Saturday, October 29, 2005

House About It, Mate?

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Ahem. Can you say, ‘Wa ka na, Sey!?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Company Of Caucasians

While reading an online article featuring an interview with Rear Admiral Tirso Danga, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, regarding an alleged plot to bomb Malate (similar to the recent Bali bombings), I came across this line: “And he was planning to put it in one of the clubs in Malate were Caucasians conglomerate for their happy times,” Danga told DZMM.

Hoy tanga, este, Danga! It’s “where” not “were”. And I think you mean congregate, not conglomerate.

(Then again, it may be the fault of the writer of the article, not Danga’s.)

Grave Memories

As a family we never had any reason to go to the cemetery during Nov. 1 because most of our dead relatives were buried in the province or abroad. So I grew up not having to make those annual visits.

I was in first year high school when Death visited our family with a vengeance—my grandmother died on Dec. 26, followed by my younger brother on Dec. 27. My grandma was 96; my brother was only 4 years old. My grandma lived a very full life; my younger brother never got to play with the toys he received for Christmas. Pity my poor dad; he lost a mother and a child in a span of two days. The old folks whispered behind our parents’ back that maybe our Lola Charing wanted someone to accompany her to the grave and chose her grandson. The upside to having their deaths one day apart is lower costs: one chapel for two wakes, lower refreshment costs, and we were able to arrange that they be buried in the same grave, one coffin on top of another (they just had to dig a deeper hole).

Every November when we’d visit their graves, we’d park our cars at the Loyola House of Studies in Ateneo and walk down the hill to the side entrance of the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina. We learned the ins and outs of the cemetery. And we established certain traditions to make the annual trip more fun: we’d go early morning while the day was not yet that hot, stay there ‘til just before lunch, then eat out somewhere in Katipunan (Shakey’s was a favorite for several years).

When I was in first year college, my closest friend died in a hit-and-could-have-run-but-chose-to-bring-the-victim-to-the-hospital accident in front of the Sto. Domingo church. He was going to church to pray; he ended up in church being prayed upon. His grave is several blocks away from my brother-and-grandma’s grave, so after the first year I decided not to go out of my way to pass by his grave during Nov. 1.

Two years ago my dad was buried just a block away from my friend’s grave. Last year I tried looking for my friend’s grave but couldn’t remember where.

Every year I notice the crowds getting thinner and thinner. People still visit their dearly departed but I think more and more choose not to stay for the whole two days. Meanwhile I see every year an increase in fast food stands mushrooming in and near the entrances of the memorial park. Happily the atmosphere in Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina has not degenerated into a fiesta or circus mood. Most people still try to keep that solemn mood while visiting.

That’s why I really would prefer cremation; you get to stay home during Nov. 1. You don’t have to go on a grave visit that will just leave you dead tired.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Barney Streisand

So I’m at my desk playing Broadway musical tunes with the volume up because it’s already late and most have gone home, when a gay officemate passed by. He’s around 21 years old, fresh out of college. Upon hearing Barang belt out “Somewhere” from West Side Story, he turned to me and with a smirk said: “Hindi naman baklang-bakla yang kantang yan, noh?”

I retorted: “Naku, hinding-hindi. Lalakeng-lalake nga ang kantang ‘to, eh. Narinig ko nga ang mga siga sa kanto kinakanta ‘to!”

“Hahaha! Naku, ka-level ni Streisand yang sina Cher at ang mga sinauna pa.” Then he paused, as if contemplating whether he should continue or stop right there and then. He decided to put his foot in his mouth: “Sila ang mga dinosaurs ng sangkabaklaan.”

My eyebrow was up even before you could sing people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. “Hoy! Walang hiya ka. Magbigay pugay ka sa ating mga lola! Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan…”

“Hahahaha, ano?”

“…may stiff neck!” I finished. “Gaga ka.”

What’s with the young ‘uns these days? No respect!

Say Cheese!

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You know something’s a pop culture phenomenon when, after the prerequisite fake t-shirts and caps, they start making cheese curl snacks in its name. Oh good lord.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Missed Saigon (aka McMusicals)

Imagine life as one big musical. When a person starts singing a song, everyone within a 15-feet radius will be compelled to dance and sing along even if it’s against their will. I was thinking of that over the weekend.

The whole McFamily was in Tagaytay for my brother’s wedding Saturday at 2pm. Most of the family went up Friday evening. My sister and I followed the next morning because I finished work very early Saturday morning. Determined to make the drive very relaxing and stress-free, I loaded up my iPod with songs from musicals.

