full of bees. I held it for camwhoring purposes. The worker bees, he further said, are all female. The drones, or the male bees, serve only one purpose in their lifetime – to fertilize the queen bee. Then they die.
11:30 a.m. They kept calling me to see the vermiculture shed. Duh, as if I don’t know what vermiculture means. It means my personal hell is concentrated in a 2x2 sq.m. of earthworms, yucky icky horrible hermaphrodite slimy creatures. Pumbaa and I waited for them to finish ogling the abominations, about ten meters away.
1:00 p.m. Shoveled food in my mouth while traversing the Loboc river. They have WiFi. Plurked for a bit. Damn, 186 Unread Messages.
3:30 p.m. Waited for the spotter to find sleeping tarsiers inside the conservation. Tried to be very quiet and not breathe while taking pictures of the cutesies, but it’s very hard to do when you’re jostling with 12 other people.
4:45 p.m. Sipped Coke Zero (ditched the white wine) for cocktails at the Dauis Church. Tuned out the tour guide, and Plurked again for a bit.
6:15 p.m. Saw Major Bitch at the restaurant. See, she bails out from our spa date, then I’d see her in another island. I miss that bitch.
6:17 p.m. Climbed up the stairs to the dinner venue, and it must be the creepiest way to a meal I’ve ever seen. The convent was oooold, and candles lighted up the side of the stairs. I put on my very best behavior because the parish priest hosted the dinner and I’m sure I’ll fast-track my road to hell if I so much as said “crap”.
7:00 p.m. Whatever the capacity of the human stomach is, I’m sure I’ve exceeded it. I was near bursting but the ube jam was unusually good, and I hate ube.
8:30 p.m. Crossed the shallow water between the beach and the islet, just to pose like I’m Miss Center of the Universe.
10:30 p.m. Wrinkled from lolling around in the Jacuzzi. Pool boys kicked us out.
11:30 p.m. Finished packing, because I planned to wake up late the next morning. Bye, beautiful room.
Back in stinky Manila. Very heavy traffic.
Monday, March 09, 2009
5:15 a.m. Woke up at dawn with three hours of sleep, dragged my duffel bag and laptop and the endless gadgets that hound me everyday. I can’t find any ID so grabbed my passport instead. Hello Terminal 3.
9:00 a.m. Arrived at Tagbilaran airport with the whole Department of Health already waiting at the baggage claim. I always joke about being met at the airport with a marching band and leis on my neck, but this is the first time I’ve actually witnessed them in action. I guess being a cabinet member has its perks.
1:30 p.m. Listened to photography tips and tricks using the new toy. Pumbaa’s was the first smile to be captured.
2:30 p.m. Baclayon Church is still the same, but unlike years ago this time there was a tour guide. Personally I think he’s on the wrong career path, because he kept rushing us and never smiled. I think he smiled only after the tour ended.
3:00 p.m. Some old house of a Senator in the 1950’s, the name of which escapes me as of the moment. I really like old houses. I’m now living in one, but it’s the wrong kind of old.
5:00 p.m. Chocolate Hills are still green. Was told of legends involving giants in love and giant carabaos who took giant dumps everywhere. Was also told of the practice of planting ube in Bohol – only women with D cups should plant them, and only when the moon is full. That way the ube will grow to be full D’s. I will never be asked to plant ube.
8:00 p.m. Discussed at length why Air Supply should be made illegal, and why I think Michael Learns to Rock is the American version of the April Boys. They both make my blood boil, and they both suck.
10:00 p.m. Waiting for my massage. Yeow.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
9 a.m. I woke up with Joaquin’s face burrowed in my neck, Joaquin being my 15-month old nephew and not some guy I picked up at a bar. Not that I go to bars to pick up losers, but that’s beside the point. Anyway. His parents were gone for the day, leaving him in my care. Yes, the unconscious me. I figured 9 in the morning is too early to be doing things, so I went back to sleep.
9:20 a.m. Joaquin sat up, his eyes round and staring at me. I almost screamed, since I totally forgot I slept over at my sister’s house. He wasn’t crying or anything, just staring. I told him to lie down and patted his feet. We were both unconscious in seconds.
9:35 a.m. I don’t know what happened, but suddenly Joaquin’s foot slammed on my temple, and I tell you it wasn’t the nicest way to wake up. He was still asleep though, so I kind of dragged him upright and hugged him and went back to sleep.
10 a.m. I was dreaming of car sounds and in my dream I was being run over by a monster truck. I woke up with Joaquin using me as Route 66 for Lightning McQueen. I gave up.
11 a.m. Joaquin was bathed and freshly diapered, smelling like the baby he is. Unlike the night before when he threw up the oranges and milk and whatever on the bedsheet and pillows, leaving the room stinking of vomit. And he also pooped.
11:05 a.m. I’m barely conscious and we’re watching Cartoon Network. I didn’t know the Powerpuff Girls grew up into angsty adolescents. Joaquin got hold of somebody’s cellphone and was using it as a hammer. I couldn’t bring myself to care.
11:20 a.m. He upended the box containing 365,000 balls (I don’t know, there were so many) and I haven’t had my caffeine yet. I seriously can’t pick up all those balls now scattered in the living room, and I hoped my mother would notice the balls and not slip on them.
11:30 a.m. Balls still on the floor, and Joaquin’s chewing on a blue one. I’m sure he wouldn’t have tapeworms by doing that, right? And if he did I’m sure my sister wouldn’t blame it on the one morning I looked after him.
12:00 nn. I am not having spawn anytime soon.
High Street is a total ghost town on weekday office hours. You could run on the park stark naked and no one would notice.