Seattle’s Best and the ICUP

It’s the new way to either beat time when you have nothing to do, or you have several chapters in a textbook to read and understand and memorize for an impending exam – stay or study at Seattle’s Best, Kenny Rogers, Katipunan.

So, while waiting for Jean who was partying with the International Club of the University of the Philippines or ICUP at the AS Parking Space, I stayed with Tish at Seattle’s Best and sipped some savvy latte. And guess what followed next – an apparition!   Ha ha ha!  Ate Grace, Adam, and Tami came in for the same purposes. Tami had to review for her test and Ate Grace and Adam had to while the time away…

Fetched Jean later and coursed the long road called CP Garcia to UP.  Hmmmm, the lonely joggers were still on sight! The ICUP shindig rounded up…

But the university by night has something in it, I just couldn’t pinpoint it yet, but it’s attracting…

Hmpf, probably just the fancy coffee…

A Toast to Friendship

Believe it or not but I was in the basketball varsity back in high school.  I was not a good player but I think I enjoyed the game back then. For whatever it was worth, the games took me to many other schools and enabled me to marvel at new faces, new playgrounds or gyms, new experiences…

And back then, I had a buddy called Menchie Sarreal, a good player and a kind friend. She was a year younger but we were practice partners, about the same height, the same built, both beautiful, so they say, but hers was classic… And she was good in Math… So yes, Menchie was the brains, beauty, and brawn chic…., great, except that she was the youngest in a brood full of brothers…probably why she never got married, but that is another story….

Though the years, Menchie and I would only see each other once every blue, blue moon. But the friendship we built in the varsity was enough for me to ask her to be godmother to my first born. So the friendship was sealed for life.

Menchie had explored the world, packed her bags whenever she felt the itch to see the New York skyline or whatever whim that urges the wanderer…  That came to a halt though when she discovered she had  cancer and had to yield to some surgery, chemotherapy and swallow maintenance pills. Well, she got better and hopped on to see some parts of the world where friends and family were based…

She called me up the other day though and asked if we could go to Padre Pio’s chapel together. I obliged, more because I had been wanting to see her for the longest time….

She’s a bit thinner but is growing her hair back again. She sports a newer car, wears the same maong jeans, and carries the same old happy smile. The mannerisms are the same, but the stories we exchanged were life defining!

Menchie, wacky with her laughter, serious with her sentiments, ever genuine with her love for family and friends, hurt but hanging on, scarred but ever brave and sincere, quiet when words are not necessary…

I once said that I had a special list that bears the name of my friends…

Mench, you made that list special…

I had a happy day just chatting with you, yaikks!, the skeletons in our closets are dancing…

Monday Blues

Monday is supposed to be a free day for the UP people but most of the extra-curricular activities are scheduled on this hypo day. That is why I had been bringing Tish to the university on Mondays for the past semester and a half. Her Ceewatts or something like community service hours in line with the academic requirements for a degree is always held on early Monday mornings. Sigh!

But I have found a way to make Mondays exciting for myself. I walk the couple of miles the UP oval offers. And there are not many joggers on this day, most of the health buffs had exhausted their energy the previous day, Sunday, when the oval is carless…

So I enjoyed my lonesome self again yesterday, pausing a few times to inhale the smell of the grass, watch the mist gradually disappear from the majestic acacia trees and allow the sunrays  nourish the leaves…

I was doubly thankful on this particular day because Tish and I were discussing which med school would likely accept her, PGH or UST. We are hoping that she gets in one of these two choices with a corresponding scholarship. But her grades are only on a cum laude status. She has to get through the eye of a needle in order to study medicine and surgery in any of these prestigious schools.

As we exhaled though, a rainbow suddenly appeared before our very eyes… and we cheered and beheld God’s message, sent as we speak about our problem… received with an understanding that the way will not be easy, for rainbows come after the rain, but Tish will get there, and serve.

So yesterday afternoon, I attended to the finances and the health worries. I have to save for the initial reservation and tuition for the med school and also work my way healthy and wise so I will have the stamina to bring Tish to school everyday and back for the next five years.

I had my blood tested actually… for sugar…

And later in the day, towards the evening, Jean and I paid Gina and Kaka a visit. Gina’s dad, and Kaka’s granddad died.

What a Monday!

The President Purchased a Porsche and Other Car Stories

Hear ye! Hear ye, President Noy, for I am your boss!

I risked life and limb to stand by your parents’ principles back in the 80’s. What they fought for was my plight, and for the ninety four million Filipinos now who believe that you are carrying the same torch of liberty. But that flame bears the spirit of a people poor and simple. What we fought for in the past was not just a dictatorship but a tyranny that displaced the soul of a people. For whilst we suffer, they were dancing in style within the grandiose walls of our palace.