It has been months since I last listened to those songs and I never realized how much I missed them. So I found myself relaxing to the familiar tunes of Barbra Streisand’s “I Have a Dream/We Kiss In The Shadows” (from The Broadway Album) and Jonathan Pryce as the Engineer in “The American Dream” (from Miss Saigon) while driving along South Superhighway.

When we reached Sta. Rosa, the Saigon song “This Is The Hour” started playing. I found myself getting lost in the song, wherein Kim reveals her son to Thuy—who is betrothed to Kim—and he demands that the child be killed. Okay, I really think that the lyrics are quite awkward in several places (the Engineer berates Kim: “Did you not get what he said? / There’s a big screw loose inside you / I will rip it out of your head!” and when Kim brings out the gun, Thuy sings: “Of course you have a gun! / ...and it’s a U.S. gun / a gun that lost the war!”). But towards the end of the song, after Kim shoots Thuy (with matching gunshot “Bang!”) and the chorus starts singing “This is the hour / this is our land…,” the hairs on my arms started to rise, and tears welled up. What was happening? Suddenly the song had a whole new impact on me. It is the power a piece of music can have, how it collects and wraps up memories around it. And when you hear the song again after a long time, those memories are released and they come crashing back, violent and unbidden. I had to look away and wipe my tears surreptitiously so that my sister won’t notice.

Then Barbra’s rendition of Send In The Clowns came on, and I was instantly transported to Baguio circa late 80s. We were in a bar at the old Baguio Country Club, and a lounge singer was belting out that song. So far so good until she got to the line: “Making my entrance again with my usual flair.” With full confidence and panache of someone oblivious, the singer sang: “Making my entrance again with my usually flared….” I guess she always wore bell-bottom pants to her singing engagements.

Ah, those were the days. To quote Cats: “Memories… I can smile at the old days. I was beautiful then.”

All throughout our stay in Tagaytay and even on our way home, I played songs from musicals over and over. This morning on my way to work, I was singing along to Streisand, Salonga and other stage superstars. I think I’ll be in musical mode for the next few days.

I don’t expect my love affairs to last for long,
Never fool myself that my dreams will come true,
Being used to trouble I anticipate it,
But all the same I hate it. Wouldn’t you?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Make Some Noise!

I always get a kick out of positive feedback during sex. As in the noisy, moaning, groaning and swearing kind of feedback. It’s when pleasure and pain collide; it’s that tug-of-war between wanting more and can’t take it anymore. It’s a bigger turn on for me to see a partner almost dying of pleasure, his head ping-ponging this way and that, his hands almost clawing my back. And afterwards, the sound of him panting and catching his breath is the equivalent of a standing ovation to my ears. I remember this 18-year old (or so he said) who told me in between gasps, “Wow, you almost killed me there.” I had to stop myself from diving on him again just to finish the, ah, job.

Practice makes perfect.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Weekend Thoughts

Last Friday evening after work I went to Government, the default hang-out since Bed is closed for major Botox action. There they played Madonna’s first single, “Hung Up” taken from her latest album. For the fans of ABBA and Madonna (yours truly), hearing the sampled riff from “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” followed by Maddie’s distinct voice (okay, I didn’t hear a British accent in her singing, thank bloody goodness!) will give one quite an aural kick. But here’s the thing: it’s a great dance track, but I don’t know if it’ll translate well to massive radio airplay.

* * * * *

More and more I believe in the following axiom: When you really, really want something, Fate conspires against you. And when you don’t want it anymore, that’s when Fate gives it to you on a silver platter. But Fate is one sneaky, tricky dude. He can sniff a poseur a mile away. So even if you publicly declare, “I will not smoke anymore” but deep inside you actually long for nicotine, Fate will make sure that no cigarette comes your way. But the moment you resign yourself to a nicotine-free existence, Fate in the form of your favorite uncle stationed in Saudi will step in and come home with a full ream of imported Marlboro Reds as pasalubong for you. Either way, you’re the butt of Fate’s joke.

* * * * *

During our beach trip I discovered that I can fry pretty well. Yes I know it’s not nuclear science, but I’m someone who often steers clear from the kitchen (unless to grab a piece of newly-fried chicken or a stick of barbeque) and only knows how to boil egg. But on the beach trip we all had to pitch in for kitchen duties and that included cooking and cleaning of dishes. I prepared garlic fried rice. Later on I helped out another group prepare banana-Q. While someone rubbed brown sugar on peeled bananas, I did the frying. The first batch of bananas was a blackened disaster—too much sugar and too many bananas in the pan. But I learned very fast; the rest of the batches were perfect.