President Noy, we are suffering still. How many of us sacrifice our health in the sardine-packed metro rail transit just to get to school and work? How many of us endure the exhaust fume pollution as we ride the jeeps and the buses on our way home. And you test drive a luxury car because you can afford it anyway?

Hmmm, something is not right! We had forgiven Kris for her erroneous passions. We tried to understand that it was not easy for her since childhood, and we allowed her to mature from her mistakes. But you, President Noy, is our president. For a country whose poor are dwelling under bridges and whose young naked children are scurrying down the main avenues by night in search of a few pesos for food, a Porsche is stomach revolting. Get rid of it, Mr. President, before it gets caught in some jet’s flaps in Clark airfield or before it gets another bump on the sidewalks of Ortigas. A Porsche is not a Filipino transport. Never will!

And just for the record, so we would remember…

3 people in the used car dealership were killed with bullets on their heads and bodies charred beyond recognition. And the luxury cars they were selling were stolen. The police investigation now reports there is a  gang who would kill for cars.

And a high profile carnapping incident involves the luxury car of Mar Roxas’ female cousin…

Cars… sigh! Where do all these car stories channel the lives of our people?

Walk with us again, Mr. President, like how your mom did.

As Always, The Traffic is a Nightmare!

I had no choice but to make that journey to the province on a weekday, a working day. A good citizen has to pay taxes on time. It is our civic duty to make our country a better place. We do that by contributing our share for the development and progress…

But the way to the province was not exactly smooth and straight. The left turns and right turns, and even the u-turns, are made fascinating by fly-overs that showcase gallant luxury cars much like an army of ants …

Shussshhh! I couldn’t breathe inside the EDSA tunnel. Confirmed my hunch that I am claustrophobic. But to get stuck in a traffic jam under the EDSA is nightmarish…

My homebound travel lasted four hours. Perhaps describing the experience a nightmare is being kind… I won’t argue if the commuters call their daily travel to work and back a living hell… 😦

Geez! A Fortnight Had Gone By So Swiftly!

Taxes, tarpaulins, thesis, tests and term papers… hmmm, seems that my first fortnight of year 2011 is classified under the letter T. I’m okay with that, except for trials. And what a fortnight it was! It had passed on so swiftly.

Jean had been interviewing shoe manufacturers and shoe shoppers. So we had circled the city for her data gathering. I had to stay in my ragged jalopy for the duration of her interviews. The shortest one lasted an hour and a half. That means that I had endured the heat and the exhaust fumes of the jeepneys and the giant trucks. The shoe factories were nowhere near any fastfood nor convenient stores where I can sit and eat. They are conspicuously located  in some hi-way and by-way where mass transport and cargo trucks ply. And so here I am now, congestion building up around the nasal area…and I had sipped some chicken soup and gulped a huge tablet of vitamin C.

Well, who else would assist Jean in her legwork but moi? So I was the spin top, and I swear I had my vision blurred already yesterday at the SM grocery. I thought I was going on to some vertigo but I’m glad I was able to control the senses… mind over matter, as the old adage advises. The other day, as I brought Tish home from school, the stomach churned and it was a real bad feeling. I was glad I got home safely fast enough.

Tell tale signs of aging, I suppose. But then fifty is the new twenty, so they say. I was able to walk the UP Oval in half an hour despite the neuropathy. And I was jubilant over Jean receiving awards for her paper planes in Physics, one for precision and the other for sustainability in flight. I knew she should have been a jet pilot, had only she listened to me. But well, she has her grad pics now and she looks very photogenic and dignified. I do pray she gets to prance on her career choice strong and good.

Tish still has her nose poked on her Bio textbooks. But she relaxes on the piano every now and then. She’s working on her concerto. I am truly blessed to get to hear good music whenever she plays. Sir Agot gave her a VG on her last lesson, and she’s totally happy with that.

Now back to taxes…drat!  I am Cavite bound… and I am bringing the tarpaulins to sell the properties…

I Am A Couch Potato

The viewing fever is back. The rain drizzled and that was enough for me to choose a disc , tuck myself cozy on the bed, and start watching old films again. Before I knew it, I had seen Lethal Weapon 2 & 4, Die Hard  2 & 3, While You Were Sleeping, Sweet Home Alabama, The Thomas Crown Affair,The Client, The General’s Daughter, Flight Plan, and two recent acquisitions Perfume and Premonition. If that number of films viewed in a few days does not qualify me as a couch potato, I don’t know what is…

But of course I do stay up till the wee hours of the morning, that is why I do look a bit haggard during the day. The boob tube had been my bff these days. The girls are so busy with the school stuff…

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