Hmmm, maybe I just might take on cooking. I find the preparation part (like the chopping of garlic) a very relaxing task. Then there’s the challenge in the cooking part of getting it just right. Then there’s also something zen-like with dishwashing. I think I’ll like being in the kitchen if I don’t do everything; otherwise, I’ll quickly get tired of cooking.

Then again maybe last weekend’s excursion into the kitchen was just a fluke, a welcome break from the usual McRoutine of my life.

From City To Province

The McVie has been out since Saturday evening because he’s been with the TA kids in Infanta, Quezon! Yup, it’s sembreak for them, and so they headed out to the beach. And since I’m such a kaladkarin, I decided to tag along. We left Quezon City at 8:30pm Saturday and arrived at Quezon province by Sunday early morning. And we left the beach at around 9:30pm Monday evening and got back Tuesday early morning.

When we hit Real, Quezon we noticed the beach was to our right. Then while passing through Infanta town proper we made a few turns then suddenly the beach was now to our left. Did we double back? Were we located in a promontory? Turns out we were.
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That was also the first time I was able to experience the Pacific Ocean. The sea was rough with huge waves, befitting the time of year.
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But what saddened me was the sight of all those tree trunks littering the beachfront. Last year massive landslides caused by careless logging killed thousands in Quezon. The beaches were lines with bodies and felled trees. A year after that disaster, the trees continue to haunt the beaches of Quezon; some of the locals insist ghosts also wander along the seashore, crying out the whole night.
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Some of us swam in the ocean, sticking pretty close to the shore for fear of the powerful undertow. Others decided to just enjoy the sea breeze. By the evening we got drunk on beer, gin, rum coke, and homemade Bailey’s. As the picture below illustrates, one shouldn’t drink with lazsones as pulutan. It’s a priceless photo opportunity the moment one falls asleep drunk.
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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Time To Read

Time Magazine’s Oct. 10 issue has for its cover story “The Battle Over Gay Teens”. It is a very interesting—if somewhat difficult—read (the writer goes all over the place). What I took from the article is how the gay teens are trying to find their way into the adult world. Also, the current gay lifestyle doesn’t offer many alternatives to the growing gay teen population. Thus teens are as easily swayed to check out the conservative groups who offer to “cure” them of their homosexuality as they are willing to embrace pro-gay groups. Other interesting points raised by the article include: [1] how the current gay lifestyle was formed mostly by adults, with very adult concerns and interests; [2] gay teens do not necessarily label themselves as “gay” even if they are practicing homosexuals; [3] more and more straight teens are more accepting of their gay and lesbian peers; also, they are more open to the idea that sexual preference is more malleable. Gone are the days when “the purpose of a man is to love a woman, and the purpose of a woman is to love a man”.

Check out the article here.

“Para mama, ito po aking URL!”

I saw something startling this morning on the road. In front of the Ateneo campus I saw a jeepney plying the UP-Katipunan route; on its mudguard was a sign saying: Blog Ang Mundo (translation: “the world is a blog”). Nakanampucha! Does this mean that blogging, LJ-ing and the like have now seeped into the general public’s consciousness? Is the Pinoy masa ready for the online cacophony of rants, raves, reviews and ramblings? (Sorry, couldn’t resist alliterating.) Whatever. All I can say is, in terms of advertising, ibang klase ang media placement ha!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More Photos

Kindly indulge us one last time, please.

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Thank you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


The next batch of housemates for Season 2 of Pinoy Big Brother:
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I’m kidding, of course. The cast and crew of “Bayan-Bayanan” got together for a photo party. For around four hours we had fun posing for the camera. TA alumnus Dave Fabros took the photos.

We wanted a spread ala-Vanity Fair, but some of the kids had to leave early (it’s exams week now for them) while some others were still on their way. So we ended up with several group photos.
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Monday, October 10, 2005

Saucy Sausage Talk

At last, I met Sky in the flesh. Of course his flesh was decently covered, thank you very much. We met up Saturday afternoon in Gateway, Cubao. He was very generous, giving me a chance to taste the longganisa he had. To think that came all the way from Laoag—must be salty, from all that travel. Hehehe. Okay, enough of that.

Thanks Sky for the longganisa. Unfortunately my mom decided not to cook them yesterday for breakfast because she wanted to finish the last batch of chorizo she bought last week from the parish livelihood center. So for now I can only imagine what your longganisa tastes like.

D’ Original “D’ Punks”

Forgive me if I dwell on The Cascades yet again.

When we were growing up my dad would often play their long-playing vinyl album every Sunday morning (if not that he’d play the soundtrack of The Sound Of Music or any of our Ray Conniff albums). So yesterday in a fit of nostalgia I decided to play their CD while we were having lunch. My younger brother and I were discussing the album when I suddenly had a surprising realization. Surprising because I’ve been singing along to the songs for more than four (!) decades and it was only yesterday that the following realization dawned on me:

McVie: “My god! Do you realize that all of the Cascade songs are sawi sa pag-ibig songs? They’re always about a lost love or wanting a girl but not getting her?”

McBro (incredulous): “Owwws.”

So we looked at the track listing, and as we ran down each and every song we kept cracking up. My gosh, those Cascade dudes were big-time losers! To wit:

“Angel On My Shoulder” – He already has an angel on his shoulder, a lucky penny in his pocket and a four-leaf clover in his wallet. Furthermore, he has wished upon all the stars above him (there are a million of them), caught the nearest rainbow, tossed a lot of nickels in a wishing well, saved all the fortunes from fortune cookies. But despite all of those, what he really needs is “a warm and tender love”, something he still hasn’t found yet. What a loser. Oh, and he also has a mustard seed. Wow, big f**kin’ deal.

“I Wanna Be You Lover” – It’s the classic “let’s just be friends” dilemma, and we all know how they often end.

“Dreamin’” and “Was I Dreamin’” – Two songs about the girl of his dreams who may actually be just a dream. What a pathetic loser.

“Let Me Be” – Despite the clap-happy tune, this song is about a guy who can’t shake his ex off. “You cheated and you lied, I hope you’re satisfied. Oh why won’t you let me be?” Hey boy, why won’t you let her be and take charge of your life? Loser.

“Lucky Guy” – It’s a song about a guy who loses his girl to another guy. Enough said.

“My First Day Alone” – The day after the break-up. Loser.

“Punch And Judy” – “Judy makes a fool of me…. Even though I know the score, I keep coming back for more.” Pathetic—an emotional punching bag. He should charge her with emotional violence, but he’s too much of a loser to fight back.

“Rhythm Of The Rain” – This is the cousin of the song “Crying In The Rain,” an ode to tears of loss and the heavens pouring in sympathy. Well, they get no sympathy from me.

“Shy Girl” – At first you think the problematic person in this song is the girl, not the guy. But no: “If only you knew I’m shy like you, you might not run away. Oh please don’t shy away. I’ve got so much to say.” What a loooser!

“There’s A Reason” – The girl leaves him and he’s looking for a reason why she said goodbye. Loser.

“The Last Leaf” – For me this is the most pathetic song of the bunch. The girl promised to come back to him “before the leaves of autumn touch the ground.” But then “one by one the leaves began to fall” and still no girl. So now he’s clinging on to “the last leaf that clings to the bough.” Now isn’t that pathetic or what?

Then my brother had another stunning realization: “Wow, I think The Cascades created the first punk album way before punk was created!”

Now it was my turn: “Owwws?!”

McBro: “Think about it—songs about love and loss, all under three minutes, all sounding alike. The Cascades are sooo punk!”

My god, he’s right. Rey “PJ” Avellana should re-visit his famous line from the movie D’ Punks: “Ma, hindi n’yo kami naiintindihan eh. Kami’y D’ Cascades!”

Which got me to thinking: why do most Pinoys love Cascades songs? Are we a nation of losers, mga sawi sa pag-ibig at buhay? Are we a nation of feeling-underdogs? Do we gravitate towards sad songs because they give us an outlet to vent out our frustrations in a civilized manner?

But if we are a society of underdogs, then how do we explain the popularity of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” in karaoke and videoke bars all over the country? Perhaps “My Way” is really the true antithesis of the sawi songs, because how else do we explain the numerous violent drunken episodes attached to the song? Does the deadly combination of “My Way” and alcohol transform us from passive losers into violent aggressors?

Do we really attach any sociological implication to all these musings?!

But really, why are the Cascades so popular here? There must be a reason; I’d like to know why, oh why, oh, I’d like to know. For now I hope that one day we can drop this La Aunoric ako-ay-api mentality and be a more pro-active and take-charge society. But until then, I’ll just keep on dreamin’, keep right on dreamin’.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Book Watch

Oh my god, the twelfth (and supposedly last) book in A Series of Unfortunate Events is coming out October 18! Interestingly, they’ve not yet revealed the title or the cover of the book in the official website (; they just call it “The Nameless Novel.” But there’s an online game wherein registered participants (no joining fee), upon answering the questions correctly, will be rewarded with a piece of a puzzle. Completing the puzzle will reveal the cover of book 12. All of this is very much in line with the nature of the books, so what a creative and synergistic way to generate interest among the series’ fans.

Last Monday I also bought the DVD of the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events starring Jim Carrey. I know many people were put off by his portrayal of the villain Count Olaf, but I think the greater weakness of the film is that the creators were unable to translate into filmic language the wicked wit and smart (sometimes smarmy) sensibilities of the books.

I’m still hoping that the movie version of another popular children’s literature, the Artemis Fowl series, will eventually be produced. The dissolution of Miramax has placed that project on turnaround, but hopefully someone will pick up that possible franchise in the near future.

Single. Simple.

Before I never really gave it much thought, but lately I’ve been slowly wrapping my mind around the idea that I’m destined to be single all my life. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, really. But unlike before when I was still open to the idea of hooking up, now I think I’ll just refuse anything and anyone that comes my way. It’s simpler that way.

Nope, I’m not afraid of commitment. I’m a committed bachelor, that’s all.

Creating A New Retreat

Last night Marisse told me about this 12-day silent retreat she’s attending sometime end of October. The idea behind this completely silent retreat is simple—it’ll force you to learn to really be quiet physically and, more importantly, mentally. Why be mentally still? Silencing your mind means being able to really be in the present, in the now. (Has that ever happened to you, when your mind is just blank and you’re suddenly so aware of everything around you, like your senses are heightened? It happened several times to me already, albeit quite by accident. I’ve always wanted to repeat that experience.) The retreat is designed to teach people to silence their minds at will. Needless to say, I’m intrigued and interested. However, in my workplace 12 days is a long time to go on leave. It’s not impossible but it just takes a bit more explaining and groveling in front of your boss. Unfortunately my stint as an actor used up most of my goodwill points, so I need to behave a bit and fill up my goodwill bank once again before I can ask for such a lengthy leave. I might go to the next retreat scheduled either March or May of 2006.

Meanwhile, last night we had a fun time inventing a new kind of retreat, taking off from that “absolute silence” idea. We came up with a “no seeing” retreat. The philosophy is simple: blindness forced Daredevil’s other senses to be heightened. In the same token, eliminating their sense of sight will force the participants to rely more on their other senses and maximize their usage. The 15-day retreat schedule will look something like this:

4:00 am – gouging of the eyes of each participant
4:30 to 6:30 am –rest and recovery
6:30 to 7:30 am – breakfast
7:30 to 11:00 am – healing and recuperation
11:00 to 12 noon – distribution of walking sticks
12 noon to 1:00 pm – lunch
1:00 to 2:00 pm – siesta
2:00 to 4:00 pm – orientation of the whole retreat venue and hands-on exploration
4:00 to 5:00 pm – sharing
5:00 to 7:00 pm – group exercise: running around the oval while tied to the other participants
7:00 to 8:00 pm – dinner
8:00 to 10:00 pm – 1st talk: Learning to live without sight
10:00 pm – lights out (after this, the lights will never be switched on ever again for the duration of the retreat, so they conserve on electricity)

DAY 2 & 3
Morning and afternoon: Maximize your sense of hearing
Evening: meditation

DAY 4 & 5
Morning and afternoon: Maximize your sense of touch
Evening: meditation

DAY 6 & 7
Morning and afternoon: Maximize your sense of smell
Evening: meditation

DAY 8 & 9
Morning and afternoon: Maximize your sense of taste
Evening: meditation

DAY 10 to 14
Using the rest of your senses: Combat training
Daily evening meditation

DAY 15
Culminating activity: NINJA WAR GAMES (participant vs. participant)

Psychologists will be always on hand to counsel those who will need guidance. Doctors will also be on hand anytime a participant gets an infection in his eye wounds.

Our retreat’s tagline will be simple: Walang atrasan! (No retreating!) Plus we’ll use this copy point: We guarantee you’ll never see the world in the same way again.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Gym Nasty

For the first time in over a month I started going to the gym every morning again. I had to stop during the Bayan-Bayanan rehearsals and run because we often ended so late at night I needed the extra time in the morning to catch up on sleep. Memorizing, repeating the blocks, dying on stage again and again—playing Pol was really tiring. I also tried to watch what I ate during the whole run. Still the lack of exercise took a toll on me. I was huffing and puffing more during my 20-min cardio routine on the treadmill, and my muscles were complaining when I lifted weights.

I’m not really a vain person but I do have my insecurities, and poor body image is one. Well, I have been working on having a better self-image; however, changes don’t happen overnight. So in the meantime I also work out to look good and feel good. Besides, I always tell myself that keeping a healthy body will be better as I grow older.

Going back to the gym after a long spell, I was hoping that the morning crowd had improved in my absence. Before, there was absolutely zero eye candy in the morning crowd. The instructors? Bleah. My fellow gym bunnies? Ngyek. Well, one or two have gorgeous bodies that are ruined by a not-so-pleasing face. We call them hipon (shrimp): tapon ulo (toss the head aside). As for the instructors, no one is handsome, none have a to-die-for body, and they all have the personality of a fire hydrant. (I’m beginning to ask myself: What the hell am I doing in that gym?!)

What’s even more irritating is that there’s this group of about 5-6 bodyguards of our company chairman who often work out in the mornings too. They look like ex-military men, all swarthy-looking, brusque in demeanor, and (suspiciously) sound like they all come from the same province—they all speak with the same accent or punto. I’ve nothing against men from the barracks—in fact they’re one of my kinkier fantasies. But when they work out as a group they turn the gym into one big boot camp—and we’re the outsiders. They pause in between sets to chat; meanwhile the rest of us are waiting for them to finish so we can use the machines. At times I interrupt them with, “Can we alternate on that machine?” but that hasn’t reduced their morning chika-fest. My subtle hints can’t seem to penetrate their heads. Blame it on their thick, sun-burnt skins and small brains. They’re not gym bunnies, they’re gym hippos.

Oh well. The gym is one big zoo, and I’m the monkey spitting at the guests and looking for bananas to eat.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Cascades Completed

Yesterday I bought The Essential Cascades, released by Warner Music Philippines. I bought it for two previously unreleased tracks, “Dreamin’” and “Was I Dreaming?” When I bought the album Rhythm of the Rain on CD several years ago, I was disappointed that the two songs were conspicuously absent. Maybe they couldn’t be digitally transferred from the original analog tapes, or maybe the suits in Warner then didn’t like songs about dreaming—whatever. At last all the Cascades songs I grew up with are now in my iPod.

Now I feel complete. Ahhh!

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Different Bed Experience

Over the weekend Katski and I repeated something we did about a year ago—stay overnight at Sonia’s Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay. Nestled away from the highway, Sonia’s is a blissful oasis, a retreat from the hectic city life. It’s not inexpensive, but luxury like this is sometimes worth spending for, at least once in a while.
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The road leading to the cottages, lit up for the coming twilight. Our cottage is the one on the right—our room is the one on the ground floor. Upstairs is another cottage, occupied by a foreign couple over the weekend.
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I love their bathrooms—pebbles instead of tiles on the floor, huge windows. Very Zen.
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The cottage we occupied had two huge beds. Katski occupied the bigger one; I preferred the smaller one in the corner.
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There was also an alcove with a day bed and a lounge chair. That’s where Katski and I stayed to brainstorm on a photo party for TA. We drank Mudslide (vodka and cappuccino, vodka and chocolate) during our brainstorming.
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There was also a small bedroom to the right of the alcove, complete with its own bathroom. Cool.
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Sonia’s has great accommodations. The food is also great, but unfortunately they don’t change their menu. So what we had for dinner and breakfast was exactly the same as a year ago (salad and pasta for dinner; adobo, fish, mushroom-and-cheese omelet, fried rice for breakfast). It’s no surprise that guests have stepped out to eat lunch and dinner somewhere else. So a weekend at Sonia’s is best spaced far and in between.

All in all it was a most relaxing weekend for me. I got to go on a long drive (I find long drives relaxing), stayed at a very cozy cottage, got around 8 hours of sleep (with an afternoon nap to boot, something I rarely do these days) and indulged in a food trip (we had lunch at Antonio’s on Saturday, then at Josephine’s on Sunday). I thought it was a great way to put a close to my Bayan-Bayanan experience. Now it’s time to take off my actor’s hat, put it back in the shelf and close the cabinet. Maybe one day I’ll dust it off the shelf and wear it again; meantime, it’s back to the daily regular grind.